My little cave…my corner of darkness…

Author: Minnette Meador
Currently Working On: The Breton & The General, historical romance

Ok, I admit it…this is where I live more than half of my life. It’s my shrine, my altar…hell, it’s my dinner table most of the time! My office. It is as personal as a well-worn bra and as public as a Bart Simpson balloon on Thanksgiving. Now, before I expose myself…my inner sanctum, I mean…I must warn you this is not for the faint of heart. Those of you with small children may want to leave the room. Paramedics are standing by with smelling salts…..
Ok…got you on this one…I wish!

Here’s the reality…
As a fantasy writer, here is what it looks like while I’m writing…

…as a romance writer…
here is what I’d like it to look like…

Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she? A girl can dream…
Thanks for sharing my little corner of darkness…I mean heaven. Just a little nonsense between friends!

By Request: http://www.myspace.com/andreiclaude – Andrei Claude

Minnette Meador
http://www.minnettemeador.com/
http://minnettemeador.blogspot.com/
Newsletter –
http://www.minnettemeador.com/minnette_home_new_002.htm

Home is where the book is

I don’t know about anyone else, but Blogger is giving me fits today. It keeps crashing my browser every time I visit a Blogger blog. Very irritating.

Okay, this month’s topic is about that sacred of all places, the Writer’s Space. I can’t offer much of anything different from what others have posted so far. I’m a mobile unit, the laptop and me connected at the hip, and I write wherever and whenever I can.

Though I have an office that’s about a ten-foot square of space, I rarely write in there. Except maybe email. I have a desktop computer on a stationary desk, but it’s got a wide screen that is more conducive to my graphic design business. I strive to keep my two creative businesses apart from each other. It makes me feel kind of schizo at times, but there you have it.

Here are pictures of my favorite writing spaces. The Skychair on the front porch is my summer space and is usually used at night when it’s too hot to stay indoors (I live in Central Oregon and we don’t have air conditioning in our house). Dark is best because the laptop screen is impossible to view in bright sunlight. The Skychair is awesome, very comfy, and it swings. The writing life doesn’t get much better than this.

Most of the time, however, I write on this loveseat, usually with a cat in my lap. Sometimes two because, you know, you can never have too much cat hair stuck in your keyboard. It’s a tight fit, but we manage. The cats sort of wobble as my fingers skitter over the laptop’s keys. Having two cats lay across your arms as you’re typing is a great workout for the forearms.

I have a friend who has two specially assigned writing chairs. One she sits in to write, and the other she sits in to edit. That’s an interesting concept, but I doubt it would work for me. It’ just too… I don’t know. Compartmentalized.

Today will be spent on revisions to my latest manuscript. My agent sent me a list of suggestions and I’m right about halfway through, hoping to finish them all by tomorrow. I can hardly wait to get my new urban fantasy out making the rounds at the big publishing houses. It’s the first book in a series, so we’re hopeful it finds a home soon so that I can get started on the second book. I have the first couple of pages from chapter one posted on my blog if you’d like to take a look.

Karen Duvall, author of DESERT GUARDIAN (The Wild Rose Press)

Home is where the book is

I don’t know about anyone else, but Blogger is giving me fits today. It keeps crashing my browser every time I visit a Blogger blog. Very irritating.

Okay, this month’s topic is about that sacred of all places, the Writer’s Space. I can’t offer much of anything different from what others have posted so far. I’m a mobile unit, the laptop and me connected at the hip, and I write wherever and whenever I can.

Though I have an office that’s about a ten-foot square of space, I rarely write in there. Except maybe email. I have a desktop computer on a stationary desk, but it’s got a wide screen that is more conducive to my graphic design business. I strive to keep my two creative businesses apart from each other. It makes me feel kind of schizo at times, but there you have it.

Here are pictures of my favorite writing spaces. The Skychair on the front porch is my summer space and is usually used at night when it’s too hot to stay indoors (I live in Central Oregon and we don’t have air conditioning in our house). Dark is best because the laptop screen is impossible to view in bright sunlight. The Skychair is awesome, very comfy, and it swings. The writing life doesn’t get much better than this.

Most of the time, however, I write on this loveseat, usually with a cat in my lap. Sometimes two because, you know, you can never have too much cat hair stuck in your keyboard. It’s a tight fit, but we manage. The cats sort of wobble as my fingers skitter over the laptop’s keys. Having two cats lay across your arms as you’re typing is a great workout for the forearms.

I have a friend who has two specially assigned writing chairs. One she sits in to write, and the other she sits in to edit. That’s an interesting concept, but I doubt it would work for me. It’ just too… I don’t know. Compartmentalized.

