As I write this, there is a painter on a ladder literally RIGHT outside my window. He’s scraping, and I can hear him breathing, and talking on his phone from time to time, and chatting with the other painters below him on the deck. I’ve never written with such a close audience, but the weird thing is I am getting used to it. I have learned that with writing, I can get used to anything.
We’re building a garage right now, with an office above it for me. Which, hopefully, will make me feel like more of a Real Writer than I do right now, as I sit on a futon in my mismatched guest room, my Mac in my lap. I do have an office here in the house, but it’s in open space right as you come up the stairs, and I can hear every single word from downstairs. Which was one thing when I just had the dogs to deal with. But now there’s the baby, and the babysitter, and the phone ringing, and the dogs and…well, you get the idea. So I started Along for the Ride in the guest room, and wrote it as I moved around to various places, wherever I could carve out a bit of quiet and stillness. It’s kind of bizarre, but it cured my superstition of thinking that I NEED a set place to work. Clearly, I don’t.
Still, I’m really excited about my new office. It will actually be separate from the house, so I can “go to work,” and I’ll have a place for people to interview me if they need to without having to bring them into the house proper. Until then, though, I have to deal with the construction, and the work we’re doing at the same time on the existing house, like having all the paint scraped and redone. People are constantly coming and going. Compressors pop, ladders clang, huge trucks pull up and dump lumber and more lumber while the dogs go absolutely nuts. My husband is a contractor, which makes all this much easier, but it’s still hectic. This is progress, though, or so I am learning. It takes a lot of chaos to make something great, as well as a lot of people. It’s not unlike writing a book, really. I do it alone, sort of. But I also have my all this help: my editor, who helps me write on the page, my babysitters, who LITERALLY help me write by taking such good care of my daughter. (Not for nothing are they all acknowledged in Along for the Ride, by name.) And that’s not even mentioning everyone else who gets involved once the book is done. But everything’s worth it, and the renovation and construction is the same way. Even if it means this guy right over my shoulder, so close he can probably read this as I’m writing it.