Posts Tagged ‘author’s workspace’
I have a treat for you today – the awesome Kathy Altman. Kathy writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and (in her words) “the occasional ode to chocolate”. She’s published by Harlequin Superromance, and contributes to USA Today’s “Happy Ever After” blog. And she does this on top of her day job as a computer programmer for the Air Force. (Told you she was awesome. She’s not just a Super woman, she’s a superwoman!)
Take it away, Kathy!
KATHY ALTMAN: I’m so happy to be hanging out today with the fabulous Norah Wilson! She’s ultra-talented and uber-generous, and I’m hoping some of her romantic suspense savvy will rub off on me.
At the same time, I can’t help but wonder why I thought it would be a good idea to invite readers into my writing space. Said space tends to be…dusty. And, shall we say, less than tidy. The disorder is usually easy for me to ignore, until the whole post-a-photo thing comes up. Although really, I should be celebrating rather than cringing, because not only do I get to visit with Norah and her peeps, but after some mad action with a dust cloth, a trashcan and the vacuum cleaner, I get a clean workspace! For a day or two, anyway…
But I’ll ’fess up and show you the reality first. So here’s my writing space in all its dust-ridden glory, tucked into the corner of my bedroom. Note the comfy, sturdy, high-dollar office chair. Yeah, I hurt its feelings on a regular basis by choosing to kick back with my laptop in a recliner in the opposite corner.
The stack of books on the far left of the desk are releases I’m getting ready to read and review. I always feel so special when I receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy! The gorgeous lavender mirror leaning up against the file cabinet (because I haven’t decided where to hang it yet) was made by fellow Superromance author Jeannie Watt, and it reminds me that everyone has hidden talents. Some are better hidden than others. Like my flair for speaking Italian and scoring free trips to Venice. Still waiting for those to make an appearance. Here’s a closer view of some of my favorite items:
The ceramic cat sits on top of the filing cabinet. My critique partner, suspense author Toni Anderson, gave that to me for Christmas the year my sweetie and I lost two of our kitties. No way you can look at that little guy and not smile. Beside it is my special Happy Ever After mug, a gift from USA Today blog curator Joyce Lamb. The perfectly pink message reminds me why I write. The timer helps make sure that I do. The paperweight keeps me going when I want to slap the laptop closed (it reads “Never Never Never Quit”). And that magnificent, tumbled rock-encrusted candle holder prompts me to remember that it’s not all about the writing—my nephew Stephen made that for me, so of course it brings to mind all the fun times we’ve had together, and how I’d better hurry up and have some more before he turns 13 and doesn’t want anything to do with me.
When I feel the need to stand (which isn’t anywhere near as often as it should be), I perch my laptop on top of the television in the den and type away. How handy, that I can watch Gilligan’s Island reruns while I type! (Just kidding. I wouldn’t get any work done that way, right? Although there are always exceptions. Like Castle. And Leverage. Maybe Person of Interest. And let’s not forget Rizzoli & Isles or Army Wives or…well, you get the picture.)
Relocating to the den means walking past my inspiration wall. Stephen painted this when he was nearly five, and when I asked him what he planned to call his masterpiece, he answered promptly, “The Promised Land.” Great name, right?! Every time I walk this hallway, I admire his creativity and energy and allow myself to ponder—why isn’t this kid selling paintings so I can write full-time?
Behold the view from my bedroom window. If you look closely, you can see a kitty under the willow tree. Peaceful scene, isn’t it? It’s also deceptively alluring. Believe me, I’ve tried the whole up-against-a-tree thing. Okay, that sounds naughty but what I mean is, I’ve tried writing outside. Sitting at the base of a tree, bellying up to a bistro table on the deck, kicking back in a webbed lounge chair in the shade—all epic fails. Ants, mosquitoes, sunburn and moss stains on your jeans are unpleasant enough. No doubt you’ve already attempted to balance both a laptop and a cat in your lap? How about when the cat is longhaired and your arms and legs are bare and it’s ninety degrees outside and you’re sweating enough for five people? You end up looking like Sasquatch and nothing but a shower can cure that itchy feeling. Which provides the perfect excuse for going back inside.
