Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where Do You Write? + NIGHTSPELL giveaway

The giveaway has ended, and the winner is DonnaS, who has been emailed! Congratulations, & thanks everyone for entering.

For the record, most of you like to write or read at home on a couch or other form of comfortable chair. There were also a large number who like to read outdoors on a deck, in a coffeeshop or variation (a public place where they will serve you food and/or drinks), or in bed.

Where do you like to write? For some writers, there is one place only that will do; for others, anywhere they have access to pen and paper is a good spot for spilling out words. I count myself lucky to be in the latter category, but there were five spots in particular where a lot of Nightspell took shape:

[1] The playground

When I started writing Nightspell, I was a teenager; by the time I turned the final draft in to my editor, I had two kids. (Not because of teen pregnancy, but because of a first draft that took a drastically wrong turn and made me give up on the story for many years.) The revision that led to that final draft were written in the moments while my kids were either sleeping or occupied, and there was no better way to get them occupied than to take them to the playground. I became an antisocial mom who pushed the swing while reading manuscript pages and established rules like, “I’ll help you across the monkey bars one time, then you have to go do something you can do by yourself.” Only time will tell whether my kids will end up in therapy or simply become very self-sufficient.

[2] Barnes & Noble

There used to be a Barnes & Noble a few blocks from my home. In a corner near the teen section was a cluster of chairs – several wooden ones and one unbelievably comfortable plush armchair. Walking through the YA stacks would inspire me with the thought that one day I’d have a book up there, and if I got the comfortable chair… bliss. I’d hang out and write for hours. Of course, if anyone else had the comfortable chair first, I’d sit on one of the wooden chairs and periodically glare at him/her for taking up the seat for so long.

Note that I say “used to”; the Barnes & Nobles is now a gym. I’d say unfortunately, but there was an independent bookstore just down the block… and they’re still there. Which makes me happy, even if their chairs are not quite as comfortable.

[3] Jamaica Pond

My #1 biking destination, and a fabulous place to write. I can just let a picture do the explaining for me here:

[4] My living room

Even though I like writing in longhand, there comes a time when I have to sit down in front of a computer, type in what I’ve written, and whip it into some semblance of order (usually with the assistance of outlines, which is why my computer desktop was once scattered with documents called “Nightspell outline,” “first part Nightspell outline,” “new Nightspell outline,” etc.) I actually have a desk in my bedroom, but it faces a wall; even before I had kids, I liked being in the living room better. And now that I do have kids, there’s always the hope that they’ll play in the living room while I get to work. Sometimes that even happens, if by “play” you mean “destroy the resale value of our home”.

[no pic. I kept waiting for a “good time” to take a picture, i.e. a day when the living room was actually clean. It never came.]

[5] JP Licks

A fabulous ice-cream store where I put together the final first draft of Nightspell. I had hired a babysitter for two hours, and my plan for those two hours was: get the manuscript into shape for my critique group. I looked at the space where I had written a vague outline for more stuff happening, and thought, “You know what? Nothing actually has to happen here. We can move right to the coronation.” Deleted and done, and the first draft was complete. I have no proof, but I suspect JP Lick’s red velvet ice-cream had something to do with the epiphany.

What about you – where do you like to write (or read, if you’re not a writer?) Let us know in the comments, and be entered to win a signed, personalized copy of NIGHTSPELL. Contest ends October 5 and is open internationally.


melissa said...

I love that time when the kids are in bed and its just me i curl up in my favorite chair with a good book and an awesome cup of coffee!

mel91284 at yahoo dot com

Carina said...

I just love finding out where authors write their books. Sooo interesting. :)
Thanks for sharing!

I like to read everywhere. I always carry a book with me and whenever I have a few minutes for myself (mostly when waiting for someone), I tke it out and read a few pages.
But the most comfortable thing is to curl up with a hot cup of tea on my sofa and read, read and read. :D

fictionaldistraction (at) live (dot) de

Carina @ Fictional Distraction

Bee said...

I find solace writing in the bathroom or up on the terrace (if there's enough light up there). I write longhand, too, so basically I can sneak in words everywhere.
Sometimes I write on paper napkins, if I'm not prepared and am suddenly gripped by an earth-shakingly awesome idea. Yeah, it happens.

Loved reading this post!

Anonymous said...

I can read just about anywhere, but I prefer to be curled up in a blanket on the sofa or armchair.

Thanks for the chance to win!

Bwyatt said...

