Writing amid the Chaos

Some people thrive in the orderly, I thrive in chaos. When I’m in the throes of a book, my office looks like a tornado ravaged the room. My desktop is piled high with various layers of papers, anything from bills to research info to school stuff for my kids. And believe it or not I do have a catalog in my brain that tells me where any given paper that I am looking for is within the layers. I have books, The Synonym Finder, A Dictionary, The Plot Doctor and various other research books that pertain to what ever subject I’m writing about, stacked around, either on the desk top or on the floor with in grabbing distance. Pens and pencils lie haphazardly on the desktop for easy use, as do scissors and highlighters. A phone is close by and the printer is an arm’s length away. Right now I have a tub of Trader Joe’s Animal Crackers sitting next to the printer (in case I get the munchies) and a cup of tea. Behind me, I have a book case stuffed with books, some research and reference, some writing how to books, and lots of fun fiction. I also have a tall filing cabinet the top of which houses a pretty vase with my beautiful roses from Rose City Romance Writers, the chapter gives a rose every time an author sells a book. On the floor infront of the closet are tubs full of stuff, more books, things for reader baskets, papers that I don’t need right now but may one day and a ton of notebooks full of story ideas. At my feet is a CD player; again that chaos thing, I can’t work in silence.
I will confess that between deadlines, I do clean my office so that the chaos can be rebuilt with the next book.

Heather/Anh’s writing space

Heather Hiestand

Currently: Finishing the first draft of a paranormal futuristic erotic novella and trying not to obsess over the agents I haven’t heard from regarding my middle grade paranormal. Also happy with two new releases: Link to In Flight
Link to my scifi anthology. Next up: Alter ego Anh Leod’s release in August.

Mood: Fueled by tea and chocolate!

A messy office indicates a creative mind, right? I certainly hope so. I considered cleaning before I took this picture for half a second, but let’s face it, it only looks better than this a couple of times a year because I’m lazy, er, creative. And, actually, it’s not that dusty because my monitor died last month so I had to pull and replace it with my sister’s boyfriend’s old monitor. I screamed with horror at the dust and cleaned up at least two layers of paperwork, I swear. Really!

My office:

The dining room table where I play The Sims, I mean, where I also work:

Where I would rather be working except it is currently 58 degrees in my office and probably even worse on the porch:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Heather/Anh’s writing space

Heather Hiestand

Currently: Finishing the first draft of a paranormal futuristic erotic novella and trying not to obsess over the agents I haven’t heard from regarding my middle grade paranormal. Also happy with two new releases: Link to In Flight
Link to my scifi anthology. Next up: Alter ego Anh Leod’s release in August.

Mood: Fueled by tea and chocolate!

A messy office indicates a creative mind, right? I certainly hope so. I considered cleaning before I took this picture for half a second, but let’s face it, it only looks better than this a couple of times a year because I’m lazy, er, creative. And, actually, it’s not that dusty because my monitor died last month so I had to pull and replace it with my sister’s boyfriend’s old monitor. I screamed with horror at the dust and cleaned up at least two layers of paperwork, I swear. Really!

My office:

The dining room table where I play The Sims, I mean, where I also work:

Where I would rather be working except it is currently 58 degrees in my office and probably even worse on the porch:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Let’s Be REALLY Honest

Currently: Keeping busy with the baby so as not to think about how I haven’t heard from my editor about FIRST IMPRESSIONS or the MR. POSSIBLY…

Mood: Daydreaming of sleep…

–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~

I’ve seen these posts before, where authors show their ‘cave’ and explain why it works for them…but I’ve always hummed along, pretending I didn’t get the email asking me to contribute a picture. You see, if I sent a picture I’d of course have to clean my work space…and since I work in my bedroom that woul dbe like cleaning twice and well, cleaning was never my favorite thing to do. Add to that a pregnancy with sciatica issues and now a month old baby girl, well…

You get the picture. I haven’t slept through the night in months, so the idea of using what brain space I have to do something like organize my books…yeah. I’d rather write. Not that I have since she was born, but still…

So, this is my space. A desk tucked into a corner of the bedroom – recently moved so as not to put the baby crib under a vent – and two bookshelves. Plus the cabinet portion of the armoire (not shown). And the books I have downstairs.

Someday soon I will have an office with a door and three times as much bookshelf space. But that is a few more book contracts down the road…

Let’s Be REALLY Honest

Currently: Keeping busy with the baby so as not to think about how I haven’t heard from my editor about FIRST IMPRESSIONS or the MR. POSSIBLY…

Mood: Daydreaming of sleep…

–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~–~

I’ve seen these posts before, where authors show their ‘cave’ and explain why it works for them…but I’ve always hummed along, pretending I didn’t get the email asking me to contribute a picture. You see, if I sent a picture I’d of course have to clean my work space…and since I work in my bedroom that woul dbe like cleaning twice and well, cleaning was never my favorite thing to do. Add to that a pregnancy with sciatica issues and now a month old baby girl, well…

You get the picture. I haven’t slept through the night in months, so the idea of using what brain space I have to do something like organize my books…yeah. I’d rather write. Not that I have since she was born, but still…

So, this is my space. A desk tucked into a corner of the bedroom – recently moved so as not to put the baby crib under a vent – and two bookshelves. Plus the cabinet portion of the armoire (not shown). And the books I have downstairs.

Someday soon I will have an office with a door and three times as much bookshelf space. But that is a few more book contracts down the road…

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

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.