My Other Office

Out here in Southwest Kansas (yes, I'm a long distance member of WARA, a very looong distance member), there are a lot of miles between important places. Important as in the distance between our house, located in the middle of a wheat field, to a loaf of bread. The nearest loaf for purchase is twenty-two miles away. The bank is forty-five.

Some people think, when they get here, that there is a lot of nothing out here. They're wrong, of course, but it really depends upon your view.


The View! The sky is what we look at, it is constantly changing and has the most fascinating things in it. From dirt to jets, yes, the sky has the good stuff.

However, when it comes to writing, my little two watt brain gets stuck quite frequently and can't find the word it is looking for. When it isn't concentrating on a word or two, it is trying to figure out how my characters are going to get out of the situation I've written them in to. Then is when the distances out here really shine. That forty-five minutes it takes to drive to town for an implement part or that loaf of bread is when my little brain starts firing off all kinds of ideas. I don't scream to a stop for the cell phone--no signal anyway. Nope, it's to get down on paper that word, idea, scene that just popped into my Easy-Bake Oven brain and started cookin'.

If it weren't for the price of gas, I'd do all my writing in the front seat of the car/pick-up truck. My laptop beside me instead of paper and a cooler full of ice cold coke sittin' on the passenger floorboard. Yup, that'd be the life. Driving from hither to yon. Sometimes parking under a cottonwood tree, listening to the birds, pounding away at the keyboard until the next moment I need to start driving again. (bathrooms are far between too!) Of course the wind wouldn't blow dirt in the windows and biting flies wouldn't even exist to bother me.

But whether my imaginary office ever materializes or not, the act of driving does somehow release a part of my creativity that works on the stories I write. With ideas blossoming and problems being solved during my long drives to town, writing merely adds more reasons why I love living here.


Melissa Robbins said...

Me too! I get some of my best ideas while driving in the car. Talking to myself in the car is not as weird as it used to be. Now, people think I have an earpiece and I'm talking on my cell phone.

Nina Sipes said...

There's no worries talking to yourself out here--no one to see you. It calms me to drive--maybe because I can't be expected to do anything else while I'm doing it! It's that scramble for the road edge as I get a REALLY hot piece down on paper that might shake up a watcher....

I tried a voice recorder but when I get an idea I get so excited about it that I talk wayyyy to fast into the recorder and tooo loud.

Joan Vincent said...

I love wondering the history of places we pass while driving. If a house or farm is deserted I can weave a variety of plots. If the places are well cared for there are another set of plots that enter my mind. Scenery gives me ideas for settings. That 90 mile drive from Las Animas, CO to Walsenburg was perfect for hillforts.