Still plodding/plotting along

Sunufa… This story is fighting me. But I am fighting back. With Sharpies! And sticky notes! And spreadsheets!


These weapons are not as cool as nunchucks, I know, but it’s what I have.

The toilet paper is for my allergies, but it’s also useful for those sh!tty first drafts. Grumble.

A room of her own

(Crossposted from Silk And Shadows)

Currently working on: Teaser prequel for SEDUCED BY SHADOWS
Mood: Ahead of myself

I am now contracted for four novels of the Marked Souls, so I am booked until 2011 and I’ll be writing like a fiend for most of that time.  Plus, the first book is coming out in October, and I’m get ready to knuckle down to the next two months of intense non-writing writing life stuff like promotions, book signings, and inventing new ways to avoid vacuuming.  So I’ve been thinking about whether my writing space serves me as well now that I’m a working writer.

I’ve posted this picture before, but let’s review.  Here is my office as it is today:


With the exception of the large mammal who isn’t me sitting at on the desk, overall this is a serviceable space.  It has all the key writerly pieces: A computer and a chair.  And Super Glue in the top front drawer.  Plus, it has a few extras: A cabinet to hold my junk, stacking cubbies to hold my more immediately necessary junk (dictionary, thesaurus, my writer’s altar, more Super Glue), inspirational art, and various writing buddies like my dog and geckos.

I know many writers crammed into closets and carving out chunks of the kitchen table every night who would be happy to have my space (with the possible exception of the dog) and so I am profoundly grateful to have it.


I’m thinking I might need something more inspirational, considering all the pressure I’m under.  Maybe I need a satellite office.  Maybe somewhere warm and sunny…


Okay, maybe not.  The potential for distraction — not to mention a serious sunburn, always a consideration for the pasty, stuck-at-the-desk types – is too high.  And I need something with a little more discipline.  Maybe someplace like…


Right.  Those walls are kind of helpful, holding in all the good ideas, concentrating my concentration.  But there’s still something a little off about this set up…


Ah, there we go.  Now the walls are on the right side.  The perfect office for the working writer.

Except somebody left the door open…

How about you?  Whether you are a writer, a quilter, a mom, or whatever, do you need freedom or discipline to get your work done?  Does the view out your window inspire you or distract you?  Or is it all a matter of balance?

A writer’s space, the first frontier

office1I’m lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to my writing. Just me and my computer and my green-eyed demon dog and my golden geckos in the upright fish tank on the left side of the desk and my work-in-progress collage propped above. I didn’t even have to clean up (too much) to take this shot. Just don’t – for the love of all you hold dear – open the Chinese cabinet on the right.

But my REAL writing retreat is profoundly messier and also way more luxurious. It’s the retreat in my head.

door_fantasySounds woo-woo, yes? (Wave to Brenda W. whose guided imagery during a hypnosis session helped me create this second workspace.) But with a blazing candle and some mythic traveling tunes from Azam Ali and Dead Can Dance, I open the door in my mind and find an empty space to brainstorm, or a boardroom with all my imagined characters at the round table, or a playroom with indelible colored markers and permission to write on the walls. Hey, it’s my space after all.

Sometimes it’s a prison or a padded room in a sanatorium. My head isn’t always a pretty place. But honestly, I find as a writer I’m best served by a comfy chair and a short chain anyway, and sometimes blank walls are very relaxing. Regardless of its décor, once I sink down into that second writing place, it seems as if the first one – the real one – was the illusion, flickering out like that untended candle.

If you haven’t yet found your ideal writing space or just a personal sanctuary, could you create one in your head? What music, scents and props would you need to make the doorway to that space?

“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo.”
~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977