The closest thing to a room of one’s own: Guest post by Joan Kane

Having finished one book and one play while working full time, exclusively nursing an infant through 19 months, and expecting my second baby (due next month), shortcuts to writing space/time have assumed a critical role for me. The ability to get anything written tends to hinge on three things: location, resources, and writing prompts.

If you’ve suggestions to add to these lists, let me know. Once I come out of the newborn fog (sometime in March, with any luck—though with a toddler, also, who know how things will shake down this time around), I’ll need to motivate.

Top Ten Places to Write:

1) Lousaac Library (indoors)

2) Café Felix

3) Whale’s Tail

4) Bob and Evangeline Atwood Alaska Resource Center

5) Paris Bakery and Café

6) Organic Oasis

7) Kaladi on Tudor

8) Orso

9) Westchester Lagoon

10) Lousaac Library (outside on the lawn)

Many of these places are best (or only up for consideration) during off-peak hours (when they’re not too noisy or crowded) or appropriate weather (particularly the last two). I’ve a prejudice towards Downtown/Fairview/Spenard/Muldoon for numerous reasons, but mostly for proximity.

Top Ten Writing Tools:

1) Online OED

2) my commonplace book


4) Wikipedia

5) Facebook (for procrastination)

6) headphones

7) NetLibrary

8) Oxford Reference Online

9) Gale Resource Center

10) Friends’ blogs (too numerous to list—for inspiration/procrastination both)

If you’ve free/readily accessible online resources to suggest, let me know.

Top Ten Writing Prompts:

1) Renga (in-person or over e-mail)

2) Zuithsu (as a warm-up)

3) Any Mountain Goats song

4) Alaska’s Digital Archives

5) Translation

6) Looking to a random poem for formal, rhetorical, or syntactical structure

7) OED’s word of the day

8) Tupelo Press Poetry Project Prompts

9) RhymeZone (for arbitrary sonics)

10) Bartleby’s Quotations

Admittedly, not a very inspired prompt list. I’m not the biggest proponent of prompts, but do find them helpful when I’m not working on anything in particular, when I just need to spend 15 minutes writing about something new, or when I’ve got writers’ block. If you’ve reliable sites to suggest, I’m all ears.

Joan Kane (Inupiaq), a Whiting Writers’ winner, is a poet and playwright. She is the author of newly-released The Cormorant Hunter’s Wife and the play, The Gilded Tusk, which is in its reprise run at The Anchorage Museum.

3 thoughts on “The closest thing to a room of one’s own: Guest post by Joan Kane”

  1. Loved this post! Old favorites and lots of new ideas/links. I like to get jump-started with my daily and go on from there!

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