Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Perfect Reading Spot - Jean Brashear

Where do you like to read?

My answer would be: Anywhere, I must admit. Give me a good book, and I'll endure any sort of physical discomfort, spine torqued sitting across the chair, legs hanging off the side, not upright in it; stretched out over an ottoman, my neck propped on my hands (and killing me)...on a plane, in a car, standing up in my kitchen, riding the name it. There's only one requirement: a good book. Every day. Because I can't really breathe very well if I don't have something waiting to be picked up, should I find one spare second—can you?

Here are a couple of photos of my favorite spots, though: my cherished rocking chair, given to me by my beloved when our second child was born (we were way too poor when we had our first)

Or the chair I so often contort myself in, reading at night.

Where do I like to write? A whole 'nother question, mostly answered by these few words: Not. At. My. Desk.

Here's a photo of my newly-rearranged office where I am hopeful I'll change my mind. ;) (You have no idea how much I shoveled out of it—who knew my desk was that color?!?!??) I mean, I DO write at my desk—all the time, in fact—but it's not where I most love to be.

My old favorite spot was on my deck (and it will be again...once the live oaks decide to stop dropping pollen and tassels all over me.) This is where the gift of grace that became THE GODDESS OF FRIED OKRA first came to me...sitting in my wicker rocker with my Alphie in my lap, a glass of killer iced Mexican coffee derived from a recipe one of my favorite authors, Barbara Samuel, shared with me.

I carved out three weeks between contracts and gave myself permission to play after several years of back-to-back deadlines, just trying to see if I could remember what it was like to write for the sheer joy of it and not worry about all I know of the business of writing, what will sell, story structure...nada. It wasn't easy to let all of that go and just let the story pour (especially when I had no idea what I would write about) but out of nowhere came this woman, six-foot redhead Eudora "Pea" O'Brien, who had lost her job, her house and her boyfriend, all in one day—and she's on the road, set on finding the sister who raised her.

There's just one eensy problem: Sister is, um, dead. But Sister's psychic promised that if Pea would head toward New Mexico, she'd find signs leading her to the body in which Sister's soul was reincarnated.

Pea travels the back roads of Texas and, despite her vow to stay on task, begins picking up stray souls: a pregnant teen girl, a hungry kitten, and a sexy con man on the run from his past. Toss in feuding old ladies who vie to teach Pea swordplay and the art of frying okra, and Pea has her hands full. A recent review called it "Eudora Welty meets Sue Monk Kidd and they lunch with Fannie Flagg."

As Eileen Dreyer put it: the Southern Trifecta. ;) Since The Secret Life of Bees makes my Top 5 Favorite Books—ever—you can imagine how I swooned over that description.

Well, now I'm starting a new book, and I'd really, really like my deck back, thank you very much, Live Oaks...but for the next couple of weeks, it ain't gonna be pretty out there. I'd like magic to strike again, though, so I'm stacking the deck. Here's my new favorite writing spot I just discovered this morning (and it just might become my new favorite reading spot, too!):

What's your favorite reading spot? Do you have more than one? And if you write, where do you do that?


Award-winning romance author Jean Brashear brings a wistful, funny voice to women's fiction in THE GODDESS OF FRIED OKRA from Bell Bridge Books. "Wholly original, funny and poignant" ~NYT bestselling author Susan Wiggs. Details at


denise said...

I love to curl up in my overstuffed chair. Another spot is under the tree in my front yard. It is a great way to escape my life for a few minutes.

Anonymous said...

Sounds fabulous, Denise...don't we all need that escape at times?

Pat Cochran said...

Sometime in my bed with lots of
pillows. Most often in the lamp-lit
corner of my "Big Comfy Couch" with
a glass of tea or a Diet Coke close

Pat Cochran

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

There is NO perfect spot for me because I always have a book in the car, in my purse, in my office because that's what they mean to me.

However, if I were to choose a perfect spot it would be outside my home at our summer home on Hood Canal where the birds sing, the sun shines, the water is peaceful and I'm the happiest there because I remember happy family times.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Jean: Thank you for your post. My favorite spot to read is in bed. Preferably with at least one of my cats curled up against me or in my lap.

I can read anywhere, and I keep a paperback in my bag. But I rarely get the chance to read anywhere and anytime other than in bed at night.

By the way, who's Alphie? Your cat, your dog, or your kid?

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Pat, that sounds lovely, all those pillows. And tea...I'm a big tea drinker.

Anonymous said...

Marilyn, sounds like we're sisters under the skin. I don't much like reading on my iPhone, but my purse is much lighter and roomier now that I can always have something to read with me on it! Where is Hood Canal? How great to have a summer home!

Anonymous said...

Mary Anne, aren't cats great reading companions? (At least once they grow up and calm down--kittens...not so much.;))

An Alphie--sorry!--is an Alphasmart, sort of a laptop substitute from long before netbooks. It's very light, mostly only a keyboard for text I can later transfer to my computer, but it's instant on and just great for stuff like this.

Thanks so much for coming to visit, gang!

Michele L. said...

I absolutely love curling up with a good book and getting lost in the story. I read mostly at night in bed before I go to sleep. Also, I have a soft, comfy chair in my bedroom that I love to relax in and read a good book.

Sometimes in the summer, I will go to the beach and lay in the sun and read. That is so relaxing!