R. L. Maizes Recommends...

“When I get stuck while writing, I change my surroundings. If I’ve been working at the pine kitchen table for a few weeks, I’ll switch to writing on my bed. If I’ve been working on the bed, I’ll migrate to the office. Changing the view from the watercolor on the bedroom wall to the quote ‘Never a Day Without a Line’ (attributed to Horace on the sign, but to others elsewhere) tacked up in my office triggers a new set of associations in my mind. So, too, does reorienting myself toward or away from a window. Before COVID-19, coffee shops and libraries offered many opportunities for a change of surroundings, and they may again. A new location physically separates me from recent frustrations, promising a fresh start. Each room offers different comforts or inspiration: a cozy bed, shelves full of books by favorite authors, a view of evergreens and sky. While traveling, I take advantage of temporary backdrops, writing on trains, ships, and planes. I’ll forever associate certain trips with the sections of my novel I drafted on the journey. Do scenes composed in the kitchen revolve around food? Those written in the bedroom around sex? Not that I’ve noticed.”
—R. L. Maizes, author of Other People’s Pets (Celadon, 2020)