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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Earth To Kenzie...."

See the laptop at the left of the table?  That is my usual work space:)  On any given day, breakfast is eaten where Miss Alex is standing, and the spouse sits in his chair, drinking his coffee.  In this picture, I'd finished checking social media and email; the spouse decided to fix fried potatoes with the granddaughter 'supervising'.  

A few weeks ago, a new story consumed me and I barely knew who was in the kitchen, much less where the time went while I was writing.

When I'm by myself, I turn on the radio or a CD and write to anything from Lifehouse, Prince, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Hinder, or whatever happens to be on the radio or what I pull out of the CD collection.

I used to write to Hooked On Classics while sitting alone in the living room (before computers) while my children napped. I also wrote some of my best work at the laundromat, listening to AC/DC, Duran Duran, and Don Hendley on the juke box, or whatever was playing until my selections were next.

At our old house, I had a spare bedroom where I'd hole up until the kids came home, or the dogs needed attention. Remember when internet was tied to the phone lines, and the only way people knew you were home was because of the busy signal? Thank god the dog barked if anyone came to the door; usually I had the music up so loud I didn't hear them knocking! But true friends knew where I was; they knew my dog was kind, and would just walk on in. Ah, the good old days!

Six years ago, I learned I could write with the Fairly Odd Parents (or any Nickelodean show), or DIY, or SyFy channel on the TV. Once in a while, I would go to my favorite coffee shop with the local radio station and conversations all around me.

I also used to write at the ball field, and once outlined an entire book while sitting in a bar, waiting for a job interview. I got the job, but didn't keep it long. I started working, only to discover I was pregnant again!

But why the title? I can successfully block out everything around me, and sometimes my family jokes the house could catch on fire and burn down around me before I'd notice. And that's only because the power would go out and I'd scream because I hadn't saved my document! 'Oh my...that's why I was coughing? I thought it was my asthma...'

Let's hope I never have to actually test that theory??

And by the way, before I received my laptop three years ago, I worked at my desk top computer, which collects so much 'stuff', I call it 'organized chaos'.  

What does your work space look like?  Can you work in the middle of a busy household, or do you have to have absolute quiet?


B.C. Brown said...

You know me - quiet is not required, but if there is music I'm screwed. Can't focus on the work for trying to memorize potential karoake lists/lyrics in the background. lol

As long as I have my laptop (or in desperation my smart phone) I'm good. It's only when I pull out the notebook that I nibble my pen cap more than smudge ink to the paper.

BC Brown Books - Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Mystery, Romance
"Because Weird is Good."

Paris said...

I can zone out to music, anything from "Last of the Mohicans" to Goo Goo Dolls and use it as a kind of soundtrack for what I'm working on. It actually helps drown out the barking dogs and anything else that's going on at the time, lol! I'm afraid that my desk is more like organized chaos than I like at the moment but I'm wrapping up a project and I just know that if I move something, I'll lose it.

Tina Donahue said...

What a doll your granddaughter is. How can you work at all when she's around smiling like that? :)

Molly Daniels said...

@BC: I guess after a while I don't even HEAR the music! One time, I'd forgotten to put my CD player on 'repeat' and an hour later I realized I wasn't hearing Bon Jovi anymore.

@Paris: LOL....the rule at my house is, Don't Move Anything On Mom's Desk! I know exactly where everything is, and when the kids mess with it, I can't find anything.

@Tina: That's why baby gates prevent her from coming into the kitchen when I'm working or cooking. She's learning to take out the gates, so now I do a lot of my writing during nap time.

Sandy said...

Molly, I'm one of those writers who have to have absolute quiet.

Your granddaughter is a cutie.

vicki batman said...

I have a neat office that is filled with stuff which needs to go in the garage to move to another place, but the dogs will do their business on anything; so I'm stuck for a while. I love to listen to classical guitar and lately, Simply Frank.

I can get into a book, so zoned, I won't hear anyone.

Tabitha Shay said...

I have a desk set up in what is our bedroom for now...But let me tell you, it's a busy desk littered with everything from unopened mail to stacks of opened mail, a ton of pill bottles, bottles of lotion, cans of mousse because I don't want to run out of dust. I hate dusting, so it rarely gets done until I'm so ashamed I grab the duster and give everything a quick swipe. I have to have absolute quiet in order to work and that's hard to get here with six year old twins, my son and his wife and hubby, who is very much a people person and loves to talk. I've learned to somewhat tune him out, but then it hurts his feelings, so I have to drag myself out of my story and say "yeah" or "uh-huh" every now and then. Your granddaughter is a cutie...

jean hart stewart said...

I've got a lovely large corner in my family room, with table, VERY comfortable chair and book shelf beside it. Everything I need.. Since I live alone I write a lot....

Molly Daniels said...

@Sandy: Thank you:)

@Vicki: I've thought about disconnecting the desk top, but now granddaughter has learned to climb, I nixed the idea. Only four more years til she's in school, lol!

Molly Daniels said...

@Tabby: I had my desk in my 2nd apartment, but it became a catch-all also! I miss having my desk in another room with nothing but bookshelves, ha ha!

@Jean: I'm envisioning something similar for our next home:)

Rose Gorham said...

Right now I’m listening to Susan Bolye, love her voice! Since the kids left the nest I’ve had my office in every room in my 3 bedroom house except the garage, oh and the bathroom! I finally settled on the middle bedroom. As I sit here typing away on my laptop, my desk is cluttered with all things normally found in an office. I also have two water bottles, a coffee cup, a munchies jar, a doggie jar for my Maggie when she demands a treat–wait, I’m not done-I have big fat dictionary, several RWR magazines and a Kleenex box. I also have a tablet that I jot things down on, and thoughts written on anything from napkins to gum wrappers, from when I’m away from my office. Clutter and all, I love my space. I can write anywhere but this is where it comes altogether.

Gemma Juliana said...

I used to need total silence, but that was back when I had an office of my own. Now I can tune out most noise. With a husband and son at home a lot, it's that or get nothing done.

Marianne Stephens said...

I want it quiet when I write...but music is okay if I'm on loops, blogs, etc.
My workspace? I HAD a room for just me, and then my husband thought we needed to "bond" more - his office is in the basement. So, we moved another desk in my room and we're usually both on the computer at the same time at night and on weekends.
It's nice having my tech support so close, especially when my computer doesn't just WORK. He can fix it.
My office is now crowded, and the dog usually joins us in the room.
I guess we're all bonding!
Your granddaughter is cute, and I'm sure, is a pleasant distraction!

Melissa Keir said...

Can you see my laptop next to yours? I sit at the kitchen table too. Hubby is either across from me at the table or laying down on the couch watching the shows. There's dogs barking and running around. The youngest child (now adult) has his hip-hop on loud upstairs but he's now down here making some food, banging the pans around. I finally got myself some headphones so I could tune out the people!

I see how you have to have become used to writing when and where you will. But I know that you've got your hands full with that sweet grandbaby. She's a doll!

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