REINE ARCACHE MELVIN, born and raised in Manila, now lives in Paris with her family. The author of A Normal Life and Other Stories and The Betrayed: A Novel, she shares, "I have a small desk in my bedroom, but I use that only for paperwork, bills and French bureaucracy. The real writing takes place in my living room — first on the couch, with the computer on a cushion on my lap, then at my dining table. When friends come, I open up the dining table and clear out the papers, but often it is my quiet place for writing. I like writing spaces that are not-desks — less pressure, less formality, less fear. The couch is where I dream: I stare out at the sky, and that's usually how ideas — words, images, scenes — come."

From the couch, a view of the sky where the sun is beginning to come out.

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