Mugging for the Camera

Posted on 24 January 2013

Yes, it has come to this: a post consisting entirely of the mugs that hold my trusty tea or coffee while writing. We’ve reached a new low, friends. But without further adieu, please enjoy my caffeine receptacles and the stories of how they came to grace my writing desk:

Above: This is the mug that started it all. I bought it during my semester abroad in London because its bright colors and polka dots simply made me happy. I didn’t know it at the time, but “brightly colored” would become a prerequisite for most of my future mug purchases. I packed this mug in tons of bubble wrap when I flew home and, to this day, I’m extra careful with it. It’s one of the few things I still have from that semester in England and is the only one I use on a regular basis — usually for green tea.

Above: The photos above show the two sides of the mug I bought in 2004 when I lived in D.C. Once again, I picked it up because it was bright and made me happy. This is another green tea mug.

Above: I bought this mug in a thrift store in Cleveland for 25 cents and it’s my go-to mug for coffee. It’s handmade and I love the colors and the glaze. It also has this nice little thumb rest that you can’t see in the photo but is oddly satisfying.

Above: There’s no fancy story behind this one — I bought it at a CVS because its roundness and orangeness appealed to me.

Above: My writing buddy gave me this setup, which is perfect for a tea drinker like me. The mug comes with a lid so you can steep your tea, plus a little dish for the teabag.

Above: I think this mug was Peter’s contribution to the household. I don’t use it very often but I should. Check out the way it glows from the light.

Above: This is the only mug I have left from my childhood home. It belonged to my mom; she might have brought it back from a trip to the Southwest. I don’t really remember her using it — she preferred to drink her coffee out of an enormous West Chester University mug and then claim she just had “one” cup. Still, the wild horses make me think of her.

Above: To photograph this goose mug, I had to remove it from our Goodwill donation box. Peter cleaned out our glasses and cups cabinet recently and insisted we get rid of the mugs we never use. This one, another thrift store find, is adorable but very small, so I rarely use it. But I just can’t give it away. I already let him take our three orange FireKing mugs — the geese are mine.

Above: Let’s end on a writerly note. I don’t actually drink out of this mug; I keep it on my writing desk. I got Sugar/Cheryl’s signature at a Sun event at AWP last year.

Where do you put your pour?

10 responses to Mugging for the Camera

  • Sarah W says:

    I want the fourth and fifth ones!

    My current favorite writing mug is my dark green 1995 Ohio Renaissance Festival tankard with the bias relief,unglazed lion head sticking out of the side–it holds a remarkable amount of hot tea and cold diet Pepsi, which makes for fewer trips to the kitchen.

    My second favorite mug is the travel tea mug a friend gave me for Christmas—it has a built in strainer and a literary quote from Jane Austen.

    • Those mugs sound so great! I’m thinking I should invest in a good teapot (am currently without one, believe it or not) and then bring the whole thing to my writing room so I can pour lots of tiny goose-mug cups of tea.

  • Averil says:

    I vote mug #2! Oh, we’re not voting?

    One of my favorite mugs came from Sarah, with the five rules of writing quote by Somerset Maugham. The mug holds my go-go juice, and the go-go juice holds my mojo, so my writing aspirations are pretty much all there in that one mug every morning at 4:45 sharp.

    • Votes accepted! I don’t know, maybe I’ll make the winning mug a tiny wreath of roses or something.

      You guys have such great writerly mugs! Aside from a little Sugar, my mugs are non-writer-specific.

  • Downith says:

    Your husband insisted on getting rid of stuff you never use?


    • Teri says:

      I had the same reaction, Downith. My blessed husband recently said, “I’m going to clean out my closet.” Two hours later he emerged carrying two short-sleeved shirts and a belt.

      Love that Cheryl Strayed mug! Was AWP really a whole year ago?

    • But oddly, it only seems to be the things I don’t want to throw out. And I’m not a hoarder by any stretch of the imagination — just back away from the goose mug.

  • Paul Lamb says:

    You should join the Mugshot Thursdays Flickr group.

  • Catherine says:

    I just bought a beautiful mug from London too. Mugs are sooo important for that green tea hit. I just keep topping up all morning!

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