This is what my desk looked like the ninety seconds it was clean. So much for that!
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Norah! And to anyone who might like a copy of my recent release, Staying at Joe’s, please leave a comment. I’ll pick two names at random to receive either a digital or softcopy version. Thanks, everyone! I appreciate your being here today!
Thank you for the tour, Kathy! That was a blast. BTW, I have also tried the outdoor writing, and it was a bust for me too.
To learn more about Kathy, find her online here:
Okay, to the fun stuff! Giving away two copies of Kathy’s book. It’s hot off the press – just published yesterday! As ever, comment for your chance to win. Here’s a blurb.
A deal she can’t refuse!
Allison Kincaid can make a great sales pitch. But showing up at Joe Gallahan’s motel asking for a favor is her toughest challenge yet. A year ago they were more than just colleagues at a big PR firm. When work came between them, Joe put the blame on Allison…and his opinion hasn’t changed.
She’s shocked, however, when Joe agrees to help. Even though she doesn’t love his terms, she accepts them because she’ll get what she needs. If striking a deal with him means donning a pair of coveralls and swinging a hammer, so be it. Working side by side with Joe again, they might be able to repair the past. They just might get a second chance, too!
I am delighted to welcome Nancy Herkness as my guest for this edition of Workspace Wednesday. Nancy is another Montlake Romance sister. She writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her current Montlake Romance release Take Me Home is the first in the Whisper Horse series.
Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers and Novelists, Inc., and has won numerous awards for her work, including the Golden Leaf, the Write Touch Readers’ Award and the Aspen Gold. Nancy graduated from Princeton University with a degree in English literature and creative writing. A native of West Virginia, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and two mismatched dogs.
With that intro, I’ll turn it over to Nancy.
Norah, it’s so intriguing to get a peek into my fellow writers’ workspaces. Thanks so much for inviting me to join the fun!
I write in a garret, the room at the top of the house right under the roof. Artists are famous for starving in their garrets, but I make sure to keep plenty of chocolate stashed in mine. The nice thing about being up so high is that I have a great view from my office window: tree tops and sky and the occasional bird or two. It’s refreshing but not too distracting.
The other great thing about being up two flights of stairs is that no one interrupts me unless they REALLY want to talk to me.
For those desperate enough for my company I do offer a seat or two. Notice the pile of dog toys under the pretty chair: those are for Brodie, my Golden Retriever, who visits often. It’s rare that my Yorkie Rocky makes it all the way to the top of the house.
If you’re wondering about the funky-looking black chair, that’s for when my back starts to bother me. Balancing on the ball keeps my back muscles moving all the time. It’s good for writing marathons when a deadline looms. “Red Car Press” is the publisher name I used to self-publish my backlist titles; my wonderful husband had the snazzy sign made for me. It’s going outside my office door as soon as the painters finish in the hallway.
Along with chocolate, there are certain items I cannot survive without. This artistic (snort!) still life captures their essence.
The cloth is for cleaning my glasses which somehow get smudged during the creative process. The timer is set for 30 minutes. Depending how the writing is going, this reminds me either to: 1) focus on writing until I hear beeping; or 2) get up from the chair and move around for a few minutes to work the kinks out of my back. Some days I need Reminder 1; some days (the good ones) I need Reminder 2.
The remote control turns on the column fan (you can see it behind the ball chair in Picture 2) when a hot flash hits. Yes, it might kill me to get up and turn it on myself. The bookmark is from Michael Hauge’s amazing Story Mastery workshop; it summarizes his plotting genius on one small piece of laminated cardboard.
Next is the messy angle on my desk. As you can see by the clock on the wall, I am a New Jersey Devils fan. (The hockey lock-out has been killing me!) The hulking gray thing (to the right) with sticky notes all over it is the world’s oldest laser printer, a veritable tank that spits out pages at high speed despite its obsolescence.
