Cats must be in the vicinity. Luxuriating cats preferred.

Home is where I hang my hat, right?

I don't have a studio. For fifty weeks per year, I write using any screen and keyboard that is available to me. I do have a few compulsory items:

- I must have consumed at least one cup of coffee prior to beginning.
- I must know the plan for the next cup of coffee (often this serves as a writing deadline).
- Cats must be in the vicinity. Luxuriating cats preferred.
- If there are no cats, there ought to be the din of people bustling about. I like ambient bustle but not foreground bustle, so a little space works well.
- My wife's artwork should be nearby. Works in progress preferred. She paints acrylics, mostly.

I have three computers: one clunky MacBook, one PC with a busted video card that is hardwired to a monitor and parked in my daughter's room, and a high-powered desktop capable of video editing that is connected to the living room TV. I will use each depending on my mood and the requirements of the day. Since we live in a small space, sometimes it's nice to have a door that closes. Other times, I like to sit on the balcony or at the kitchen table.

I don't do it much anymore, but sometimes I like to take the show on the road and hit a coffee house. Frequently I have to take the show on the road ... writing on airplanes, writing while waiting for airplanes, and writing while waiting for the sun to come up in your hotel room are the best!

So that's fifty weeks a year. For the other two weeks, we rent a cottage in the amazing community of Victoria Beach. At least half of No Escape from Greatness was initially drafted at VB, between rounds of golf and tennis drills and bakery runs.

My productivity probably looks something like this in a given year:
Writing Pie Chart

I have two prime locations within the cottage: the sunroom is my happy place. Like maybe anywhere in the world. I sit a laptop on the TV table, listen to the forest sounds and the tranquility of a vehicle-free community, watch the sunlight beam down on my wife and daughter as they focus on their creative selves as well, sip a coffee and write. I take breaks to stretch, contemplate the sleepiness of the cats and get really, really connected to my story.

My second location is the rainy-day location and it's also great: beside a lazy fire in the woodstove, sitting on the puffy leather couch, listening to the downpour and feeling connected to only the most important things. And also writing.

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206-100 Arthur Street

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

R3B 1H3

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