OK, I cleaned up* my office so the photos wouldn’t be a total embarrassment. (*My definition of “cleaned up” is I wiped off the top layer of dust and straightened the piles so they wouldn’t show in the photos. LOL!) I like my spaces clean and neat, but I’m a “spreader” when I work. I spread out to use any unoccupied space. Following that reasoning, if I have a smaller space to spread out, my writing materials are closer at hand.
My ideal writing space is pretty much my office. There are just my doggies and me in a nice sized house, so I have an entire room for my office plus several bookcases of reference books in an adjoining room. The window showing in the first photo doesn’t have a spectacular view, but the door onto the deck is just a few steps away, leading to the plants and flowers in the backyard, so I can enjoy the fruits of the “dirt therapy” done earlier.
I run three other small businesses besides writing (Web and graphic design, Reiki energy healing, and the beginnings of a dog rescue and sanctuary) from this office. They co-exist peacefully for the most part, though at times they compete for my attention. I just upgraded the software on my Macintosh computer and invested in a digital camera, so all the creative pieces of my life are expanding!
At the beginning of a writing project, I like to cover one wall with easel-sized pieces of paper where I can post photos of people, houses, rooms, clothing, etc., that visually represent my characters. I’m currently plotting a nine-book contemporary romance series, so each book has its own sheet of paper (you can see most of them in the second photo). As I get deeper into each story, I’ll add more easel sheets so I can plot the scenes for each book.
You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m a detailed plotter, at least at the beginning of a story. This gives me a road map of the story, but leaves enough flexibility for interesting side trips along the writing journey without ending up miles and miles away from my destination. Ironically, once I have the story map done, I don’t use it that much until I’m about three-fourths done with the book. When it’s time to start wrapping up the story, I go back and revisit each character, plot, and subplots to make sure I haven’t dropped something and that everything flows smoothly.
I’ve given myself another week to finish the plotting on this series. Then I’ll work on edits for a book scheduled to be released in late February 2009. I’m also continuing to promote my first release, SONGS OF THE HEART, which is now available in paperback on Amazon.com. To celebrate the print release, I will include a copy of that version in the basket of goodies one lucky person will win in my contest drawing on July 4.
I’m really enjoying the promotion side of writing, and have contests planned each month for, oh, the next year or so. LOL! The story line of SONGS OF THE HEART wraps up with the wedding of the hero and heroine in the fall, so then I’ll segue into promotion for FEATHERS ON THE FLOOR, which will be released on December 12. The happy ending for that book occurs on Christmas Day. I already have holiday-related prizes picked out and stashed in a closet in my office. After the holidays, I’ll start promotion for STARS IN YOUR EYES, which will be released in late February 2009.
By that time, I’ll have at least one of the books in my series completed and another story in the works. By the way, that truly is an “antique” rotary dial phone in the top photo. All of my phones except that one and my cell phone have either died or are in the process of dying. A new phone is on my shopping list–after I get that series of books plotted. I figure the rotary model is about thirty-five years old and is good for twice that long! Does anyone have a functional phone that’s older?