Well, now that was a question I’d never envisioned anyone asking. And quite honestly, I’d never actually asked myself. I’d always assumed everyone wanted to be outdoors if at all possible. Apparently not so for those who dwell in Manhattan. And to be both honest and fair, if I dwelt there, outdoors would probably slide way down on my list too. (I’d also probably go insane from lack of sunlight on my skin). I’ve been to NYC only in extreme seasons, January and cold enough to freeze a witches’ ta-tas and dead of summer when there’s no way on God’s green earth they can pick up the garbage fast enough. In a nutshell, I am clearly NOT a city dweller.To me, writing outdoors feels natural. I need green. I need to feel the breeze on my skin. And apparently, I’m not the only one. When I’m writing a scene or a chapter and become stuck, I head out to cut the grass or dig in the dirt. When I need to know what it’s like for my character to run through the woods in the dark barefooted, I take a midnight hike. (I tend to choose small town or rural settings when writing my books too.) When I want to lose myself in another soul (as we writers do when we’re firing on all cylinders), I do it outside. I even had a balcony built outside my office. It’s on the south side of the house and stays warm on chilly afternoons. Outdoors I’m away from distractions: the laundry, the phone, the I’ll-just-go-scrub-that-toilet-while-I-think excuse for leaving my computer. And of course, safely away from the call of the refrigerator and pantry filled with snacks.
Outdoors I am free. I can be anyone I want to be. I can be anywhere I want to be. And to be truthful, I don’t feel like I’m working when I’m outdoors. The time flies. The pages amass. I’’m lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. I’m luckier still to be able to do it mostly outdoors.
If I wasn’t writing, I think I’d like to be a farmer—the crop raising kind, because I couldn’t bear the cycle of livestock rearing. Outdoors. Love it.