Couldn’t have said it better myself…
Today over at Boing Boing, ran across this picture of the Library Lounge at B2 Boutique Hotel in Zurich that made me drool. Vacation time, anyone? From their website:
The library seems to eleven meters high, with its vast arched windows of a cathedral. The book collection of a former bookseller has been found in the hotel’s library a new home.The works are not just decorative items, they can be hired for the duration of hotel stay. The Library is a library, extended workplace, the place for business meetings and rendezvous: lounging, chilling, chatting, surfing, flirting and networking purposes …
The breakfast, which consists mainly of local produce, is served in the library. For the hotel guest the wine bar offers all day (until 23:30), a small food offer, drinks, regional wines Zurich and of course the legendary Hürlimann beer.
I used to be one of those people that thought everything had to be perfect in order for me to write. I had to be at my desk, preferably early morning, water bottle in arm’s reach, writing music queued up (if I really want to get in a good writing groove, nothing does it like anything by John Coltrane), and on and on.
But one of the many lessons imparted to those of us lucky enough to be accepted to Viable Paradise, was to de-ritualize the writing process. Because, you know, life happens. And if you have any hopes of ever getting your masterpiece complete, you’ve got to learn to be a tad more flexible. This may entail writing in the ladies room during your lunch break, in a noisy airport lounge, or in my case, horror of all horrors, late at night.
Nobody is saying that you can’t have your optimal work environment set up at home, just that you can’t grow so attached to it that you swoon at the thought of writing elsewhere. As I ponder my next move, I know that I’ll be downsizing, so space for my precious writing cave will be harder to carve out. And then I came across this picture. Yep, an entire workspace built in a little cove under the stairs. Add a pair of noise-canceling headphones and you’re good to go. Done by Sage Design Studio in Toronto, CA. Wonder if they do any work in the U.S. hmm…
Back in college, I had a recurring nightmare. In this nightmare, one of two things would happen: I’d either wake up breathless and realize with horror that I’d missed (slept through) a final exam or I’d wake up late and rush to class, only to see my fellow students streaming out of the classroom, high-fiving each other over how they felt they’d aced the exam – and I’d missed it. I’ve even had versions of this dream a few time since college. And I believe it harkens back to an early fear of failure. One that I’m proud to have tackled.
But after a recent discussion, I realized that even that ability to fail is not universally granted. The topic of the discussion was the movie industry and the fact that for many years, Hollywood has repeatedly cited the fact that black movies don’t do well overseas as an excuse for why the movies aren’t released there. In fact, I’ve even read countless times how black movies don’t do well at all. I could go into what I crock I think this is (all types of movies, by and about all types of people fail for many different reasons), but that’s a subject for another post. The point of contention is that by not even releasing overseas, or by not entertaining a script featuring more than one black character, denies us the equal right to fail.
The same thoughts have wormed their way into the literary world. And it’s time for it to stop. Having launched two websites that I’ve had to shutter, I know that the lessons from those failures have helped me with launch of my apps. If I hadn’t written and failed miserably with my first novel, I would not now be on my 4th. As a friend recently put it, I’m failing my way to success. But my color or the color of my characters should not deny me the chance to even get in the game.
Since reading her short stories The Dragon Tears (Electric Velocipede) and The Weight of a Blessing (Clarkesworld), I’ve become a fan of French-Vietnamese writer, Aliette de Bodard.
On a Red Station, Drifting (Novella)
Recently, The Book Smugglers started a new feature call SFF in Conversation, where they will invite guests to talk all things specucaltive fiction. They kicked off with a must-read essay where Aliette talks about the influence of Vietnamese and Chinese culture on her writing.
Contains all 3 Novels of the Series