Where I write in north Idaho
When you're in Sister Pancratia's fourth grade, writing a book report in iambic pentameter is, well, expected. It's also a heck of a way to fall in love with the craft of writing! The first three novels and twenty or so short stories came in my twenties -- and they stayed there, thank God! But I was hooked, even though raising a family and building my practice as a psychologist and teacher took most of my time. Still, when I got a chance, I'd try again, decide that what I'd written was fabulous, re-read it a week later, get sick, and hide it away.
Till life slowed down enough and we moved out West . . . I got serious five years ago, wrote maybe thirty shorts, and one day wrote one that, a week later, I still liked. A month later, I still liked it! But it was too big, too many things going on. It needed to be a novel. The seed of Climbing the Coliseum was sown, and I decided I was now a writer. Don't tell Sister Pancratia.
"One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book . . . give it. give it all, give it now."
-Annie Dillard, in The Writing Life