Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where Do You Write?

I have a beautiful office in my home. When we first bought our house, I had grand visions of sitting in my ergonomic chair at my fine wood desk, with my coffee pot at my side, writing through the wee hours of the night.

I also have a dog. She's a gorgeous, lively, playful, affectionate, unbelievably naughty Golden Retriever named Piper. Piper likes to chew pretty much anything she's not supposed to, with the books on my bookshelf way up at the top of the list (second only to my slippers, which she likes to chew right off my feet.) Finally we had to install an indoor electric fence to keep her out of many rooms in the house, including the office. We call this handy little device the "disc of death."

That should have solved the problem, but it didn't. Piper has another annoying habit. She barks at people when they're in a room she can't go in. And since I do the majority of my writing while everyone else is asleep, that's a big problem.

So much for the beautiful office. I now keep all my writing notebooks, etc. in a box with handles that I can carry around the house. Luckily I write on a laptop, also portable. Now I write in the living room or the dining room.

Every morning I pack up my supplies and move to wherever I'll be writing for the day. Usually Piper will lie contentedly at my feet. We says she's "guarding the writer." She seems to view this as one of her main roles in the family, along with giving each guest an exuberant greeting and keeping the cat in line.

When my morning writing time is up, I pack up my books and laptop and move them back to the security of the office. Sounds like a lot of work, you say? I couldn't agree more. Good thing Piper is so darn cute.

How about you? Where do you write? Do you have your own space, or do you share with other family members? Or do you have a portable "office", like mine?

Until next Sunday, happy writing, and may your coffee pot never run dry.


Tess said...

Look at that cute kitty photo. adorable.

I write mostly in my office, but this year I've gotten quite a few pages done up at the ski lodge while the kiddos were on the slopes. Those are nice days :D

waytenmom said...

Well, Sue, first of all Wayne Kevin and I enjoyed the pictures of your animals! I usually write at our "stationary" computer that is in our computer/guest room. My second choice is the laptop, which is usually at the dining room table. The third choice is -- I have taken to having a notebook close by. I have a very thin, compact one in my purse, so I can capture ideas as they come to me or jot down ideas during things like church services (with apologies to my priest!). I also use my blackberry to email phrases, etc., to my home email address -- like the time Wayne Kevin approached a huddle of kids at flag football who were all bigger than him (they usually are) and he said, "Let the little guy in." I think that's got great potential for a blog about being the smallest one of a group. (You probably have some memories of his father being in that position!!). The office IS beautiful that you have -- too bad Piper has a counter agenda.

Susan Fields said...

Tess - If Peanut (the cat) tries a little harder, she just might catch that tail!

Do you live near a ski resort? What an awesome place to write! I have a hard time concentrating outside the house, but I'll bet it gets easier if it's a place you visit regularly. Especially somewhere as beautiful as snow-covered mountains.

Susan Fields said...

Paula - I used to switch between the "stationary" computer and the laptop when I still used to try writing in the office. Eventually I resigned myself to giving up the office, so now I'm on the laptop full time. Now I don't even think I could write on the other computer anymore - it would just feel too weird.

I also keep a notebook in my purse to capture ideas. A writer should never be without good old-fashioned paper!

That's a great story about Wayne Kevin. He may be a little guy, but he's got spunk!

Jackee said...

I'm all over the house, though I do have a little office space I call my "Sanctum Sanctorium". My kids are so little that I just have to go with wherever they are or are not, if they're sleeping. Makes for many trips around the house collecting up where I left my notes.

Susan Fields said...

Jackee - I'm glad I'm not the only one who's constantly on the move! I don't know how I survived before my laptop. Someday I hope to put doors on the office and then we can let the dog come in, as long as someone's in here with her. Maybe then I can actually use the office, though even then I think I'll still use the laptop.

Velva said...

I do most of my blogging (I wouldn't call what I do, writing) in my Chick room. When my older son moved out, my younger one immediately wanted his older brother's bedroom. Okay! I moved him to his new diggs...And I took possession of his room and converted it to a room that I could enjoy. I have a nice desk, my mac computer, and I am surrounded by my photos and assorted food and travel books.
Piper is a beautiful dog. I can see why his cuteness saves him.

Susan Fields said...

Velva - that sounds wonderful! If we had a free room upstairs, I could be up there and Piper wouldn't bother me. When we're upstairs, I'm not even sure she realizes we're in the house (we've also used the "disc of death" to train her to stay downstairs.) Whenever my oldest daughter moves out, I'll be taking over her room for sure. But by then hopefully Piper will either have given up chewing things or I'll have those office doors I've been wanting.

I loved your pictures from the Tallahassee Cooking Club - yum!

Theresa Milstein said...

My main writing place is at my love seat with wooden arms that lives in our living room. I prop the laptop on the arm, with a cup of coffee on the end table to my right and play my iPod in the dock. If I'm lucky, my cats sits on my lap. Behind me are three windows and a bunch of plants. For much of the day, the sun streams through these windows, warming my back on cold days. I've done virtually all of my manuscripts right in that spot.

Have laptop, will travel. So I've written at my daughter's ballet, the kids' Taekwondo, in any classroom where I've subbed, at my in-laws, and who knows where else!

Susan Fields said...

Theresa - thanks for stopping by my blog! It's always so nice to see new faces. Your living room set up sounds just like mine, except my coffee pot's on my left hand side, I don't have any plants, and the cat won't sit with me because she won't hang out anywhere the dog is. And what did people do before laptops???

Theresa Milstein said...

Beats me! I don't think I would have been nearly as prolific if it weren't for laptops.

Susan Fields said...

Theresa - when I was (really) young, my first attempts at books were on a typewriter. I can't even imagine that now! I had my very own, and I think I remember it having a special erase function where it whited out whatever letter you'd just typed. Just thinking about it makes me want to give my laptop a big hug.

Theresa Milstein said...

Susan Cooper write in a notebook - manuscript on the left and notes/edits on the right. She paces back and forth and writes some more. The next day, she types what she's written onto her computer. Seems archaic.

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