My favorite writing spot is on my bed. Obviously, the advent of laptops have made this feat much easier for me. I wrote “The Castle at Exeter,” mainly seated on the floor in front of the family desktop on the coffee table in the living room. The prime location in a living room with a piano also insured that I had good mood music. That year my sister found an arrangement of “Dragostae Din Tae,” also known as the “Numa Numa Song.” We have never bothered to load music onto that computer. I never did drag the desktop upstairs to share my bed with me, but, had it been feasible, I probably would have. However, I worked on that story in many different places. I did a lot of brainstorming in bed, and fell asleep that way many nights. I brought a notebook on vacation and wrote sections in the car, and it is obvious which sections those were. I wrote in the mother-in-law suite of my grandfather’s house in Massachusetts. I also wrote outside in Massachusetts August before deciding that the beautiful view of the forest was not worth the swamp mosquitoes, and pretty much everywhere else I could bring a notebook. I actually finished that story that December in Massachusetts.
Oddly enough, what I like most about that story is not the actual story, but the memories associated with writing it. I remember learning to type, using writing as an escape, listening to my sister master the piano, and getting excited because the geography of England fit the story (A similar battle to that in my story happened in the same spot, probably because the geography invites it.) It is painful for me to read some of the bad writing that went into that story, but I remember the story itself only with fond memories.
Since that story, many things have changed about my writing process. Today, I focus more on the end result and tend to imagine chapters as discrete units of story, rather than simply as pauses in the story every several pages. I still do my best reading and writing sitting up; even in bed, I tend to end up with my legs crossed. I do not listen to music when I am working on a story. I like to listen to it when I read and write, but it tends to get turned off in the heat of the moment when I cannot remember a word or need to concentrate. I also write during the night when the fires of creativity blaze, and the rational part of my brain has mostly fallen asleep. I write almost exclusively on my new-to-me laptop. (I like to call it my ‘Victory Laptop,’ because I miraculously received it before leaving for college.) I like writing on my bed and sometimes at my desk. However, since I started writing my latest story, I have inhabited *four* beds in nine months, so I continue to write in many different places.
My newest favorite writing spot is the bed in my new apartment. The window is level with the bed and at a height which provides good privacy. With my pillows in place, I have a window seat with an excellent view of a kudzu-covered forest with a lamp post. There are no swamp mosquitoes. Now that’s my kind of writing spot.