I have a great office in my house. Brick floor, two deep and comfy chairs, a café table and chairs, and a desk with my iMac computer on it. Three of the four walls are windows, so it has lots of natural light, and the west window wall overlooks a saltwater creek that runs into Pleasant Bay. Two swans just swam by. A huge bulletin board hangs above my desk tacked with Still Alice and Left Neglected clippings, pictures of my kids, and my intention board. My intention board has lots of great words on it that help me stay grounded and balanced by simple reminder: Grateful, Grow, Create, Live in the Moment, Books that Make a Difference, Believe, Open Minds.

Sounds lovely, right? Inspiring even. It is, but honestly, I prefer Starbucks. I find it difficult to write at home. There are bills to pay, laundry to do, phone calls to take and return, food in the fridge. Not to mention all the chocolate. So at home, there is always the possibility that when a scene I’m writing isn’t flying effortlessly from my head into the pen, I’ll think, Hmm. I really should pay those bills. I know if I find myself choosing bills over writing the next sentence, it’s time to get out of the house.

Plus, I have three kids. If I’m home, one of them always needs me for something, even if there’s a perfectly good adult other than me here to get the job done. I’m a sucker for games and songs and hugs and kisses.

So I go to Starbucks. There’s nothing else to do at Starbucks but drink caffeine, which I desperately need because I have to keep up with the kids, and write. You can’t even daydream there for long without looking like a nut. I wrote Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Love Anthony almost entirely at Starbucks.

I love my home office and enjoy writing in here when I can. Like right now. But if I didn’t have it, I’d be fine at a table at the coffee shop down the street.

Just don’t tell my husband this. He’ll want to convert my beautiful office into something else, like a gym or a gameroom.
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Published on May 26, 2012 11:00 • 405 views • Tags: left-neglected, lisa-genova, still-alice
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message 1: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Lisa, that is so funny. I was reading your description of your office, thinking I'd love to move in! :o)

You know (if you remember my email) that Still Alice changed my life in the real sense of the word. I am still reading Left Neglected, only because of all the demands I've had on my personal and work life; however, I am off for summer now so I will finish that book by tomorrow, if not today.

I don't think I'll miss reading any of your future books. I am so looking forward to Love Anthony (is that right). How is that one coming along?

message 2: by Holly (new)

Holly Garcia I would like to thank you for writing Still Alice, I am the youngest of four children, my mother has this awful illness and so does my sister, my older brother and several members of my mothers family. I have been having some memory problems lately and it worries me that I might have the same problems, after reading your book i have been crying a lot and wonder do I have what my mom and sister have. I have been going to everyone I know and tell them to read your book.

message 3: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Holly wrote: "I would like to thank you for writing Still Alice, I am the youngest of four children, my mother has this awful illness and so does my sister, my older brother and several members of my mothers fam..."

Wow, Holly, you sure have a lot on your plate. I can't imagine the stress you must be under dealing with the illness and also fearing having it yourself. I loved the book but it also had me fearing it in my future. Take care.

message 4: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Mooney Loved your book. We shared it with everyone in the family. it was a popular Christmas gift. Very touching.

message 5: by Esther (new)

Esther Still Alice is one of my favorite books because it is so relative. My mother passed away last August at age 95, but with severe dementia. Your book was very insightful; I read it a few months before she died.

message 6: by Diana (new)

Diana Interesting, Lisa, and probably a good solution to the slightly psychotic mood that writing can create, to be in a place that re-grounds the writer, after letting him/her also "soak in it" a bit. I was working on a mystery novel, had to stop periodically to feed my horses, and often walked to the barn looking back over my shoulder as if someone were after me (for "the treasure"). Starbucks sounds like a good arrangement! Diana

message 7: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I don't know what it is about the place, but I find the same to be true for me. I'm back in the world of academia again at the age of 54. The house is empty, my iMac sits at a comfortable table, the chair is just right, and I get very little done at home. There is something about Starbucks that inspires me. I just like sitting there in my public isolation, earbuds in place, white noise playing to block out the din, and the words just flow. I can hyperfocus in this environment, never tempted to check the garden for slugs or pinterest.com for a recipe I can make from remnants on the second shelf in my refrigerator.

message 8: by Diane (new)

Diane Will I found Still Alice an amazing read and helped me understand more about Dimentia, which my dad went through. We had a lot of questions before and after we lost him but this helped me. It does like others have mentioned though the worry about myself in the future. To take each day/year as it comes along is something we have to do.

I look forward to reading your other book Left Neglected.

Long may you find inspiration for your writing, wherever it may be.

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