Friday, January 28, 2011

Time and Space

Time and space - so much can be done with those two simple words. Where in time will my next book take place? Where in space did my character last walk? I have done both in my writing and many other mixtures, but I'm not here to talk about my stories, this time I'm talking about my personal time and space to write.

At the moment, I confess to not doing all that much writing of my own, though I am doing some polishing. I'm also doing some beta for some friends, but it's all still writing, even if it isn't mine.


There are different categories for 'when' I write. I'm a morning person so it's not uncommon to find me at the computer during the wee hours of the predawn doing what I love best, or some aspect of it. My husband is a night person and will stay up quite late most of the time, so consequently he'll sleep in to mid-morning and sometimes all the way till noon. Since I'm one to relish peace, and above all, quiet, that is my time away from reality. As soon as my husband gets up, all that is gone. There's breakfast and coffee. There's the radio and there's conversation. So much for concentrating on anything like a plot line or character arc, and keeping track of tiny details is impossible.

Though I may stay online, there's my daily advertising and all my emails to catch up on, and then I indulge myself in a couple Facebook games much to my chagrin. Mingled in with my online distractions is the assorted daily chores around the house, washing dishes, splitting firewood among other things, and then there's the not-so-daily chores like burning trash or bringing in buckets of snow. Even after the household chores are done (or skipped) there's still my husband's ever-present desire to fill the void with sound. When the Radio gets boring, he turns on the TV and when the shows get too stupid to tolerate, there's one movie or another. Don't get me wrong, there's things I am interested in on the radio, shows I like to watch on TV and many movies I like, but they all take away from my true love - writing, and on rough days - reading. I heave a huge sigh here - ah the choices

But that is my winter ritual, and it is what it is. My summer ritual is far stricter. During the summer, from June to September, give or take a week or two, I work long hours at a lodge nearby. So, the alarm goes off a five in the morning and for the next two hours I glance at my emails and do my advertising, then it's off to work. When I get home at six or so it's to wash dishes and fix supper, hopefully there's not much else to do but sometimes there is. Only later can I catch up with my emails and chat with my online friends. And if I'm lucky, I can eek out a little time for some reading and maybe even a little editing before heading off to bed around ten. It depends on whether I'm reading a book I'm holding in my hands or reading one of my own books here on my computer.


My house is really quite small and our table isn't all that big. There's room for my husband's computer and for my computer, which leaves only one side of the table 'open', not that it is clear. Currently, and most of the time, the folders where we keep our DVDs occupies that space. The fourth side of the table is butted up against the box that covers our battery bank, and over the battery bank is a shelf that holds our entertainment devices - the DVD player, the tape player, the TV and our internet devices - the modem and the router - all of it directly in front of me as I sit at my computer, hence the extreme level of distraction. The center of the table currently holds a couple oil lamps - they will get lit after the generator is turned off. The rest of the table is cluttered with papers, a notepad, the salt and pepper shakers, coffee cups and an abundance of other small things that seem to cover all free surface space of our small table.

Other than the table, where all life takes place in my house, right behind me (sorta) is the wood stove. The kitchen is a small fridge, a stove and a counter that takes up most of one wall. Beyond that is the bedroom. My floor measures twelve feet by twenty feet but my free walking space is barely wide enough for easy walking from the front of the house to the bedroom door. Especially during the winter, the walls are stacked with supplies and the rafters are hung with assorted coats. The floor frequently becomes littered with boots, shoes and buckets, not to mention the generator when it gets brought in. And then there's the ever present chainsaws, batteries (the big ones), and oil jugs.

So tell me about your time and space for writing. Inquiring minds want to know.


S.M. Carrière said...

Right now, the time I have for writing is at work. As I have little to do in my current position, I find there is a lot of time for writing. I am very fortunate that I have secured permission from my bosses to write when I have spare time at work.

Space is thus my work desk. It's relatively tidy, with a few exceptions - a message pad, and a folder at the moment.

I usually have music playing as I write well to music (depending on the music).

I dream of having an enormous library with a fireplace and a desk on which to write. Sigh. Perhaps one day!

Anna L. Walls said...

Ahhhh I envy you, S.M. My dream is much smaller. I'd be thrilled with a little closet-sized room with a closing door. haha

Shell Flower said...

I would LOVE to be able to write at work, but I work for an evil corporation that watches us and would claim to own my book if it were to ever be published and I wrote any of it at work. They have most websites like Facebook and Youtube, yahoo, gmail, etc. blocked, too. Plus, I never have a spare second at work.

I work at home on the couch on a laptop in the living room. Just got a cool laptop desk w/pillow underneath and writs pads.

Because I sit at a desk at work, I tend to do all my writing while chillin' on the couch. Evenings and weekends if I can tear myself off of goodreads.

Anna L. Walls said...

That sounds like a really cool lap-desk, but I don't have a couch so it wouldn't do me much good. I can sympathize with having to tear myself away from either Goodreads or Facebook though. haha happy writing.

Lin said...

Love the way you write! Always wanted to be a good and creative writer..but didnt seem to quite sound like it flows, hehe.

Anna L. Walls said...

I have a bit of a trick I've used extensively since discovering it. I have my computer read it back to me. It helps a lot.

jacqui said...

I tried to develop a mental picture of your room. The table with your computer and your husbands and then a bunch of stuff on about a third of it. Supplies lined up along the walls and coats etc hanging down from the rafters. A walking space meandering through it all.

I think I need a picture, Anna. Can you sketch it?