I use to love to write in one of the private study rooms at the campus library w/ my head phones on. Since I'm not a student anymore, I mostly write and read sitting on my couch with my puppies curled up with me. But I also like to go to the bookstore and plug into my ipod and write while I listen. When we get out of our tiny apartment and finally have a house I plan on having my own reading/writing room. Which should be very nice. Until then I will make due with the above. Thanks for the post.


Sable said...

Favorite time of day to write is between 11pm and 3/4 am. I don't get to do that often anymore except during summer vacation when my kids are out of school, but when I can, I still love it. As to where -- my patio used to be my favorite spot, but since we moved, I've lost my screened in oasis until we put a new one up! Now I'm floundering to find that perfect spot!


Roxy Kade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roxy Kade said...

I have this really lovely plush chair that I love to sit on while reading and writing.

There is also a coffee shop near my house that has these really comfy leather chairs! I could sit and write in them all day long.

Thanks for this post and giveaway :)


Lori M. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birgit said...

Admittedly, mostly at home - I like the quiet here. My second choice (oddly enough) is the good ol' coffeeshop.

danaan at gmx dot at

Amber Lough said...

I can write just about anywhere, as long as my kids aren't near me (they won't let me). I do my best in the middle of the day, but right now I am working on my focus and discipline...getting through my revisions and sticking to a deadline is hard! What helps is knowing that I am PAYING for the time to write (i.e., daycare).

Ambotchka at me dot com.

Anonymous said...

I can read anywhere, but I prefer to write at my neighborhood Chick-fil-A. Endless refills of soda, they know me there so it's like my own storewide cheering section as they ask me about progress, I get to people watch when I need breaks, but most importantly, there are far fewer distractions. Despite my best intentions, I get distracted at home, even when I don't have the TV on, even when I don't have a book open or the craft projects out. The fact that they're there at all makes it hard for me to focus. So I go down to CFA and get a lot of work done each time.

Breezy1323 said...

I like to read all day everyday. In class or in the car. My favorite place to read might be in the big comfy pliant chair in my dads movie room.

Snarky Writer said...

I don't have much time to write anymore, but when I do it's mostly at my computer in the study area of my living room with my Pandora station blaring. I read everywhere and anywhere I can, though. :)


SandyG265 said...

I don't write but I'll read anyplace I can find quiet and a comfy chair.

sgiden at

Molly said...

Well, I like writing in front of a log fire with a cup of tea next to me with a biscuit (usually chocolate digestive :S) in my pajamas and dressing gown!

And reading, well, I like to read anywhere!

But a specific place? Well there's this quiet little tea shop (British if you can't tell already) that I walk to. It's called _____ _____ REALLY?
And it has a window seat that they reserve for me. And its right next to the fire and has a gorgeous view. Seriously, I could live there!
I feel all special, like Jane Eyre when I sit and read there!

So thanks for the giveaway!



ashelynn hetland said...

on campus I go to the library. Upstairs where it's quiet and I can gaze out the windows (to the humanities building! what a wonderful view! ha) and if I have money, I'll sometimes go to this wonderful little coffee shop that doesn't have wifi.

When I'm home, I like to write on the couch in the living room, or at the dining room table, or at my desk... ha. I write until I get distracted and write someplace else!

Thanks for the giveaway, Leah!

ashelynnhetland @ gmail dot com.

CrystalGB said...

I like to read in bed or curled up on the couch. :)

janhvi said...

My favorite place to read is definitely in my bed snuggled under the covers.Its cozy and comfortable and I easily get lost for hours reading away..:)

justjanhvi at gmail dot com

Nicole said...

I love writing at home when no one else is around. I especially love writing when it's cold and raining/snowing outside. I even go to my local Barnes and Noble sometimes to write if I'm feeling sociable. Usually I just wear my headphones though so that kind of defeats the purpose. My favorite place to read is in my bed, snuggled under the covers.

Thanks for the great giveaway!!


Vivien said...

I can read just about anywhere. I currently have a job where I can listen to audiobooks (awesome!) and then on breaks I get to read the book I brought. This system is helping me chip away at my TBR pile. My favorite place though is the couch with some peace and quiet. I tend to get distracted easily.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Alice Smith said...

I write in the courtyard of my local library, which has an amazing outdoor covered patio table that for some reason is always open (even when the study hutches are full inside). Bliss!

I'd love to read this book, it sounds really interesting!

Na said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Na said...

