The ING of My Writing


Writers have the weirdest interests. We strive to know how other writers accomplish things; how they write, how they edit, what their routine is, or what their writing space looks like.

Having seen many posts lately about other writers’ creative spaces or writing nooks, I was reminded about the one true writer’s abode I had actually ben privy too. About eight or nine years ago, I got to see a writer’s habitat and all I could do was drool. Our Florida Gulf Coast University National Writing Project group had arranged a writing workshop at his home. The writer was Randy Wayne White, a native fixture here in southwest Florida and New York best selling author of the Doc Ford mystery series. Living off the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, his home is a typical Florida cracker salt box; square, porch wrapped, rustic. There were two bedrooms, a small kitchen, tiny bathroom, and a large main living room that was filled with his desk and books on every wall. Between the two bedrooms, in the hall there was a ladder that you could pull down and climb to a captain’s nook. Once there you could look out upon the Gulf as the shrimp boats departed or returned, follow the sun wave across the day, or the dolphins and mullet as they jumped and thrashed in the water. On the porch in one back corner was a hot tub. Right next to the hot tub was a palm tree growing through the floor of the porch and the roof with a shower attached to it. There were two carved footprints on the porch with the following phrase carved into the wood, “Hemingway pissed here”. His home was surrounded by Calusa Indian mounds that architects were slated to begin excavating. It was the genuine Florida setting and I was jealous.

So you probably are not wondering what mine looks like. But here goes. Though I spend no time in there at all I can see my office as if I am in its midst right now. I am fortunate to have an actual extra room dedicated as an office at the front of my home. As you enter my home you can go to the right and find a dining room that is being used as a craft room or you can turn left and there is that office. The craft room is an option because I am also lucky to have a large kitchen with an informal dining room off of it. The craft room currently holds my sewing, most of my knitting and almost all of my jewelry crafts. Rich, hell no! For once in my life I was in the right place at the right time during a housing market cycle.

While I have an office with two solid pine bookshelves and an assortment of fantastic books, I don’t have a suitable office chair. I have a glass L-shaped desk I kinda like but not really and an extra dining table of solid pine wood. Alas, I am a spreader; I spread out no matter what I am doing. I like the color on the walls and the curtains and thoroughly enjoy the ceiling fan that I updated, but I can’t seem to commit to putting my photographs on the walls. As for the external view –it plain out sucks. The windows look out on an unkempt lot and is just one wall hidden from watching the nightly sunsets. Why there are no windows on that wall I will never understand. Many days I imagine using a sledge hammer as a dual purpose writer’s block release and construction tool to by demolishing a nice window sized hole in the wall. The worst part of this perfectly fine office, and extra room in the house I might add, is that there simply is no flow. There is also no door. No matter how I try, nothing useful is created in there and no one leaves me alone when I am in there since I can’t possibly be doing anything, right? I have visions of what it should be and can close my eyes and clearly see it forming in my mind. Try to describe it to someone and the vision dissipates almost as well as a flatulent poof in an elevator.

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Writing for me is like napping; I can do it anywhere. And lately I have been guilty of writing while sitting or even laying on my bed. So I wracked my brain and tried to figure out how I could put in writing where I really do my writing. While mentally listing what I do when writing the INGs just came to me. So I listed all of them on my brain to share with you and if your eyes are really good you will see that one word has an extra syllable: cryining– because when I do break down and cry I do that heaving thing and breathe and do that yo yo gasp so why not add in another syllable. It’s what we writers do–make things up as we go!

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