The Perfect Writing Spot, or: Mules, Spring Shelters, and Space Opera

While walking back to the Spring Shelter at Pokagon State Park, I encountered my wife with a fella named Fred. Good thing too, because I would have made a wrong turn if she hadn't pointed the way, and the right way was still a half mile hike. Fred is the saddle barn's only mule:


I'd planned to work out of the car while she was on the job (I'm revising a novel; she's working for actual pay). But it was a beautiful day, so I decided to walk the to the Spring Shelter even though I'd already hiked almost four miles earlier in the day. It's in a wooded area along the saddle trail and usually quiet, except for the people who go there with empty containers, for the spring water. They've quite literally piped it right out of the ground.


Since I was carrying a leather case with my laptop, iPad, and my ancient iPod, I checked the weather forecast first: No rain predicted. Then I looked at the weather radar: No rain in the region. So I got there, laid my stuff out, and was engrossed in revisions about an hour later when big drops started falling on the keyboard

Just a brief shower to remind me I'm not in charge. And, after all, the Spring Shelter includes ... wait for it ... a shelter. At least I could see the clouds that were the source of my torment; and when I checked the radar, sure enough, there were the showers popping up. Not like last week, where it started raining on my while I mowed the lawn -- despite the fact that there wasn't a single cloud overhead.


Just goes to show, there's no such thing as a perfect writing spot


Mircea Negres Added Jun 7, 2017 - 7:33am
Looks like a very nice place, Mark. It also sounds better than my writing spot. I'm busy with simultaneously doing research for and writing an end-game scenario which involves figuring out what it would take to rescue 4.000.000 people from a genocide.
Neighbors (a furniture re-upholstering business) decided to move, so there was a lot of banging, dragging, in and out, running engines and so on. Then one of my letters made in the paper, so I sent my relatives a picture, so naturally they couldn't smell from thousands of miles away that I was busy, and kept sending me messages. While you're at it, add an unstable data connection and mounting frustration at messages not getting out or coming in. Then there was the landlady who came by for a chat and the kids in the kindergarten next door were more noisy than usual, so down went my concentration and up went my temper.
Finally, I had to leave the house (second time in two days) for a drink at the pub just to calm down, and being in more serious need to chill than the day before, ended up spending the last of my money on five drinks. Heck, right now I'd rather have an uncooperative Mother Nature and a shelter in the woods... 
Mark Hunter Added Jun 7, 2017 - 7:37am
My situation sounds better to me, too! But I've learned to write almost anywhere; I wrote a whole novel in the public areas of my wife's college, before she graduated.
Mircea Negres Added Jun 7, 2017 - 7:45am
I don't know how you pulled that one off. The distractions would've driven me nuts. Gotta play the lottery and win the damned thing, then buy myself a cabin in the Rockies.
S.R. Morris Added Jun 7, 2017 - 5:49pm
From Indiana festivals to camping shelters, there is never very much by way of substance in your writing. Give your readers something to ponder or debate. Just some friendly advice.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 7, 2017 - 7:35pm
You missed Mark's article on Gotham, S. R. Still well worthy of a ponder or three. It's not Mark's fault people have little to no imagination. 
Michael B. Added Jun 7, 2017 - 7:53pm
@ S.R. Morris - Gawd, what a fucking prick! As if you have room to talk, Mr. one and only post was about as interesting as instructions on how to clip one's toenails. You should put out something interesting yourself, but maybe that might be asking too much, lol.
Mark Hunter Added Jun 7, 2017 - 11:37pm
Oh, it was easy, Mircea: 25 years of weekly deadlines working part time at a small town paper trained me to just get the writing done. Then there were the earbuds. OK, it wasn't *that* easy.
Mark Hunter Added Jun 7, 2017 - 11:50pm
S.R., we could debate whether every piece everyone writes should be something to be debated, or whether sometimes it's just nice to sit back and have a laugh or an enjoyable moment ... however, I think I already know where we both land on that one.
I did consider leaving WB once because it seemed like everyone just wanted to argue, and I'm not into that ... but maybe being the guy who doesn't usually stir the pot is exactly my niche. As for pondering, well, if you can't ponder outdoor festivals and mule rides, maybe a lack of imagination is the problem.
Mircea Negres Added Jun 8, 2017 - 4:08am
Mark, there is enough drama in the world. I for one enjoy your articles about the more sedate facets of life in small town America and the average person's mindset, which are closer to humanity than the towering egos and mega stupidity of divisive national and international level figures. Keep writing, you have my support. 
Mark Hunter Added Jun 8, 2017 - 5:06am
Thanks, Mircea! Much appreciated. Sadly, small town America is no longer as sedate as it once was, but we have our moments ... and I do like to think I'm an average person.

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