Share Your Shelf with YA Author Shamim Sarif
1. Writing Cabin. Best. Present. Ever. After years of dealing with my excuses that I couldn’t focus enough to write my next novel, this showed up in the garden as a gift from my wife. It’s decorated with stacks of actual film reel – rushes from my first two movies – which is even more inspiring.
2. Moleskine Notebooks. I keep these on the go for each project I’m working on. It’s like a blizzard in those pages – a storm of ideas, lines of dialogue, weird references. Anything that might remotely make it into a book one day but mostly stuff that won’t…
3. Spotify Playlists. I write in silence, but I cannot write without musical inspiration. I build up a playlist for every story I write, whether book or screenplay. Just moments that reflect a character’s feeling or the tone of a scene or the build up of a relationship.
4. Running Shoes. I listen to those playlists while out walking or running in the morning. It’s like turning on a tap of ideas and little moments, and gets me ready to face the blank screen.
5. Pyjama bottoms. Maybe it’s weird to shower in the morning and then get dressed in pyjamas – but this is my writing gear of choice. Soft, cotton ones from The White Company are my favorite.
6. Green Tea with Brown Rice. I’m British. A cup of tea can solve anything. And this is smoky, nutty and feels, healthy, so I drink it and feel soothed and virtuous.
7. Homemade lemon cake. With two grown up boys in the house, I make two of these at a time. A slice (who am I kidding, a slab) gets me through another 500 words, no questions asked.
8. Inside Story by Dara Marks. A really character-led, mythic look at structure and story. I keep it in my cabin and just looking at the cover reminds me of what matters most – that we want to see the people we read about transform in some way by the end of the novel…
9. Big screen iMac. I love my screen. It means I don’t need to wear my recently acquired reading glasses and somehow so much screen space feels decadent and necessary.
10. Captain’s Chair. If you have to sit a lot, this is the chair to do it in. So the only voyage I’m taking is through my imagination, but hey…
11. Casablanca Coasters. Kitsch? Possibly. Dispensable? No way. These came with a box DVD set of the movie Casablanca and I am very attached to them, even when they become attached to the moist ring on the base of my tea mug…
Do you prefer a desktop or a laptop?
Let us know in the comments!
"I’m British. A cup of tea can solve anything. And this is smoky, nutty and feels, healthy, so I drink it and feel soothed and virtuous." - @shamimsarif #yaauthor #bookishessentials
This article was originally printed in the Winter 2019 issue of Curiositales. If you would like to receive a free digital copy of the magazine, sign up for our newsletter at the top of this page! Then, confirm your email address (be sure to check your spam folder). Once you click the link in your welcome email, you'll get regular news from Curiositales, including notifications when the latest magazine is published. You can unsubscribe whenever you like. Or, you can read it for free here.
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