Friday, February 10, 2006

A stretch of river IX: writers

The other afternoon on the park side of the river, I happened to see a woman in her car with a spiralbound blank book propped against the steering wheel, pencil poised above the unlined paper. For some reason, it caused me to remark to myself that I've seen quite a few people there who are there, it seems, for the express purpose of writing.

People with notebooks. People with powerbooks. And, of course, this is just a fluke of timing, but I seem always to walk past them when they are staring at the page/screen, thinking about what they've written or are about to write.

It's a good place to write, I thought; they have a view from there as appealing in its blankness as the paper/screen in front of them. I've posted before that, looking across the river from the park, the opposite bank has some good-sized trees and some underbrush and some rather nondescript apartments, at least one of which is occupied by someone with a blog who, as he regularly walks over to the park with his dog and discreetly peers at what people are writing as they sit in their cars, staring across the water, thinks that this place is a good place to write ABOUT.

More to come, as they say.

7 comments:

jmb said...

Your observations are entertaining because, I too, am in the habit of taking time alone in my car in the parking lot at the beach to write. Sometimes I have my laptop with me, other times I use actual paper and pen. I used to I berate myself for not getting out of the car. After all, I choose the beach for its beauty and inspirational aspects. I got out of the car once.... I was so distracted, I locked my keys in. Then my paper blew away while I was trying to break in.
I usually read a couple pages of someone else's writing before I write anything myself.
Gazing out on the water is a very centering experience. It clears my head.

Anonymous said...

When writing, I prefer to stay at home, partly because I feel overly conscious that if I get my notebook out in the park I might as well just stand on the bench and scream HEY LOOK, LOOK, I'M TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU ALL! DOESN'T IT SEEM AS IF I COULD BE A WRITER, YOU KNOW, CREATIVE AN' ALL? MAYBE I HAVE A BOOK PUBLISHED AND PERHAPS ALL YOU LADIES MIGHT PROFIT FROM ASKING ME OUT BECAUSE I AM, BEING A WRITER, CREATIVE AND AS OBVIOUSLY DEEP AS ALL OCEANS, AS PLACID, AS CHOPPY AND AS BLUE. Also, the few times I tried it I ended up with a simple shopping list of things I saw, impressions I had, women who failed to ask me out. No, I prefer to just walk in the park, keep eyes like windows, shutters forever open, give it a few hours and then sit down at home and add my lake-side revelry to my current work-in-progress, Why Won't The Ladies In The Park Give Me The Time Of Day? I Have A Notebook And Everything. The basic plot of the work involves a Masonic Conspiracy to hide the true identity of the latest in the so-called "Jesus and Mary Chain." And who is the lastest of Christ's bloodline? The answer may surprise . . .

Seriously though, I find a few hours reflection returns a more coherent, focused peice of writing.

D-Day said...

Keep us posted. Your riverbank has caught something in my imagination. I want to know more.

jmb said...

Anonymous...you are funny! At the beach I read/write at most of the other visitors are homeless people or joggers rushing through so quickly no one even notices me. I also think the new-agey black guy I always see doing Thai Chi should be REALLY worried about people thinking he is trying to impress us. If you are lucky to have attractive enough females at your park that you wish you could get their attention... try Thai Chi.

fearful_syzygy said...

'Anonymous' wouldn't be Stencil by any chance, would it?

John B. said...

Funny how this little nothing of a post turns a few heads and even gets Stencil (I think you're right, F.S.) to comment. Thanks for all the kind remarks.

Winston said...

There is a lake, complete with swans, ducks, etc., at Centennial Park in Nashville. The lake is adjacent to the Parthenon, full-size exact replica of the original in Greece. Sometimes I stop for a while by the lake. In a half-hour I can fill a couple of my 3x5 note cards with ideas. Have a hard time trying to flush out the writing there, but for spawning ideas, it's great...