Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's always Happy Hour at the Chaise Lounge

Last night I described my ideal reading environment. Inspired by today's post on NaBloWriMo, this evening I want to pay tribute to my favorite writing environment.

This is not my chaise lounge. But in case you were
wondering what all the fuss is about...
This is my ode to the chaise lounge.

When my wife and I were married some years ago ("It feels like yesterday, hon, I swear!") she brought along some of her things into our new home. There was an antique waffle iron, a three year old daughter, and a relatively new chaise lounge.

Needless to say, I learned to love all of these.

There is nothing exceptional about the chaise. It is plain and blue, with wooden stubs for legs. It doesn't even match the decor of the bedroom it's in, although that contributes to its appeal. Some parts of the fabric are now slightly worn, so it could definitely use a slipcover. The armrests are not symmetrical, but generously padded, creating lots of interesting ways to get comfortable. But it is still very much an upright chair, so it doesn't lend itself to naps, and that's probably a good thing.

What I like most about the chaise is that it feels like it's built for me. It supports me nicely, with ideal height on both the back and the armrest, and a length that extends precisely to my feet. It is just right for my six-foot-five self. It's ergonomic without intending to be.

The chaise is situated in our bedroom right next to one of two heavily-curtained windows. Outside is a relatively modest, fenced backyard. Within view is our deck, my fledgling apple and pear trees, and the small corner area where I keep our honey bee hive. Just inside the window is a painted wooden sill that is deep enough to support even the largest of coffee mugs, although I tend to prefer tea or water while writing.

Perhaps best of all, the chaise is facing away from our bedroom television, completely eliminating any temptation to become distracted. Instead, it is opposite from a large bookshelf where rests my current reading list and a humble little radio.

Despite being an apparent magnet for laundry begging to be folded, the chaise is regularly cleared off and serves as my writer's lounge. There I find a delicate balance of comfort and inspiration, tucked into a small corner, of a small house, in a large world.

Where do you like to write? In public? In seclusion? Can you write amidst noise or random people, like in a bustling coffee shop? Or do you prefer a more tranquil setting?


  1. I write in my office, usually with the TV going and/or music on. Yeah, I'm not easily distracted - obviously!

  2. Mine is my front porch where I can hear the sound of the water droplets from the tiny fountain head Aaron put in our pond.

    I love writing. I don't do it often, or know how to write well, but when I do, it feels so good. What's the best way to get creative juices flowing??

  3. @Alex - My next questions would be: What are you usually watching or listening to? Or is it just the background noise that you like?

    @Quetsy - Haven't you two had a water feature in just about every home you've lived in? Even in Park Central there was a tiny fountain in the living room!

    As for how to get the creative juices flowing, my only response is that, like most juice, you have to squeeze it out with a bit of force.

    If I go for long stretches without writing, or if I'm blocked while working on a project, I start writing anything and everything. It's probably the writer's equivalent to doodling for artists.

    Think about a person you know. What they like, don't like, and one thing they would never do. Then write a few sentences explaining why they might have to do something they vowed to never do, move somewhere they don't want to live, eat something they hate, etc.

    These "organic" exercises are great for stimulating my brain. They get me thinking creatively, viewing things from angles I hadn't considered before. They've also helped me discover ideas for future stories.

    Try it out, and see if it works for you!