Where do you…..?

Write…. Read….. Eat…..

I follow Rin Simpson’s great blog Now I am thirty , not because I have a great deal in common with her age-wise (I most certainly do not) but because like her I have a desire to write the perfect crime novel. I also share her love of the printed word and enjoy the fact that even with a taste for the macabre she has the prettiest blog. She also comes up with some great ideas for blog posts and like the best of them (StickyFingers Gallery for example) she prompts her readers to get their own creative efforts online. Most recently she has come up with Where do you write?, and without wanting to lose your attention I recommend you give it a look now, and with her blessing I have pinched the idea for my latest post.

However (and I hope I haven’t already lost anybody) I know some of my readers would rather chew off their own right arm than sit down and write creatively. My husband, for example, would produce an Excel spreadsheet; my sister would draw a planting scheme for her garden. Still creative, but they could potentially perceive themselves excluded from this post. So, and I hope Rin will forgive me, I have extended the brief.

I would love it if you would have a look at my ramblings, and then in a few words tell me: where do you write? Do you have a special pen and need Muse full volume on your iPod? Or do you tap away at a laptop in complete silence? Where do you read? How do you find a little time to really get engrossed in someone else’s work? And where do you eat? Not mealtimes necessarily, or even proper food. Just that little moment when you feel the need to put something in your mouth just for the pleasure of it, so to speak.

This is what I have dreamt up:

Where do I write?

I write looking out over our pretty south-facing garden, filled with pots of geraniums, petunias and other plants purchased with no idea how to look after them. They have all survived. They give me hope.

I write in the cafe of the newly opened Waitrose in our little high street. As I wait for inspiration, I cradle a large Americano, extra shot with room for milk, in my cupped hands and gaze at the rather scrummy man at the table by the window. But he is not a poet. He is using a calculator, and keeps checking his Blackberry.

I write with Anna Ternheim playing on Spotify. I know you won’t have heard of her, but perhaps you should take a listen.

Where do I read?

I read in the dim light of the bedside lamp, my husband curled up against my side breathing gently as he falls asleep waiting in vain for me to mark the page and turn out the light.

I read curled up on the sofa whilst all around me watch Friends or Sex and the City, marvelling at how they can still find it funny even though they know the script almost off by heart.

I read in the workshop of my daughter’s fiddle teacher as she has her lesson, the air filled with the pungent smell of linseed oil or wood glue. Surrounded as I am by the bodies of instruments in various states of repair and decay, I feel the breath of hundreds of ghostly musicians turn the pages, and I shiver.

I read in the car to take my mind off the discomfort of being swung from side to side in my husband’s horrid heavy car. I soon feel sick.

Where do I eat?

I eat wherever the fancy takes me. It takes me everywhere.

On bad days I open the fridge door and eat chocolate buttons straight from their hiding place in the butter compartment.

I eat only after I have been weighed for the week, even though a sandwich weighs nothing.

I eat at night, just one special chocolate, as I lay reading in the dim light of the bedside lamp, my husband curled up at my side, breathing gently…

Photo: Marco Belluci

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18 Responses to Where do you…..?

  1. Rin says:

    Thanks for your kind word :)

    Loved reading about your ‘places’ too – particularly those little touches that make reality so interesting, like the chocolate buttons hidden in the butter container and the plants that survived and gave you hope.

    Great post, I shall be back!

  2. wurzelmeone says:

    Where do I write? Virtually where-ever I feel like it, I always have my notebook and pen with me, so it’s no hardship to get my pen out. Most of my writing is done either outdoors, at my desk at home or in the Costa. I am lucky enough to have a wooden pen which was custom-made for me, so I do have a special pen. As for eating that’s often on the hoof, sometimes I just forget. Reading is reserved for my armchair, bed or the Costa. Thank you for that blog, ‘Where do I?’ has so many more answers than ‘What do I?’

    • keatsbabe says:

      I wish I could use a fountain pen more often, as like you I would love a pen that has moulded itself to the way I write and which I see as special. I keep making blotches though, and the ink soaks through the paper. :-(

  3. Lovely post! I love that you keep chocolate buttons in your butter drawer (I hide them on a very high shelf and no-one else but you knows they are there!). I write whenever and wherever I can. I like writing in my study but that’s work, I love writing in cafes because that’s fun, I adore writing on the beach or in a forest or anywhere outside. I read in bed, in the chair I bought from the auction to pull up in front of the fire, on-line (hence me being here!), waiting for children. I eat whenever the opportunity arises which is often as I cook…a lot!

