You wrote that where???

Hi everyone,

A couple of days ago Jane Yolen posted a poem here that she wrote in the airport as she waited to board a transatlantic flight. I don’t know if she pecked it out on her phone or was sitting on an airport bench with an iPad on her lap. However she did it, writing a poem was one of the last things she did before boarding her plane. I say one of her last things because who knows what else she wrote in those closing minutes before she had to put her toys away for a while.

We talk again and again about how writers somehow manage to write in spite of distractions that everyone faces. This made me wonder about unusual places where other writers have put their time to good use.

When my mother entered her last years, she was prone to wind up in ER when she had a sinking spell. I would go with her and sit in her room during the several hours that it invariably took to get her tested and out of there. One night I spent eight hours sitting in a chair while Mom was tested and eventually admitted overnight. I had a small note pad and a pencil in my pocket so I wrote a 670-word article for my Poet Profile in Sylvia Vardell’s book, POETRY ALOUD HERE.
Poetry Aloud Here 2
So what about the rest of you? Tell us about the most unusual places you’ve managed to get off some writing. I’d love to know.

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13 comments on “You wrote that where???

  1. Hospitals seem like a good place to get stuff done. Last year when I had the broken knee, I drafted many poems for a collection and wrote my March Madness poems while waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my orthopedic appointments. This year, now that I’m pregnant, I have lots of time at the hospital again, but no concentration for writing. So I’ve been using that time to read Kooser’s POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL and some small volumes of poetry.

    • Haven’t read POETRY HOME REPAIR but am a fan of Kooser’s work and sometimes quote his poems in talks. Maybe we should get up a hospital writing club. I wonder if others will have similar stories to tell. Of course we’d have to admit writers who don’t happen to be preggers . . . .

  2. I live in Chicago and ride the bus and subway frequently. I jot down notes on things I hear and see. (City theater) I haven’t finished a project yet, but I will.

    • Thanks! That’s putting your ride time to good use. I can’t do that in the car because I can’t read my notes later.

  3. As a reporter during the Iranian hostage crisis in the 80s, I was sent to the family home of Rocky Sickman, a Marine and hostage. They lived on a rural road in Warsaw, Mo., north of Washington. It was in the dead of winter, I had the flu, and I stood on their front lawn with a few other reporters as we waited for word from the family inside the moment the hostages were to be released. It was so cold my ink pen froze, and I had switched to pencil as I wrote the beginning lines and sections of the story for my newspaper in Springfield. We waited long, long hours, and as it grew dark, I packed up without a conclusion. It would be more hours before the formal release.
    And I wrote it, standing up, wind whipping around me, on a skinny reporter’s notebook.

    • Good grief! Kathleen, what a story of writing under the worst of conditions. It must have taken you a week to thaw out. Thanks for reminding us that reporters are definitely not sissies!

      • I remember what a tense time it was. Doesn’t seem like that long ago but I know it was.

  4. I tend to do most of my writing at home, but I work out a lot of my lines and words just about anywhere I may be: driving in the car, at the park with my kids, cooking dinner. Consequently, when I do sit down at my computer, I often already have a good idea of what I want to do and how I want to approach the poem or book. (The past few Poetry Fridays, I haven’t had anything ready until Thursday night, and have had to bang the poems out in only an hour or so – so working out concepts and such beforehand is invaluable!

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