Above it is my attempt at collaging, a useful creative tool. Author Jenny Crusie makes collages that are works of art. Me, I tack pictures, sayings, and artifacts up willy-nilly on the bulletin board over my desk, layering them as the book progresses until it looks like a rat’s nest.
Here’s a close-up of the “collage.” (Perhaps “mess-age” would be a better name.) This collection was for COUNTRY ROADS, the book I handed into my editor just before Christmas.
Can you tell from the collage that the hero is a sexy lawyer who rides a motorcycle and plays foosball and the heroine is an artist whose whisper horse is a scary black stallion? If so, you’re good! (In case you’re wondering why I have the cover flat for TAKE ME HOME posted so prominently, it’s to prove to myself that yes, I am capable of finishing a book on time. I tend to despair of that as my deadline nears.)
Since other folks on this blog admitted to having a “brag shelf”, I am including mine below. Between the two bridge bookends are all the editions of my books. I’ll be adding TAKE ME HOME in French and Dutch soon, my first translations. Anyone for book-signings in Paris and Amsterdam?
There’s one book there I didn’t write. It’s titled THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE: POETRY IN STEEL by Michael Aaron Rockland, a non-fiction work discussing all aspects of the famous bridge including its appearances in literature. I was tickled to find that Mr. Rockland spent nearly two pages discussing my first novel A BRIDGE TO LOVE. He makes the typical snarky comments about the romance genre but admits that I “obviously did some research” on the G.W.B. He even quotes from the climactic scene of my book which takes place on the bridge itself.
I have to share the sign on the door to my writing office because my darling daughter made it after I sold my Whisper Horse series to Montlake Romance.
She knows me so well.
True confession: After enjoying a glimpse everyone else’s fabulous offices on this blog, I’ve realized mine needs some serious revamping. So I better get to work on another book….
And please check out her current release from Montlake Romance. TAKE ME HOME, the first book in the Whisper Horse Series.
When Claire Parker left Sanctuary, West Virginia, she thought it was for good. But now she’s back, reeling from an ugly divorce. Readjusting to small-town life is harder than Claire expected, so she’s surprised, and grateful, to find companionship in Willow, an abused Thoroughbred mare. Willow is Claire’s “whisper horse,” and they share a special, rare bond. Except Willow isn’t the only one helping Claire heal; Willow’s ruggedly handsome veterinarian, Dr. Tim Arbuckle, is soothing…and secretive.
Devastated by his wife’s death, Tim thought he’d never find love again. The stoic, sexy doctor was sure he’d left his heart behind when he came to Sanctuary. But Claire stirs up emotions he thought he’d buried long ago. For the first time, the doctor can see past his grief…until Willow falls gravely ill. Tim and Claire must save Willow’s life and, surrounded by the expansive mountains of West Virginia, find a love so encompassing and intense, their lives will never be the same again.
“Like slipping into a warm bath, Herkness eases readers into her story. She’s spot-on when it comes to tugging at the heartstrings, and the vibrant setting of the West Virginia mountains is perfect for characters who will haunt readers long after the last page is turned. Animal lovers will be especially delighted.”
–Jaime A. Geraldi, RT Book Reviews
Thank you for that lovely tour, Nancy. I love your garret office!
Now on to the giveaway. Nancy is offering an autographed copy of any one of her three backlist books: A Bridge to Love, Shower of Stars, or Music of the Night, winner’s choice. All you need do for a chance to win is leave a comment for Nancy below.
And her YA/new adult paranormal historical covers are pretty awesome too!
Take it away, C.J. Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Norah. I’m a little bit embarrassed to reveal the state of my office. I considered tidying up, but then I thought it would be a misrepresentation of how I work. So here it is, warts and all: My desk is covered in notes, books, pens, photos, and general stuff. The bundle of books tied up in a red ribbon are to be posted off to the Australian Romance Readers Convention where they’ll be a lucky door prize. My white board on the wall to the right is where I write my schedule and plot books. There are also some awards on the wall and the green framed one on the desk near the lamp is the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award which I won in 2008 for the manuscript that went on to be released as HONOR BOUND.
