Apr 18, 2012

Tea as Inspiration - Annie West

I was going to write about something deeply intellectual and thought provoking. You know, the sort of post that gives you a brilliant lightbulb moment. But I couldn't. Instead I succumbed to the lure of fascination and fun. I've had these pics in my camera for a while now and I just couldn't resist using them.

We have at home this packet of 5 tea bags, a gift from someone in Germany. I'm telling myself I'll open them soon and use them but I get so much pleasure just out of looking at them.

In case the pictures aren't very clear, each is a tea bag, suspended not from a string but from a cardboard cut out person whose arms stretch out to rest on the edge of your cup, so you can enjoy seeing the tea bag as it brews.

Each is a fascinating persona. Here we have in descending author a treasury of great authors: Voltaire, Schiller, Dante, Shakespare and Goethe. I love Dante's grumpy face and the fact that Goethe seems to be checking out the action just out of your line of sight. I'm looking forward to using these and drawing inspiration for my writing from one of the world's great writers. Surely it will be like osmosis. With Shakespeare or Schiller to help me the words are bound to flow. Yes?

And if you prefer to be inspired by people who don't have a literary background, my husband has some he's been using at work. So far I think he's used Jimmy Hendrix and John Lennon. Then there's a set with Sister Theresa, Nelson Mandela and interestingly, Che Guevara. And another set with British royal family members. Something for almost every taste. I'm wondering now about a set of famous Russian authors. Maybe a set of composers. And of course there are sporting heroes and current faces from public life. Who wouldn't want to dunk a politician when they had the chance?

So, what do you think? Would having these inspire you to write, or tackle whatever work it is you do? Who would you love to see on a tea bag, or coffee bag for that matter, that might inspire you? Famous romance authors? Family members? Titles of your unpublished works in book form? Gorgeous scenes? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

Contribute an answer and I'll put your name in a random draw to win a book. As Undone By His Touch is a brand new release this month in the UK, I'll give away a signed copy of that. I'll post the winner's name here before the next post goes up, so keep your eyes open.

37 comments:

  1. Annie! Don't touch those tea bags - they are far too gorgeous to use!
    As a medical author I want Doug Ross on my tea bag, I'd like a bit of Doug in my tea!

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  2. Hi Scarlet,

    Those are my thoughts exactly. I've been looking at these tea bags for ages but haven't been able to bring myself to use them. Sigh. But I suppose the used ones could go on my cork board, minus the actual tea.

    Hey great idea. I can see how Doug might inspire you!

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  3. Annie, what a fun post! I remember you showing me those cute tea bags when I was down visiting you and getting major envy. You know how I love a cup of tea to start the day. And then, uh, continue the day. And then, uh, continue the continuing. And then... Yeah, I know. I drink a LOT of tea. Buy my teabags in lots of 200!

    By the way, anyone who wins UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH has a real treat ahead. That's such a great story!

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  4. oh those are too cute to actually make tea from....Can't wait to read the latest, Annie...I loved Girl in the Bedouin Tent..exactly my kind of Presents...

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  5. Sri, wasn't GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT marvelous? My kind of Presents too - really classic!

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  6. Hi Anna, yes, I know how you love your tea. I was amazed actually, that you didn't try to snaffle these special ones of mine. Aren't they a treat? I can imagine being inspired by Goethe and sad to say I think I'd just giggle at Dante - he looks so grumpy. I'm saving them for days when I really need them.

    Thanks for the kind words about UNDONE. I recently got my first review for the book and am so chuffed about it.

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  7. Hi Sri,

    I'm glad you like them. I wish they were on sale here - I'm sure they'd do a roaring trade!

    Ooh, thanks for the feedback on GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT! I'm so happy you loved it. I had an absolute ball with that one. I realised later that I was just letting myself go with the whole sheikh fantasy - always a good thing, I find.

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  8. Annie, these tea bags are fantastic! I love tea and would defnitely draw inspiration from these, as well as your books. ;)

    Where ever did you get them?

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  9. I love the tea bags - they are absolutely gorgeous!!

    I wouldn't mind a set of my fav romance writers to inspire me when writing.

    But I also like the idea of a set of Presents cover models :) how's that for inspiration?!!

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  10. Annie, they're amazing! Want! As to what I would have on mine, despite saying elsewhere that I don't care about eye candy, it would be amusing to have naked hunky types, so it could look like they were lolling in the hot tub of your tea. And I have a friend who would love famous musicians (which you can probably buy from the clever makers, esp since they are European).
    thanks for sharing!

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  11. Hi Katherine, aren't they fun? They're from a stationery shop of all places in Berlin. The most fabulous stationery store I've seen in ages. A mix of cheap and cheerful and elegantly expensive and all so drool worthy. This was in a suburb too, not in a main shopping area.

    I love the idea of you being inspired by my books. Thank you!

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  12. ooh, Joanne, Presents cover models to inspire you? What a brilliant thought. I'd be staring at my cup all the time instead of at my ms. But I'm sure I'd be very inspired! Love it.

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  13. Hi Imelda, I'm chuckling here at the way you speak about naked hunks lolling in my cup of tea. I can see it now. Hm, I'm beginning to wonder if I could contact the manufacturers with some brilliant ideas and then sell them in Australia. I could make a fortune from romance readers and writers alone. Yes, I did wonder if there musicians too. Must try to find out.

