The muses find me whenever I’m sitting still.
Like most writers, I don’t believe in boredom. Sitting still is my favorite thing. Park me in one place for more than five minutes and I will almost always whip out a notebook and scribble something down. I can write literally anywhere. Here are the top ten weirdest places I’ve written.
10. Car dealer. When I called ahead to reserve the car I wanted, and make an appointment to pick it up, I assumed that meant my salesman would have my paperwork ready. Nope. During our transaction, he left his desk at least four times to make copies on the world’s slowest copy machine. Guess what I did while he was gone?
9. Ice Rink. It’s freezing in there, but that’s okay, computers like it cold. And I typed as fast as I could to keep my fingers warm.
8. Dojo. This one was hard. The noise. The smell. But I was trapped in the waiting room while my kids took classes. I usually wrote only about four paragraphs a week, but it was good writing. I kept most of it.
7. Hospital. It turns out you can get a lot done while waiting for a relative to come out of surgery as long as you can ignore the blaring TV.
6. Courthouse. Nothing gets done quickly here. Nothing. I had two choices: wait and get nervous or write. I chose writing.
5. Picnic. I had to go to this picnic with people I didn’t like. So I got a plate of food and made small talk, then snuck off and wrote a synopsis while the water fight was going on.
4. Vestibule. In the small space between the inner doors and outer doors of an auditorium at the University of Michigan music school. I was kind of hiding, trying to get away from people because something had upset me. I also thought I’d feel better if I wrote about the upsetting thing, so I sat on the floor and wrote about it.
3. Concert. I go to a lot of orchestra concerts and I’ve taken a lot of notes in the margins of programs. What can I say? Music is inspiring.
2. Church. I unknotted a tricky plot problem during my niece’s confirmation ceremony and scribbled it down between prayers. (Sorry, Lily!)
1. Disney World. Not at the parks, but at the hotel, overlooking the fireworks, which I probably should have watched from my balcony. But I had an idea…
The more I write, the more I realize I’m not in complete control of this process. The muses will visit me whenever they want, not much caring if it’s an appropriate time or not. As long as I’m sitting, I’m fair game for them.
I’ve learned to keep a notebook handy at all times, just in case.
How about you, writer friends? What’s the weirdest place you’ve written?
About the Author: Alex Kourvo writes short stories under her own name and science fiction thrillers under the pen name MH Mead. Not only do the muses visit when she’s sitting down, they also live in her shower and accompany her on long car trips.
[Photo credit: Thomas Hawk, under a creative commons license 2.0, via wikimedia commons]