Monday, March 2, 2009

Where I Write

I have a great office in my house. Brick floor, two deep and comfy chairs, a café table and chairs, and a desk with my iMac computer on it. Three of the four walls are windows, so it has lots of natural light, and the west window wall overlooks a saltwater creek that runs into Pleasant Bay. Two swans just swam by. A huge bulletin board hangs above my desk tacked with Still Alice clippings, pictures of my kids, and my intention board. My intention board has lots of great words on it that help me stay grounded and balanced by simple reminder: Grateful, Grow, Create, Live in the Moment, Books that Make a Difference, Believe, Open Minds.

Sounds lovely, right? Inspiring even. It is, but honestly, I prefer Starbucks. I find it difficult to write at home. There are bills to pay, laundry to do, phone calls to take and return, food in the fridge. Not to mention all the chocolate. So at home, there is always the possibility that when a scene I’m writing isn’t flying effortlessly from my head into the pen, I’ll think, Hmm. I really should pay those bills. I know if I find myself choosing bills over writing the next sentence, it’s time to get out of the house.

Plus, I have two kids (8 and 1). If I’m home, one of them always needs me for something, even if there’s a perfectly good adult other than me here to get the job done. I’m a sucker for games and songs and hugs and kisses.

So I go to Starbucks. There’s nothing else to do at Starbucks but drink caffeine, which I desperately need because the 1 yr old doesn’t sleep through the night, and write. You can’t even daydream there for long without looking like a nut. I wrote Still Alice almost entirely at Starbucks.

I love my home office and enjoy writing in here when I can. Like right now. But if I didn’t have it, I’d be fine at a table at the coffee shop down the street.

Just don’t tell my husband this. He’ll want to convert my beautiful office into something else, like a gym or a gameroom.


Shelley said...

I don't know about Starbucks - where I live little independent cafes are lovely - so no need for starbucks, However - I just wanted to let you know how much I loved Still Alice - I just bought it and read it last week. I have no experience of anyone with Alzheimers. After I bought it and when I was in tears reading the thoughts of Alice I remembered that my daughter (4 yo) is at higher risk of Alzheimers because she has Down Syndrome. I loved the novel for its portrayal of family, relationships and love and yes for it's revealing of the scary world of Alzheimers - from the perspectve of Alice.

The character I was most fascinated by (besides Alice) was her husband - natural given that my own father was my mum's carer for the last few years of her life - she did not have alzheimers but other debilitating health concerns.

Thank you for writing such a beautiful, accessible and thoughtful account of 'difference' - because that is what prompted me to buy it when I was in my local bookstore. I will recommend it to many and reread it myself I am sure. A beautiful story.

PS - Every one needs an 'office' even if it isn't where they do their acutal work!

Scott R. Davis said...

Lisa. thank you for a well written book. I read it in Maine over the vacation with my parents. My dad has dementia and parkinsons and many of the things you wrote about we have experienced re the memory issues. It was well done tying in the ocean and was written poetically. It gave a very human side.

I have a blog on handicaps, faith and nature at
feel free to look at it and comment on it.

a very well written first novel for you. Looking forward to your number 2.

peace scott

All Adither said...

I'm the same way. I zip to a coffee house to write whenever possible. Luckily, here in Seattle, there are several on every block.

All Adither said...

By the way, I just finished Still Alice and I adored it. I've recommended it to several people. I was also inspired by your story of how it came to publication. Good way to go. You smart lady.

Anonymous said...

I also have a hard time getting anything accomplished at home. Distractions are just endless.

Your home office does sound lovely though.


frida said...

I my beautiful office but I can't write there! But it still inspires me just to know it's there. I'm happy to have discovered your blog.