I spent two weeks at the family cottage up north and was able to break through some serious plot points. KERPOW! I had been struggling with these various knotted, tangled plot nubs for some time, trying to massage and release them, and all of a sudden, they literally unfurled in my hands like rose buds. I got it!

And what was my secret, you ask?

Well, I simply hopped in the kayak, and paddled around the island to the marsh. There I would float, looking at all the water lilies bobbing on the water, listening to the wind in the trees, watching dragonflies land here and there (most of them copulating, one on top of the other) and slapping away the occasional horse fly…

The family cottage is quite remote and on a lake with only a few cottages. In the middle of the week, it’s dead quiet. Quiet enough that you can float in the water, hear nothing but nature, and think nothing but…plot.

The question is…now that I’m back in the big, bad city, how do I recapture that sense of stillness so that I can focus and work through the writing issues I need to work through?

Sure, there’s nature around here. I have a garden. The city has parks. But its just not the same. For one thing, it’s…noisy.

I know I am able to tune the noise out. In the past, I’ve proven myself an excellent mutli-tasker. If you need someone to cook, clean, come up with a character for a scene in 19th century Bath, while simultaneously writing an entry on Facebook & Twitter, reading a library book about a crime in ancient Rome, stopping a fight between a 4 & 6 year old over an old Happy Meal toy that neither really wants and asking the hubby what colour to paint the bathroom…then I’m your woman! I have done it. I CAN do it.

But sometimes I can’t. And locking myself in the bathroom with my laptop while shouting at everyone to BE QUIET just isn’t the way to solve the problem.

If only the kayak would fit in the bathtub…?