clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Take It With You

At left, Finnish children on parade. These are probably refugees of a sort from the war. The photo doesn't clarify beyond saying they are Finnish children.

Copyright free image from wikicommons due to age.

I like this photo for the suitcases.

I lived out of a suitcase like this when I was a little older. I had a "two suit-er" and almost everything I owned fit inside it. Almost.

If I knew I'd be dragging bags after me for the next forty years I might have blown my head off right then. As it is, I've got it pretty good - except that I'm still "Packy the mule" when traveling with Frau Bear. Comes with the role.

I take my fiction with me. A lifetime of being "somewhere else" has taught me how to shut out the outside world. I've talked to writers who need the solitude or the inspiration of the lonely beach or the cry of the loon. I've not however talked to many writers with a number of books in print with this disclosure, however.

I attended one of those high schools without walls. Yes, back in the 1970's there was a move to "break down the walls" and create an immersive flexible environment for learning. These are largely noisy unproductive structures - until you learned to deal with the distractions.

Who knew that I'd be so well prepared for cube farms that I'd find door-less offices and open bullpens comforting?

I think it is all bullshit, by the way. The first thing we give you once you make field-grade in the corporate ranks is a nice think oak door with which you can shut out the rest of the world and get down to that independent knowledge-work of which you do so much.

Yes, I see the satire dripping a bit, as well. I didn't shake my brush well enough on that line.

Anyway, I am one of those knowledge workers and I do shut an oak door and work independently. I also sit in a coffee shop and scratch away. Location means little to me. Focus means everything.

With that, I've had great success carrying a small pocket notebook devoted to the current WIP in my trouser pocket. Last year, I bought a little leather cover for these - typically - Moleskin notebooks. It really helps their endurance.

Anyway, I find carrying my fiction around in my head helps me focus on those things that are lost when I'm wallowing through prose. The chance to be a portable writer gives me the opportunity to have things strike me, record them, and move on where in prior years this inspiration and clarity would have been lost.

When you have a volume, a WIP, a short story, you do carry it around with you.

I'd suggest packing a little bag for it next time and carrying that in your pocket, too.

Your story is a refugee until you finish it and grant it an identity. Help its journey with a little luggage.

You might call it the baggage of your writing. Clever turn, that.

Not clever enough for the remark, though.

Back to it. Work to do.

I should write that down.

No comments: