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Want to hear some good news?

We all want to hear good news. We stay alert for bad news and pass it on all the time, because we’re not the top of the food chain, and we know it – and avoiding the bad things with skill and alacrity is how our ancestors survived to have us. The news loves to capitalize on that – if it bleeds, it leads, eh? But don’t confuse arresting someone’s attention with entertaining them. We’re entertainers, here to help our readers escape their lives and everything it contains, and to remind them that overall, people are good, and we can make a better future for ourselves and those around us.

In that spirit, let me give you the entertaining story of romance novels, writer’s block, and Tires, Tires, Tires:

http://siouxfalls.business/love-writers-block-and-tires-tires-tires/

What are some of the more off the wall or out of the way places you’ve ended up writing?

34 Comments
  1. Draven #

    cute story.

    March 25, 2018
  2. Courses for horses. I spent a few years working in a local family-owned auto dealership, and cannot IMAGINE going to a place like that to write. But, “de gustibus non est disputandum” so, whatever works, I suppose.

    March 25, 2018
  3. Hilarious. I also like how the shop pitched in to help her out and took everything in perfect stride.

    March 25, 2018
  4. That was just adorable. The best I’ve got to offer is writing while waiting at the pool during my son’s swim practice,in the waiting area during the boys’ piano lessons, and the FAA cafeteria during lunch.

    March 25, 2018
  5. TRX #

    My concentration is too easily broken, and takes too long to come back, for me to be able to work in an environment like that.

    I’m glad it’s working out for her, though. (the Voices just flashed an image of an urchin with a sign, “SEE THE WRITER AT WORK – ONLY ONE DOLLAR!”)

    March 25, 2018
  6. [DO NOT TAUNT WRITER]

    March 25, 2018
    • [CAUTION! WRITER AT WORK!]

      March 25, 2018
      • “Can I be in your book, huh? Huh? huh? Huh?!!! PWeeaase”

        “Okay. You’re flensed in chapter 3.”

        “Flensed?”

        “Look it up. G’day.”

        March 25, 2018
        • I’m not sure if I should be disturbed that I don’t have to look that up. Or that there’s tools for that.

          March 28, 2018
  7. OK, That’s great! And kudos to the business for being cool with it. I have written at the Toyota Haus, at least until the TV and Snoozak were both turned on. Classrooms between classes? Check. Teachers’ workroom? Check. Cafeteria while waiting for students to finish Latin written tests? Check. I can jot down ideas and scenes, but I have not tried to write-write while on the road.

    March 25, 2018
  8. Christopher M. Chupik #

    I’ve written on vacation, which is a sure sign of some terrible writing-related disorder I’m sure.

    March 25, 2018
  9. A fair section of my second book was written in various cafes around Montreal, while I waited for various people to do various things on a holiday. Part was written with me sitting on a step in an alleyway.

    I’ve found an interesting thing about cities. Montreal has many comfy places where you can crash for a couple hours, get a coffee and write. Toronto essentially doesn’t. They have cold, echoing, crowded spaces with deliberately uncomfortable chairs. Hamilton has Starbucks, and that is pretty much it. Very bad chairs in Starbucks.

    I’m sure that a local can scout out the hidden gems in Hogtown, there’s got to be a couple somewhere. Hotel lobbies maybe? But Hamilton, I -am- local. There aren’t any. These businesses uniformly want you to come in, get your whatever, and get the hell out. There are no public spaces to hang out in, almost as if they hate each others guts and want everyone to just f- off.

    This is why Americans are always surprised when they come to Canada. No one wants to talk to them. Canadians are very cold with each other.

    Sioux Falls, I’m not surprised this lady ended up at a tire shop. The place is a desert, just like Hamilton. You’re supposed to be working, right? The tire shop probably has the only decent chairs in town.

    March 25, 2018
    • TRX #

      > bad chairs

      That’s actually a thing. Restaurant supply houses sell chairs that are made to be uncomfortable, so restaurant customers will turn over more rapidly, making more money for the restaurant.

      Some of the weird lighting and annoying muzak/TV drivel is done for the same reason. If you’re occupying a table, you’re either preventing a new patron from being served, or they’re paying for more table space than they need.

