Today is a theme day for the blogathon, and the theme is my five favorite places to write. Aha! An easy topic; I should be able to knock this out quickly and get to bed early for a change.
Only, as I sat here trying to think of favorite places to write, I realized I need to get out more. I can't think of five favorite places where I've successfully written. Oh sure, I can imagine quite a few dreamy writing locations , but none that I've been to. I don't know what it says about my personality, but the first thoughts I had were of places where the actual act of writing has been difficult.
So, I'm going to do my version of a top five; breaking it down into three groups. Without further adieu, my list for tonight will consist of: Places I've tried to write and found it difficult; spaces in which I have written and written fairly happily; and most importantly, the places where I feel like a writer and find joy in the moment.
Here it is: The "This is S#!t" list; followed by the "Where I Usually Sit" list; and then the "Let It Be" list.
This is S#!t
Now before you assume I'm going to hell, let's admit that sometimes inspiration comes from likely places at inappropriate times. No, I've never whipped out my laptop, or notebook to start writing in church, but I have clandestinely written a quick note or two on my phone. However, if I'm inclined to continue, it's impossible because I mostly type nonsense words with my too-fat-for-the-keypad thumbs which leads to cussing, which as I've been told, is not acceptable in church; even in the Unitarian one that I liberally frequent. Who knew?
I have absolutely no explanation for this other than the fact that it is too damn quiet! Church is noisier. I have tried to write at the library, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi access and expertly located coffee and doughnut kiosk in the lobby, but I just can't do it. As soon as I sit down at a table and take out my laptop I develop a list of tics and fidgets that would make Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets look like a stoned surfer dude becoming one with the sand. I shift in the horribly unergonomic wooden chair, I scoot it in, then back a little, move my laptop slightly left, angle it inward to cut down glare, realize the guy next to me can now see my screen, so angle it directly toward the window now maximizing the glare, check the cord to make sure it's snugly plugged, put my purse on the back of my chair, moving it to the floor between my feet, shoving aside my briefcase to make room for my purse which makes it feel crowded by my feet, so I shift in my seat again. After all this I'm exhausted and decide I want a doughnut and coffee, which is in the lobby. I can't very well walk away from my laptop in search of refreshment, so I unplug, pack up and head toward the lobby realizing all is now lost and I should just go home; after the doughnut of course.
Where I Usually Sit
Despite the fact that my office has once again become the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff that doesn't have a home of it's own, my desk and computer in here are comfortable. In addition, the lighting is sufficient and my screen is a size that doesn't drive me to drink more than one or two glasses of wine during the process. It does have some lovely touches like my salt lamp (ooh I think I'll turn it on right now and enjoy it, but I should move the papers away first so I don't accidentally heat things up tonight). Also there is no view to distract me. There's a window alright, but it's covered with a broken shade that can't be lifted. Sometimes when there is sun outside, I prop up one side of the shade with a stick, and it's all good until the shade begins it's slippery descent and the stick falls in the middle of my desk breaking the writing reverie. Then I'm done.
This is a recent discovery! Not the bed itself, but actually being able to write in bed. I can't do it for too long because it's not as comfortable as it sounds. On weekend mornings it is heaven to bring a cup of coffee to the bedroom, prop myself up on pillows, grab the lap friendly desk and fire up the computer. Everything is just dandy until I decide to turn on the television and check the news, which leads to flipping channels, and infomercials... Just a minute, I have to go get my wallet; I think I need those Pajama Jeans to wear while writing in bed. Don't you agree?
Let It Be
I could really dream big here and think of all the exotic places I would love to visit and experience, but the truth is that when I think of those places, I want to live the experience and write about it later. Sure, a little writing here and there is fine, but if I'm heading to a tropical paradise I'm not lugging my laptop out to the beach, or poolside. It's too much to worry about; thieves, sand, water and tipping cocktails.
My favorite writing locales have people gathering in twos or more and conversing. They are accessible for real-life quickie get-aways, have ample food and drink and clean bathrooms. They allow me a little anonymity within a community. Yes, place like coffee shops, cafes, delis, and lunch counters come readily to mind for obvious reasons. But one of my new favorite places to write is in a wine bar during a tasting, especially in the summer if there is outdoor seating. Now we're talking! A perfect observation point (akin to a wildlife blind), to eavesdrop on intimate conversations, which get easier to hear as we all make our way through the tasting list. The other perks include; wine consistently appears in my glass, bread and cheese seem plentiful, and being served this way allows me to plop my writer-self and this setting into any city or country I may fantasize about at the moment
Oh yes, let it be so!