Chapter Two – Find Yourself a Place
Remember Jessica Fletcher? She wrote all those murder mysteries – presumably cozies – in the comfort of her turn-of-the-century, meticulously-restored virtual mansion in the mythic and friendly New England village of Cabot Cove. In reality, it was a California coastal exterior and a rather nice studio interior, and of course, she wrote nothing as she was a fictional character herself, although the fiction persists and there is a whole mystery series written by "Jessica Fletcher" and available today.
As a well-off widow with means, she had the time to be a busybody and the money to pursue not only the murderers, but also a life of ease when it came to tapping out her tomes on that gorgeous old typewriter.
Okay, that's fiction. What do we do in real life?
In real life, we work at other jobs, take care of the house and kids, and deplore the lack of space, time, money and machines. We write in the kitchen, the dining room, a corner of the bedroom or the garage. We write at Starbuck's or in the park, or on the bus or at work. We use a pen or pencil, a big work station, a laptop, or even a typewriter.
We write cozies, hard-boiled noir, police procedurals, character studies, science fiction, film scripts, short stories, memoirs, journals, magazine articles and blogs. We write for money, for fun, for everything in between, and for our readers and ourselves.
I have been absent from the blog for almost a month – and guess what I've been doing: what, writing, you say? How about procrastinating and looking for a place to write that feels as good as the one I had back when I was working and had little time and a lot more discipline.
I needed to find myself a place, the way the dog turns around countless times on that old blanket, or the cat scratches that worn out chair pad to ribbons before settling in with a sigh.
It's got to feel right and not get in the way of writing. Pleasant, but neutral, no big distractions to block out, no spectacular views or the sound of running water (a hundred trips to the bathroom taught me this one) or the distracting smells of bread baking, dirty diapers or an incipient electrical fire.
Gotta admit, I found it – it's not to so much just the place, but the combination of the right time and a good place. For me, it's mornings in my old corner of the guest room office, with the diffused light behind me and the comforting distant sounds of the dryer and the trash guys picking up the garbage.
So try to find yours – it's half the battle.
THREE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
CHAIR CUSHIONS Okay, here's the promised photo of the new cushions on the Danish chairs. In fact, here's a before and after shot, with just the edge of the old, worn out brown cushion visible – the new mid-mod pattern is beautiful, no?
WEIGHT LOSS And one more beautiful thing: my blood sugar seems to be in the normal ranges and I have lost 15 pounds.
The "before" picture is me 15 pounds ago, but the "after" picture – one of me last weekend taking pictures at an old Joseph Lautner-designed motel in Palm Desert – is a work in progress. I am determined to lose all the weight I gained a few years ago when I had the stroke. I know, it's a tiny image and I need to get a better one, but I want to lose another 10 pounds before I take a "real" picture of myself.
A Truly Beautiful Thing: Thanksgiving Dinner with my friend Nancy's family. We have had Thanksgiving with them many times over the years – and have lived through the loss of parents, in-laws and friends. But this Thanksgiving we celebrated the marriage of one of the nephews and the whole cycle of renewal and thanks.