      Now, being an Odd, you’d think that being waited on, served, and cashed out promptly would be a good idea while you’re sitting in the uncomfortable chair, but restauranteurs don’t seem to think that way. Twice, I’ve gotten tired of trying to flag a waiter and had to make a call on my cellphone. “Hey? I’m the guy over by the big potted plant. Are you going to bring my bill or is this meal free?”

      March 25, 2018
      • I’m another Odd. I’d have thought that someone would eventually figure out that people don’t like deliberately uncomfortable chairs, don’t like being manipulated to increase turnover, and will STOP GOING to those type of restaurants.

        McDonald’s has changed a lot of their eat-in service the last couple of years, trying to make it more comfortable to sit in. Failing, mind you, but at least trying.

        There’s still no place to sit in Hamilton. Montreal there is. So people have figured it out, just that Hamilton has some cultural objection to customer service.

        March 25, 2018
  10. Zsuzsa #

    Darn it. I blew out a tire on my way to work on Friday and spent about an hour and a half in the Family Tire waiting room, but I didn’t have my laptop with me. If only I had known that tire stores were the secret to breaking writers block…

    In all seriousness, though, I can see it. The independent auto repair shops I’ve been to have had some of the better waiting rooms: comfortable chairs spread out enough that you aren’t in the lap of the person waiting next to you, decent coffee, usually some sort of snacks to go with it. Not a lot of distractions. A bit of noise from the garage, but depending on what kind of person you are, the white noise might actually be helpful. Maybe I should see about hanging out at our auto-shop and see what that produces.

    March 25, 2018
    • TRX #

      For the last twenty-odd years, I don’t think I’ve seen a waiting room of any kind that didn’t have the screaming idiot box with the volume cranked up to ’11’.

      March 25, 2018
      • Dorothy Grant #

        I know an independent tire shop that left it on mute, until the customers requested they turn it up / change the channel. Of course, they also had really comfy couches creating a U-shape with the TV on the fourth side, a very plush carpet in the middle, and a big box of construction toys and legos on that carpet. It was a kid-trap, designed to keep the small ones happy and contained.

        Of course, being cantankerous, my darling husband has been known to get up and either turn off the TV, or put it on mute in a doctor’s waiting room if no one is paying attention to it. Better than listening to the View while waiting for the doctor to be 15 minutes late in calling you back!

        March 25, 2018
        • Robin Munn #

          I’ve sat in one too many airport waiting rooms where I was forced to watch CNN (at times where they were really trying to earn the moniker Communist News Network, and I kept wanting to yell “That’s a lie!” even though I know how totally unproductive it would be). I’ve about reached the breaking point where I buy a TV-B-Gone and keep it in my travel bag. Only reason I’m still hesitating is because I don’t know what it would look like to airport security scanners.

          March 26, 2018
          • I didn’t even know TV-B-Gone was a thing. Oooooooh. I forsee this being a Really Useful device!

            March 26, 2018
            • Robin Munn #

              Oh yeah, it’s a work of genius.

              For anyone else who doesn’t know what it is, an explanation so you don’t have to Google. The TV-B-Gone is a remote control with just one button: OFF. It will turn off about 85% of TV brands, including most of the most popular ones. See, remote controls are pretty simple devices, really: they have an infrared LED at the front of the remote, and when you press one of the buttons on the remote, it flashes the LED on and off in a specific pattern vaguely similar to Morse code (except much more rapid-fire). Each TV manufacturer uses a different set of codes, and tries to make sure that the codes from other manufacturers won’t do anything on their device. (It would be annoying if the code that meant “Change the channel” on device A was the same code that meant “Turn the volume up” on device B: then, if you accidentally grabbed the wrong remote, your TV would start doing things you didn’t intend).

              The TV-B-Gone remote takes advantage of the fact that nearly every TV, if it receives the wrong infrared pattern from a remote control, will… do absolutely nothing. It’s a remote that is programmed with the correct patterns for the “turn off” signal from almost every major TV model. When you press the remote’s one and only button, it just starts flashing the infrared LED in all the patterns it knows about that mean “turn off” to this model or that model. It starts with the most popular models so that it will usually work within a few seconds, but according to their website it takes 72 seconds for it to run through all the different models it has codes for. If you’re turning off a TV surreptitiously because you don’t actually have permission to do so, you might have to find a way to conceal the device for up to a minute or so while it’s pointed at the TV. On the other hand, nobody is likely to notice what you’re doing until the TV turns off, so that might be easier than you think.

