Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “creativity”

Wouldn’t You Know–A Reflection on Desks


Where writers write is almost as fascinating as how they write. Personally, I become rather discouraged rather than encouraged to read about authors with routines that involve getting up at 4:30 am, doing yoga first, downing their wheatgrass shake, writing away until noon with no breaks because they are of the “plant butt in chair” answer to the obsequious “how to be a writing success?” Quora question.

I am more interested if it’s a wouldn’t desk or not. That’s no typo.

A “wouldn’t” desk is different than a wooden one. A wouldn’t desk involves an alter ego, as in “You wouldn’t believe that when the laundry is off this couch, this is where I work on my cow joke book.” Or “You wouldn’t think that writing in bed would be comfortable or even productive.”

Both couches and beds have served as my desks. Apparently I’m in good company because Mark Twain is famous for writing in his bed. He kept a pool table in his bedroom for when he needed a break from  writing. That’s one big bedroom.

I have yet to find an author who wrote or writes on a couch, that is, a purple one. I purchased mine as my muse and placed it next to my bed. A lovely shade of deep eggplant, it’s  in patterned plush, reminding me of the old movie theatre seats in the Rialto of my childhood years. It has since disappeared into the guest room where it lives an unfilled life as a laundry sorting station.

I ditched desks a long time ago due to two factors:

1. Space

2. Clutter

Desks take up a lot of space. Plus they are so imperiously demanding. Desks can’t go anywhere and require sitting at them. My creativity is shackled somewhat to planting my hindness in that chair. Realizing sitting at a desk feels too much like being a student expected to produce something worthy of a grade, I have since ditched the desk.

Another factor for being deskless is guilt. I could not bear allocating one of the bedrooms as my office. Kids do better not being piled up like Twinkies in a box  in terms of sharing rooms. So, my desk found itself in the living room or our bedroom which led to problem #2:

Clutter is ineviable when a flat horizontal surface beckons. Bills, library books, toys, plates, cups, laundry (which finds a place no matter in the house) all land on my desk. Like Rodney Dangerfield, my desk got no respect. Hence the switch to the couch. Which is a horizontal surface, wouldn’t you know. I ditched desks, couches, beds as writing stations when I switched to a laptop from a desktop computer. My desk is now an IKEA chair. Foot rest is option. It has yet to serve as a laundry station.

Now that I am an empty nester, I have commandeered an abandoned bedroom (after 18, unless they pay into the mortgage,a progeny’s bedroom is absorbed into the household) and have a bed, a couch, a rocking chair, and an IKEA chair as muse choices. No pool table at present, but I do have my son’s lava lamp, which is pretty good entertainment.

So–about your desk?

image: Wikipedia The secret is in Twain’s plumpy pillows

What Book Are You?


I am drawn to determinant quizzes. You know the ones–you answer all sorts of questions that lead to some revealing aspect of your personality or your secret career or dream vacation spot or other stuff that thought we knew about ourselves but obviously don’t.
One of my countless book-related web subscriptions, The Reading Room, dropped an irresistible quiz into my mailbox: what book am I? Obviously any matters of import ceased until I discovered my book type.
I was lead through a gamut of questions starting with the obsequious “What kind of book do you most think you are like?”
Their choices weren’t really working for me: Mystery, Quirky, Romantic, Escape. Where is the classic option?
I was hoping to nudge my answers towards the announcement I was indeed a Jane Eyre kind of book–a heroine who triumphs over injustices and is remembered for her unwavering principles that finally show the world that intelligence wins over beauty. That is Jane Eyre, right?
Well, with “classic” unavailable I went for “quirky” figuring Thursday Next is pretty quirky and she got to know Rochester as well.
Be careful if quirky, as it leads to surprising results.
Other questions involved preferred people types, job and vacation choices, a couple of introspective questions that lead to my supposed book type.
A drumroll would be appreciated
Then again, which do you think is the result?
1. Da Vinci Code
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Harry Potter
4. Tom Sawyer

I wasn’t wasn’t terribly disappointed but grew a bit miffed when I read what choices other commenters were bestowed. I retook the quiz three times and never did get Pride and Prejudice or even Alice in Wonderland.
So–
What’s your guess? What book type dost thou thinkest the Cricket be?

