Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Where I Write

Yesterday I started to write about Kyle Cassidy's way cool book "Where I Write."  The book is a collection of photographs Kyle took of Science Fiction and Fantasy writers in their writing areas.  I always love to see artists' studios, regardless of the kind of art they create.  It's not that I'm looking to emulate their working space (a working space is, after all, just that, a space where one person works).  I'm more interested in the things they surround themselves with to help generate their specific kind of art.

I was thinking about Kyle's book the other night.  After a long week and an even longer weekend of losing my wrestling match with my current WIP, I started examing what was wrong.  Why couldn't I write this story?  After all, the other two stories in the series didn't cause me this much trouble.  What's so special about this one?

My wife has been ill for the past week and a half and I was trying to spend sometime with her in our living room.  We'd done away with cable TV several months ago, so all she was doing was reading or sleeping on the couch.  I was sitting in the wooden slider chair out there to be with her.

At one point I looked out into the kitchen and stared at the kitchen table.  When I was writing the first of the current stories, I all but took over the kitchen table.  Between the laptop, the various piles of papers with revisions and line edits, I had quite an amount of table space to myself.  It wasn't exactly cluttered (at least as far as my definition goes), it was manageable.

So, with my wife asleep, I took my laptop back out onto the kitchen table and focused on what I was trying to write.  The scene was already blocked out in my head, all I needed to do was to show up and bang out the right keys in the right order.

Which I did.

I'm not saying it was magnificent prose, that grown men will weep in the streets when they read my particular collection of letters, words, punctuation and sentences.  Instead, I banged out the 10 pages necessary to get through the chapter and allow me to move on to the next scene.

And I do credit a change in my writing space for that.

I remember reading once that Big Steve King wrote in a converted closet in his early married days.  Personally, I wrote most of the first two stories in this series laying in bed with the laptop's keyboard resting on my chest.  I pecked out one letter at a time so as not to disturb the cats laying around us.

I doubt I'll ever have a fancy place to write in.  (My room that was supposed to be devoted to that isn't quite working out that way)  I do, however, think it's important to have a space that I reserve for writing.  It helps me get in the right/write frame of mind.  A place that signals, "Now it is time to write."

Do you have a writing space?  What's it like?  What have you done to make it special?

-- Tom


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