My office bookshelves are filled with the non-fiction books I use for research as well as family photo albums and some copies of my own books. I recently did a big clean out. I owned too many books and I knew I’d never read them again, so they had to go. I have another, smaller bookshelf out on the landing:
I like to edit on paper, not only because I catch more mistakes this way, but also because I can do it away from the desk. Most of the time I’ll sit in this chair on the landing just outside my office. The chair used to belong to my Nan who died last year aged 100, hence the old-fashioned floral covering. She sat in this chair every day in her sunroom, and it reminds me so much of her.
There you have it. The good and bad. Looking back through the Workspace Wednesday posts by other authors, I’ve decided my office needs a makeover and I’ve now got some great ideas! But I’ll keep Nan’s chair just the way it is. Thank you, C.J. Loved the tour! I also love your desk facing out the window like that. Mine faces a window, too. I’d love to know what kind of view you have from there. (And I hope it’s more remarkable than mine, which is the street and my neighbors’ houses. But I do get to see the sun set every night from my chair!) And of course, you Nan’s chair. It’s beautiful, and made even more so by the memories. To learn more about C.J., check her out here:
He’s dark and dangerous…and she can’t stay away… Seven years have passed since Rafe Fletcher fled London. Now he has returned to make amends, only to find his brother, James, bound for debtors’ prison. Unable to clear James’s debts, Rafe does the next best thing, promising to watch over his brother’s betrothed in his absence. There’s just one problem: the shy, sweet girl he once knew has grown into an alluring young woman—one who wants absolutely nothing to do with a man like him. Lizzy Croft isn’t fooled by Rafe’s dark good looks; she remembers all too well the hot-headed rogue he once was. But when Lizzy is framed for murder, she has no choice but to trust the man who once beat his brutish stepfather half to death, the man whose recent past is shrouded in mystery—the man who is slowly, inexorably winning her heart. Loving him would be the greatest risk of all…
**The 1st book in this series is FREE. Download THE MEDIUM for $0.00**
When ghosts begin to disappear from the Otherworld, Emily Chambers and her friends must hunt down those responsible before every last spirit, including Jacob Beaufort, is destroyed and Emily’s livelihood along with them. But there is one thing stopping them – Jacob’s killer. Weakened and fading fast, the ghost of Jacob Beaufort is determined to save Emily from a bleak and uncertain future. With her family facing financial ruin and the Otherworld in chaos, he knows her only hope is to wed Theo. As lives and afterlives hang in the balance, Emily is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice, or lose everything she loves. **The Emily Chambers Spirit Medium trilogy is a “new adult” series**
I am so happy to have with me today RWA Golden Heart® winner Caroline Fyffe. I first met Caroline on a indie author loop, where I was impressed by how pleasant, professional and talented she was. I was not a bit surprised when Montlake Romance acquired her wonderful historical western romances, making her a Montlake sister. Take it away, Caroline!
Hi! Happy Workspace Wednesday! Thanks, Norah, for having me here. I’m excited to share my world with you and your followers.
First, my desk, where I begin around 7 am, break for lunch and run on the treadmill, then resuming until 5 pm Don’t let the photo fool you! Usually, it’s pretty darn messy, but I did take some time today to straighten it up. What is cool, but I failed to get into the picture, is a big window in front of the desk. I have an awe-inspiring view of a forested area across the street.
Here you have Caroline’s Corner—as my husband likes to call it—where I go to read, meditate or plot. Sometimes my hubby sits here when I have something troubling me with my WIP and we brainstorm. I call him my ‘plotmeister’. He comes up with some unbelievably creative stuff and has given me several of my secondary storylines! It may look neat now, but I wished I’d opened the armoire to take a photo of the insides. It’s crammed full of writing books, craft manuals, signed novels from my author friends, whatnots and gizmos t’ boot. I love it and couldn’t live without it! It holds the mess that used to live on the floor, desktop, etc.
Some awards that keep me motivated. Whenever I’m in doubt, sure my story is the lamest thing going, I glance over at the wall to bolster my confidence.
