Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ramona Flightner, author of 'Banished Love,' on her ideal writing space

When I think of an ideal writing space, I always envision a desk free of clutter overlooking a bucolic scene from a bow-fronted window. Light streams in from the window and a cat is curled up on one corner of the desk, sleeping in absolute contentment. A cup of tea is next to the computer, and soothing music plays in the background.

So much for ideals. In reality, I’ve never written in such a place. I write wherever I can. Sometimes it’s in a crowded caf├ę as I await the arrival of a friend. I scribble on bits of paper as I have forgotten my notebook and I hope I have enough paper to cram all my ideas down before I forget them. Other times it’s when I am crammed into an airplane seat with barely enough elbow room to write long hand into my writing notebook. Generally, I write in a recliner with a cat on my lap. I have papers and research books strewn all around me and I look like a mad writer. I always have a pot of tea with a well- used teacup next to me, the latest pot of Irish tea steeped and ready to be drunk.

My desk is cluttered, covered in piles of paper and research and the thought of cleaning it off is so overwhelming that I look away and return to my writing. My desk faces a white wall, so no inspiration from the outside would be found if I did sit at it. Instead, I ignore the disaster that is my desk and leave organizing it for another day. Or year.

I have heard many people say that they need to write in a clean environment. That cleanliness soothes their mind and allows them to think. I can work anywhere and clutter does not bother me. I sometimes wish it did and then I’d live in a clean, organized home. Instead, I write and write, with little care to where I am as long as the words continue to flow.

Do you have an ideal writing space? Are you currently writing in it?

Banished Love
by Ramona Flightner




Clarissa Sullivan dreams for more from life than sipping tepid tea in stifling parlors in Victorian Boston. She defies her family’s wishes, continuing to teach poor immigrant children in Boston’s West End, finding a much-needed purpose to her life.


As a suffragette, Clarissa is considered a firebrand radical no man would desire. For why should women want the vote when men have sheltered women from the distasteful aspects of politics and law?


When love blossoms between Clarissa and Gabriel McLeod, a struggling cabinetmaker, her family objects. Clarissa’s love and determination will be tested as she faces class prejudices, manipulative family members and social convention in order to live the life she desires with the man she loves.

Will she succeed? Or will she yield to expectations?

BANISHED LOVE follows Clarissa Sullivan on her journey of self-discovery as she learns what she cannot live without.

Read an excerpt:
“Colin, anything in that paper interesting enough to share? You read it like you are hoping to find some long-lost treasure,” Lucas cajoled.

“Hmm…no, nothing uplifting like that song. Just more tales of death and woe around the world. The Boxers are getting more powerful and dangerous.” Colin sighed, setting aside the Boston Evening Transcript.

“And why should we care about a bunch of pugilists?” Mrs. Smythe demanded, her thin face even longer with her disapproval.

I giggled; Lucas snorted before acting as though he were sneezing to hide his amusement, but Colin stared at Mrs. Smythe with frank fascination.

“Do you read the papers, Mrs. Sm…Sullivan? Talk with your friends?” At her cold stare, he continued. “The Boxers are discontented Chinese on the verge of rebellion who are indiscriminately killing Christians in China. Including American Christians,” Colin said helpfully. “I thought it was the topic of conversation these days.” He glanced toward Lucas and me, and we both nodded our agreement.

“A genteel woman,” Mrs. Smythe began, with a sniff in my direction to indicate I must be lacking in that regard, “would not know of such vulgar goings-on halfway around the world with a bunch of savages, my dear Colin. I do read the papers but only the parts that pertain to my world and me. The parts about running a good home, a good kitchen. About decoration.” With this, she waved her hand around the room to indicate its frightful state. “Decorum.” Yet another censorious glare was sent in my direction. “These are the important matters of my life,” she stated with one more sniff, showing her displeasure at the topic.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ramona Flightner is a native of Missoula, Montana. After graduating from Tufts University with a B.A. in Spanish, she earned a Masters degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Montana. Her Master’s thesis, Chilean Testimonial Literature: the collective suffering of a people, highlighted her continued interest in the stories of those who were at risk of being forgotten or silenced.

She studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a Master’s in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked for ten years as a family nurse practitioner providing care to the poor and under insured at two community health centers, first in Wilmington, Delaware and now in Boston, Massachusetts.

An avid reader, she began writing three years ago. She enjoys the demands of research and relishes the small discoveries that give historical detail to her books.

Ramona is an avid flyfisher and hiker who enjoys nothing better than spending a day on a remote Montana river, far from a city. She enjoys research, travel, storytelling, learning about new cultures and discovering new ways of looking at the world. Though she resides in Boston, Massachusetts, Ramona remains a Montanan at heart.

Her dreams are to see the plains of East Africa, marvel at the wonder of Petra in Jordan, soak in the seas of the South Pacific, and to continue to spend as much time as possible with her family.

Banished Love is her first novel and is the first in the forthcoming Banished Saga.





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  1. Thanks for hosting today, Andi. I'm interested to hear what your reader's ideal reading and writing spaces are. Let me know during the day in the comments!

  2. Interesting writing area

  3. I must admit to working best in a neat & tidy environment. Not distracted that way.

    1. HI Mary! Well, that's my ideal, but it's never been my reality! :-) I wish I needed to have a tidy environment, then my house would be clean.


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