Author Blair McDowell takes over the blog to share her writing space with us.
I have a Panasonic Toughbook. It’s a laptop, but with a hard shell that resists bumps and knocks, and best of all it weighs in at about two and a half pounds. This means that I can have it with me at all times and write wherever my life takes me. A desk facing a blank wall is not for me. Friends tell me that’s best, that it reduces outside distractions and results in better concentration. Perhaps for them. But for me, I have to be able to look up at a distant horizon to think. And I work best if that distant horizon includes a large body of water.
So where has my “desk” been during the last twelve months as I did the final edits on my latest release, Sonata, and wrote the first draft of my new novel, Romantic Road?
Already working on my next book, when I started on the edits sent to me by my publisher for Sonata in the spring, I was on the Sunshine Coast, a beautiful narrow strip of land between the coastal mountains and the sea. It’s on the mainland, but accessible only by water, a forty minute ferry ride from Canada’s third largest city, Vancouver, on the spectacular west coast.
My spring and summer desk there faces a wide window looking out through huge cedars at the Strait of Georgia, the wide body of water separating the mainland from Vancouver Island. I watch log booms float past and listen to the high whistling cry of eagles as I work. When I’m thinking through troublesome spots in a book, I gaze at the horizon where silver sea meets silver sky. It focuses my thoughts.
In the fall I always travel. This year a friend and I took a thirty-four day voyage through the South Pacific, visiting the Polynesian and Marquesas Islands. We had many “sea” days, that is, days with no ports-of-call. Those were the days I loved most. I could sit writing in a deck chair on the gently rocking ship, and look up at the foaming sea brushing past when I needed to think.
Winters, I spend in the Caribbean. I’m sitting at my Caribbean “desk” now, as I write this. I had the good sense to buy land here (an acre for $3000) and build a small house, many years ago, before these islands became mega tourist destinations. I sit at a table on my veranda to write, surrounded by my birds, Banana Quits and thrushes and finches and hummingbirds, all at their feeders. A resident rooster struts across my yard, followed by his covey of hens. The palms, always in motion, are swept by the constant trade winds. Their rustling is a soothing backdrop to my thinking. When I lift my eyes beyond my garden, I see the incredible blue of the Caribbean, stretching forever to the equally incredible blue of the sky. I set my paranormal romance, Delighting in Your Company, here on this magical island.
Do I consider myself fortunate? You bet I do. Yet I’m not wealthy. Far from it. But I’ve always considered “where” to be more important than “what”. If it was a choice between buying a new fridge and taking a trip, I always took the trip. And the end result of all that profligate living is that now I get to write what I love in places that I love.
My “writing space” is the whole world.
A jewel heist…
When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.
What chance can he have…
Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister? Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends?
An unexpected marriage…
Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.
Things take a dangerous turn…
Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents? Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.
Genre: Romantic mystey
About the Author
I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago — professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I’d have done it a lot sooner if I’d had any idea how much fun it was!
I’ve lived in many different places. The US — Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia — among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada — HOME. The place where I belong.
I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places — Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well — but variety is indeed the spice of my life.
I keep busy — and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests?? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing. And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I’ve realized that may not be possible in one lifetime — but trying has been fun!
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