When I need a mega dose of inspiration I try to get out and do something fun, different, challenging. Here I am with my 22-year-old son, spending the day at Natural Bridge. If you haven’t been there yet, be sure to visit sometime. It’s beautiful and looks just like the scenery in The Last of the Mohicans! (I love that movie!)
Thanks for letting me visit with you and your readers today, Norah! Love the idea of seeing authors in their workspace, as they create. Before I go, I’d like to ask a quick question. If money were no object, what is the one thing you’d most like to incorporate into your office? I’ll offer a $10 Starbucks Gift Card to one lucky commenter as a ‘Thank you’ for stopping by! For me, I’d love to have a floor to ceiling book shelf, the kind that needs a ladder to reach the top shelf!
Montana Dawn - Book One in The McCutcheon Family Series
Montana Territory, August 1883 – When Luke McCutcheon finds Faith Brown about to give birth in her rickety wagon, his first instincts are to ride for help. Instead, he stays and delivers a beautiful baby girl. Unable to leave the pretty young widow and her little son and newborn unprotected in the Montana wilderness, he brings them along on his family’s cattle drive, to the absolute delight of the other friendly cowboys.
Where the Wind Blows – A Prairie Hearts Novel
In the free and untamed Wild West, love might blossom in the most unexpected place…
When the man from the orphanage mistakes Chase Logan for Jessie Strong’s husband, the least Chase can do is help Jessie adopt the child she so desperately wants, the little girl who will be Jessie’s only family in the Wyoming wilderness. Three days are all she asks. Three days pretending to love a woman who is unlike any he has ever known…
Jessie knows it’s chivalry, plain and simple, that spurs Chase Logan to come to her rescue the day little Sarah arrives at her door. A man like him isn’t made for settling down; he is as wild as the land he roams. She should know better than to let down her guard, to allow herself to long for a family and a life with someone she hardly knows. And yet she dares to hope that maybe, just maybe, Chase Logan is the man destined to make all of her dreams come true.
Caroline can be found on the web here:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/caroline.fyffe
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolineFyffe
- Website: www.carolinefyffe.com
Thank you, Caroline! I loved the tour of your office, but I especially love the shot of you at your desk. Gorgeous! You could use that as a publicity photo!
As for your question, I’ll play – What I’d love to see in my office is an assistant. LOL!
Okay, folks, let’s hear your answer to Caroline’s question. From you comments, we will randomly choose a winner for the covered $10 Starbucks Gift Certificate.
I met Kim Law when we became sister Montlake authors. Besides being a total sweetheart, Kim is a very talented writer. A multiple Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she won her category (contemporary series) in 2009.
Take it away, Kim!
Welcome, welcome to my lovely (messy) office. And thank you for having me on Workspace Wednesday, Norah! I LOVE seeing other people’s workspaces so I’m thrilled to hang out and show you mine. I just wish I could show you what’s in my mind for my workspace instead of what is in actuality. But alas, since I’m currently stuck with it as is, I figured you all should be too!
First, here’s a view from the door. So many of my favorite things! For example, the purple futon. I love purple. Not sure if you can tell, but the walls are a light purple, the curtains are clearly purple, so yes, the futon had to be purple, too. I sit there to write on my laptop sometimes. When I’m drafting, most of the time I do it away from the desktop, so it’s either the futon, my treadmill desk, or propped up in my bed. Those little pillows on the futon are what I use to shove behind my back to keep me sitting up straight-ish so I can actually stand upright when I get up (yes, back issues. *sigh*)
There’s also a mostly full bookshelf to the left with random piles of crap on top, the white board for brainstorming plots (LOVE!!!!) and the mini-fridge hiding in the corner. The fridge contains my…rewards, I’ll say. Mint chocolate M&M’s in the freezer area, and the occasional bottle of wine or two down below. The stuffed animals all came from the husband. The white bear when my very first story got published in a small magazine, and the kissing bears beside it…well, because they kiss. Every romance writer needs kissing bears for inspiration, right?
