Was sick and focused on recovery. Slept as much as I needed and wanted, skipped the makeup, stayed in pajamas and/or workout pants all weekend. Began to gain back all the weight I’d lost from the flu (mixed feelings about that!).
Even as I type this on a crisp cool and brilliant Sunday morning, I’m skipping my weekly visit to the farmers’ market. I love the farmers’ market but but but…our fridge is still full because between the whole household has been down with the stomach ailment/flu for days now. We’ve been consuming food like anorexics and vomiting like bulimics. And this hermit life has grown on me. I could get used to this.
I did venture out twice–to go to a cafe to get some writing done. I had not been to this cafe in fifteenish years! But how could I have forgotten? It’s where I got most of my creative writing done as an undergrad, back when I used to hide my creative writing. And it still works for me–I emerged with having accomplished some decent writing on my laptop (back then, I used to write in a notebook–the paper kind you use with a pen).
The scene’s still the same: college students come for socializing, a bit of reading. And a few middle aged people taking part in this collegiate atmosphere. That dude up there sat across from me and handed me a flower before settling into his book. I’d forgotten the permeable social membrane of being at college cafes.
I like the sounds. Loud espresso machines against the cacophony of voices and a stereo playing gypsy kings or some other music with too much treble. The environment even made it into my novel–a woman laughed at a nearby table and I did wonder, “My main character lives in a city–he hears a distant laugh in the alley outside!” So that dear anonymous woman with the laugh is now a character in my novel, albeit a very very minor character.
Anyway–I’ve been discouraged about my novel’s progress for some time. I feel like we’ve been fighting a losing battle against the music of daily life and work.
It’s not like I wrote hundreds of pages–I think I really wrote only about
ten (omg sorry, total brain burp made me miscount) five in the two hours total spent at cafe writing, a pathetic total for many writers out there. But it’s a lot more writing than I usually get done in that span of time. And I feel like if I can keep this up, then the ending is not too far away.
I’m thinking a lot about ideal writing environments for me these days. I wonder about setting–I would still love to go to New York for a month to write (and visit friends!) and I would still love to go to Seoul/South Korea for a month write (and visit family!). I wonder with glee how the environment would wend its way into my novel, set both in Korea and New York City. I wonder about music and weather and temperature and humidity, and how all these elements help me produce.
What is your ideal writing environment?