“Writing Space: Ideal vs. Reality” by Christi Corbett
When I was young, I pictured the location where authors/writers did their work. It was always some variation of the following:
The recently showered and fully dressed author/writer pads down a long hallway and opens a door to their own private writing space. Clutching a mug of tea/coffee, the writer sits down at a comfortable chair located behind a highly polished, very organized mahogany desk. There is a wall of books on one wall and a window with a completely astounding view of a lake, a mountain, or a field of wildflowers.
Selecting a full pen from a drawer, the author/writer thinks for a long moment and at the precise moment inspiration hits, leans over a clean piece of paper and the words begin to flow.
Then I became a writer. Here is the reality.
On a typical day, when I’ve begged and pleaded for time to write, I can count on a minimum of five interruptions per hour. Last time I reserved a block of time to write I kept track of said interruptions for my own amusement.
6:30 AM Hubby wants to know where the flea powder is—dog is scratching
6:41 AM Hubby comes in room for some clothes
7:01 AM Hubby brings me breakfast (OK—this one is great! Love him!)
7:09 AM Powdered, yet still scratching, dog is let into the room
7:25 AM Kids come in to see if I have any bacon left and can they have it
7:36 AM Boy twin comes in for a hug
7:42 AM Hubby needs toilet paper, where are extra rolls kept?
8:08 AM Girl twin needs me to fix her hair
8:25 AM Knock at window reveals family showing ripened tomatoes
8:26 AM Boy twin can’t find toy army men… do I know where they are?
8:50 AM Girl twin wants to weigh herself
9:01 AM Hubby needs jersey to watch upcoming football game
9:17 AM Hubby wants to know if he can pull bread from freezer
And so on.
So, that is a typical block of “writing time” for me. Now, let’s move on to the instruments for said writing.
My computer is ten years old, shuts off at will (usually when I haven’t saved in a while or I’m in the middle of a fantastic run of words), and is located in a peeling wood veneer cabinet that is shoved in the corner of my bedroom. My kids find everything in the cabinet fascinating and things disappear at will. (4-year-old twins find calculators, screen cleaners, coasters, my drafts, and note cards to be much fun to play with).
Sometimes I don’t use the computer. When inspiration strikes I use anything that is at hand. Some examples:
• Sticky notes (they paste so nicely to the computer monitor, don’t they?)
• Backs of envelopes
• Any kind of paper with a blank space on it anywhere
• You get the drift
As for writing utensils… our pens never have ink in them (my fault since I leave them clicked open all the time), so I’ve had to improvise at times:
• Dry erase markers
• And my personal favorite—using the tip of an empty pen to gouge the words into the paper. Trust me, if you’ve got a great flow of words coming to you this will work!
It is during these times that I try to remember it all comes down to this: How you write doesn’t matter, as long as you’re writing!
Author Spotlight! — NEW RELEASE! — “Tainted Dreams,” the standalone sequel to Christi Corbett’s debut novel, “Along the Way Home”
Genre: Historical Western Romance/Frontier and Pioneer Romance
Sometimes, the end justifies the means…
Kate Davis arrived into Oregon City transformed from a pampered daughter of fortune into a determined woman with a plan–fulfill her father’s dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory.
She quickly discovers a harsh truth–even thousands of miles from home, on an unsettled land America doesn’t yet own or govern, gender still takes precedence over ability. Refusing to be ruled once again by the stifling laws and societal norms she’d escaped by leaving Virginia, Kate begins creatively claiming what is rightfully hers.
Until a visit to the land office changes everything.
Jake Fitzpatrick guided Kate across the Oregon Trail, and fell in love with her along the way. Now he wants to marry her and build a life together, but a ruthless man from Jake’s past threatens to reveal a dark secret, and destroy everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.
Excerpt from “Tainted Dreams”: (Jake, Kate, and two people they rescued on the Oregon Trail, William and Margaret, have entered Oregon City. They are looking for the hotel.)
At the end of the block a man burst from the saloon and stumbled into the street, stopping mere inches from Jake’s horse, Plug. Instead of backing away, the man lurched forward and reached for Jake’s saddle horn.
