Re: RARA-AVIS: Writing habits in the Sallis office

Date: 26 Feb 2004


I write solely on the computer, but I print out frequently, and go over the new pages by hand. The exception is poetry, which I still write out by hand on legal pads.

I work off and on all day, but the best, most creative work gets done in the morning, so I keep that open for the latest book. Afternoons, I'll do revisions, write reviews or columns, attend to my email, read student work and prepare for classes. Around four I knock off and start getting dinner ready. Karyn gets home at six, and we spend the evening watching TV or reading. Obviously we are exciting people.

I don't consciously avoid reading crime novels while working on one, but I often find that my reading habits change when working intensely at a book
-- I liken it to specific hunger, the sort of thing that has pregnant impoverished women eating plaster off the walls: my body (mind) is calling out for something.

I walk a lot, and whenever I get seriously stuck -- which is often, since I'm mostly improvising as I go -- I'm out of here.

These days, with columns for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, literary website Web Del Sol, and the Boston Globe, plus one or two books in process, there's always plenty of work to do.


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