Bridget Hoida on: Writing in Bathtubs

I was asked, today, by a fabulous reporter, what my writing method is.  “Longhand, computer, cocktail napkins?” he inquired, which caused me to pause, (deep breath) because I sincerely wish I was still as sexy as the drunken scrawl of a cocktail napkin. But writing. With kids. Is something else entirely.

When I was young(er), (read: childless & broke) I lived in a fabulous one bedroom on Dohney, just off the Sunset Strip. I was shacked up with my then boyfriend (now husband) and we believed that because we lived next-door to the couple that appeared on that reality show, Temptation Island, (hosted by Marky Mark, minus the “Funky Bunch“) that we were happening. I won’t mention that only one burner worked on that thing we called a stove, because for the most part we ordered out. But I will mention that then, writing was a process. We were broke (did I mention that?) and my “desk” of choice was the defunct bathtub in our carpeted bathroom. Yeah, the bathroom had carpet. I’ll spare you the details but to say, it had a shower (on the left side) and a claw foot tub on the right. Because we had a bed, that gawd-awful stove, an olive-green refrigerator, and a view (did I mention the view?) there wasn’t much room to eat, or write, in our 550 square feet, so I holed up in the only available space: the broken bathtub. Outfitted with over-sized pillows and a cookie sheet writing desk, it was almost fashionable. When I wrote then, I had the luxury of habit. Of method.

Before kids I could make organic, free-trade lattes. Light a candle. Call a few friends long-distance. Do lunch. Take a walk on the beach. Take a nap. Light another candle, (bougainvillea this time because peony is so passe). Burn a new CD. And then write.

When you’re paying someone, hourly, to watch your kids you have no time for atmosphere or ambiance.

You sit down in a chair –with a cold cup of coffee, if you’re lucky—and you write until the babysitter reminds you she needs to go home, NOW. And even then, you try to squeak out a few more words, another page, before the kids start asking for blueberries and their ninja costumes.

Today, my habit is the back of a Target receipt in the queue of a carpool line. My method? Stolen moments.