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Get the Cat His Own Contract

WP_20130328_002Living aboard a sailboat is more fun than I had ever imagined. However. It is a fact of life that space is limited. Let me reiterate: L I M I T E D. Also? The chores are endless. Thus, faced with unending temptation  to procrastinate by pulling up floorboards to scrub bilges or polish the exterior stainless fittings, and with four cats who seem to think I exist solely to fill every empty moment of their lives, I like to get the hell out of Dodge in order to concentrate on getting word count each day.

Two miles from the marina is Miro Tea. It’s nestled in the historic part of Old Ballard. (Old being relative – this IS the west coast.) This is where stone and brick buildings built in the very late 1800s are still standing – and have all been redone to bring them up to earthquake code. Lots of ancient wood floors, funky stone or brick walls and exposed steel I beams reinforcing the structure. This is the artsy district in an otherwise blue collar part of town.  This is the long way of saying, that to write, I require tea. Lots of hot, good quality tea.

And music. I pipe the playlist of my choice directly into my brain via a pair of stereo ear buds. Looking for moody, nay — *creepy* music by which to compose your latest Great American Novel? Check out Nox Arcana. Just one example. There are SO many more. Ping me.  I’ll hook you up. I collect creepy and then etch it into my gray matter whilst composing. Only one book has no playlist and that one is because the heroine is deaf. For some reason, it seems to matter that I work in silence on her story.

All this said – that I want to be in a part of town I like, surrounded by other people sipping tea and working on *their* thing du jour, nursing a pot of whichever elixir I’ve chosen for the day – I’ll write anywhere, anytime. A few minutes of boredom are all that are required. My brain starts spinning and characters start talking.

The biggest challenge if I write on the boat, is keeping the felines from ‘helping’. My editor has sent back manuscripts with a slew of nonsense highlighted and a note in the margins saying, “Tell the cat to get his own contract.”

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