Monday, October 28, 2013

Goldilocks Goes to the Library

I retired a year and a half ago, but it didn't stick. Although I never expected to be fully retired quite this early, the speed at which new pursuits have taken over my life has left me a little breathless. I thought I'd have lots of time to write -- to revive my freelancing, work on all those works-in-progress that had  become stalled for lack of time and attention -- but many days, I find myself back in the "too much to write, not enough time" boat that was sinking when I worked full-time.

This new version of an old state of affairs sometimes relegates writing to the nooks and crannies of my day. Fortunately, I learned how to use that approach successfully over the last decade, so although it's disappointing, it's not unworkable.
And so it was that I found myself in the college library on Friday morning. I had made plans to meet a student and after our business was complete, I had about an hour before my next appointment. Anticipating this (as all good writers on the run do), I had tucked hard copies of the chapters I was working on into my bag. Now all that remained was to find a place to work.

I love settling into a comfy chair and digging into the pages, but on Friday, I felt a little like Goldilocks. The same chairs that were typically unoccupied when I stopped in after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays were occupied by students  -- some alone, some in groups and one asleep, stretched out on a sofa on the second floor. There were still chairs available in these groupings, and while I wouldn't have hesitated to sit right down if I'd been at Starbucks, I felt a little creepy doing so as a fifty-two-year old adjunct in a library full of college students. These chairs were too full, so I moved on.

There were chairs available in the lobby, but in addition to the noise factor (minimal though it was in a library), these chairs were placed beside heating vents pumping out warm air. After spending 30 minutes or so traipsing around campus, the last thing this middle-aged woman needed was hot air blowing down her neck. These chairs were too hot, so I moved on.

I finally landed at a study carrel in the quiet zone. Wait. There was a quiet zone? Well, of course there was -- I was in a library! Although I hadn't used a study carrel in more than 30 years, I needed a quiet place to work, and this was what was available, so I took it. Oddly enough, this chair was just right.

I'd like to conclude by saying that I got a pile of work done, but between the time it took to settle into a work space, my upcoming appointment and the fact that my daughter and I ended up in a text discussion (with my phone on silent, of course -- I was in the quiet zone after all), there was more ambiance than work involved in my trip to the library.

But I've discovered a new work space, one that a friend in my writers' group swears by. And I think perhaps it's time I took better advantage of it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Celebrate the Book this Saturday

On Saturday, Oct. 19th, I'll be one of many authors participating in the Celebrate the Book event in Carlisle, sponsored by Bosler Library.

This year the venue has changed to St. Patrick's School at 85 Marsh Drive, in Carlisle, and is a one-day event from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Click here for directions.

Bestselling authors Maria V. Snyder and Jennifer Armentrout are scheduled to attend, with Dr. Eben Alexander as this year's featured author. Sunbury Press, which this summer released my collection of short stories, Wild Life, is among attending publishers. You can view the entire list here. And check out the schedule and more at Celebrate the Book's site.

I hope to see you there!