Just for fun I asked some fellow writers how they like best to work, and here is how they responded:
Setting matters to Nancy, as it did to Steinbeck. She writes in a converted sleeping porch on the second floor of her spacious century-old house. Its glorious windows let in light, along with the music of "birds, breezes, and neighbors puttering in their gardens." Nancy says, "I can step away from work and peek at the finches vying for time at the feeder."
Ah, the pens. Several years ago my husband gave me a fountain pen. It was an expensive gift and a lovely one, because it told me how much he valued my work. Alas, I couldn't write with it--literally. I could not get it to make words on paper. There was nothing wrong with the pen, and I can only suspect that it inhibited me in the way that fancy journals and notebooks do. I manage much better with my cheery cup of cheap pens in myriad styles and colors of ink.