Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Place To Write

Whenever I have guests in my house, someone always asks to see where I do my writing. They want to know where I "create the magic" as one man put it. I never thought about it that way, but I guess if you don't write, putting a story together can seem magical. If you do write, you know it's not magic at all. Writing requires long hours of planning, research, plotting, writing, and rewriting.

So I asked some of our Avalon authors where they work to best create their magic. Because I received so many responses and such a variety of answers, I'm putting this into two blogs, one today on the physical space, and then on Oct. 2 on getting inspiration from where an author writes.

To some, physcial place is important to get the creative juices to flow. For others, it is not. Many of our authors are fortunate to have an office space dedicated to their writing. I'm one of those. When we had to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, we set aside a small room just for my writing. Even though I have a sunroom and a porch facing a beautiful harbor, I'm most productive with no distractions. Debby Mayne (FOREVER ALOHA, 2003), Jane Myers Perrine (THE MAD HERRINGTONS) and I need the isolation of a quite, separate room to help us stay focused.

Laptops have given us the mobility to move to different locations if we choose. Zelda Benjamin likes to take her laptop to the kitchen table. Laurie Alice Eakes (WHEN THE SNOW FLIES, Aug 2010) also has an office, but says she likes variety and will move to the kitchen table or the living room sofa, and when the weather is "a bit cooler" she moves to the patio. She's also been known to write at Starbucks. Rebecca Boschee (MULLIGAN GIRL, Feb. 2010) also has an office but prefers a little corner of her bedroom with an old country-style kitchen table piled high with writing paraphernalia, and Christine Bush prefers to do most of her writing in a chair next to her desk.

Ilsa Mayr (MAELSTROM, Aug 2009) can be found at her kitchen or patio table or sitting in the car waiting for her husband's plane, and speaking of husbands, Beate Boeker (TAKE MY PLACE, April 2009) writes in the same room with her husband "with nothing but the hackng sound of the keyboards" disturbing their silence.

Two of our authors Noelene Jenkinson (LOVING LUCY, 2010) and Terry McDermid call their spaces "studies." I like that. A study sounds much more literary than an office. The window in Nolene's study faces north. On the lower panes, she has a colorful row of glass prisms that catch the sunlight and spread across the slate floor (Sounds beautiful). Terry tries to keep her study clear and uncluttered, and void of anything not writing related.

So, does it matter where we write? As Christine Bush said, "When a story is flowing, it doesn't seem to matter where or when or how I write. . . but getting started is aided by 'setting the atmosphere.'" I think most of us would agree with you, Christine.

Join me again on October 2 and let's see how these physical spaces help to give our Avalon authors their inspiration.


Beate Boeker said...

Fran, thank you for collecting that information! I found it so interesting . . . and I have to think about something catching the sunlight! Tempting . . .

Anonymous said...

Fran: It's interesting to see how we all ahve a place. The places may be the same, but we have a place that is our writing space.

And how Bete can write in the same room with her husband is beyond me. Mine drove me crazy, which is why I went to Starbucks until we moved and had a much larger house. Now we're at opposite ends, which suits me fine.

Jane Myers Perrine said...

Thanks, Fran. I loved hearing about the other Avalon writers. Now I'm going to call my office a "haven." Lots of fun and I look forward to the next entry.

mulligangirl said...

Fran, thanks for the interesting article. Anyone who writes knows the day to day nuts and bolts of it can feel very solitary. It makes me feel a little less lonely picturing all those other authors out there tapping away!

Tessa McDermid said...

Thanks, Fran, for the post. I agree that it's nice to know others are out there writing their stories - I'm alone in my study but not in my pursuit of writing.

I do tend to disappear from my study for a time to write - have laptop will travel! For me, if I'm stuck, a new location can get me going. Sitting at my writing space, wherever it is, always reminds me, though, that I'm fortunate to be able to create stories - however challenging the writing may be!