By Laura P. Valtorta
The backyard birds help me to write – especially the cardinals and house wrens (those brown birds that look as though they’ve been dipped in raspberry sauce). Birds calm the brain.
My family – the stentorian Marco, and the loquacious Dante – do not.
When I moved my writing space from the room upstairs (hot FROG) to the formal living room, I had to accept that people would be dancing around and shouting at me whenever they were at home.
Watching the bird feeder helps. So do the big windows. I can see what’s going on outside – the birds, the leaves, and the neighborhood cats. There’s a squirrel that tries to get inside the sliding glass door. I get up to chase him away, which gives me more energy to write.
Exercise always helps. The running and the weight lifting must occur before sitting down in front of the MAC, because exercise gets the blood moving. Writing is impossible without some juice flowing to the brain.
Then there’s just the right music. My favorite writing music comes from the album i“Dimanche à Bamako” sung by Amadou and Mariam, because the songs are plaintive. (I wonder what’s going on in Mali). Art begets art.
Before I write, I must have ideas. Those come from work – the most obnoxious and irritating part of the day. I love my clients, but they’re going through hell. And some of that hell rubs off on me.
Then there’s Cliff – the “director” of my film about boxing. He quit working on my film to make political ads. How annoying is that? I spend a lot of energy holding myself back from driving to the movie studio and attacking him.
Thank goodness for the birds, the rose bushes, and my backyard, I’m grateful I belong to Gold’s Gym where they have Cardio Cinema. Without them I would not be able to seize my ideas, calm down, and write.