Today will be spent on revisions to my latest manuscript. My agent sent me a list of suggestions and I’m right about halfway through, hoping to finish them all by tomorrow. I can hardly wait to get my new urban fantasy out making the rounds at the big publishing houses. It’s the first book in a series, so we’re hopeful it finds a home soon so that I can get started on the second book. I have the first couple of pages from chapter one posted on my blog if you’d like to take a look.

Karen Duvall, author of DESERT GUARDIAN (The Wild Rose Press)

The Incredible Moving Office

DELLE JACOBS
Currently: Writing chapters 16 and 17 of FAERIE
and getting ready to announce Royal Ascot Finalists
Mood: Greatly Relieved
***
Every author must have an office, right? No? Well at least a writing space. Right? Wrong again? Well, let’s just say we need it. “Must-have” is a little strong.

The problem so many of us face is that as soon as we get reasonably settled into a workspace- especially if it’s in our home- someone starts encroaching. Even those authors who have an actual room to call their own sometimes find family members want pieces of the room. Doors don’t stay closed for stay-at-home authors. Hang out a sign on the doorknob that says “Warning! Goddess at work! Enter at risk of being struck by lightning.” They’ll laugh and say, “Hey Mom, got any Band-Aids and tourniquets?” Followed by “Just kidding, Mom. What’re ya doing?”

Never mind. We still have to write. We’d write sitting on rocks, scratching our words into palm fronds if we had to. Palm fronds are a bit hard to convert to text to send to the printer, but we’d figure out a way.

My solution began to form a in 1996 with my first laptop. It was a Gateway with a 9-inch diagonal screen and a whole 256mgs of hard drive. But it meant freedom.

My office started to become mobile. It went with me to work, where I wrote on my lunch hour, and meant my evil supervisor could no longer accuse me of using state equipment and electricity. And at home, I could hide out in the bedroom in my favorite cross-legged position, far from the blaring TV and other distractions. It worked most of the time.

But lifestyles change. Suddenly hubby was home, sleeping in on non-work days– in my office. I was up early, tip-toe-ing around. So my movable office kept on moving. Deck, living room, freezing cold family room, then back to bedroom. Never had a decent place to store stuff. Then the last grandson departed the guest room for his own apartment, and I took it over. It needs a lot of work yet, (note that flowered bag on the floor on the left. Recognize it? Yes, from the Readers Luncheon in April) but I’ve finally got great storage. See the baskets under the bed? Five of them. And I can sit cross-legged on the bed. That laptop stand will go back out to the deck for summer use with my favorite mesh lounger.

To have a really portable office, portable devices are important. The laptop is the cornerstone, of course, with an extra battery. Portable storage devices like thumb drives or external hard drives provide extra safety of files, especially important when shifting locations. Wireless routers or cards give internet access and mean printers can be located elsewhere, but I have a second printer in my new hide-out, and it’s not wireless-yet. Research libraries aren’t portable, but at least the books are. They’re in bookcases all over the house anyway, so I’d still have to hunt down what I need.

Note all the frills. Very important. Lace, ruffles, flowery prints establish territory and are the best male repellent I’ve found yet. Now the guys can come and visit but they don’t stay quite so long, and my guest room is actually a guest room. I just move out for a few days, back to one of my other writing spots.

Small necessities include a place to put that cup of coffee, a sprinkling of more primitive writing necessities like paper, pencils and date book (I still haven’t successfully converted to a computer calendar). Outside on the deck, I write beneath a canopy with side shades (it’s a myth perpetuated by hotel commercials that laptops can be used in bright sun) and keep a lap robe handy. Nice days can be chilly sometimes.

The requisite black writer’s cat, also a portable device, is unfortunately still unreliable, especially when its favorite closet hiding spot has become threatened. But nothing can be done about that.

The Incredible Moving Office

DELLE JACOBS
Currently: Writing chapters 16 and 17 of FAERIE
and getting ready to announce Royal Ascot Finalists
Mood: Greatly Relieved
***
Every author must have an office, right? No? Well at least a writing space. Right? Wrong again? Well, let’s just say we need it. “Must-have” is a little strong.

The problem so many of us face is that as soon as we get reasonably settled into a workspace- especially if it’s in our home- someone starts encroaching. Even those authors who have an actual room to call their own sometimes find family members want pieces of the room. Doors don’t stay closed for stay-at-home authors. Hang out a sign on the doorknob that says “Warning! Goddess at work! Enter at risk of being struck by lightning.” They’ll laugh and say, “Hey Mom, got any Band-Aids and tourniquets?” Followed by “Just kidding, Mom. What’re ya doing?”

Never mind. We still have to write. We’d write sitting on rocks, scratching our words into palm fronds if we had to. Palm fronds are a bit hard to convert to text to send to the printer, but we’d figure out a way.