I like to write where I like to read and that is in the cozy confines of my room. If it's reading it's in my bed. I know some people can write almost anywhere and doing so in a public space is no problem, but for me I get too distracted and restless. I like someplace quiet, but not total silence, perhaps with music playing softly in the background.

Cambonified (at) yahoo (dot) com

Amy Valentini said...

I love to read anywhere but writing is a whole different story. I first tried pen and paper but then I couln't read my writing because I think faster than I can write, word processors came along and that helped some but the formatting wasn't there. Then along came the PC with its word programs and desktop publishing and voila! I can write for hours, literally hours, on the the computer. My biggest problem is I need a program that will automatically save my work like every 30 seconds without me knowing it so I don't lose my new pages when the power flickers. Happy Reading and Writing.

alainala said...

i dont write, but i LOVE to read while in bed... admittedly i will pretty much read everywhere.. but bed is my fav.. or in a nice hot bubble bath!

this book looks awesome, thanks for the chance to win!

alainala @ hotmail DOT ca

Aspen Firefly said...

I write in my room on my bed with my laptop named Jude. Sometimes during class I write notes about stories and I get a bunch of ideas while working at the library every day :)

Alicia0605 said...

I love to read on the couch while my husband and kids watch tv.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I love to read in bed with my puppy snuggling with me. :) Now, tho... I want some of that red velvet ice cream!

Cate said...

I love to read, so i read anywhere, i always bring a book or my kindle with me. But most specially I love reading in the sofa at night when the kids are in bed and I get to have my me time. Thanks for the giveaway!

Barbara E. said...

I'm not a writer, but I love to read in my office, surrounded by my favorite things, especially my book. It's cozy and comfortable and I can prop my feet up and relax.

blackplume said...

I'm not a writer unless blogging counts. I blog in my room while lying in bed. yeah sounds lazy! as for reading I read every time I got the chance. May it be in my study area, public transportation, while eating.

Thanks so much!

Patricia Anne McGoldrick said...

Weather permitting, I like to write at the table on our deck--it has a great view & I am surrounded by the great outdoors!
Second choice, is in my writing room, painted in a buttery tone that is very conducive to writing!

Karen lee Hallam said...

I had a composition book I carried around for writing my first manuscript-- while being home, (er-out with my kids) Then it turned into four. This may allow for more editing, when i finally sit at a computer. And my boys NEVER slept when babies..still don't, in these tweens years.

Barbara said...

I carry my ereader everywhere and read at every opportunity..but my fav is in bed..when it is quiet and nobody interupts:)

Bethany C. said...

I would love more time to read on our new super comfy couch...but Beast aka my toddler will have none of it.


Denise Z said...

I always write at my desk and read anytime and anywhere I can. I will always have a book or my ereader with me. I love sitting on the back patio and reading it takes me away:) Thank you for sharing today, for the fun pictures, and the awesome giveaway opportunity.


Llehn said...

It sounds odd but I love writing on stairwells.


Angel said...

Back when I lived in the Philippines, there was a small cafe/diner across the street from my university where I spent a lot of time with my friends. We were creative writing majors so we like to buy french fries and milkshakes to nom on while we tore our hair out over our WIPs. I miss that place a lot and hope I can find somewhere in Toronto that can work the same magic.

angelidgcruz at gmail dot com

Rebeca Valdez said...

It's not at all a comfortable place to be, but I love writing on my futon. I find myself changing positions about every 10 minutes, but it works for me.

Daisy said...

I can pretty much read anywhere (I am a master at blocking out distracting noises, except maybe for the TV sometimes..), but my favourite place to read is outside, in my parents backyard, on the balcony, in a park. Anywhere as long as it's outside.
Another favourite: curled up on the couch with my blanket.

Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Erica said...

JP licks is the best! I love both reading and writing just sitting in my room.

thebookcellar @

Becky Wallace said...

I write standing next to my stove. Lots of multitasking, and I figure I'm burning calories by standing up!

becky underscore vallett at hotmail dot com

Carina Olsen said...

Firstly, thank you so much for this giveaway :D Oh, I would love a signed copy of your book. <3
Hmm, well, I am at home all the time, so I just like to read in my chair :) And so far, that has worked out perfectly ;p lol.
Love, Carina ~

cegluna said...

I constantly have a book in hand, so I'll read anywhere. But my favorite place is anywhere I won't be disturbed (as in no kids, dogs, hubby to interrupt), be that a park bench or even in my car lol

Bonnie said...

