Some days are more conducive to writing than others. (Or are they?)

Bitter wind rattles the windows and flings icy pellets at the glass. The rhododendron leaves are curled into themselves, huddled against the cold. It’s wild and wintry outside … a good day to stay home, turn up the thermostat and catch up on the writing we’ve been meaning to do all week.

Cold Snowflake

Of course, it’s also a good day to do a bit of Christmas baking. Or finish cleaning the bathroom. There’s too much to do. We’ll have more time to write in the New Year, after Christmas is over.

But perhaps New Year’s Resolutions will make fitness sessions and the gym more of a priority, (Of course I’m talking hypothetically here! You know me better than that!) so we’ll take a breather and get back to writing next month … or in the spring. Well, after the garden beds are dug and seeds planted. Oh, but there’s always summer to look forward to … all those lazy vacation days with endless opportunities. In the summer the excuse becomes the heat. It’s too muggy to stay inside and write. Better to take advantage of the sunshine and opt for gardening, or vacationing, or enjoying some family time at the beach. When the fall rains start there will be time enough to stay inside and write. We won’t talk about the changing colours and crisp autumn afternoons that will tug us outdoors for walks.

From what I’ve seen, successful authors don’t procrastinate. When there’s writing to be done, they write. But when being interviewed, it’s interesting to hear them describe what they consider ideal writing conditions.

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Darkness has enveloped everything beyond the window. The family room is lit only by Christmas lights, the fireplace crackles and the room is cosy. Lyrics of a winter song come to mind: “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go”–we might just as well write, right? Except it’s too cosy, too comfortable. I’m content to stare into the flames and let my thoughts wander.

I think it’s time to grab a mug of black coffee and take my laptop into the office where the room is cooler and distractions are minimal. It’s time to get down to work and make the most of the next hour.

What are your ideal writing conditions? Is there one season or situation that’s more conducive to a productive writing session?

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Roaming Bookstores and Seashores

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Roaming a bookstore is something akin to roaming the seashore for me. There is exhilaration and discovery, the heady smell that is unique to the location. My daughter loves to do both, too, as her blog post and Flickr pictures yesterday attest.

Her enthusiasm for acquiring books reminded me of my recent visit to one of my favourite out-of-town haunts. A few days ago after travelling to my writing group meeting I took the rare opportunity to visit a mega Christian bookstore — Blessings Christian Marketplace.  I was looking for a particular book, which I didn’t find, but I still came home with four others! It just isn’t possible to escape a bookstore with empty hands!

Books by Mary Connealy

As I browsed the shelves it was a delight to discover the books of people I’ve encountered online. It felt a little like running into friends in the crowded city. Or coming upon an eagle “perusing the menu” on the salt washed shore. What are the odds, I often wonder after such encounters.

Seeing the books was a strange sensation… there was a recognition that sparked pride in the authors’ accomplishment. It made me wonder how I will feel the day I see my own title among them, if that day ever comes. At this stage of my writing career I can’t imagine it. But the sight ignited my enthusiasm to continue working towards that day.

The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund

Code Blue by Richard Mabry

Books by James Scott Bell

What emotions do you experience when you visit your bookstore or library, or are you just focused on locating a book?

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Gull photo courtesy of pdphoto.org