Sunday, October 27, 2013

NaNoWriMo is Dawning


Are you ready?  Have you cleared your November calendar? Have you registered for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)?  If you have you can officially call yourself a "WriMo."  If you want to know how I really feel about this great event click on the link below:

http://www.heliumnetwork.com/nanowrimo-acronym-pat-w-coffey/#!

Happy writing to all WriMos!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"You Can't Go Home Again" or Can you?

Each time I arrive in Chicago I recall Thomas Wolfe's book You Can't Go Home Again. The Chicago I visit today is not the city I  once knew. The landscape in some ways is the same and in so many ways it has changed. Significant buildings have had their names changed. The people, though still friendly, look tried and worn down.

"The Chicago Public Library" was located on 78 E Washington St.  Its construction lasted from 1893-1897 under the designing hand of Robert C. Spencer and J.L. Holzer. It was renovated and updated in the 1970's. Today it is known as the Chicago Cultural Center.  
Harold Washington Public Library
The Harold Washington Public Library (now the main branch of the Chicago Public Library System) is located at State/VanBuren. It is ablaze in metal, lights, and technology. As it should be, hey, everyone knows the card catalogue drawers are all but gone. 

 The train station I use to sell donuts at on Veterans Day as a young Camp Fire Girl is no longer in existence. My son recently bought a 20 year old town house on the spot.  "Bar Louie" seems to be occupying one of its entrances.

View of Chicago Skyline
From West Loop
While striving for economic security in my twenties, I  wanted to live in the downtown area or along "the Lake Shore. " To me downtown was the pulse of Chicago. Great museums, world-class art, theatre, sporting events, and five star dining.  I loved the architecture and the outdoor art that seem to open spaces in the tight city.  I love the trees. Chicago plants trees. Merchants have flowers: begonias, coleus, hydrangeas. The dry desert climate where I currently live makes it very difficult for those species to thrive.

Well, I still feel that pulse. I see families shopping, eating, walking, folks on bikes, lovers, neighborhood bars, and non-franchised restaurants. I see renewal. Wolfe was right "You can't go home  again" to experience your childhood or past memories. Your city changed and grew up like you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Where do I write?


My ideal setting for writing is a room full of inspiration. It is clutter free, equipped with a pot of fresh coffee or tea  (depending on the time of day). There is large dry eraser board for me to write notes to myself as inspiration strikes. Of course large sheets of paper sticking to the walls, so I can write story lines, avail myself to spontaneous character development, or left my muses spark new ideas on the papered walls while I am writing.

In reality, the room I call my office,  the room I seek calm and serenity to write is smack in the middle of the family photo storage (as in pre-digital photos). My grown children's mementos that "someday" I am going to place in a scrapbook fill a cupboard/bookcase. It has novels that I have read and kept because I like them. (I donate my books at the end of the year if I don't think I will use again).

My writing reference books occupy an entire book shelf. Another bookcase is filled with cookbooks (that's another blog) and supplies. I have an ancient PC and a large printer. Why? It's my back up. My laptop and I have had a contentious relationship (that's another blog).  Besides my sons built that "Hummer of a PC"  more than six years ago for me.

My desk under the window is suppose to be a writing space. Realistically 85% of the time it is the catch all for papers, bills, and stuff when we quickly clean up the upstairs for "company." The writers in the audience truly will understand that concept.   No, if this writing place feels crowded, it is! It is only an  8 x8 room with a wonderful window.

My goal is to eliminate the clutter, organize the work flow, and get ready for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. Right now, the progress is slow. Other projects are calling me, but I am not discouraged. I have been known to be a clutch player.

So, when someone ask me where do I write?
Right now it is anywhere that is quiet, bright, and supports my "muses."  In other words, have laptop will write. In the meantime, have office, will clean by November.

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