Friday, June 7, 2013

ARCHIVES: Where Do You Write?

I've been pondering this question as I shift my writing location. I do this every winter. My primary spot is my office, a little cubbyhole on the north side of the house. In the summer, it's glorious, with a view of lilac bushes and a beautiful old California oak. There's even a kestrel house on a pole, although in all the years since my husband put it up, it has not attracted a resident. Shaded as it is, and far from a heater vent, it's chilly in the winter. We've looked at increasing the insulation of the window (double-paned glass) and the possibility of a small space heater. In the end, though, my usual solution is to follow the example of birds -- and migrate to a warmer clime.

The warmer clime is just across the house. A sunny, south-facing bay window overlooks our garden. It's equipped with a cushy recliner and a bookshelf (upon which sit two cat baskets) with space for reference books, writing journals, and a CD player. The cats know this is a Good Place. I take my netbook there, or a hardcopy manuscript, and curl up in the sun. I also appreciate being able to shift my position -- first, sitting cross-legged, then reclining the chair and propping the netbook or clipboard on my legs. (And yes, I've been known to tilt the chair even further back and take a nap!)

I have trained myself not to noodle on the Internet on my netbook unless I'm traveling. That hasn't been hard, since the little excuse-for-a-mouse-pad is sufficiently awkward to sue. The habit helps minimize the distractions I face while at my desk/desktop. Winter inevitably means less time on the 'webs, or rather, more efficiently-spent time.

The major drawback of the setup is how hard it is to spring out of the chair at a moment's notice (as when the phone rings or the cats have abandoned their sun baths and are up to something naughty). I always go through this mad scramble to upright the chair and find a safe place to put the netbook down. I always think, I should bring the portable phone with me, but then I forget. It's probably just as well, as these occasions inspire me to break up my work sessions with bursts of acrobatic physical activity.

Now it's your turn. Where do you write, and why? What works for you? What poses a problem?

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