AT MY DESK: Brenda Gayle
My very first paying job was with the local humane society. I was fifteen. For two years I worked during holidays and on weekends cleaning cages and feeding the dogs, cats, and other animals that had been lost or forgotten by their owners. It was very loud and for the first month or so, I’d fall asleep to a cacophony of barking and meowing reverberating in my head. After a while, I learned to block out the sound, and everything else around me, to focus solely on my task.
It’s a skill that has served me well over the years.
During university exams I was able to ignore the thousand nervous students, high on caffeine and adrenalin, who were packed into the gymnasium with me. And out in the corporate world, my oblivion to the loud-mouth in the office next door amazed my co-workers.
A few years ago, an author spoke to our writing group about the importance of surrounding yourself with beautiful things while you were writing romance. “How can you think about the joy of falling in love if all around you is chaos?” she asked. She told us she buys fresh-cut flowers every week and keeps her office pristine.
That’s nice, but it’s not my reality.
My first book, Soldier for Love, was written on a laptop sitting at my kitchen table. That worked fine, although it was a little tough on my back. The trouble is: there isn’t any space in my home that I can claim as a writing sanctuary. I do, now, have an actual desk, a computer with a nice big monitor, and even an ergonomically-designed chair. But I share my space with my husband’s home office and my daughter’s art studio. If you were to look at my desk this is what you’d see:
Hardly conducive to thoughts of romance, right? Fortunately, my early experiences allow me to envision something quite different.
When I’m writing, the reality around me disappears. There is no sound, no movement; only the hero, the heroine, and their story. In my mind, everything is beautiful and I am here:
What about you? Are there areas where reality and fantasy co-exist in your world? A fabulous kitchen? A spa-like bathroom? A dreamy bedroom? A backyard sanctuary? Please share.
About the Author:
Brenda Gayle has been a writer all her life but returned to her love of fiction after more than 20 years in the world of corporate communications–although some might argue there is plenty of opportunity for fiction-writing there, too. She has a Master’s degree in journalism and an undergraduate degree in psychology. A fan of many genres, she is drawn to contemporary romance and enjoys creating deeply emotional stories with elements of mystery and suspense.