Next is the wall on the opposite side of the room. It currently holds the book I just turned in. I plot out my books in a similar but condensed fashion in Excel, but sometimes when I’m struggling in the middle of the story, I need to see the whole big picture, so this was created a couple weeks ago to help me figure out where I needed to weave a bit more of the threads into my story. Behind it is the closet where I’m soon going to install shelving and organized storage space. It’s going to be awesome!! It’s currently a mess. I won’t show you.
You’ll also see part of a framed poster behind the right section of the pretty sticky notes. I asked the husband to get this for me for Christmas the year I started writing. It’s a lighthouse entitled VISION, and says: We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by every passing ship. I wholeheartedly agree with this! Do not worry about everybody else, or compare yourselves to them. Figure out what you want and make your path and go get it! In front of the poster is my basket of receipts for 2012 taxes. Yeah, I’m behind in getting those organized.
Next is my desk. And no, sorry, I didn’t clean it up for this visit. This is pretty much how it typically looks when I’m writing. To the left are spreadsheets and notes on the story I’m working on (along with misc receipts my husband gave me to log yesterday), my many pads of sticky notes, and a pencil cup you can just barely see that reads “My Spreadsheets Kick Ass.” A plotter friend of mine (who totally gets my need to spreadsheet everything) got it for me. On the right is the arm band I sometimes wear for my “mouse” (i.e. tennis) elbow. And if you’ll notice my mouse, it’s on a little shelf above the keypad of my keyboard. This is much better for you elbow and shoulder than having the mouse out to the side. Trust me. Three months of physical therapy on the elbow is not fun. Also, note the monitor sitting up on that pretty round box. It was the perfect size to make the top of the monitor even with my eyes. This helps to keep from overstraining the neck. I’ve already had issues and I figure I’m going to be doing this for years to come, so I had to make some adjustments!
And finally, the messy corner. The shelves hold how-to and reference books, articles I’ve collected for ideas, and printouts and notes from workshops I’ve taken. And a shelf of wine glasses. If you were a Harlequin book club person in the mid nineties, you likely got a lot of those purple wineglasses too. Since they’re purple, they are in my room. J I also have a coffee mug on that top shelf representative of my 2009 Golden Heart group of finalists. We’re the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood. It’s the black mug with the red high-heeled shoe on it.
In the floor is an odd assorted of writing related things that need to be filed/stored somewhere, but that I just haven’t gotten around to doing yet. There’s also a really old typewriter because I think they’re cool so my mother-in-law gave that to me. Again, I haven’t found a good place for it, so it goes in the corner.
And if you want to see my treadmill desk (which is in another room), here’s a shot. I have a monitor mounted on the wall (I don’t want to strain my neck by looking down at a laptop all the time), I built a custom desk to fit across the handles, and I have a shelf on the wall to the right that holds another computer. Yes, that make three different computers that I may use at any given time to write. Also, there’s a timer to the left of my keyboard. I can’t edit very well on the treadmill, so I try to use that time only to vomit out words. The timer helps me to stay focused and do this better.
And that’s it! Hopefully within the next month or two a lot of those piles will magically disappear and the space behind those closet doors will become a personal little organized heaven.
Today I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! Thank you all for stopping by, and thanks again for having me, Norah!
Sugar Springs is book one in my small-town contemporary series that released from Montlake on December 24th. It’s also my 2009 Golden Heart winner, so I’m really stoked to finally see this one out there!
Lee Ann London thought she’d seen the last of Cody Dalton when he hit the road years ago. Now he’s back and looking to make amends…and he just might find the family he never knew he wanted.
Caught on Camera is a sexy contemporary, and was my debut novel. Don’t you just love that cover?!?! Also note that this book is currently on sale for only $1.99 for the Kindle version!
When a beautiful videographer haunted by scandal catches the eye of a handsome and charismatic politician, she must choose between continuing to play it safe and finally taking a chance on love.
Thank you for the tour, Kim. That was awesome! Also awesome? Those covers! I especially love the Sugar Springs cover. It’s so warm and inviting. I can almost hear the crickets singing. But Caught on Camera blows me away too, in a totally different way.