My solution began to form a in 1996 with my first laptop. It was a Gateway with a 9-inch diagonal screen and a whole 256mgs of hard drive. But it meant freedom.

My office started to become mobile. It went with me to work, where I wrote on my lunch hour, and meant my evil supervisor could no longer accuse me of using state equipment and electricity. And at home, I could hide out in the bedroom in my favorite cross-legged position, far from the blaring TV and other distractions. It worked most of the time.

But lifestyles change. Suddenly hubby was home, sleeping in on non-work days– in my office. I was up early, tip-toe-ing around. So my movable office kept on moving. Deck, living room, freezing cold family room, then back to bedroom. Never had a decent place to store stuff. Then the last grandson departed the guest room for his own apartment, and I took it over. It needs a lot of work yet, (note that flowered bag on the floor on the left. Recognize it? Yes, from the Readers Luncheon in April) but I’ve finally got great storage. See the baskets under the bed? Five of them. And I can sit cross-legged on the bed. That laptop stand will go back out to the deck for summer use with my favorite mesh lounger.

To have a really portable office, portable devices are important. The laptop is the cornerstone, of course, with an extra battery. Portable storage devices like thumb drives or external hard drives provide extra safety of files, especially important when shifting locations. Wireless routers or cards give internet access and mean printers can be located elsewhere, but I have a second printer in my new hide-out, and it’s not wireless-yet. Research libraries aren’t portable, but at least the books are. They’re in bookcases all over the house anyway, so I’d still have to hunt down what I need.

Note all the frills. Very important. Lace, ruffles, flowery prints establish territory and are the best male repellent I’ve found yet. Now the guys can come and visit but they don’t stay quite so long, and my guest room is actually a guest room. I just move out for a few days, back to one of my other writing spots.

Small necessities include a place to put that cup of coffee, a sprinkling of more primitive writing necessities like paper, pencils and date book (I still haven’t successfully converted to a computer calendar). Outside on the deck, I write beneath a canopy with side shades (it’s a myth perpetuated by hotel commercials that laptops can be used in bright sun) and keep a lap robe handy. Nice days can be chilly sometimes.

The requisite black writer’s cat, also a portable device, is unfortunately still unreliable, especially when its favorite closet hiding spot has become threatened. But nothing can be done about that.

Anywhere

I don’t have a picture, but my “official” writing space is a bedroom turned into an office. Imagine if you will, a ten-by-ten room, one wall occupied by floor to ceiling, side-by-side desks. One for the husband. One for me. On the second wall is a cabinet and work table for his hobbies. On the back wall the window is covered up by file cabinets that sit on top of a dresser. The last wall is taken up by a floor to ceiling bookshelf. Two shelves are mine, with the bottom one filled to overflowing with my to-be-read stacks.

Unofficially, my writing space includes the dining room, living room, and occasionally, if I’m desperate, Barnes and Noble in Clackamas. I wrote my first book during the morning commute to work, when I rode the bus from home to downtown Portland.

I’m a restless writer, and always start out brainstorming characters and the outline of my story in a spiral notebook. Everything goes in there. The notebook goes everywhere with me, hence the rotating office between the dining room and the living room, and wherever.

When I write the first draft, it too goes in the notebook. From there, I transfer what I’ve written onto into the computer, which is a laptop I can dock in the office if I feel inspired to do so…and so on with the second draft, which is a printed, hard copy revision. I do two final revisions on the computer. I often need a change of scenery, and the laptop lets me get away with that. So, when I say, I working in my office, well…

Anywhere

I don’t have a picture, but my “official” writing space is a bedroom turned into an office. Imagine if you will, a ten-by-ten room, one wall occupied by floor to ceiling, side-by-side desks. One for the husband. One for me. On the second wall is a cabinet and work table for his hobbies. On the back wall the window is covered up by file cabinets that sit on top of a dresser. The last wall is taken up by a floor to ceiling bookshelf. Two shelves are mine, with the bottom one filled to overflowing with my to-be-read stacks.

Unofficially, my writing space includes the dining room, living room, and occasionally, if I’m desperate, Barnes and Noble in Clackamas. I wrote my first book during the morning commute to work, when I rode the bus from home to downtown Portland.

I’m a restless writer, and always start out brainstorming characters and the outline of my story in a spiral notebook. Everything goes in there. The notebook goes everywhere with me, hence the rotating office between the dining room and the living room, and wherever.

When I write the first draft, it too goes in the notebook. From there, I transfer what I’ve written onto into the computer, which is a laptop I can dock in the office if I feel inspired to do so…and so on with the second draft, which is a printed, hard copy revision. I do two final revisions on the computer. I often need a change of scenery, and the laptop lets me get away with that. So, when I say, I working in my office, well…

A Growing Writing Space

My writing spaces have progressed along with my writing career. My first spot was a desk in the corner of the living room. My printer was behind the chair and the cord to the phone ran up the wall and was tacked along the ceiling, through the dining room and over to the phone jack in the kitchen. Then I went the laptop route, with the phone cord laying across the living room floor through dining… you get the picture. It got tripped on a lot.

