Tuesday, June 15, 2010


My nest has another new occupant. My 22 yr. old, Brandon, decided to move back home for a while. So now I have Justin (23) and Brandon both home again.  I call them the "boomarang boys". I love it when they come home.  I do! But naturally, I wouldn't be fulfilling my duty if I didn't encourage them to build their own nests and learn to fly on their own.  Since they've already had a taste of that, I'm happy to have my baby adults back home for a season.

To give Brandon his bedroom back, we had to clear the space that had become part storage/part activity room and included my husband's computer area.  My husband now has a corner in the living room for his computer desk as my writing room is a little too girly for him.  Brandon had to take a bunch of storage tubs up to the attic today and the cats followed him - to my chagrin.  If any of you remember our newest member of the family, Justin's kitten Dasha, who got stuck in the dashboard of the car you will understand my concern.  Yes, both cats managed to disappear in the attic floorboards and despite much coaxing, Dasha waited for her "Daddy" Justin to get home from work to come down. Speaking of cats, I almost forgot to mention that Brandon's cat, Snafu, is moving back home with him. This will take a little getting used to for my cat (who probably thinks he's dead) and the new kitty (who has finally befriended my Briar Rose). So, our home has been in a little bit of a tizzy making room, but with much joy. I truly sleep much better with both sons under my roof. Although everyone has busy schedules, I relish the opportunities to spend bits of time together that come from living in the same house.

This "nesting" has me thinking about how I prep for writing. I have a cozy writing room which is my personal writing and computer space so I often go there to get down to business, although sometimes I just cuddle up in bed with pen and paper. When I'm in my office here's what I do to get ready to write.  For inspiration I need my "stuff" in view - the things that when I look at them just fill me.  I set my computer comfortably (since I have a rotating monitor) and adjust the page color in Word (I type with a beige page to be easy on the eyes).  I try to eliminate as many distractions as possible - which is usually sound for me. Thank goodness I can usually tune out the clutter! :)  My writing tools are nearby: research books, computer research and other notes I've collected. I usually refresh my memory with a glance at my research visuals/photos I've gathered.  Occasionally I listen to a little music, but seldom, and only when relevant to the story I'm working on. I prefer absolute quiet.  And when the weather is prime, no matter where I am, the fresh air always gives me a boost.  The most essential element in my writing nest is prayer. I never write with out it.

What do you do to "nest" for writing?


  1. Sometimes it is better not to ask:

    Step 1: Make all "those people" go away - outside, to work, to the basement anywhere that will keep them from saying, "I'm sorry to interrupt you, but..."

    Step 2: Clean the desk (ie. Take care of the piles that will distract me.)

    Step 3: Open my document and read what I've previously written.

    Step 4: Spend about 3 hours on Facebook. (I call this "brewing time", where I am mulling over what to write next.)

    Step 4: Realize it is supper time and have to abandon my writing for the day.

  2. 'Absolute quiet'....hmmmm....not sure I know what that is...but I'd sure like to hear it.

  3. First step is to turn off the morning talk shows, then disconnect from the internet.

    If I manage that, I then look over my notes and dive back in where I left off.

    Absolute quiet never happens for me. I need to power to go out to get that. :D

  4. The living room is half living room, half my writing space, so I have to do all I can to tune out sound too. I wear earplugs in a silent house, that's how sensitive I am to noise. I wish I could tune it out, but don't seem able.

    Enjoy your full nest! I came back to my nest once, too, and brought my mate with me. My parents put up with us for 18 months before we finally flew permanent-like.

  5. This is so funny. Nothing!!

    And I should. I really should. Right now our life is still in transition, as my husband is between jobs and we are living with family. My writing for others emerged in the midst of this situation.

    But maybe one day, I'll have my own writing nook somewhere.

  6. I sort of take my laptop all over the home, but there are definitely ritual-like things I do before I can jump into writing. Like check my email and twitter first. Get hot tea and a snack. Wear something comfortable. :)

  7. I like your new pic, Carla & Snafu is a great cat name!

    With two preschoolers I must make do without the absolute quiet part. My routine is:

    1) Put the 2-year-old to nap.

    2) Offer my 5-year-old a fresh fruit popsicle if she will agree to play in the backyard.

    3) Grab my laptop, sit in my window seat and write as quickly as I can between my daughter popping in and out of the house.

    4) Try to remind myself that this is a season and enjoy the time with my littles. Someday I know it will be them, not the writing time I'm missing.


  8. When I'm serious about writing, I make a cup of hot tea, load my favorite music playlist onto the computer, put on headphones, check my email accounts, toss the cats off my desk, load my Word document, give the cats a treat and toss them off my desk again, then reread everything on the last page I wrote the previous writing session. Usually I'm good to go from there.

    My 3 "kids," age 24, 21, and 20, are home for the summer, so I understand how wonderful it feels to have the nest full. Even though we want them to be independent, it's nice to have another chance to spend time with them before they are out on their own.


  9. Love your wording - the boomerang boys! So creative! I know many parents whose adult kids have come home again.

    Yes, I must admit, prayer undergirds my writing nest. I feel quite feeble without it. No wings at all:) I think my writing props must be beloved books, my very old dictionary and thesaurus, and paper and pen over a laptop any day. Fun to think about!

  10. Hi Carla -

    I need quiet. Interruptions pull me out of the story world, which disorients me.


  11. Hi Carla--

    Love this post! With teen-age girls, my nest will be emptying sooner than I think--but I have a strong feeling that they will be "boomerangs" also. (Somehow boomerang girls doesn't have the same ring to it, though!)

    Let's see. Nesting to write. I've tried a desk in the basement that originally was dedicated to me and my computer; that got filtched as the girls realized that computer was faster than the other one in the basement. Plan 2: each girl in the house, Mom included, has their own laptop. Has worked with the youngest since "Santa" visited last year, the older one still "borrows" mine to watch shows on Hulu while she works on her own laptop. Claims that the wireless doesn't work on her computer as well. Plan 3: Work after 11 pm or get up at 4 am when everyone else is in bed! Problem: my brain doesn't function at those hours!
    Yes, I need to develop a consistent plan and stick with it. Having regular work hours would help: I've switched jobs, and my hours range anywhere from 7am-5:30 pm, 10 am-8:30 pm, OR 5am-3:30 pm. (10 hour shifts, even at a desk job, exhaust me.) Which is why I haven't been online much; I can't access any blog content from work because of security issues, and anything deemed "hobbyist" (this includes official organization websites) is blocked (and logged by IT as trying to utilize worktime for inappropriate internet use.) So any time I do have, I'm using to WRITE. (I'm more like groovyoldlady on my days off!)

  12. Hi Carla!
    Fun to have your sons home; I know you will love it!
    Just wanted to ask you about your blog button: it isn't showing up on my blog or yours (just a blank box with an x in the corner on both of our blogs), so wondered if you knew what my problem might be? I'm using IE right now; don't know if it's any different in Firefox (I will check).
    Faith's Firm Foundation

  13. I try to be alone. Sit in my double wide chair with my laptop, a glass of water,a heavy dose of sugar first, and a pen, pad and my book on editing:))

  14. I'm just loving listening to you all on your own version of "nesting"! What many of you said reminds me: check my email and facebook, when I've done that I'm good to go!

  15. Wendy, Sorry about my badge not showing up. Please change the code and it will be all set. Thanks!


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