Saturday, April 25, 2009

Like most writers, odd but not original

“This will either make me sound completely odd, or terribly interesting,” I wrote as a comment on Nathan Bransford blog answering the question, 'You Tell Me: Where Do You Write?'

“I love the hospital,” I chattered. “The new tower they built hosts state of art wi-fi, a three-sided glass fireplace, a tumbling rock fountain right outside soaring 100 ft high windows, comfortable chairs, plugs in the floor, and if you’re a clod, free coffee from the surgery waiting room, or if more civic minded an espresso bar. I hope this wins me a prize! I would love to say, I got an award for being the most peculiar…”

I've never wanted to be normal, normal is boring. Now, I’ve discovered I'm not even weird, at least two of the 441+ commenters write in cemeteries.

My comment, short of clever, good voice and humor—and there were some dandies: closet writers, those burrowed in basement corners, Ulysses orchestrating scantily-clad Hegelians—only served to shout, I WANT ATTENTION. Why, oh why, do I continue to embarrass myself on an AGENT'S blog?

In the heat of the moment while crafting that careless tidbit, I did consider Bransford's fans might offer interesting fodder, and I chose the comment forwarding option. THAT was a mistake. Made my gmail crash. Several times. I obviously can’t handle the onslaught of a Nathan-Bransford-stampede, and gads, sometimes I wish I were both talented and brave, instead of merely fearless. I’m rethinking all online presence strategy. Let me repeat that, and say it like I mean it, “I'M RETHINKING ALL ONLINE PRESENCE STRATEGY.” This is where I pretend.

Before I slink off into anonymity, I'd like to give a go at compiling the data, and for the briefest moment, this moment, I would like to bask in the comfort of belonging, and mirror our shared places.

Places I write (and edit) in common with commenters on Nathan Bransford's blog:
  • At home
  • Bookstore
  • Butt in chair
  • Classroom (writing class, duh)
  • Closet, with the best description and quote coming from Eric Rohr, “Because, really, if you're going to write in a closet, best to do it like you mean it.”
  • Cracks of the day
  • During meetings
  • In bed
  • In my head, but nothing like Laurel
  • In the setting
  • In my sleep
  • In the shower
  • Into handheld recorder
  • In church
  • Kitchen table or counter
  • Library
  • Lunch break at work (and work was generously supplied--hello? Does your boss read?)
  • Middle of a family gathering
  • Office with French doors, aka den, study
  • On a long walk
  • Orthodontist, or in any number of places waiting for kids
  • Outside on the grass, in a park, on the porch
  • Places that serve coffee
  • Places that serve food
  • Places that serve free wi-fi
  • Places with pen and paper, when laptop or desktop not within reach
  • Room with a view, any room without a view
  • Vehicle parked
  • Vehicle moving
Are writers in control of said moving vehicles?
No comment.

Writing places I do not have in common with Nathan Bransford blog commenters:
  • 1929 bungalow in the middle of Kansas
  • 1959 Airstream trailer using a 1924 Underwood (thought my 23' Gulfstream would be original, but Chuck H I'll match you Underwood for Underwood)
  • 36' sailboat
  • Art studio
  • Bathroom wall
  • Business class, first class cabin, or any other seat in an airplane, haven't flown'll come to me
  • Canning room
  • Cemetery
  • Conservatory in a suburb of Edinburgh near the zoo
  • Dark confines of a prison as a correctional officer
  • Dealership during the night shift
  • Deck (my deck is attached to back of house with no access from house or yard, kinda floats out there, used to have a door from the garage, but that was partially reduced by kicking out the bedroom, and really, that's a REMODELING story for a future post, and then there's the deck I want to build off the den, but that requires taking a window out, sawing through the brick to fit in a slider....requiring not only a skilled laborer, but an iron constitution on my part to venture into any future remodeling projects)
  • Dining room (all eight chairs on top of my table, I’ll explain future post. Haha, you really think I will, don't you?)
  • Etherpad
  • Family room, play room (I try not to go downstairs)
  • Gym (?! Sure, I've heard of those)
  • Hotel room in Saigon (unless you count Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong)
  • In front of TV (have 'em, don't watch 'em)
  • Living room floor, sofa, recliner, comfy chair, or coffee table (living room forbidden zone)
  • Living room of terminally ill patient, living room of best friend--may or may not be home
  • Looking at bamboo, or other numerous land or seascapes
  • Near any power plug
  • Old barn
  • Places with cats, homes without dogs
  • Pub, tavern, or noisy crowded biker bar (are there quiet biker bars?)
  • Streetcar
  • Train
  • Vacation house
  • While getting a pedicure
  • Writing studios at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis
  • Zee-zus, who's going to admit they write on the potty? Carey_Corp and Ceadrick, of course. Or at the bowling alley like kaseee? Come on, you know who you are.

What no one mentioned:
  • Dark alleys
  • And speaking of dark places, my latest discovery, a far corner of the warehouse vicinity of the commercial printing press, but admittedly, Jared's correctional facility thrumps all dark zones.
Other influences...
Jury's still out for me on this one, but PurpleClover had some provocative thoughts on why music should be tuned out, “Silence makes you work harder at evoking an emotion.”

Loved Jannette Johnson's ineedalaptopineedalaptopineedalaptop...” a helpful writing mantra. And Jill Lynn's poetic rendition of, “In a small town, in my small home, in a small room, on a small desk.” Had to read Yunaleska's twice, 'asus?' Okay, sure.

And just wondering...

Any correlation, you know, cause and affect operating here, when Kat Mayo reported... “I USED to write at work, when I still had a job.”

And for my final attempt to claim my 'peculiar prize,' I submit proof of my medical center writing adventures.
Water feature and lobby.

Pictured above, dear friends, is the girl who led me to this gorgeous retreat. Only she and I came in through another entrance, as pictured below, and I wrote all about it here..."Really, my kid's fine. Me? Well, I'm a mom." Seriously, if I could re-write that piece I would. Articulate, coherent, comprehensible? Cough. Check it out. It was a confusing, frightening morning.

My daughter went BLIND.

I went insane.

I think I captured THAT quite well.

Oh, and from their web-site the medical center states, "[redacted] is providing wireless connectivity in this facility as a public service." Which, actually, would include me, as in legally, it's okay, and that picture at the top of the post is the view from my wide bottom chair. Man, they must have been planning for some heavy weights when they purchased these. Zee-zus!



Michelle McLean said...

lol yeah, it was interesting when I started meeting other writers how un-weird I really was. It was nice though, knowing I wasn't the only one who muttered incoherently to myself, left weird notes all over the house, and periodically stared off into space as I worked out a particularly troublesome scene :)

I have no cool writing spots though. Either just on my computer, or, since I've started writing by hand, on the couch so I can watch my kids play outside while I work :)

The First Carol said...

You made me laugh! I have entire conversations in the bathroom while doing my hair. My daughter is constantly asking, "Are you talking to me?" hah!

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