Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Bubble

I’ve been asked this quite often, since living in Barbados conjures up images of sun, sea, and surf with idyllic balmy breezes and fragrant tropical flowers.  Do I write outside and bask in this wonderful offering of natural beauty?
 
My answer is: No.

Those offerings are usually reserved for kicking back, preferably with a nice, cold cocktail in your hand.

I write in an insulated imaginary bubble, within the confines of either my tiny office or in my bedroom.  There is peaceful quiet and plenty of room to create words, or inspiring instrumental music to drive the plot forward. (Currently, I’m fixated with music from Two Steps From Hell – Invincible album.  In a word, they are simply amazing!)  There is nothing like distractions to make the world you create go wonky and weird and typing out words you never meant to type (that’s happened already when I made the mistake of taking my laptop out to the living room and the TV was on).

Quiet is also my comfort zone, where one clear thought can flow into the other.  Within my bubble, the rest of the world sounds something like this: ‘wah-wah-wah…’  I’ve never been one to be surrounded by chaos (well, who does, right?).  Even the dog barking is like those proverbial wrenching scratches you hear when the needle scrapes the record.  But distractions and life do creep in (and the sharp little needle people wield, intent on bursting your bubble), regardless of how zipped tight the bubble is.  Sometimes, its like the bubble manifests into smaller bubbles (like when I’m stepping out of it), but the world within this little bubble is still swirling about and moving and outside sounds and sights are buffered like a pleasant buzz.

But it’s always intrigued me how other people can concentrate while surrounded by chaos.  Well, chaos is a matter of perspective, of course – and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.  Like I’m quite impressed with those who can write while listening to the radio and a talk-show is on, or TV, or loud music.  I know I can’t do that (unless it's instrumental music).

So, what’s/where's your writing bubble?

On a side note, living in the tropics isn’t all that idyllic.  There’s constant heat, biting bugs, birds pooping, rain, icky sand, messy sunscreen issues, mossy weeds in the sea (*shudders* ugh), and did I mention the heat?  Who wants to go outside and get assaulted like that?  I’m only kidding…did I mention I’m a semi-pro recluse as well?  Why leave the comfort of the home bubble?

Cheers! 

T.K. Toppin

Available from Burst Books



9 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Journalists seem to thrive on chaos and noise because of the environment they started their writing careers in.

I like real quiet. No music, no interruptions except for the nuzzle of my cat or a real long break.

January Bain said...

I can fortunately write anywhere! Good thing guss I have to work so darn much...

January Bain said...

PS. But I would much prefer quiet!

Big Mike said...

I agree on the need for quiet. I lock myself in the back room, play some new age in the background and let the keyboard fly. However, the seed for the story, the theme, the suspense tree come from my moments in contact with the big guys gift. I too am lucky to live in a realm kissed by the divine hand each day, the woodlands and mountains of SW VA. From my porch overlooking the lake where I live, or from the forest where I take many walks alone, the serenity has populated the scenes and premise of all my stories.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

TKToppin said...

Big Mike, I'll trade with ya! Love that scene - more than I do the sun, sea, and surf. And love new age music too. Perfect.

Julie, I have a cat too - my writing companion who follows me wherever I am stationary for more than ten minutes.

January, I am impressed. Cannot fathom writing (let alone thinking) in chaos. Good for you!!

Pauline B Jones said...

I would say I need to be alone, but I have written at a local cafe, when I needed to focus and couldn't do that at home. I was "alone with people" but none of them were interested in me. (grin) I have an office. Don't write outside. Too hot. Too humid. Bugs here, too. but I like my office and a playlist or radio on. :-)

TKToppin said...

Haha! I hear ya, Pauline!! When I'm people-watching, I can do the 'alone with people' thing...not when I'm concentrating. Got short attention span too -- 'squirrel!!' :)

Allison said...

No music, no interruptions, in my office, with peace and quiet. Must be because I grew up with lots of chaos, had four kids (three boys) and more chaos, and taught US junior high (grades 7 and 8, ages 12, 13 and 14) Now that was chaos. Taught lab classes.

Allison said...

No music, no interruptions, in my office, with peace and quiet. Must be because I grew up with lots of chaos, had four kids (three boys) and more chaos, and taught US junior high (grades 7 and 8, ages 12, 13 and 14) Now that was chaos. Taught lab classes.