I’m getting ready to dive into the writing of the 3rd book in the My American Almost Royal Cousin Series next week. My outlines are in pretty good shape for the storyline (they always change (a bit), but that’s OK). I have some great new characters joining Gemma and her friends and family, and there’s lots of travel this time—leaving the grounds of Cherrywood Hall and crossing the pond to America, for a while 🙂 I’m excited to get started on this one, renewing my daily conversations with the characters—they’re on a different fictional time zone and have no qualms about waking me up in the middle of the night to fill me in on the latest conversational dialog that I must write down. Change is in the air, it’s time to get writing. Today I’ll share three of my favorite places to pound the keyboard (doesn’t sound as eloquent as putting pen to paper does it?)—where are your favorite writing haunts?
My Writing Woom
When I first started writing, I decided to convert one of our bedrooms into my own private writing woom. Men and women have man caves and she sheds—I thought a writer needed a special hideout moniker, a cross between a room and a womb that incubates ideas, nurtures stories, and eventually gives birth to a wonderful book—hence, the writing woom (#WritingWoom) 🙂 For my writing woom, I wanted the rooms décor to give me the ambience of being in a dark, cold, and clammy room of a castle (like Cherrywood Hall perhaps). Now I live in southern California where it is not dark (perpetually sunny), not cold (can pretty much bank on temps in the 70s), and definitely not clammy (we’re in a drought situation, again). After much deliberation, my sweet hubby Bruce got out the paint cans and painted the room a jet black to give me the illusions of dark and cold (OK, the cold is helped by several fans and the AC), and I fell in love. I bought cherry red curtains to give that pop of red, and set off to decorate with all the things that would make me smile, and put me in the mood to write. I found crown fairy lights (Amazon is amazing), skulls (I am writing cozy mysteries), some favorite paintings, writers board (always pinning note cards with characters, plot ideas, and topics to research). I brought in some of my favorite British-themed items (pillows, crowns, and ERII ornaments) and of course my beloved piggies (I love them). Bruce even surprised me with an electric fireplace that I can turn on (just the lighted portion, no heat required here) and give that illusion of a burning fire as I type away. I love this room—it gives me peace and serenity as I tear my hair out trying to find the next right word, sentence, or paragraph. Bruce is thinking of soundproofing the room in the next few weeks (for his peace and serenity as I begin book 3 🙂 )
Now I know it sounds strange going into a crowded Starbucks filled with people talking, shouts of ‘triple, venti, non-fat, quarter sweet, fudge caramel macchiato’ filling the room, and setting up your laptop to type, but I do it every now and then. As much as I love my writing woom and cats (and of course hubby), sometimes I just need the stimulation of the outside world so that I can remember what real conversation sounds like (and not just the imagined ones I have in my writer’s mind) 🙂 The cacophony in a Starbucks is amazing—there’s so much noise my mind actually adjusts the sounds very low as I go off into my fictional world, typing away. I come up for air (or a coffee refill) when I hear a funny laugh or a deep, interesting voice. I don’t eavesdrop on conversations, but I do listen to the sound and tones of voices, imagining and associating voices with my characters—does Gemma’s voice sound like this? Starbucks is a happy place for me, and as long as they allow their customers to sit down and plug in, I’ll keep coming back every now and then to get a fresh dose of everyday, coffee fueled humanity.
Travel haunts–Iceland (this year, so far)
This year for my 60th birthday, my husband and I went to Iceland in January (I love cold vacations, we live in a warm and beautiful place but every now and then I need to wear my faux fur and boots). When we were not being careful to step into a hot geyser or snorkeling between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates (yes we did do this, absolutely fantastic 🙂 ), we’d rest up in the afternoon before trekking out to downtown Reykjavik for dinner. For me, my ‘rest up’ time meant taking my laptop downstairs to the empty bar area, sitting by a roaring fire, and typing away. The staff politely let me sit as they readied the area for happy hour, keeping me well supplied with their delicious cappuccinos (Icelandic coffees are awesome by the way). I don’t know if it was the Icelandic caffeine, or if my brain was thawing out after the snorkeling (22 degrees F outside, 35 degrees F in the water), but my time typing away each day in the bar was amazing. The words and story flowed and flowed, making this trip an extra amazing experience for me. I love writing when we’re on travel—the new places, scenery, accents, all take me into the writing zone. So whether you’re on a beach, taking a break from the ski slope, or relaxing in a beautiful park looking up at Kensington Palace or the Eiffel Tower, pull out that ipad, thinkpad or paper pad, and write. You’ll have a lasting vacation memory.
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Let me know your favorite writing spots (or the weirdest place you’ve written). Gemma would like to know 🙂