Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friends Don't Let Friends Write Alone

You know how, when very young children first start to play together, they do what's called "parallel play"? They play side-by-side, but not interacting. I've done that with writer friends for years. We sit in the same room, each of us writing, both of us agreeing on no interruptions until an hour or so has passed. Then we might stop for coffee or a snack, maybe some chitchat, maybe not, and only for a little while. Then we get back to writing. We never read our work to each other, or critique it, though we might brainstorm a little. We're there to write. The stereo sound of our tapping fingers spurs us on. It's a companionable, satisfying way to work sometimes, especially if we're tired of isolation, or we're stuck in our writing. Today I'll be over at my friend Sally's house, on a porch very like the one in the photo, and she'll be sitting on her wicker couch working on her novel, and I'll be nearby in a wicker chair working on my novel. We'll work like that off and on for hours, and then again tomorrow. If I'm lucky, I'll get to stay for supper. :)

I hope your Saturday has good friends and good work and good rest in it, too.


Nancy P said...

It's 3 a.m. and I still can't sleep. I may fall asleep in that wicker chair at Sally's house.

Kimberly Frost said...

Good morning, Nancy:

I have a bit of insomnia too, but I'm glad you had an entry up already so I could post a comment before I hit the road today.

I love the picture of the porch, and I love the parallel-play writing style. I've taken to writing with several friends that way and have had a couple of fantastic/productive weeks at the beach with other writers for company. That is the best.

I fly home to Michigan in a couple of hours to see as many of my family/friends as I can cram into the short trip. I hope you and the other Mystery Lifers have a lovely weekend/week.

Take care & get some rest,

GreenMinute said...


supper at Sally's!!!!

I am so sad.

Hi, Sally!

olivia said...

I'm going home too ...
to hopefully return w/ my canoe ... woo hoo ...

Have a lovely w/e everyone.

(Nancy, I love that room ..:)

Family Man said...

Morning Nancy.

Sounds like a wonderful way to write, and that looks like an inviting porch.

Hope you have a productive/relaxing (if you can do that) weekend.

Nancy P said...

A couple of my other writer friends do that group-writing-beach thing, too, Kimberly and they can't praise it enough.

Happy traveling to you and to O. Maybe canoeing means lots of interesting photos?

I know, green. I thought of you. We'll save a chair.

Good weekend to you, FM!

AndiF said...

Illustrated version (specifically, the 3rd stack on the right) of my Saturday thus far.

Next up, cleaning off all the sweat and grit.

Hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend.

Nancy P said...

andif, I'm impressed.

Perhaps you will now qualify to become a Woodsman of the World, if it still exists. It was an early fraternal organization, now known mainly for the unusual and amazing tombstones of its members. The stones are tall tree stumps--the taller the stump, the more "mature" the man at his death. The stumps are frought about with all kinds of carvings and attachments. If there's a cut off branch, it symbolizes his wife! who died earlier than he. Here's an example of one of the

Anonymous said...

I love that idea. And I love that porch!! Parallel writing is now on my list. It sounds like a great way to get work done - and break the solitary writer syndrome.

Waving from San Diego! Gorgeous weather, enjoying a retirement party with friends from my voyage in Fall 2005. Enjoy your productive/relaxing weekend!

Rick Bylina said...

During NANOWRIMO ( ), I've participated in numerous write-ins. We must look like a rather peculiar lot in a coffee shop. YAK, YAK, YAK, then extreme silence for a prescribed timeframe of usually 30 minutes. Then, like a flock of birds that move as one on a silent cue, YAK, YAK, YAK.

Of course, the YAK, YAK, YAK is always accompanied by conspicuous consumption of coffee with caffeine. It is productive. And it is comforting to be reminded that you're not the only person in the world who grumbles at an uncooperative verb or laughs out loud at a punch line holding an illicit adverb.


Sally said...

I am sitting on the porch, holding Nancy hostage. She wants to go to Costco for paper towel, but I think the cool breeze and wonderful (not so) sound of the crickets--and a possible humming bird sighting (it turned out to be a butterfly) are convincing her to stay put. Hi back, Green...come, the table's set!

Nancy thinks I'm I had better do that. I love that Kimberly writes at the beach with friends and that others have found the energy generated with two writers in the same room working eems more than double sometimes. Happy weekend, all.

FARfetched said...

Nancy, that sounds like fun. The thing I've never figured out is how two writers collaborate on a novel: Niven/Pournelle, Clarke/Gentry… ???

That's a nice porch shot. I have a porch that would work for writing, at least during spring & fall… the cats live out there, but after a few minutes of cuddle time, I become part of the background & they go do their own thing.

Hi Kimberly, I grew up in southwest Michigan & was just up there last month to visit with my family. Hope your trip was as good as mine; it was great to see everyone & I got some unexpected writing done while I was there.

Green, did you see me wave from a DRZ-400 last weekend as I went through? If KS is too far, I have a spare chair on the porch at FAR Manor.

AndiF, nice work. I've done a bit of that, but not at this time of year. I'll wait for October to cut wood, heatstroke shouldn't be an issue by then. I've seen some Woodsmen lodges in my travels, so they probably still exist.

Sally… you didn't let Nancy get out before it was time, right? Good of you to have our friend over. :-)

Nancy P said...

Busted, Sally! lol

We wrote! And wrote some more! Brainstormed on her title. Ate her wonderful cooking. I asked to be taken hostage again tomorrow. (After I go to Costco.)

Beth, you'll love parallel play/writing, I promise.

rick that's so funny! The YAK YAK YAK writer bird.

Hi, far! I've written two books with others, one of them with Sally. It's a joy when it's with a talented friend.