It all began with this chair.
When I first started writing, like everyone else, I had to fit the pages in where I could. I'd work at least 10 hours per day, and usually more like 12 or 13, as a trial lawyer. Since I didn’t want to come home and disappear into another room and never see my husband, I learned to write with a lot of background noise – and I mean a lot. Back then we lived in another house, in another state and on a different coast, but we still have the chair. I'd come home, we'd eat and get settled, then the hubby would sit on the couch and watch television or read the paper, and I would plop down in that chair and write. It wasn’t perfect but it worked. Four of my published books were born in that chair.
After a cross-country move and a career switch from full-time lawyer to full-time writer, we set-up an amazing office for me in the new place where I could write every day. There's a nice big desk, with a great window and great chair. Bookshelves with some of my favorite books line the opposite wall. But there's one big problem in this room – the lounging couch thing. Look at it! A friend who also owns it calls it the napping couch. She is exactly right.
The napping couch is green and soft and so unbelievably comfortable. I sit on it and…I fall asleep. Really, right to sleep. I am not alone. The hubby tries to read the paper there on Sundays and frequently drifts off to sleep. There's just something about the lounger that lures you into a state of sleep. So, you’re thinking, just don't sit on it. Yeah, it's not that easy. You sit in that big desk chair but the lounger is right there! It calls to you.
As a result, I frequently, and by that I mean at least part of every single day, write from my family room couch. I'm thinking this goes back to how I learned to write, from a seat in the family room. You will see that I sort of build a nest. To give you the real-life view of this author's house, I didn’t bother to clean or pick-up before I took these photos. The good news is I actually do know how to clean, but you probably can't tell from these. Notice the coffee cup (the one perilously close to my laptop, which drives my hubby nuts). Then there's the water bottle on the cushion and the stack of pillows to the side. You'll also see the prominent butt dent on the cushions (that belongs to me) and the electrical cords ready in case the battery dies on the laptop. It's not pretty, but I've written so many books from right there.
And since I live in San Diego, the home of near-perfect year-round weather, I also spend some time writing outside. We are lucky to have a really private backyard and a big cushy outside chair. I sit there, feet up on the table, and write. Sometimes I even close my eyes. I call this research. Back me up on this. It's research.
HelenKay Dimon is an award winning author of romance and romantic suspense and a not-so-secret Clive Owen fan. You can learn more about HelenKay at her website. Her latest Harlequin Intrigue is Copy That, an August 2012 release. Look for her new Intrigue miniseries, Corcoran Team, in 2012.