Monday, 30 May 2016

Writing under siege in my shed - Lari Don

This spring, I’ve been writing in the garden shed. The shed is home to lots of tools and paint pots, but there's also a desk, which is vital when my house has been taken over by a revising teenager on exam leave.

In many ways, my shed is a lovely place to work. So I shouldn’t be surprised that other beings, smaller than me, choose to work there too.

Recently, for example, I have been joined by:

Wasps, building a nest, and buzzing busily;

Spiders, building cobwebs, and lurking quietly.

This has made writing a bit difficult. I have a genuine fear of spiders (in a running about screaming sort of a way) and though I’ve never had a problem with wasps before, being shut in a small wooden box with a large angry wasp (understandably angry, after I’ve knocked her nest down with a brush) is not relaxing.

The stress and occasional terror of sharing my creative space with small scary beasties has added a certain tension to my writing of battle scenes and character betrayals. It has sometimes felt like writing under siege, listening for every little buzz, flinching at every tiny movement, suspicious of every shadow.

But, to calm me down after all the unwelcome visitors, I’ve had a one very welcome visitor – my lovely tortoiseshell cat Winnie, who has now realised she can get pawprints all over my manuscripts in the shed as well as the house.

Here is a picture of my cat. I do not have any pictures of the smaller visitors, because I was too busy dealing with them (and my fear of them) to take photos.

So, that’s the wildlife (and tame-life) I’ve been sharing my writing with this month. What wildlife do other writers share their working day with, willingly or unwillingly?

Lari Don is the award-winning author of more than 20 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers. 


Anonymous said...

I'm sharing my writing space at the moment with that very seasonable beastie, the revising teenager. Still, not long now - last exam is Wednesday and back to school on Monday. Strange how unsettling it is to have someone else in the house when I'm working, even when, as most of the time, she is quietly getting on with the revision. I think it's the not knowing when I might be interrupted.

Lari Don said...

that's exactly it Carol - not knowing whether / when you might be knocked out of your fictional world, makes it very hard to enter in the first place. I can heartily recommend a shed, even one inhabited by beasties... I hope the exam season has gone well, and best of luck for the last one on Wednesday!