Writing Space

I recently read a blog post that talked about writing space. I’d never really put much thought into where I did my writing until that post. I guess I just choose what feels most comfortable to me at the time that I choose to write, and tonight it seems I’ve chosen to sit next to a 44′ picture window while it thunderstorms out. If any of you have ever seen a thunderstorm from the mid-west part of America, you’ll know what vibes are around right now. For those who don’t know about the thunderstorms in the mid-west, you need to know that it’s constant lightning. I don’t mind thunder, I actually enjoy it. So what did I do when I heart the first roll of thunder? I opened up my document program and began typing, almost as if that was the only time that I could write. I suppose, I’ve found the best writing space for me.

Of course, I can’t have my thunderstorms all the time (though, according to family, there have been more thunderstorms here than there usually are on average). Where do I choose to write then, when the thunder just isn’t on my side? Well, the couch is usually the first spot, nestled next to one or two of the cats with a latte or a cup of tea. I like it to be quiet when I write, but sometimes I actually put on Mozart or dubstep, depending on my mood. And I always listen to it with headphones, for some reason the noise that comes from my speakers just irritates me when I’m writing. And I don’t always use my laptop for writing, sometimes I need to put pen to paper, and boy do I have quite the collection of pens. Two for each mood I suppose. Got the fine tips, the medium tips, free ink, gel pens, and felt tip pens, all with different grippies and weights, each one is a pleasant color and shape. My notebooks are thick, non spiral, college ruled. Some of them don’t even have lined paper, which I usually use when writing with my fountain pens. I have a lap desk, one of those little cushion things that you rest on your lap and it allows you to have a hard surface to write on.

When do I write the best though? Believe it or not, it’s not when I’m next to a violent thunderstorm or while I’m sipping the Earl Grey, it’s actually when I’m out and about. Back in NY I used to have to wait at the local grocery store before my shift at work. I had to wait because my boyfriend worked a few hours before me and my job was too far away to be able to walk to. I had invested in a Thinkpad, which I swore would be used to further my writing (and so far it has)  and I purchased a nice laptop bag for it. I began to settle into a routine. My boyfriend drops me off at the grocery store, I wander around looking for something to quench my thirst (usually a pomegranate drink), I buy a slice of pizza or pack of sushi then I proceed to sit at an empty booth in the cafe and set up my laptop. This was during the busiest part of the day, when people are transitioning between their lunch breaks and the rest of their shift, or just getting off of their shift and stopping in for lunch. Sometimes I would even see people conduct small meetings at one of the round tables. I guess it’s convenient, there’s plenty of food and drinks, and you can sit there for as long as you like and just keep refilling your soda cup. For some reason, this is where I did my best writing.

At the time that I began doing this, I was just finishing up a round of NaNoWriMo and was jumping into the editing portion of it. I was always in the zone during this time and I would over shoot my word count, or re write a portion of the NaNo and create so much flow that I then had to either edit, delete or create new chapters to make it all fit. It wasn’t the food or the pomegranate drinks that kept me in the game, it was the hustle and bustle. Something about the environment, about being around people who were focused, kept me focused that much more. And maybe a little was my anxiety too, I didn’t want to be bothered by anybody that might want to talk, so I would put on the headphones and create my own space at that booth. The vague smell of smoked chicken and ribs, coffee and pizza dough helped to comfort me as well. I happen to like food, especially pizza, smoked meat and coffee. Being surrounded by my comfort foods helped quite a bit, and I bet if there was a candle to make my house smell like those  three, I might buy just one to see if it was worth it. I can’t keep my house smelling like that all the time, it’s expensive to smoke meat all the time. So the post I saw today got me thinking. What do other people do to create their own writing space? Do you have a special place you like to go, or sit? Or a special snack to fuel your brain as it hatches ideas? Perhaps a certain candle you light? I’d love to hear about your writing  ‘ritual’.




