Monday, January 17, 2011

Environmental factors

Since Sonya so wonderfully asked for topics and Nerine so graciously gave some ideas, I'm going to use them!

Nerine's first question was "How does your environment inspire your writing?" Well, let me tell you mine does. In just about every way.

In Ghost Mountain, the murder occurs at Devils Tower, just 100 miles from my home. In the sequel, the murder takes place at Bear Butte, 40 miles from home. Obviously, my location is important to my work. Anyone who has ever visited the Black Hills of South Dakota can attest to the beauty of the area.

But writing doesn't happen there. Yes, I may get inspired by the beauty which surrounds me, but I don't write outside. Especially not in South Dakota's winters. It was -15 F last week! I didn't want to walk out to start the car, let alone sit out there an write!

My inside writing environment isn't always the most conducive to work, however. There are days my house is more like a zoo than a house. Well, I do have four cats. And three dogs. And two kids. And a husband. So one of the kids has "flown the coup" but she still lives in town (hooray!). The other is a senior in high school and looking forward to leaving for college in the fall. But I take my mom duties very seriously and have been known to stop what I'm doing if either of them need something—even if it's just to talk. Hubby is in a class by himself as far as time commitments. You'd think that since we are both home all day, every day, it would be easier to have him wait, but I find that I drop my projects when he asks. Oh! And don't forget my other job. Yes, I may work from home, but it's still a job.

With all these distractions, I often find myself...well, distracted.

So what do I do? For starters, I have been known to give the "Evil Mom Death Glare" to anyone brave enough to enter my office when they know I'm working. It's the same glare that tells them not to bother me on the phone unless they are bleeding or dead. Doesn't always work, however. I've also been guilty of the phrase "just give me a minute" before doing something as mundane as starting dinner. Often this will cause them to cook, or at least fend for themselves. Not always the best solution, but it works. And no one in the house has starved while I finish a scene.

My environment provides both positives and negatives. But doesn't everyone's?


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