Wednesday, October 15

Just a Little Comfort

I'm a creature of comfort. In the summer my comforts are ice cold lemonade or Coke. In the winter it's hot cocoa or maybe some oolong tea. At breakfast nothing is better than whole wheat toast and my favorite dinner dessert is - wait for it - peanut butter crunch.

When I'm writing, I have my comforts, too. The right music - instrumental light jazz for the drafting stage, WIP-specific playlists during the editing phase - is crucial. The right space. My 'space' used to be RadioMan's recliner. It's soft and fluffy and I can kick my feet up or rock as the mood suits. I still love that chair but I have a new favorite spot - our overstuffed chaise. I needed a little change as I was writing the latest WIP, a sooper-sekrit-projekt I'm hoping to have news on fairly soon, and I thought maybe I don't need to change rooms or go to the library or Starbucks. Maybe I just need a new angle. So I tried the chaise, because I was crunched for time one day.

I snuggled into the pillow back, put my lapdesk on my lap and stretched my legs to the end. Fingers to the keyboard and the next thing I knew it was three hours later and I had 5,000 words on the page. Don't get all excited, 5k stretches are very much not my norm. But, I'd found my spot.

Part of my spot is also who is sitting with me. A few years ago we lost our old dog, Sammy. She was a shih-tzu mix and did not like strangers or odd noises or spiders. She was my kind of dog. She also liked to nap on my feet as I wrote. After Sammy died I bought some fuzzy slippers, but I always felt like something was missing. Fast-forward to last winter and we adopted a shih-tzu puppy. We named her Hazel and while I was writing this winter she was either too puppy-hyper to sit with me while I wrote or completely zonked out with Angel, our older dog.

It was as if she was waiting for me to find my new writing spot because after that first day, she was my constant companion while I was writing. Sitting on my feet, sidling up beside me when she needed a pet - which usually happened as I needed to think about something not quite working with the story. When I'd finish a session she was ready play a little fetch. When I couldn't figure something out she would pace the house with me. When she needed a break, she took one. But mostly she was my comfort. My writing buddy.

Last week I mentioned I was working on finishing up a new project - I did it! It's got a few ugly moments and now that my agent is reading it I'm already second guessing exactly what I did in the middle...and I'm wondering if I laid the emotional groundwork for the black moment.

But I'm done.

For now, anyway. And part of that accomplishment is thanks to Hazel...my new writing buddy.

What's your comfort as you're writing?

10 comments:

  1. Your life sounds peaceful compared to mine. I want total silence when I'm writing and I just sit at the desk but I have a picture above the keyboard of a window sill with a vase of flowers, a cup of coffee and a book that looks out over the beach. That's where I go when I'm thinking. I have a Pekinese and two cats who all compete to see gets to sit on my lap. Sometimes they get surly about it. Other than that, a cup of coffee and a pack of cigarettes and I'm good.

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    1. caffeine is a must, for sure! And it's only peaceful when bebe's at school and RadioMan is distracted with his own work. Maybe I'll write a post on dealing with (read: ignoring) distractions some time! lol

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  2. It's been 13 years and a part of me still yearns for that pack of cigarettes... I have my window beside the desk and I require Vicki's silence, too. I watch the changing of the seasons, the deer in the yard, the birds at the suet feeders--my God, they're rude. It's a time-of-life thing, too. It wouldn't have worked for my in my 40s, but it's my own little piece of heaven now.

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    1. sounds perfect, Liz! Sometimes I think I'd be more productive if it was totally quiet...but what usually happens is the quiet distracts me more!

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  3. I totally hear you about the "writing companion," I miss mine too. As for comfort, I've been so much on the go, that I'd have to say my bookbag, which I refer to as "my office in a bag" and of course sitting at a cozy tabletop w/ cafe, tea, or vino, and a nice little view...ok did you say comfort or decadence?

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    1. comfort, decadence...we all need what we need, Tanja! lol

      Oh, the office-in-a-bag! When bebe was in pre-school I had my OIB ready to go every morning - take her to school, hit starbucks to write, pick her up and back home. Its funny how we figure out how to make life work around our writing, isn't it?

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  4. It's funny how comfort is defined differently for each of us, isn't it? Coffee is always my beverage of choice for comfort, although after 5, it can be wine. ;-) My creativity works best when I'm sitting at my worktable and working on my desktop computer--must be the regimented editor in me. I can write on the laptop up at the lake, but I'm always more comfortable here in my little garret office...

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    1. oooooooohhhh, you have a garret? I want a garret! A place where I can go when RadioMan and bebe are both home so I can get some peace! haha

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  5. Ohhh, I want your chaise! Right now, my favorite place is my desk in the multi-purpose room when nobody else is awake. It's on the other side of the house from the bedrooms, I shut the door and just enjoy the quiet while I compose with my keyboard.

    But I don't get that time enough. Especially now with my work schedule. When Kristen finally moves out, I'm turning her bedroom into my writing cave. I can't wait and I'm seriously thinking chaise lounge needs to go in there!

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  6. My comfort is walking. Its a must have! I need a place that I can mull things over (and by mull I mean, talk to myself). So, I'm outside, but I want to be private while I'm outside. And it should be beautiful and scenic so I can watch the seasons change. Then, when I have things worked out in my mind...I dash home and lock myself away to write : )

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