Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: With the weather (finally!) warming up around this neck of the woods, the temptation to take our work outdoors is growing. Do you write “al fresco”? Why or why not?
Lisa J. Jackson: Oh, definitely, yes! In the mornings I sit out on my deck – love feeling the sun warm me up as it rises above the trees. In the afternoons, I enjoy sitting out at a table with a canopy, so I can partake of the fresh air and be shaded from the sun, while having an icy beverage. I love being able to write al fresco, especially with pen and paper!
Diane MacKinnon: I love to write outside. I especially love taking my journal to the beach and writing while listening to the crashing of the waves. One December I took a beach chair and a sleeping bag to the beach on a day when a storm was approaching, and I’ll never forget the way the waves pounded the beach and the wind whipped the spray toward me. Rather than making me feel small, I felt like I was a part of Mother Nature’s majesty that day, and many days since.
Sitting on my back deck writing on my laptop with my feet up is good, too!
Jamie Wallace: Though I love the idea of writing outdoors, I rarely take advantage of the opportunity. The truth is that while the concept is an alluring one, the practice usually leaves me stiff and sore. Those idyllic stock photos of writers pecking away at a laptop keyboard amidst a field of wildflowers, or scrawling who knows what wisdom in a Moleskine notebook while perched atop a trailside boulder do not, in my experience, reflect reality. When I try to channel my inner Thoreau, I usually wind up contorted over my notebook, scribbling in an almost illegible handwriting that makes me cringe with shame.
Happily, my living room (where I do most of my writing, either curled up on the couch with a notebook, or seated at my one-of-a-kind writing desk) almost feels like being outside. The whole front wall is glass – a big slider and four large picture windows. There’s a busy bird feeder on the deck directly in front of my desk, and the view beyond is of the sky and the river. Now that the weather has warmed up, I open up both door and windows and invite the outdoors in. It’s lovely, really.
Wendy Thomas: Like Jamie, I love the idea of writing outside. However, because I do so much work on a computer, it’s a little difficult. The glare from the screen, the necessary power source, the bugs, the red correcting pen I left inside the house…
The idea is beautiful – communing with nature as you write. Who wouldn’t want that, right?
But the reality (for me anyway) is that I’d rather do my writing in the house near an open window and save my outdoor time for doing outdoor activities.
Deborah Lee Luskin: My 8′ x 10′ studio has six windows, so it’s like writing outdoors – with all the conveniences of power, window screens and great views of woods and a meadow.