Always Working

I’ve been asked how much time a day I spend writing. If you write, you know that’s a trick question. If you want to know how much time I spend sitting down, deliberately doing writery things, the answer varies from day to day. More properly, I write 24/7. I went to an outdoor concert last night (more about this at the WEBLAHG, my personal blog), and saw that one of the walkway/staircases–the one farther from the stage–was blocked with movable fencing in a brilliant white.

So I’m like, “Someone seen entering vanishes. Easy to come in, wander over to fencing under cover of these overhanging bushes, get out there. Child? Adult? Kidnapping? Establishing a false alibi?”

I was looking at the people, listening to how they behave toward one another, how they sound, how they dress, why they seemed to be there–to listen to the music? to air out the kids?

The houses around the venue, the different kinds of boats, the different kinds of cars and motorcycles, the different food smells from the nearby restaurants, the logos on the folding chairs people brought…. It’s all material. It’s all writing.

Everything is writing.


writing prompt: PAY ATTENTION!


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Always Working

  1. barbara

    July 11, 2010 at 10:59am

    Love this phrase, ‘it’s all writing’, Marian. And love your anthropologist’s eye, as well.
    It’s not exactly innovative for me to say so, but I’m struck continuously by how much my reading feeds right into my writing. At present I’m reading one non-fiction book (to review) and one fiction book (for pleasure) and suddenly they’re speaking to each other in my head- which will affect what eventually I write.

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    • Author


      July 11, 2010 at 1:01pm

      Barbara, that’s SO COOL! I do love it when that happens. 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading that review. Will it be in the TLS or on your blog or elsewhere? Please give me a heads-up so I can spread the word.

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  2. The Yard Bard

    July 12, 2010 at 2:10pm

    If your brain is working, YOU are working. At least in theory. 😉 A flight of ideas can make for the best kind of travel.

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  3. Sara Deurell

    July 16, 2010 at 9:51am

    Great post! It’s so true – everything really IS writing, for a writer. Anything I find out, my brain squirrels away to feed into my stories.

    Your gate that people could sneak into and out of reminds me of one time at the hardware store with Luchian. The guy in front of us in line was buying drywall, a saw, and duct tape. Luchian squeezed my hand and gave me this weird look. In the car, I asked what that had been about. “Did you SEE what that guy was getting???” I nodded slowly. “He’s going to kidnap someone and kill them, dismember them, and wall the body up to hide it!!!”

    Yes, writers are odd, suspicious people, but as long as it produces inspiration and ideas, I’m cool with that. 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 16, 2010 at 4:40pm

      I knew I liked him, somehow! How could you two kids not follow the guy home? You could call your cop friend and your doctor friend and your fake psychic friend and…. Wait, that’s the tv series we’re all waiting for someone to write….

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