Once I sold my book, we realized I needed to take my career to the next level. Since we had no room available for an office I did the next best thing— I preempted the dining room. Out went the old table that my children had colored all over. Out went the chairs—they needed a new paint job anyway. And with two busy teens, family dinners had become a thing of the past.

Check out my space:

Not huge, but my printer and fax machine are within arm’s reach and I now have wireless for my laptop. Welcome to the new era! If you look closely, you can see the cover flat of my debut book, Read My Lips. (Out in stores Tuesday!) My husband had it professionally mounted and framed for me.

So my writing space has grown as my career has grown…here’s to hoping it’ll soon grow into an addition with my own office, preferably with wall to wall windows, built in book cases and maybe a little soapstone woodstove in the corner. Maybe a little sink and counter area so I can make coffee… a patio so I write outside on nice days…

To that end, check out the trailer for my debut book!

A Growing Writing Space

My writing spaces have progressed along with my writing career. My first spot was a desk in the corner of the living room. My printer was behind the chair and the cord to the phone ran up the wall and was tacked along the ceiling, through the dining room and over to the phone jack in the kitchen. Then I went the laptop route, with the phone cord laying across the living room floor through dining… you get the picture. It got tripped on a lot.

Once I sold my book, we realized I needed to take my career to the next level. Since we had no room available for an office I did the next best thing— I preempted the dining room. Out went the old table that my children had colored all over. Out went the chairs—they needed a new paint job anyway. And with two busy teens, family dinners had become a thing of the past.

Check out my space:

Not huge, but my printer and fax machine are within arm’s reach and I now have wireless for my laptop. Welcome to the new era! If you look closely, you can see the cover flat of my debut book, Read My Lips. (Out in stores Tuesday!) My husband had it professionally mounted and framed for me.

So my writing space has grown as my career has grown…here’s to hoping it’ll soon grow into an addition with my own office, preferably with wall to wall windows, built in book cases and maybe a little soapstone woodstove in the corner. Maybe a little sink and counter area so I can make coffee… a patio so I write outside on nice days…

To that end, check out the trailer for my debut book!

Writer Heaven




Hello Romantic Friends,
First of all, thanks for inviting me to join this Blog. I am so glad to have finally joined the Rose City Romance Writers. It’s a great feeling to know that there is a world of women out there with a passion that drives them as intensely as it does me: writing about love.
If you are a female writer who dreams of going somewhere beautiful and having uninterrupted time to just write and lose yourself inside your creative world, I have a holy place to share with you: Hedgebrook.
I applied for a residency about four years ago and was awarded three blissful weeks to work on my project at that time—a memoir about my crazy years spent in Hollywood as a (ahem) stripper. Although I still haven’t finished that project, (some things just take a while to digest), I had an amazing Hedgebrook experience that I couldn’t let go from my mind. Since that stay four years ago, I’ve had a daughter, who has finally reached an age where she is old enough to eagerly stay with Grandma. I was finally able to return this spring for another week of writing heaven.
Hedgebrook is a rural retreat for women writers on Whidbey Island, in Washington. Six writers at a time stay, and they are usually from all over the world. Each writer gets her own a-frame cabin, heated by a wood stove. The cabins are nestled on the wooded multi-acred lot, close enough to the other cabins to not feel isolated, but far enough from the others to ensure complete privacy. There are trails and paths that lead to all sorts of inspirational look-outs: ponds, waterfalls, views of the nearby beach. All meals are prepared for you by an amazing Chef named Jesse who uses only local, farm-raised, and fresh-from-the-garden foods. Your time at Hedgebrook is your own, with the exception for your dinner each night, and that you spend in the company of other writers at the farmhouse.
The best thing about Hedgebrook is that it is non-profit and there is no price for your stay. Not that I haven’t vowed to tithe them each time I receive a royalty check for one of my books. It’s become a sacred place for me to write and I feel I must share this information with all my writer friends, because there is no place like this. Women have so many responsibilities these days, and we also face so many challenges in feeling truly safe in this world—safe enough to hear our deepest, truest voices emerge. My last stay at Hedgebrook was very emotional for me, and I made breakthroughs I do not think I could have achieved anywhere else. Just being in solitude in nature, listening to the owls at night from the upstairs loft of my cabin, walking to the beach in the mornings with my journal, all the while knowing that the time was completely my own, and that I was safe and cared for, was a romance in and of itself.
www.hedgebrook.org
You deserve it, too!
Warmest,
Megan Clark
www.meganclark.net