When The Tornado Sirens Wail

Storm rolling in 8.26.16 Indiana

Within the chaos I find peace while the rest of the town holds it’s breath. As the wind blows with great speed, I feel anchored like a mountain. As the hail pelts down upon the hard roof, I imagine the ice pellets bouncing off and melting quickly on the warm ground, mortal after all. At the mercy of Mother Nature, I know that if a cyclone were to form, all I could do is hold my cat tight and cower in the bathroom. We are all at the mercy of the changing winds and falling rain but I welcome this reminder that I am not God. The Earth sends out these reminders day after day, and you hear the anger in the thunder and see the warnings in the lightning. Must we always forget that we are just pawns? Must we always claim to own that which we cannot control? Or might we one day wake up and learn to live in peace with the nature around us….I feel that I might only be dreaming of a perfect world.

Family get togethers

It’s been roughly six years since I’ve been to a real family get together. I’ve been going to see my boyfriend’s family since we got into our own apartment and all of my family moved out of state. I’ve gone to visit of course, but there wasn’t much time to sit down and actually have a get together. And with my dad’s (ex) wife running most of the show, we couldn’t all gather at my grandparents like I was used to. It was always us all going to my dad’s (ex) wife’s parents house because they lived in this very beautiful house, too big for just two old people to be living in alone. I mean, there is a cat hidden somewhere in the house, but they hardly ever know where the damn thing is anyway. So each time I visited, if we went to my grandparents house it was just for a chat. No full blown family get together complete with potato salad and something grilled. (And dessert, always dessert.)

So today is my grandmother’s birthday. She’s the ripe old age of 63, but she acts 23 and I hope she lives to be 103. I love her with all my heart and I’ve missed being at her house for the holidays and for visits. She’s traveled the world, lived in Guam, The Philippines, Germany and many US States while my grandfather was in the air force. She’s an open mind and a very intelligent person (and beautiful.) I jumped at the idea of throwing her a surprise party. So grandpa calls me yesterday asking what I’ll be doing and of course I’m free and so is my dad. So we go over early, while grampa has gramma out for a mid day movie, and we clear off the dining room table and decorate while we wait for Aunt Kathe (technically my great aunt) to come over with her husband and the food. She brings the most adorable cake (which turns out to have a delicious middle of raspberry jam) and we get to setting up the charcoal grill for the food. We all have a grand ol’ time cleaning up and doing the dishes and preparing the house for this party while the grandparents are out.

Of course gramma realizes something’s up when they pull up and the garage is open and the grill is smoking (while it’s raining) and she gets out of the truck with a smile on her face. She’s wearing a beautiful (hippie style) blue and purple shirt with wing sleeves and a skirt. She’s beautiful. She comes around and gives us all hugs and kisses and thanks us all probably a million times before she goes inside and settles down on the couch to wait for dinner (which doesn’t take too long.) We go into the dining room and we chow down, poking fun at each other and telling stories and what not. I’m sure this part isn’t that different than most families, and yet this is the part I was craving. Having been going to my boyfriend’s family’s get togethers, each and every time I got sadder and sadder. Each and every time I began to realize what was so fake about it. We didn’t have this time where we all made each other feel better and loved. We didn’t really share that many laughs. It was always poking fun at one specific person (I’m sure they don’t mean it to be totally mean) and making them feel worse. It’s bitching and complaining about life. Not the good stuff. And I also missed the food. His family isn’t the best when it comes to food (though they do have a few dishes that are good) but since my family loves to cook and his mom can’t stand to cook, the difference is clearly laid out on the table. I’ve craved the love. I’ve craved the companionship and understanding.

I know my boyfriend misses his family dearly and I can’t blame him. It’s all he’s ever known, and I get that, but what I want him to see is that there is so much love to receive from my family. So much that even when we don’t see eye to eye I can over look that and keep on loving them. I can respect them enough to not want to hurt their feelings, which is rather unlike me.

I’ve missed my family, and I’m happy my grandmother got to enjoy it, but what she might never know is I may have enjoyed her 63rd birthday more than she will ever know. There’s something about family that you can’t bottle up and send in a package. There’s something about family that nobody else can ever give you, and as a child I never could see this. As an adult, I see it and I crave it. Even with the sore throat (and swollen tonsils) and the downpour of rain, today was exactly what I needed. I will be forever grateful for my grandparents, and I only hope that they can see how much I love them.

I hope that you feel the love from your family today and every day, and if for some reason you don’t, I hope you feel my love. My family was never perfect and there was a point in my life that I would never feel so happy around them, but things can change, and regardless of the broken ties in a family, there will always be love.