Where Writers Write is a series that features authors as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.
This is Sheila R Lamb.
Sheila Lamb received an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Her stories have earned Pushcart and storySouth Million Writers Award nominations. She’s also the journal editor for Santa Fe Writers Project. Sheila has traveled throughout Ireland and participated in the Achill Archaeology Field School. She loves Irish history, family genealogy, and is easily distracted by primary source documents. She lives, teaches, and writes in the mountains of Virginia.
Where Sheila Lamb Writes
I write in bed. Beds are made for relaxation. They're also made for…other stuff. I'll call it passion. Writing is my passion. I need to be relaxed to allow characters to tell their story. It makes sense to be in a comfortable place and let the story flow.
I began writing Once a Goddess on a mattress on the floor in Shepherdstown, WV. I had burned out of teaching high school social studies, had gotten a part-time adjunct gig (sociology, not creative writing), and moved back to my college town. Given the space and time to explore, I picked up a pen and began to write.
I've always kept a journal and it was something I did usually before I went to bed or first thing in the morning. So, writing in bed was nothing new to me. Brigid would wake me up in the middle of the night with things she wanted to say. Plot points, dialogue, a scene revision would pop into my head, right as I was falling asleep. Karl Marx would also wake me up with things he wanted to say for my sociology lecture the next day. Eventually, Brigid won out.
I have a desk and a computer and I had one back then. I don't write well at a desk; not the first draft of a story, not to get in the zone and keep on going until the story is complete. I can get into final revisions and edits at a desk. But not during those first flushes of creativity. A desk has always felt like work, and a computer has always been full of distractions. Even if I switch off the Wi-Fi (rarely), I'm still distracted by things on the desk or on the computer. Journals don't wake up a partner in the middle of the night with lights or - because I always forget to turn down the volume - bells, whistles, you've got mail, and Facebook pings.
The bed and notebook go hand in hand. Eventually, the first few pages of Brigid's story turned into Once a Goddess, the majority of it written on yellow legal pads and in composition notebooks. My writing expanded from the one novel-in- progress, to two, to the trilogy. I also began to write to numerous short stories and new novel drafts. With the exception of the emergency middle-of-the-night notebook, which stays on my nightstand, I write in a separate room. My writing room doubles as the guest room, but I still write on the bed. The stack of papers and books next to me grow and change depending on the project. I don't ever want my writing to feel like work. I want Brigid's voice to continue to speak as I finish the third book in the trilogy. Writing is passion. Writing is creativity. And like other passionate and creative things, writing needs to be done in bed.
For the sake of peace, Brigid of the supernatural Túatha de Danann enters into an arranged marriage with Bres, the prince of the enemy, and casts aside her own hopes for happiness. Set in a time when myths were reality, Once a Goddess brings the legend of the Ireland’s magical Túatha dé Danann to life…