I write in my spare bedroom at my computer with my weird music blasting.

poisnivyred said...

My favorite places to read are in the bed where I can safely read until my eyes will no longer stay open. I also LOVE to read at the beach to the sound of the waves. Thanks for the giveaway!

Poisnivyred AT

Casey H said...

I prefer writing in my bedroom so I can sit there and talk to myself without looking crazy. That being said, I can't always write in my room, so my second favorite place to write is Panera Bread (love their food!).


TheJay2xA said...

Bed is always a good place to read, the hardest part though is getting sleepy

fallendream03 AT gmail DOT com

aurora M. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aurora M. said...

In my library... surrounded by all my books is like the feeling of a pig in !@#$
loved ready everyone's comments

Cheri Williams said...

I like to write on the sofa, the porch, out back, in bed, at Starbucks, out in the wild. Pretty much anywhere!!

cheri at cheriwilliams dot com

Jenny N. said...

I'm not a writer but I do read a lot. My favourite reading spot is in my room and laying down on my bed.


LadyVampire2u said...

I like to write at my desk usually which is in the living room. When I read though, thats different. I read mainly in bed or while sitting on the couch. Those are the most comfortable places.

LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

Anonymous said...

i like to read anywhere as long as i have a place to sit down.

Sarah (Escaping Through Books) said...

Loved this post! I like to read outside in a nearby park when it's nice outside. When the weather isn't so nice, I curl up in bed with my laptop or a book!

escapingthroughbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

Jennie said...

I tend to be inspired to write at night. It's usually when I'm in my bed. Sometimes I like to go outside. The change of scenery also inspires me to write.


Gabbie said...

I like to read anywhere that is quiet really. So I wake up at 5:30 and spend 2-3 hours reading in bed before getting up. During the day I like to sit out on the back porch and read, though I do have to listen to my bird talking to himself.

Gabbie-ethela AT hotmail DOT com

Onge said...

I'm not a writer but I love to read. Usually too much. I mostly read before bed. Which means I don't get all the sleep I need because I want to read just one more chapter, about 20 times. :)
Thanks for the amazing giveaway! I absolutely adored Mistwood and can't wait to get my hands on Nightspell!

kristina shields said...

i like to read anywhere... in my bed or my favorite chair or outside enjoying beautiful weather. i love reading so anywhere i am doing it im happy with.

Sierra Cullen.♥ said...

I like to write anywhere! Writing comes natural to me, at any given time or place. I also like to read in the car going places. I don't know why but I don't get carsick and I tend to read more in the car because I don't get distracted as much. :D


donnas said...

I will read just about anywhere. But my favorite spot is curled up in the recliner.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

P.E. said...

I love to read on my bed with the cushions fluffed just so and the temperature being cold enough that I need a light blanket. I like having the space to stretch out.

Thank you for the giveaway!

tantalizingillusions at gmail dot com

Ashley G. said...

I can read and write pretty much anywhere. I do prefer the comfort of my bed but anywhere peaceful will do. I love parks with fountains.

Thanks for the giveaway!

ferretvamp14 said...

I love to read on my couch that's in front of the window with the blinds cracked to let the sun in. It is like the perfect temperature and too comfortable. It's my favorite place to nap as well.

Deltay said...

I can read in a wide variety of places, but among my favourites are the bed, lazyboy and the sofa :)


Jen said...

I have two desks: one is in the office-- a room where there is no TV. It's where I go when I am having a particularly hard time concentrating.

The other desk rarely gets used, but it houses my netbook, which I frequently drag into my bed when I feel like I can afford to be distracted.

I'd love to write outside, but find that I do much better when I have a keyboard as opposed to pen and paper, and the glare on a laptop screen from the Florida sun just refuses to cooperate.

Thanks for the giveaway!

almostgrownupblog [at] gmail [dot] com

Orchid said...

I will (and have been known) to read every where. Although I do prefer to read in my room since its generally much quieter in there. =)


Ed Varga said...

My writing space is a room I just recently discovered in my house. Not that it was invisible before but the room never had an identity until I bought a cheap desk and stuck it in there. Now it is where the creativity flies.

Dea (IvaliceAlliance) said...

I love reading everywhere! Except when I'm with my friends.. They're also bookworms so we tend to talk about books when we're together than read them. Thanks so much for the international giveaway!!

sauvadeavelle @ yahoo dot com

Katgirl Studio said...

I do most of my writing at my computer in Scrivener but I also keep a notebook with me at all times when not at my desk.