By the way, congratulations on having Caught on Camera selected to be part of the 100 under $3.99 January promo at Amazon! With that special $1.99 pricing and that cover, it’s going to be FLYING off the cyber-shelves!
Before I turn it over to comments, I’ll just give you some of Kim’s coordinates, so you can get to know her a little better.
- Kim’s Website
- Kim’s Author Page on Facebook
- Kim’s Twitter
- Kim’s Author Profile on Goodreads
- Kim’s Author Page on Amazon
Okay, on to our giveaway! Comment for a chance to win Kim’s $10 Amazon gift certificate.
I haven’t known Nancy Naigle long; I met her when she became a fellow Montlake Romance author. But frankly, it didn’t take long, even though the “getting to know you” stuff was all electronic. She’s very warm, funny and interesting. Just like her books! Since I’ve mentioned the Montlake connection, here’s Nancy’s current Montlake title, Sweet Tea and Secrets, which is charting very nicely in Romance > Series and Romance > Contemporary. Go, Nancy!
With that intro, here’s Nancy!
NANCY NAIGLE: Hey y’all, when Norah invited me to drop in and share my writing space I was so excited. Then, as I fell in love with each space Wednesday after Wednesday, I realized everyone else is way more organized (and neater) than I am!
I live in southern Virginia on a goat farm with my husband and two labs, so it’s probably no surprise that I write love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.
My office is kind of like me – all over the place, and I learned a couple funny things about myself in looking at my office through these pictures. You’ll see what I mean here in a second.
For example, I never noticed until I took these pictures that it’s pretty darn clear that I’m right-handed. Notice the piles of stuff on the right end of my desk? Good thing I don’t work on a boat, I’d tip over for sure!
The dresser in the background is a white mahogany dresser that was my granddaddy’s. I couldn’t bear to part with it so I stained it to match my desk and cowboyed it up so it would fit in nicely with my décor. It’s filled with marketing stuff for my books. Giveaways, and tear sheets, you name it. And YES, that is goat hide on the bottom three drawers of that chest of drawers. I also used my dremel to carve brands into the sides of it. It was a really fun project.
I treated myself to the Pottery Barn desk six years ago and I love it today as much as the day I realized I had to have it. The huge desk top gives me lot of room for stuff, and I usually have lots of notes and lists all around me.
The funny thing is I never realized how close to the edge, even hanging off my desk, I work until I took these pictures. I guess maybe that desk isn’t quite as big as I’d really like it to be. And yes, the little stool under the desk is so my feet have somewhere to land. I’m a shorty-girl.
A cool tool: Earlier this year I discovered these adorable cherry bleachers at Levenger.com. It’s one of my favorite websites to window shop. As you can see, it gives me a chance to scribble notes on cards and pop them into the bleachers to help keep myself on track as I work on my book.
These Kathy Ireland bookshelves neatened up my act considerably earlier this year. It’s been great to have twelve running feet to store all my favorites (see Mary Alice Monroe’s book face out on the top left shelf) and craft books.
But there are some days when I really need to get down to work. When the words just aren’t coming, I swivel my office chair toward the window, kick it into recline position, and write with my laptop in my lap. Those always end up being super productive days. It must be a feng-shui thing because it doesn’t work unless I turn the chair toward the window.
The bottom line is as long as I have my laptop I can make it happen. I really like that flexibility.
I have two giveaways for readers. Just leave a comment below for a chance to win either:
- A $10 Amazon gift card; or
- A set of autographed Keeper Kase™ Cards. Don’t know what Keeper Kase™ cards are? Lordy goodness, check this out. http://www.nancynaigle.com/efans.htm
Thank you, Nancy, for that fun tour! I think you might win the prize for the most original piece of furniture with that “cowboyed up” dresser!
I also wanted to mention Nancy’s next Adams Grove Novel Out of Focus, coming in August 2013.
Okay, folks, you heard the lady. Let’s have some comments!
