Nonfiction writer Rebecca Skloot ("The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks") works in a beautiful converted attic in Edgewater with built-in bookshelves that fit under the eaves. She has two computer screens, one for sitting and another for use while walking on her treadmill. "I do so much sitting that I was starting to feel it in my muscles and my bones," she says. "Being a health and science writer, I follow all the latest research, and one of the latest things is that even if you exercise for an hour or so but sit most of the rest of the day, it negates that. So I find I spend most of my time on the treadmill." The average speed for people working this way is 1 to 1.5 miles per hour, but Skloot scoots along at 2.5 miles per hour. "I even wear a pedometer," she says a little apologetically. "So I know how many steps I take in a day." Kevin Nance is a Chicago-based freelance writer whose work appears in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Poets & Writers Magazine and elsewhere.
Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune