Productive Spaces: the Productivity of being Flexible

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I have a small home office. Complete with desk, shelves, printer, ambient lighting, inspiring paintings, and reference books. But in the morning, the sun comes in the house here. It’s a an empty soon-to-be baby room with psychedelic wallpaper of safari animals.

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In the spring, this trees blooms, and so I sit here, smell here, have coffee right under it. Sometimes the neighbors give me long Dutch stares. Sometimes a child stops by with a soccer ball to ask me a question I don’t understand. (I know neither Dutch nor soccer.)

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In summer, it’s usually the backyard. Everyone is close at hand, but the eight-foot-tall fences allow me only to speculate, and hence, to write. A little girl yells. A bike bell dings. Someone splashes in–what is that?–a kiddie pool. A moped passes far too quickly in the back alley.

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And none of this is as perfect as it sounds. Sometimes the writing comes; sometimes it sticks like globs of crunchy peanut butter to the back of my brain. Sometimes it rains on my laptop and I have to run inside. Soon, there will be a baby in one of my writing rooms, and so I’ll have to move on. And that is, I think, what writers do: move on. Change perspective even if it only means the domestic scenery. Write in the attic laundry room where the morning light also comes in quite nicely.

(For a short piece of fiction on this topic, see “The Year-Ago You” published online at Tethered by Letters: http://tetheredbyletters.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=380.)

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Writing between a Rock and a Hard Place, or a Garbage Can and a Vent

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Sometimes when things aren’t going my writing way, I need more of something not going my way. Because sometimes, something that shouldn’t work, does. I shouldn’t be inspired by the smell of rotting banana peels or the awkward huffing of a ventilation fan, and shouldn’t shouldn’t be the most important word in a sentence.

Poem promo update: I just finished putting flyers in the doors of all my neighbors. I can’t yet promise any poems fully in Dutch, so we’ll see if I get any takers. As always, to take your free poem, click here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165156186/custom-poem-for-25-cents-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_feat.

Productive Spaces: A Canalside Park

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I came across this poem while on a recent walk, and if there’s one thing I like more than walks, it might be surprise poetry in the countryside. It also came as a surprise that my Dutch is progressing well enough for me to read it. Thank you to Hans Ridden, and thank you to the person who took her walk with a piece of laminated paper, a metal stick and a sledgehammer.

Then I sat on these chairs and watched a man fish.

Only 5 days down in the poetry promotion, and 28 poems already sold. Get your own surprise poem while they last: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165156186/custom-poem-for-25-cents-free-shipping?ref=shop_home_feat.

Productive Spaces: an Amsterdam Houseboat

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Two photos of the boat’s living room, which has been partially plastered in book wallpaper, assuring no pages fall off their shelves when the barges go by in the morning. The only binding to carry a title is The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, by Edith Holden, published posthumously in 1977. Even reading Edith’s Wiki page (found here) is enough to make one want to write. And so I did.

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