As I begin writing very early each morning, often in total darkness, I watch the ever-changing eastern Montana sky hoping for a brilliant sunrise. But even on stormy days, I’m energized. If thunderstorms close in, I dread a lightening strike will wipe out my electronic devices and reluctantly shut down till it passes. But I love the power and drama of rolling thunder. A small crystal hanging in my window brings color and rainbows even on dark days, days when things go wrong, distractions arise and progress is slow.
Focusing on outside forces, and not internal stresses, allows creative thoughts to win over personal distractions. Sometimes setting mood with music energizes and helps shape my writing. Pandora radio is my friend. Phantom of the Opera or Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries are two favorites that provide energy to the backdrop of the beauty outside my office.
Inside, the office is messy with files and new projects. But I am surrounded by photos of the people I love, a large painting of a zebra reminding me nothing in life is black and white, framed certificates of accomplishments, a photo with Ann Rule who encouraged me to write the Bar-Jonah true crime, and a photo of Albert Einstein stating, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”