  4. Ellie King says:

    Now this gives me something to think about :)
    I don’t write as often as I would like to, it tends to be when something in particular grabs my interest or provides sudden rush of inspiration. I love writing in the expensive but beautiful Paperblanks notebooks. And I have four-colour pens to write with (blue, red, green, black) :)
    I read…well I always have a book with me in my bag and will pick it up anywhere if there is a brief pause in activity, sitting and waiting or eating meal on my own in town. Also in bed in the mornings :) I love audiobooks too, so I can listen to those on my phone when I walk into town.
    Eating….hmm…well I generally eat in places that are, shall we say, cheap and cheerful ;) as long as I have a book to read while I wait to be served, I’m usually happy. I I have to eat at fairly regular intervals, otherwise my IBS-prone stomach will punish me!
    Hope that helps to answer your question – nice blog idea by the way :) x

    • keatsbabe says:

      My son loves audio books, but I always get distracted and realise I have missed a bit so prefer turning the pages myself!

      Paperblanks are gorgeous, but sooooo pricey. I would feel terrible ripping pages out!

  5. nettiewriter says:

    Beautifully written post. Here are my replies.
    I write sitting in my reclining armchair, laptop fighting with the poodles for space on my knee; I write in the Costa in Waterstone’s, dreaming of the day when I can see my book on the shelves; I write at my desk, listening to genre-specific music and drinking tea poured from my pot-for-one.
    I read in bed, a headlamp illuminating the pages while my husband snores beside me; I read in waiting rooms – too many waiting rooms – trying to forget why I am there.
    I eat when I am stressed or bored or celebrating.

    • keatsbabe says:

      Costa seems to be the coffee shop of choice for writers I know, or perhaps there are just so many of them! They shut the one in our Waterstones, which was a pity but the one in Exeter is lovely! I too dream of the day someone can pick my book off the shelves and thumb through it as they chomp on their cake..

  6. Oooh, love this kind of thing – and actually wrote a post on the writing part of it some time back on my YA blog…..
    http://samaelstory.blogspot.com/2010/06/where-i-write.html

    Where do I eat? At the table (openly); over the breadbin (with an eye over my shoulder); at my desk (guiltily).
    Where do I read? Wherever I can get away with it (pretty much like eating really)… but, in particular, in bed and in the bath.
    :)

  7. Linda says:

    I write at work in an office and at home in a back bedroom. I eat everywhere and I read in bed…I want to do more of the last and I’d love to make time to write “creatively” – but I have to be realistic and acknowledge I don’t have the time, I’d love it if you wanted to check out my brief goes at fiction: http://www.gotyourhandsfull.com/fiction/ x

  8. sally snaddon says:

    You will have to change your hiding place for the chocolate buttons now. Peter and I Elspeth will have them gone before you know it.
    I write on scraps of paper anywhere, anytime – notes, reminders, and try not to lose them. Letters are written under the bedside lamp, curled up in bed, when I have the peace and quiet in the house. Eating is usually at the table, trying to instill good manners into toddlers, but when they are gone (I childmind) a slice of cake and a cuppa curled up watching tv is the best way to unwind after a busy day.

  9. Nick says:

    Where do I write……… sadly not as often as I would like to! I have numerous notebooks strewn around all purchased with the intention of writing many profound words in them! Most of these books are now home to unrecognisable scribbles of a 2 year old who will answer ‘yes’ to every suggestion of what they may be! But I don’t mind I want to get him as much in love with making marks on paper as I am! I did go through a phase of writing poetry and I really must find my notebook of those!

    Where do I read……..having recently moved over to the wonderful world of e-books I pretty much read everywhere, although it doesn’t quite feel the same as a proper book it does mean I can still sit and read and cuddle the aforementioned 2 year old whilst he is asleep without needing 2 hands to turn pages! Reading and writing both involve music which, for some odd reason, I love listening to through headphones. Makes me feel in my own little world. The music can range greatly from Muse to Elgar or from West End show tunes to Bing Crosby!

    Where do I eat……..sadly this too would be everywhere (as my waistline will testify!!). But that is enough on that matter!! 

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