I don't normally like to write outside of my little writing space at home. I've created a nice "room of my own" where I have a computer and a separate desk to sit at and write longhand scenes in my spiral notebooks. I have soft instrumental music playing, not the slam bam of what they play at Barnes and Noble these days. In the past, when I went to Barnes and Noble, soft classical music followed book lovers as they perused the shelves. Now, not only do they play pop music, but shelves of music CDs and DVD movies and a huge bank of nook e-readers have overtaken the space that used to hold books. The books have been pushed back making room for today's vast array of media materials.

Today however I learned something. Barnes and Noble is not a bad place to rack up pages of novel scenes and outlines for chapters. A cup of decaf at my elbow and my laptop opened on the table in the cafe I was prisoner of my thoughts. I couldn't take off and clean, or go watch tv, or make art journal pages like I do at home to avoid writing. Of course there are books to distract me, but I sat and wrote. It was a lesson in perserverance.

I created an outline template for act one of my novel "Megan's Gift" from materials in "Book in a Month." Outlines and synopses are harder to write than the actual 60,000 word novel, but faced with the questions in the template I pushed myself to answer them based on my novel idea. I learned that I know more about where I'm going with this book than I thought I did. I'm sure if I had tried to do this at home I would have felt challenged and then looked for some way to procrastinate over that task. Now I have a better direction for my writing,

I also mangaged to write a draft of my jacket cover copy, which is the first exercise in the novel writing class I'll be taking online. That's also a challenge but the process helps clarify character goals and points of conflict and tension so essential in novels of the 21st century.

I was resistant to going to the bookstore today because I thought I would be distracted from writing. But my husband wanted to go to get a cookbook for his son so I agreed and found by surprise a writing focus I didn't think I had. Maybe I can actually get this book finished this time around.

Stay tuned. I'll keep you posted.


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