A different environment

Writing is a deeply social activity, we write so that other can read our stories after all. The difference is that it is largely undertaken in complete solitude. I hear that some writers start their manuscripts in the hubbub of a noisy coffee shop, only moving to more peaceful surroundings for final proofreading and editing. I prefer silence.

It has been something I have struggled to find since moving back to the USA. We lived for eight months in a sleepy rural village called Somerton in the green rolling sheep speckled hills of South-West England. It helped that BoJo had everybody completely locked down for several months, but during that time I was writing at least a chapter a day (1800 words on average). My word rate had dropped precipitously since moving to the US and I blame the environment.

In the UK we would rise late, drink some tea and feast on Warburton’s toasted bread, piled high with hot melting butter, and then walk the dogs across a couple of miles of damp and muddy fields (often having to carry Pi across the deeper puddles).

After a lunch of bacon sandwiches I would settle in to write for at least three hours, intermittently working on a new chapter, and then editing the previous days work, before breaking to drink more tea and watch a Tipping Point on TV.

Here in the States, neither myself or Paula have managed to settle into a good and regular routine. There is always something to be done to the house, or the yard, or things to be purchased. The weather has been too hot and humid to really walk the dogs or play any tennis and my writing routine has largely fallen by the wayside.

Despite all of those things, I am still over half way through the latest work in progress. Its a science fiction story, which should yield a series if I don’t screw it up too badly. The story is set not too far in a dystopian future, where the warlike Maori nation has risen to control what remains of the worlds dwindling resources, and launch an attempt at off-world colonization. Layla and her friends are desperately trying to save the crew and colonists of the “Tuatahi” Galaxy cruiser as she nears her destination.

There are heaps of quantum entanglement and relativistic time dilation issues to deal with which has been fun to research.

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