Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting to know each other -- Part 2

I owe each and every one of you an apology for being so absent from the Internet the past few days. Instead, I've been spending quality time with my 12-year-old son, enjoying the beautiful weather and spending hours and hours plotting my new novel while sitting on the front porch with a bottle of sweet green tea and a good cigar.

No. Wait. I'm not apologizing for any of that. I've been having a blast -- a relaxing blast, if you can wrap your mind around that phrase.

Anyway, I've only been online sporadically the past couple of weeks. And I do apologize to the members of my crit group for being absent recently. I promise I'll be more involved in the coming days and weeks.

And that whole "I'm not working at all until the kid goes back to school" thing? Forget it. Instead, I've been working a few hours a day between times with the kid. It's been the perfect thing for my anxiety and writer's block I've been going through. And best of all, it's been guilt free!

So tonight, I have two somewhat-related questions for you, dear bloggy friends. Some of you eagle-eyed members of Bransforums might remember I asked similar questions over there some months ago and they got tremendous responses.

Here we go:

1. Do you write in your pajamas? Or do you get fully dressed before you begin your writing/editing/revising?

Me, I usually write in my black and green X-Box pajama pants and a tee-shirt. Sometimes, I'll wear shorts, a tee-shirt and sandals or flip-flops in the summer. The main thing for me is being totally comfortable.

My writing area is downstairs in the family room/study, so I'm usually out-of-view if someone is over to the house -- not that the sight of me in my pajama pants and Led Zeppelin tee would necessarily send someone screaming in horror from the house. But hey, you never know. Better safe than sued, I always say.

2. Do you listen to music when you write? Television? Or do you require total silence?

Me, I need absolute silence to write. No TV, no baseball. Nothing. Otherwise, my attention wanders and I get out of the narrative. This goes for editing and revising, too. I need to fully concentrate, and the slightest distraction pulls me off course.

I do, however, listen to music on my iPod while plotting or outlining or just plain thinking. I especially like to stay up really late, after everyone has gone to bed, put on the headphones, fire up a cigar and sit downstairs in the dark and just think about my story. I let it play out in my mind like a movie. Sometimes, my story takes a weird twist or turn because of a particular song I'm listening to at that moment. Music really helps me create, I've found.

I'm fond of classic rock (70s stuff with a progressive or punk edge), although my iPod has music from the Beatles to Lady Gaga and from the Clash to Lily Allen. I just love music. Period.

So how about you guys and gals? Pajamas? Fully clothed? Music? What kind? TV? Quiet? Let me know and we can all get to know each other a little better.


  1. There is no constant to my writing. Sometimes I'm in day clothes, sometimes pajamas. Sometimes there's screaming kids in the house, sometimes it's empty. Sometimes music blares from the living room down the hall, and other times I have a movie on one monitor while I type in another. The only constant is my desk - I can only see part of the top of it. The rest is buried under mail, soda cans, ashtray, and whatever new work of art my child has brought me.

  2. I'm glad you're enjoying your summer!

    1. I usually get dressed before I write only because I don't get a chance to work until the kiddos go down for their nap and I have to go outside to water the plants in the morning. I don't know if my neighbors would appreciate seeing me in my leopard skin jammies and pink stripe bathrobe.

    2. I must have total silence from every member in my house and I must listen to music. If I'm not listening to music, I'll get too easily distracted. My playlist selections range from punk to Christian rock. I've even got some Enya and Evanescence in there.

  3. 1. T-shirt and shorts. It's Texas; it's hot, even in the house with air conditioning.

    2. Silence (or I will hurt you.) I'm a "zoner" I zone out and don't usually know what's going on around me, unless you forcibly break my concentration.. in which case I am not a happy person to deal with. It's almost impossible to get back in the zone once knocked out.

    If I get stuck, I'll listen to music (soundtracks are great for mood-setting with WIP), but then it goes off so I can write.

  4. Still having a hard time with the site since you changed the background (but it's gorgeous). Maybe it's my laptop.

    A cigar and green tea and music sound awesome.
    I KNEW you wouldn't wait until fall to write.

    I can write anywhere, and do: emergency rooms, doctors' offices (better my novel than a three year old, flu-infested magazine), bookstore cafes, the chilly grocery store cafe, outside, inside, with TV, without TV, etc.

    My beloved husband passed away last year, so sadly I can write anytime I want, and do. My collie and I stay up all night, make fires in the fireplace, drink coffee at three in the morning, whatever we want to do.

    I like silence, and the sound of the fan even though I have air-conditioning (reminds me of my childhood in the South), and nature recordings (the bayou, rain, the sea).

  5. You shouldn't apologise for anything! :o)

    Ok, clothed sometimes, sometimes trackies, sometimes I motivate myself with a shower and getting completely dressed so that if I want to nip out to buy a snack I don't have to think about putting on decent clothes.

    No music - can't. TV in background sometimes, but only because S is watching while I'm writing. I can write easily with a bit of noise, but funnily I NEED silence to be able to read! :o)

  6. I won't bore you with what you already know. I'll just enjoy reading everyone else's replies this time around.

    Love the X-Box jammies though. Umm...Where's the picture for that one?

  7. I don't own pajamas, I sleep native, probably too much information! So I write fully clothed and I have to have music on. My musical tastes run from English Invasion rock (Beatles, Stones, Kinks), to first wave punk (Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash, Damned) to all kinds of other stuff including old-school country (Buck Owens, George Jones) and 60's American bands (Lovin' Spoonful, The Byrds, Beach Boys) to everything Phil Spector ever produced except for "Let It Be." I also like Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers. And Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. And of course, Bob Dylan. And Laura Nyro. And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Pretenders too. Okay, I'll stop now.

  8. Don't know why you're apologizing. Everyone needs time to do what works for them.

    I listen to music though if I get engrossed in a scene, I don't hear it. And I write in comfortable clothes I would never wear out. Old shorts and shirts in the summer, sweats in the winter. Without a bra. Man, that thing binds!

  9. jammies most the time (i usually write when everyone else has gone to sleep)

    music always. especially slow music. the peppy stuff pulls my attention. who? hammock, not without grace, breaking benjamin, kurt nilsen, green day, aerosmith, paramore, the cranberries... i could go on, but it's better i don't.

  10. Interesting how varied we all are; in this and all things I guess!

    I write in either sweats or t-shirt and shorts; have changed out of my work clothes; needs to be schlumpy and comfortable.

    And need music on -- tv occasionally if is on in the house, that being said need sound of some kind; am used to white noise and need something, silence prompts me to daydream or go wandering...

  11. I do much better when I'm comfy. Which means sweats and -- on those really chilly occasions -- my snuggi.

    I write better with music, but edit better in silence. Yes, the TV is waaaay too distracting. And forget about listening to sports. The Orioles can zap anyone's creativity!

  12. With 3 young kids and a full time job, I write when and where ever I can. In my pajamas at 5 AM and in my clothes at a coffee shop on the days I can get away for a few hours.

    If I had my druthers, I'd live within walking range of a quiet coffee shop that was open really early in the morning... get up, get dressed and take off for an hour or two.