Up up until two years ago I wrote at night. After dinner and dishes were done, I’d make a cup of tea, settle in with the laptop, and turn on the music. I have a collection of writing music that includes oldies, folk music, and soundtracks. Loreena McKennitt, Lisa Gerrard, Wicked Tinkers (for the action sequences), music from movies such as The Waterhorse and A Thousand Roads. But two years ago all that quit working (see the Fallout post).
When you research writing exercises someone always suggests trying a new writing venue, like if you normally write someplace quiet, try someplace noisy. Well, sorry, but I scoffed. Until I started restoring a tiny cabin I’d lived in many years ago. Rustic, with no running water or electricity, it’s surrounded by forest, with a nearby salmon-bearing stream. As part of the restoration, I moved in a stray cat with a kitten in order to reduce the mouse population. I’ve always been a dog person, but found myself worrying about the cats getting lonely at night. So I’d walk through the woods with my flashlight to sit with them for a while. Then I decided it was stupid to waste flashlight batteries and lit the old kerosene lanterns. Then I decided since I was just sitting down there doing nothing, maybe I could write something short. No laptop, no music, not even much light. Plus a kitten sitting on my shoulder and a cat sitting on the paper. Why is it cats sit on writing anyway?
I guess that writing exercise hangs around because there’s truth in it after all.
So what is your perfect writing/creating environment, and have you ever taken up the challenge of trying something the polar opposite? I’ll confess, there’s something about the slower pace and more intimate connection with words through paper and pen that I’ve missed. And there’s something to be said for the warm gold circle of a lantern. Except for this moment. The cat just singed her tail on the glass chimney.