Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Work Stations

Usually my work station is my desk at home, at my computer, comfortably located by bookshelves piled high with research books, hard copies of manuscripts covered with comments and a cold diet coke.

At the end of the week we are heading north from Florida to New Jersey in a car packed to the gills with clothes, business papers and my computer and manuscripts. Lugging all the stuff into the motel at night isn't pretty.

So my work station for the next week will be the front seat of the car with my laptop and my paper copies of stories. Actually as you get moving down the highway it's great to break the tedium with work - it's actually easy to work - as long as the driver watches the road.

Most importantly, I want to guard my manuscripts, so I carry my laptop, forward manuscripts to my email to download back in NJ, and also store them on my flash stick. And then I guard the flash stick.

When I start to move with all my writing gear I'm reminded of a friend's aunt. She wrote novels long before there were copy machines, computers and flash sticks to store work. The aunt would arrive at family parties carrying a large metal roasting pan, in which she had protected her latest manuscript! She was afraid her house would burn in her absence. What a relief that we have flash sticks.

So now we're off on a long drive but I know I can improvise and work at my movable work station. Where are your best spots to work and how do you improvise?


  1. How great that you can work in the car. Any kind of reading or writing in the car makes me queasy.

    word veri: cartwf. Kind of how that queasiness feels.

  2. Your aunt's friend is lucky nobody stuck her manuscript in the oven, thinking it was lasagna!

    While I do my best work in my office, I can work anywhere, either on my laptop, AlphaSmart, or scribbling all over hard copies.


  4. My station is at my dining room table, piled high with manuscripts, baby gear, and always a steaming cup of coffee nearby. Good luck working in the car!

  5. I don't think I could work in the car. I like to be alone when I work and, like Marcia, I get queasy if I read. But I do get my best thinking done in the car. A long car ride can produce whole scenes. I got the idea for my current wip while driving home from DC.

    Safe journey home!

  6. I read somewhere that the safest place to leave manuscripts is in the refrigerator.

    Guess you'd need some warm up writing exercises before getting down to work again. :)

  7. Marcia,

    Sorry that you can't work in the car. I do get a lot done - just have to look out every so often and breathe deeply!


    That's what we used to say! Yikes -what if someone put it in the oven?


    I used to use the kitchen table until I finally made my own space.


    Yes - a long car ride is a great
    place to let the mind drift and pick up new ideas and scenes.


    Refrig would be good. That's where people used to hide their $$.


  8. I WISH I could work on long car rides...nope, I get queasy if I even turn around to the back seat to tell my kids to be quiet. Now thinking - yes, that I can get behind! Long car rides, especially when I'm not the driver, is prime to time to let my characters come out to play.

    I do work in my car when I'm waiting for my daughter during her various activites. I take a notebook to jot down ideas or pages to edit. I've gotten some serious work done that way.

    Safe journey home, Eileen!

  9. Robin,

    Thanks - still packing up - but I have my writing files safely ready.

    I carry a notebook too and when waiting for an appointment or someone at the train I can jot ideas down. On a long drive when I'm alone and the driver is naturally when I get the best ideas, and I try to remember the best parts until I get to a rest stop to write!