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Writing about writing with a view

I have written before about the view from a writer’s window, but that was when I was in Singapore, and the view included the Singapore Harbor Bay, and the tree-filled East Coast Park. The only kind of homes I could see in the distance were tall apartment blocks.

But now, back in Kuala Lumpur, the view has changed. I can see rows of 2-storied town houses, a few 5-storey bungalows with two swimming pools each, roads snaking about far and near, and cars racing along them, like so many shiny beetles when the sun falls on them.

I can see apartment blocks in the distance,but what I most like seeing are the clumps of greenery, in gardens, on the streets, and pieces of tropical jungle that haven’t yet been meddled with, and hopefully never will be

As I sit and write, I have to look up and think, work out some odd crinkle in my head, and I see an old lady doing Tai chi in her garden, a young boy going for a run, and I’m grateful for the morning around me, and grateful for the song of the starlings whose voices reach me so many floors above the ground. And I’m grateful for the breeze that wafts in, teases my hair, wanting to play.

At lunchtime when the sun beats down most days, I hang on to a glass of orange juice, and spoon through a little leftover casserole that melts in the mouth, and try to tell myself I must finish this piece or that one, and send it off.

Afternoons, the sun beats down into my wall-sized glass windows, and I hide, drawing the curtains close.

I like the shadow of play and light on a rainy day, when it might be raining up the hill, but perfectly dry and sunny in my neighborhood. I draw away the curtains and watch.

I love the vibrant orange sunsets, with colors thrown around in happy abandon, as if toddlers had been splashing around in colored water, orange, pink, dusky red, and smearing them on the blue face of the sky. And amid all the color, the sun itself, looking tame and benevolent after the exertions of the day, like a naughty but exhausted little boy.

If a good view from the writing desk made for better writing, I would’ve been a writing goddess by now. But it sure doesn’t hurt, and I write every day in the hope that someday I would finally do justice to this writing desk with a view.

Words written January 6= 800 (misc.)

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • indigobunting says:

    Gasp! I feel like I’m right there with you! The breeze, the tai chi, the bird song…all so sensual and wonderful. Thank you!

    Thanks, Indigo, and I’m glad I could bring you into my world for a few seconds 🙂

  • DarcKnyt says:

    Beautiful descriptions of the setting, Damyanti. Great job.

    You’re right … a view that’s gorgeous never hurt anyone, did it? 🙂

    Thanks, Darc.

    I’m just waiting for my writing to begin matching up to my setting! 😀

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