I used to write in the kitchen. Back when we lived in that small apartment, where the kitchen was hot and steamy in the summer, and our table was a normal height, so my feet could rest squarely on the floor. It is important to have your feet firmly planted on the ground in this world, when your mind is traveling through a fictional one. I liked the heat. It was bikram writing.
Now nothing seems like the right space for writing. My desk is tucked into a corner in the basement. The green walls are soothing. I like the little collection of office supplies, cup holders and small pieces of artwork that adorn the desk, saved over the years thanks to my inability to throw things away. But I can’t write there, not always anyway. There are too many sounds. Creaks and moans, the aches and pains of the house settling into place. Or it’s too quiet, tucked away from the sounds of the street outside, and I get distracted by the silence. The quiet of the room slips into my head and suddenly all thought is gone.
I try to sit at the dining room table, revert to old habits that suited me so well, but it’s not the same. The table is tall, my feet dangle from our high chairs, and I don’t feel grounded anywhere, not in the world I’m living, nor the one I’m creating. The cat likes to join me there, scratching the leather backs of the chairs, or whining next to his food bowl. I roll my eyes too much in the dining room, spend too much time swatting the cat away. And I always end up feeling hungry.
Right now, I’m sitting in bed. Reclining is more accurate, with pillows propped against the wall and the underside of my MacBook burning hot in my lap. This will work for a short while, but before long the bed will feel too soft, the bedroom too warm, the evening light coming through the windows too bright in my eyes. Already, I’ve started to grow sleepy. I’ll have to shift to a different spot, a different room, and wait for the interruption to settle in the back of mind so that story ideas can push their way again to the front.
This is my ongoing process. A perpetual quest to find the right place to write.