Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In the nude

I live on an island located within spitting distance of the equator and the setting on the regional thermostat is stuck at HOT. I don't thrive in heat; it makes me want to do nothing more strenuous than lie around and pant while fantasizing about diving headfirst into a pool filled with chilled watermelon cubes. Focusing on anything that takes actual effort, such as writing, is really asking too much.

The first thing I do on entering the house is strip; once I'm in the privacy of my home I wear little or nothing. I've written roughly half a million words of fiction, most of them in the buff (or close), late at night when the air has cooled enough to render me capable of coherent thought.

My relatives and friends who know of my aversion to clothing are unanimous in their verdict: "Girl, you're CRA-ZY!" I was therefore delighted to stumble across an article this week that proved I was not alone in my strange (to others, utterly natural to me) predilection for writing au naturel. These famous authors did not live in the tropics, to my knowledge, so heat and humidity could not have been that much of a problem for them, but they're kindred naturist spirits.
  • Agatha Christie liked to write in the bathtub. (Sounds lovely, but I'm a shower gal.)
  • Benjamin Franklin liked to take 'air baths' where he sat around naked in a cold room for a couple hours while he wrote. (Air baths rock!)
  • D.H. Lawrence, author of the controversial erotic novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover (one of my favourites), liked to climb mulberry trees in the nude before coming down to write. (Um, I'll pass. No splinters in delicate crannies, thank you.)
  • Ernest Hemingway, author of A Farewell to Arms and other classics, wrote nude, standing up, with his typewriter about waist level. (His cousin Edward Hemingway opened Britain’s oldest nudist colony, a nine-bedroom chateau called Metherell Towers, back in the 1930s. Cool!)
  • Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, overcame writer's block by having his servant take all of his clothes away for the day leaving him nude with only pen and paper so he’d have nothing to do but sit down and write. (Wasn't life simple before they went and invented the Internet...)
I'm in such great company. I can't help wondering, though: Are there other closet naturist writers out there - or am I the last survivor of an almost extinct species?


    Lynn Emery said...

    Liane, I had to stop laughing before I could type!

    I'm not a naturist, I love hot weather, and tend to feel cold when the temp goes below 75 degrees. I'm firmly in the "clothes, please". No breezes up my "ahem" while I write, thank you! LOL

    KeVin K. said...

    I'm more a minimalist than a naturist. As a Florida native, back when it was a rural state, I grew up on or near the water and from May through August wore nothing but cut-off shorts and cheap sneakers. By June every year I was nut brown and my hair, which now looks black, was a reddish brown from the sun. Can't find any pictures from that era, but this photo of me 20 years ago gives you some idea of my physique for the first 45 years of my life. I now weigh 80 pounds more and wear T-shirts in addition to shorts and sneakers to avoid frightening the children, but this is still my default "comfort" costume.
    However, I'm a nude sleeper and after about 9PM most nights I write sitting up in bed next to my wife as she watches TV wearing only headphones and a baseball cap (to block the sight and sound of the TV), so I'll go on record as a borderline naturist.

    Charles Gramlich said...

    I do write quite a lot at work in my office, and I wear clothes when I do. :)

    However, at home, at night, after a bath? I will often write with nothing on.

    Dayton Ward said...

    I'm posting this comment in the buff.

    (This visual brought to you by the letter "Ewwww.")

    Liane Spicer said...

    Lynn, you're like my sister! She complains about the cold if the temp is in the 70s. She's also overburdened with modesty. I'm willing to bet she never wrote nude in her life!

    Liane Spicer said...

    Kevin, " avoid frightening the children..."? ROTF! I resort to minimalism when folks are around. :D

    I'm a nude sleeper..." Twenty years ago I was hospitalised for a week or so. My mom had to go out and buy me sleep things; I didn't own any.

    Liane Spicer said...

    Charles, you are a true member of the club!

    Dayton, LOL LOL LOL!!! Now why don't I believe you?