              March 26, 2018
              • That’s a work of mad genius.

                March 26, 2018
  11. The Nissan dealership here has tables and chairs, a coffee machine and vending machines. I’m always happy to take the car in.

    But my best writing space was a physical therapist’ waiting room after my husband injured his hand and I spent two hours a day, two days a week for months, waiting there.

    March 25, 2018
  12. The article is interesting. There was also a strange coincidence when I first read it. A picture below the article was a teaser for another article (http://siouxfalls.business/regional-roundup-popeyes-candy-whole-foods/) – which I recognized as the main street in Keystone, which I’d been looking at two hours earlier on a different device, considering a trip to the Black Hills. The pictures/articles cycle, though, so when I went back to the article linked in the post the stuff below had all changed.

    March 25, 2018
  13. OldNFO #

    Airplanes and hotel rooms, hotel bar, and hotel restaurants… sigh

    March 25, 2018
  14. COMPLETELY off topic, but I have to share – okay, it’s a book, not by me, but linked to me, because gigglesnortsnarfbahahahahahahahahaahhaha just on the title alone.

    March 25, 2018
    • I know some consider systemd a travesty, but this seems to be taking it to a whole new level.

      March 26, 2018
      • Well… probably the most polite words I’ve heard to describe it include “inept” “badly coded and implemented” and synonyms…

        March 26, 2018
    • Robin Munn #

      And the barely-readable text above the author’s name… “Author of ‘git commit murder’.” Love it!

      March 27, 2018
      • Apparently it’s HILARIOUS, and accessible by non-techies, and ‘worth the read’ I am told.

        March 27, 2018
        • Robin Munn #

          Hey Shadowdancer, I tried to go to the forums at your site and got a DNS error saying “forums.affsdiary.com can’t be found”. Reason I was going there is because Clamps just showed up in the Disqus comments on Sarah Hoyt’s most recent PJ Media article (the one about guns and laws and men that Instapundit linked), and I was trying to link to evidence of Clamps’s long history of trolling. But your forum post, the best reference on the subject, wasn’t available when I tried to link to it. Want to pass on a message to Aff that the forum’s DNS entry appears to be down? (At least, I can’t see it from my current Internet connection out in the very remote boonies of $COUNTRY.)

          March 27, 2018
          • He’s popped up in my comments section too. SIGH. Each time with a different name and IP, but the same MO.

            March 28, 2018
  15. I’ve written a little at the dentist’s office…. and on vacation sitting in a meadow … and on top of a mountain/hill, same vacation. I don’t dare write at school. I’m afraid I’d get absorbed and some kid would interrupt and….

    Irrelevantly, the tire story reminded me of something that might belong in either research or romance. My brother died fifty years ago and his widow (long remarried) wrote a short reminiscence to the family apropos of a plaque being put up in his honor at his old high school. In it she said that more than once he was late seeing her because he was helping some woman with a flat tire. Which says that fifty years ago tires went flat a LOT more than they do now, which I think is true.

    March 25, 2018
  16. Not me, but years ago at a WorldCon, I think in Kansas, one of the up-and-coming authors set up a plastic tent in the lobby, and sat down and pounded out a brand-new story right there in front of us. On a typewriter! He would type for a while, then post a page on the wall of the tent. Every little bit, he would haul out a ragged edged notebook and thumb through it for a while — I really wanted to know what was in that notebook! By the end of the con, he had written and sold the story. Now, was that Harlan Ellison? Might have been. Anyway, it was a cute self-promotion, and I suspect had to be one of the oddest places I’ve seen anyone trying to write. With all the fans watching!

    March 25, 2018
    • A few years ago I spend an evening writing in a hotel lobby at GenCon while sharing the space (a ‘U’ formed by three sofas) with members of the Star Wars 501st Legion of stormtroopers. I heard all about the latest elections in their squad while typing away on my iPad. It’s not the same as being on display (and it does sound like Ellison) but it was definitely different for me.

      March 27, 2018

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