I’m happy enough to write, and accomplish something, without worrying about being in a favorite chair at a favorite desk using a favorite pen. But perhaps that’s because I don’t have an office per se. I have a straight-backed reception room type chair and a basic four-legged white table with a synthetic top. I face a window (yay for sunshine!) that looks to a woods (double yay!). Next to my desk is an ancient wood bureau in which I keep all my junk–paper, notebooks, notecards, spare pens, dry pens, a water bottle, magazines, and probably more things I’ve forgotten were there.
Truth is, I don’t really enjoy writing there. Not that I can’t work there or I hate the place either–the place itself is neutral. Despite–or maybe because of–my natural introversion I can write in a crowded noisy restaurant, as long as I find myself in the right state of mind. That is, the place where words mindlessly flow into a logical rhythm and make-believe people who live in my head do things that astonish and bemuse me.
I wrote the climax to Forgotten Kiss–a creepy ten-page scene in which the view-point character is both aroused and terrified at the same time–on the second floor of the Rochester Public Library in a maelstrom of college-aged kids pretending to do homework. At first I worked slowly and with deliberate effort, mostly because I was busy looking around to make sure no one was reading over my shoulder. Then, by magic and mystery, the story clicked along and things happened that I both expected and that also surprised me. All along there were people around me, they may have been staring or not, whispering, doing silly things–none of that really mattered. I was in the zone and my story was being written.
That scene was about 3,700 words long and, though I can’t swear by it after all these years, I want to say I wrote the whole thing in one sitting. At least in one day. Very rarely do I achieve that kind of pure focus, writing a lot at one time with multiple distractions, but that is the place I strive to be in when I write.
This post was prompted by the current topic on the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, my favorite writing place. Check out the other contributors to the tour!
ETA: I can’t take full credit for the title of this post. It’s a line in Forgotten Kiss. In all co-authoring projects (at least the one I’ve been involved in), the individual ideas get mashed into a Collective Idea, and it’s hard to tell who came up with which idea originally. But this line has always been a Lisa-line, and a line that completely changed the course of the entire project.