Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the road again


I'll be flying most of the day today, praying for a lull in the wacky weather that's been plaguing the East coast this year. (Whatever happened to Spring, anyway?)

I've been known to make heroic efforts to write when traveling. One time back in the 90's during a family visit in Cleveland, I holed up in a hotel room, rented a typewriter (a typewriter--that's how long ago the 90's were),  and banged out several chapters. 

"What is Kathryn doing all day?" my kinfolk wanted to know. 

I never try to write when I'm physically on a plane, however. It's all I can do to make it through a few pages of whatever book or magazine I grab at the airport store. There's something about the way the stale, over-pressurized air mixes with the stoic energy of passengers crammed into gerbil seats that puts a damper on creative energy.  I feel like I need my elbows to write.

But that's just me. What about you? Are you able to write in a productive way on an airplane?

17 comments:

  1. I'm a good jotter-downer, does that count? Unable to construct sentences because I'm busy praying whatever vehicle I am in doesn't crash into any other vehicle that's handy and I end up in intensive care with scorched flesh and no memory of who I am, but able to jot down undecipherable scribbling because my senses are on high alert, I do keep pen and paper handy.

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  2. Nope.All I can do on airplanes is read, sleep, and wonder when the hell I can get off so I can stretch my legs. Not necessarily in that order.

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  3. I've never been able to write stories on a plane because the creativity never seems available. However I do often use it as a time for personal journaling while I have nothing else to do but sit uncomfortably and ponder my thoughts.

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  4. I will do everything in my power NOT to have to fly, but when I do fly, my muse comes up with all kinds of possibilities for a novel, one that will never be completed. The title: Crash, Flight 109.

    Once we land, I forget about all the cool ideas for this story--the burning bodies, the horrific sounds of screaming passengers, the survivors in the wilderness. Then my medication wears off.

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  5. Thank you thank you thank you, fellow scribes!

    I have always felt guilty that I don't write on planes but heck, screw it. I just can't do it. Or maybe won't do it. I love flying...even as bad as it's become. I love being away from TV, radios, computers, other people's music and especially the internet. I love sitting there and watching the clouds. Or reading a...gasp!...book.

    I was talking to Mike Connelly once and joking with him about his productivity. He told me he wrote every single day no matter where he was. Planes, hotels, cars. I wanted to punch him.

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    1. Kris, Stephen King once told me to never be a name-dropper.

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    2. Don't force me to show you my picture of me and Queen Elizabeth Joe...

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  6. Write? No. Grade papers? Sometimes...if there is ABSOLUTELY nothing else I can do.

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  7. I like to write on a plane. Get a window seat, pop on the headphones, avoid conversation with the Amway rep from Witchita in the middle seat, and tap away....

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    1. I would be too tempted to write a graphic erotica scene to see how many people sneak peeks over my shoulder...just to mess with them.

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    2. Amway Rep From WichitaMarch 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      "avoid conversation with the Amway rep from Witchita"

      That was you? My sales techniques are too high pressure?

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  8. Depends on how comfortable I am in my seat. If there is enough room, definitely i am writing. If I am squeezed in next to some huge folks I'm not even trying to contort myself to use my laptop. In that case I will just stare out the window (or at the seat in front of me, and pretend to sleep while I imagine scenarios for the book.

    That of is predicated on the fact of whether or not I had to purchase good seats or the ones that require me to be ready to hand crank the landing gear or pedal start the engines.

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  9. Never been able to write on a plane. I have this Pavlovian response from having to travel from Australia to England as a child - I usually fall asleep before the plane has even taken off!

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  10. My fellow plane passengers are all, unknowingly, character studies. I jot down plenty of tidbits - overheard conversation, fashion choices, reading material, attitudes, etc. It's like a character prompt buffet.

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  11. I can't write. The white noise of air travel puts me out like a light. I will usually start to read and then jerk awake with a dry-mouth cough from having nodded off with my head straight back and my mouth wide open. Yeah, I'm classy like that. When I come awake like that, I look around to see if anyone is glaring at me for snoring or babbling. So far, so good. Nothing but a lady with a notepad watching me carefully.

    Terri

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  12. In a previous life I was a flight medic so I've learned to do almost anything while at 35,000ft. I found that the white noise feeds the muse and I've actually come up with some of my best ideas while flying.

    Beats doing CPR anyway.

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  13. I just got in after all the day's flying, and of course, did no writing! Thanks for all your comments about writing while flying--there's comfort in knowing I'm not alone! :)

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