Poem in Your Pocket?


Yes!

Pick a poem

from the offered bouquet

carry the fragrance

of words which refresh

and delight

Place a poem in your pocket

and travel

to new lands

make new friends

discover old memories

enliven the senses

and then

share it

The Book I Would Like to Write


Sometimes the rumblings of hunger manage to induce some amazing culinary renderings on my behalf.

“Let’s see–some rice, a dollop of pesto, assorted veggies, ooh a garnish of nuts, oh yeah there is that leftover sautéed chicken breast.”

Yes, it was tasty. No, didn’t snap a photo.

I wish I could do that with my writing. Here are the ingredients that are rumbling around in my writerly mixing bowl:
-an irrepressible protagonist who transcends time
-address a political issue in a manner that is neither knee jerk, condescending, nor didactic
-scatter in memorable minor characters who majorly affect the plot
-set the story in a picturesque small town of yesteryear
-provide a handful of quotes that will resonate long after the book has been reviewed, shelved, studied, and reread
-have one maybe two iconic symbols that shift paradigms
-explore old thoughts in a new way
-create a subculture that spans time, culture, and political decorum

Wait a minute…
This book is already available, attainable, and darn right delicious.

Harper Lee’s classic remains my ideal of perfect novel.  I have too many ideas rumbling around to only write one book, but oh what a book to have written as the one-claim-to-fame.
Do you have a ONE book that you feast on as a reader?  Or is there one special book that inspires your writer creativity towards boil, simmer, and serve?

Yes, it’s NaNo time…


VIA Nano Chip Image (top)

VIA Nano Chip Image (top) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November is a great time for writers.  The weather is chilly enough to no longer tempt outdoor activity, there is a coziness to the house with the crackle of the fire, and NaNo is on.

Two years ago, when I finally decided to leap into NaNo I managed to meet the 50,000 word challenge with a day or two to spare.  I’m still editing that manuscript.  Writing quantity instead of quality is whole different way to write.  I tend to edit as I write and editing is a luxury when it comes to the National Novel Writing Month.

There are a plethora of blogs about NaNo and how it works, so I shall not perpetuate redundancy.  Instead I will bravely leap once again into NaNo; however, this time it will be with a bit more panache.  This time I have created a separate NaNo blog site and will air my daily writings. Warts and all shall be bared to those interested enough to witness the daily grinding process of trying to produce 1,600 words daily.  I take NaNo founder Chris Baty’s words to heart, “No plot? No problem?” I am hopeful my daily outpourings will not be merely NaNonsense.

I will have a link in my column www.veranano.wordpress.com as well as periodic updates on the process.  I still hope to keep up with my Cricket Musings.

If you are NaNo-ing, please let me know.  The solitary tapping of the keyboard is much more comforting knowing I tap not alone.

 

Dream Weaving


  • Somewhere between the snooze button and daystart a novel lived and breathed. Characters, plot, conflict, setting all existed in Technicolor wonderment. My eyes open and the novel spins away, deconstructing into bits and fragments, falling away into the vortex called fully awake.

    My lingering smile is evidence that I am not frustrated nor disappointed at the inability of fitting the wings onto real time or weave the dream into existence.I could pop up and run to my laptop and try to recapture the trails of dream vapor. I instead lay there relishing the essence of having written the perfect novel.  How can a dream novel truly be captured?  How can I possibly break in on the dance between my subconscious and imagination?

    Someday realtime will be bold enough to tap in and take the lead and the words, thoughts, inspiration that reside in the translucency of subconscious shall willingly traipse off dream’s dance floor onto printed page. Until then I welcome the nightly waltz.

    image: wastetimepost.com

A Way with Words: Tagexdo


I love wordplay almost as much as I love playing with words.  I came across this site Tagxedo and I’m starting to take words created, mine and other inspirations, and create word art.  Here is a very basic one promoting my Book Boosters campaign (you have signed up, haven’t you?)  I simply wanted to express how books add color into our life, and how much I love books.  There is more than one way to present your “words, words, words” to the world.  Ooh, that gives me an idea…

Okay, it’s not perfect.  I know.  It was fun thinking up how many words I could connect with books.

I hope you check out the site and get your word play on.

Happy Pages,

CricketMuse

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