Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Greetings from Southern California!

You'd think being a home-based writer in City A or Town B or County C would be much the same. One still spends all day sitting in front of a computer. Seemingly, only the room changes.

I found out differently when I moved to the desert of Southern California—Riverside, to be exact—from lush and swampy New Orleans almost two years ago. The writing life in the two cities is as different as the climate.

Here is my favorite part of being a writer in Southern California: the view from my home-office window:

Another great thing about Southern California is that we haven't evacuated a single time for hurricanes since we moved here. I don't miss having my work interrupted for days with little warning.

My least favorite part of being a writer here? Definitely the long drives in heavy traffic! My new Romance Writers of America chapter is thirty miles away, and I reach it via a congested fourteen-lane highway. Ditto for my science fiction critique group. Literary events take place and independent bookstores are located primarily in Orange County or Los Angeles, with few in my neck of the desert.

All that time on the road, though, does have a benefit. I've listened to all the sessions on the 2008 RWA conference three-CD set and to several writing-related college courses on CDs while driving.


Thanks for dropping by Novel Spaces! In my next post, on July 23, I'll discuss the writer's office.

Shauna Roberts


Steve Malley said...

Nice new place you got here. :)

I suppose where you write does matter. I certainly never wrote as much in the US as I do in NZ...

Phyllis Bourne said...

Great view!

LOL! I feel like I spend half my life in the car driving and also listen to RWA tapes.

Stefanie Worth said...

Wow! That'll get the Muse dancing! I have a photo of a scene like that on the wall of my basement office. It helps, but it's certainly not the same as the real thing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Shauna - I love in the Culver City/ Los Angeles area. Enjoy the mild summer we've been experiencing - it's not always this cool out.

Anonymous said...

I love and live in LA.

Charles Gramlich said...

I know that Fayetteville, Ark, where I went to grad school, had a great writer's community but I was so unaware that I didn't know anything about it. I wish I'd have taken time to learn.

Rick said...

Being a writer on the Southeaster edge of Detroit, I'll bet that I see more serene scenery than you, Shauna. Billowing clouds pale beside a glowing smokestack, and how can you ever compare your view of the ocean to that of the lovely purple-green Detroit River. Actually, it displays other colors from the known light spectrum (depending upon which aspect of the steel smelting operations are engaged at Zug Island), but has not yet burst into flames as Cleveland's River did so many years ago.

Although we've mostly run out of buildings to burn to the ground on Devil's night, our dedicated populace at least still makes the effort when the insurance money is right.

Yeah, we've got you beat! But, if you'd like to trade places for awhile...

Liane Spicer said...

Lovely view you've got there, Shauna. I can't imagine any muse not wanting to stop awhile.

I'd like to hear more about those tapes and CDs you listen to...

Liane Spicer said...

Where did I get 'tapes' from? CDs, CDs...!

Kaz Augustin said...

Wow, that's some landscape you've got there, Shauna. Beautiful.

Shauna Roberts said...

GENELLA, I did enjoy our cool early summer, but I enjoy the usual summer heat as well. I like all the seasons in California.

CHARLES, what a shame you didn't hook up with the writers' community back then. I only learned about the Romance Writers of America from a friend who lived in California. Before that, I didn't know what a big groups of writers there were in New Orleans.

RICK, sounds as if you have quite a view there in Detroit. The purple river sounds awesome. ;-)

LIANE, the RWA CDs I mentioned were recorded sessions of the annual Romance Writers of America conference and are available at http://www.rwanational.org/cs/conference_recordings_and_handouts . The college courses I listen to I get online at The Teaching Company, http://www.teach12.com/teach12.aspx?ai=16281 . Don't let the high prices discourage you—every course goes on sale at a drastic discount at least once a year. If you wait until then, the courses are reasonably priced.

Shauna Roberts said...

Gosh, I overlooked several people when replying.

STEVE, thanks. I know what you mean about different places lending themselves more to writing. I got my dissertation done much faster living in Iowa than I would have if I had still been in Chicago. There wasn't much else to do in Iowa but write.

PHYLLIS, I find the RWA CDs great because one conference's worth lasts almost until the next conference.

STEFANIE, the view is certainly inspiring, and I can take a quick break in nature just by turning my head.

KAZ, thanks!

Liane Spicer said...

Thanks for those links, Shauna!