WORKSPACE ON THE GO
by Rosanne Parry
- Headphones or ear buds are the most useful accessary by far. If you are sound sensitive, then noise canceling headphones are a must. Even if you don’t love music while you’re working, just putting in the ear buds sends the message that you are hard at work and not wishing to be interrupted which is a godsend when you have a deadline and are stuck working in a coffee shop where everybody who walks through the door knows you.
- Either a portable laptop or tablet and key board or notebook and pen are all you really need to get most writing accomplished. One of the gifts of working on the go is that sketchy internet connections and the absence of your home library make it easier to focus. I’ve learned to flag my writing as I go for references I’ll need to check later and keep going which can make the work away from home office flow even faster.
- A cell phone stand is surprisingly useful. I have one that is sturdy enough to prop up a notebook if I’m transcribing notes from my journal. It can even hang over the top of my laptop if space is at a premium. It allows me to access reference photos, maps, and my dictionary app.
- I’ve learned to bring a lightweight scarf along in case there’s a drafty room in the winter or one with glacial air conditioning in the summer.
- Maybe this is just me getting older but a comfortable place to sit has become much more of a priority lately. Camp chairs vary widely in their comfy-ness so give it a test run before you get one. I am lucky enough to have a hammock chair which was the perfect solution.
- Glare on the page is also a big issue when working outdoors even when you’re not on a screen. I was elated to discover reading sunglasses and could not have gotten anything done on this trip without them.
- A lap desk, a firm cushion, or in a pinch, the stack of newspaper you are going to use to start the fire later, can be used as a writing surface. And since pens fail me twice as often as usual when I’m on the go, a pencil and a pocket knife keep the words coming.
- The woods can be distracting but less so if there’s sunscreen, bug spray, a scarf for those chilly mountain mornings, and a damp bandana for those scorching afternoons.
- the sense of wonder at the enormity of the universe
- that slight edge of fear even in a moment of beauty (if we’d flipped the canoe it would have been a long cold night indeed.)
- the pride I felt in paddling a canoe my husband had built himself from a stack of boards to a thing of beauty
- the awareness of life’s fragility I felt having taken a night paddle like this in 1975 on Spirit Lake in the shadow of Mt. St. Helens. Five years later the mountain erupted and Spirit Lake and the entire forest surrounding it was gone in less than a minute.
- the love I feel for my family, the family I grew up in that taught me to appreciate the wilderness, the family I raised that has happily followed along on all our adventures and the families yet to come who I hope and pray will find joy in this same wilderness we are privileged to care for.
To learn more about Rosanne Parry and her books, visit her website.
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