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  14. OMG -- I need some of these! Annie, these are brilliant and I would definitely use them. I'd make myself a cup of tea, take myself off to my writing desk and proceed to hold deep and meaningful conversations with each and every one of those writers...and perhaps consider ways to make Dante smile. :-)

    My wish list tea bags? Oh! How about the entire cast of Pride and Prejudice? I'm sure there'd be some hot moments with Mr Darcy, some amusing ones with Lizzy, and I think there'd be a certain kind of satisfaction in dunking Mr Collins and Lady Catherine.

    Fab fun post, Annie! Thanks for the chuckle.

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  15. Great idea for tea bags! I'd like to see a set with an author's book characters. How about some Annie West ones?

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. I don't drink tea (I know I've just induced shock, horror, disbelief, even repugnance at that confession). I get through my day with regular doses of M&B romance. Better than Prozac.

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  17. Hi Annie, the tea bags dont inspire me at all (they do make me chuckle tho) but my eldest poked her head over my shoulder to see what I was looking at and she thinks they're fab. She quite likes a bit of mint tea... maybe they'll inspire her to do her homework... the two week deadline is fast drawing near :/

    I wouldnt say no to a Vin Diesel Coffee Bag... oh yes!!! Although to be honest it would only inspire me to sit there and dream hehehe.

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  18. TashNz, you want a Vin Diesel bag. I'll put my hand up for a Gerard Butler one. And while we're at it, how about Leonardo D? Might be more of a distraction though LOL.
    Annie, congratulations on your latest Romantic Times award win!!

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  19. Michelle, what a great thought - I'd love a set of these with the characters in Pride and Prejudice. Wouldn't that be marvellous? I fear though that I'd get rather distracted by them. I'd be too busy reliving the highs and lows of the story and probably end up using them as puppets. Hm. There's an idea.

    I'm glad the blog made you smile.

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  20. Hi bn100, I must say I'd love to be able to order some teabags made to order with various characters of mine on them. Such fun!

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  21. Actually, thinking of casting characters into tea bags, I confess I'd like a set with characters from 'The Wizard of Oz'. Now that really would brighten my day.

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  22. Hi Princess Fiona. I don't see why coffee bags couldn't be produced too. Glad to hear that your romances get you through the day. They make a big difference, don't they?

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  23. Tash, good luck to your daughter with her deadline. Maybe a mint tea would help her along. I'm glad she enjoyed these. They're even better in reality.

    Am smiling at the idea of a Vin Diesel coffee bag. I wonder how he'd react? Thanks for the suggestion.

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  24. Hi Robyn, I can't believe you're the first to mention Gerard Butler as a model for one of these! I can see it happening...I should just make contact with the manufacturers.

    Thanks for the congratulations. I was thrilled when 'Protected By the Prince' won the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice!

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  25. A range of Regency Rakes hanging out in my kitchen would be wonderful. The only problem is, I can see myself having a lot of tea & swooning, but nothing else being done.

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  26. I love them! Though, if I only had 5, I probably wouldn't be able to bring myself to use them. What we need is a regular supply...

    I think my favourite suggestion so far is for Regency rakes or the cast of Pride & Prejudice. Something about an English historical that matches with the tea drinking.

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  27. SO gorgeous. I wouldn't want to use them, EVER :) Keep them as inspiration

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  28. Annie - I want them. I have serious tea envy.

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  29. Awesome teabags, Annie! I'd be torn about using them... but it's been great fun to hear about them and to speculate on what other tea danglers might be fun.

    Maybe animal teabags might be fun? A packet of Chinchilla cats if you fancied your cat serving a cuppa!

    :)
    Sharon

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  30. Marybell, I'm laughing at the idea of a bunch of Regency rakes hanging out in your kitchen. Now that would be a talking point. I can fully understand you drinking lots of tea then swooning. You'd have to make sure you were sitting down first! Love it.

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  31. Rachel, that's precisely why my tea bags are unopened after so long. I want to use them but I want to keep them. I think I'll have to use them then pin the 'used' authors to my cork board. Yes definitely something appropriate about having English historical characters with your tea. Was just imagining what it might be like to have Shakespearian characters gracing your cup but I'm not sure it would be calming having Hamlet or Othello brooding up at you as you drank.

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  32. Hi Cheryse. I may just do that.

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  33. Helen, I'm glad you approve. These make me smile whenever I look at them.

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  34. Love the teabags, Annie. They certainly beat the common garden variety in my pantry. If I was to put inspiring pictures on mine they'd be of very successful romance and suspence writers so that they could remind me daily of my goals. I drink buckets of tea so would always be getting a nudge from them.

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  35. Sharon, now there's an interesting idea. I could see some fabulous animal tea bags. I think seeing a cute hairy nosed wombat over a cuppa at the beginning of the day would be terrific. And, yes a set of cats for the cat lovers or dogs for the canine fans.

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  36. Hi Sue,
    What a canny idea. Though I think it could daunt me too to have all those ultra successful authors watching me. I'd feel like they were wondering why I'm procrastinating instead of writing.

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  37. Thanks everyone for your enthusiasm! I'm so pleased you enjoyed my tea bags. They make me smile when I see them so it's great to share the joy.

    As for a winner of UNDONE BY HIS TOUCH - I've done a random draw and THE WINNER IS PRINCESS FIONA. Congratulations, Fiona! Just email me at annie(at)annie-west(dot)com with your postal address and I'll send it to you.

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