“Hey there!” Jake said. Raising his left leg, he ignored the resulting twinge of pain and shoved the stranger aside with his boot heel. “Watch it!”
The man drew back and stared at him, his eyes bloodshot and unfocused. He raised an unsteady finger, slurred an unintelligible response, and then fell face-first into a patch of mud.
“Drunken fool,” Jake muttered, then faced the others. “Let’s keep moving.”
High-pitched squealing foiled his plan.
On the upper deck of the saloon a horde of harlots stood clustered together, giggling and shrieking as they pointed toward him. Clenching his jaw, he focused on the street ahead, all the while hoping Kate didn’t notice one woman in particular who’d separated herself from the others and was now hanging over the railing, calling him by name.
Jake pressed his boot heels into Plug’s side, urging him to a steady trot. Thankfully the others followed and they quickly left the saloon behind.
Minutes later, Kate motioned to the end of the street. “William, we’re running out of road and I still don’t see a hotel.”
William pulled a rumpled paper from his pocket. He studied it briefly and then eyed the surrounding buildings. “My uncle sent me a rough sketch of where it’s located, but there are so many new buildings, it’s useless. Jake, do you know where it’s at?”
Jake shook his head. “There wasn’t a hotel the last time I was here.”
“Perhaps one of those men sitting in front of the apothecary would know?” Margaret suggested.
“We’ll find it ourselves,” Jake replied. He led the group around the corner and onto the next street.
Buildings, so new their fresh pine scent still hung in the air, lined one side of the street while the other side held only two—an enormous livery and a two-story building with the word Hotel prominently displayed on a white sign with black lettering. A matching sign beside a light-rimmed window read Rooms Available by the Day or Week.
They dismounted, secured their horses to the empty hitching posts in front of the hotel, and headed for the door. William reached for the glass knob, then turned to the others with a worried frown.
“I haven’t seen my uncle in over seven years, so I don’t know what to expect. Though from what I’ve observed so far, living out west doesn’t seem to improve manners.” He stepped inside and ushered Margaret and Kate through the doorway. Jake followed them, then stopped cold.
Behind the hotel’s front desk sat Theodore Martin—the one man Jake never wanted to see again as long as he lived.
“Tainted Dreams” is available from the following retailers:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tainted-dreams-christi-corbet/1121906167?ean=2940151530439
Tags/Keywords: Oregon Territory, Oregon Trail, pioneer romance, frontier romance, 19th Century American History, Oregon History, Clean Read, Tainted Dreams, Along the Way Home, Christi Corbett
A Quick Glimpse of “Along the Way Home”
They lost everything but their dreams on the Oregon Trail…
Kate Davis is intrigued when her father reveals his dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory. Settlers out west value a strong woman, and though she manages the financials of her father’s mercantile her competence earns her ridicule, not respect, from Virginia’s elite society.
Jake Fitzpatrick, an experienced trail guide, wants land out west to raise cattle and crops. But dreams require money and he’s eating dandelion greens for dinner. So when a wealthy businessman offers double wages to guide his family across the Oregon Trail, Jake accepts with one stipulation–he is in complete control.
Departure day finds Kate clinging to her possessions as Jake demands she abandon all he deems frivolous, including her deceased mother’s heirlooms. Jake stands firm, refusing to let the whims of a headstrong woman jeopardize the wages he so desperately needs–even a beautiful one with fiery green eyes and a temper to match.
Trail life is a battle of wills between them until tragedy strikes, leaving Jake with an honor-bound promise to protect her from harm and Kate with a monumental choice–go back to everything she’s ever known or toward everything she’s ever wanted?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/along-the-way-home-christi-corbett/1115565754?ean=2940016594514
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6-Cj2AxYp0
About the Author
Christi Corbett, winner of the 2013 RONE Award for Best American Historical novel, lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband and their twin children. The home’s location holds a special place in her writing life; it stands just six hundred feet from the original Applegate Trail and the view from her back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.
Connect with Christi Corbett online:
About Guest Posts
Your comments are welcome on my Facebook author page. Also, when authors include links to social pages and web sites, they look forward to hearing from you. If you like a post, share it with others. Click here to learn more about guest posts.