Today I’m pleased to have Aithne Jaretta as my guest, sharing her workspace. I met Aithne through Indie Romance Ink, a terrific Yahoo Groups information exchange loop for indie authors. In a group of over 1200 people, it can be easy to be invisible, but Aithne has the kind of quirkiness I gravitate to.
BIO: Once upon a time Aithne Jarretta tripped upon a ley line. Actually it had happened before, but she didn’t realize the ramifications until later. She brushed the incident aside and climbed into her car. Real life was the important factor at the moment. However, those RL moments wove into meeting new friends–the kind most people never see and definitely don’t chat much about. Those friends came with persistent voices. Eventually Aithne brought them out of the closet and politely called them Muses. They became her virtual traveling companions and still journey with her today.
Take it away, Aithne.
AITHNE: Thank you, Norah for inviting me to post on your blog about my writing workspace.
First, I should mention that when I moved into this room last spring everything remained bare minimum for several months. That’s because I wanted to grow into my new workspace and let it evolve around me.
In the beginning I was comfortable with that. The more time that I spent here made the space mine and finally one day I brought my first extra item in and placed it on my desk.
The picture of my youthful mother (small frame on left) has always fascinated my heart because it was taken before her children were born. I’m the youngest of five so it was a long time after that picture was taken before I came into this world.
Another reason that particular picture made it here is my avid interest in the lives of mothers and daughters. You could say that my mother is a ‘plot bunny’ because I’ve used the unspoken life experiences between m & d as part of my story building.
If you move attention slightly to your right and notice the books under my monitor, you’ll discover two very old dictionaries and a history book by Dr. Arnold Toynbee. Perhaps all that wisdom and knowledge will seep into my computer? Lol … I can only hope. I do wonder what Dr. Toynbee, a noted historian, 1889-1975, would think about being a pedestal for a modern day computer monitor. (Less strain on the neck having it so high = better brain flow… here I come, Toynbee!)
Next, is the boss at my desk. My grandson Chace inspires my heart with his gentle face and sweet smile. I live far away from him and only see him once a year. I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve surrounded myself with family items.
The pencil holder was my mom’s. I inherited it in 1998 and like to think it’s a one of a kind artifact. (Someday it’ll work its way into a story line.)
Although I’ve had these items for years, the computer monitor and my whole set up comes from my son Jeremy. It’s only recently that I learned to make a folder of my book covers, store them on Dropbox, and attach them to my monitor so that I have a slideshow of my work. It’s a cool element for those times I sit and write story ideas and lines longhand. Inspiration swishing by. (That’s my latest release on the monitor.)
Last but not least you can see the small paperweight on the right. It’s a heart shaped goldstone. It’s there next to my keyboard and mouse because in my current wip it plays an important magical role.
Speaking of magical roles…
The picture Midsummer Eve (Edward Robert Hughes) has always inspired me with its faeries and youthful redheaded girl. If this workspace was meant for an author focusing on magical and paranormal elements this image had to be added. So, I took it down from the dining room and brought it in. lol There’s still a bare wall in the other room.
The other gold frame is another important bit of family history. On the left is a faded picture of my Great Granny Goode and her daughter, Granny S. (Another mother & daughter connection.)
Somewhere in here we needed a father and daughter. Naturally, that’s my dad and I Christmas 1983.
The great pumpkin grins with delight. My oldest son Bryan and his wife Amanda made the pumpkin last year. Do I need to admit that it doesn’t live in storage the rest of the year? I didn’t think so.
I’ve saved the sewing machine for last because it’s a prime example of using what we have and writing what you know. This sewing machine (the one doing an imitation of a console table in the picture above) made an important story element come to life in Enchanted Ravensong: Charmed Evermore. When the plot line called for a special security combination several personal items came into play and the pedal that makes the machine run was the key. It was so much fun to write!
Having little bits of my family around me while I work gives my workspace a feeling of comfort that feeds the imagination. Since writers spend so much time in front of their computers, we should each focus on our individual things we believe are important.
Thank you again, Norah. Hope you have a magical week!
That was very cool, Aithne! Thank you!
If you want to learn more about Aithne, you can check her out here:
Okay, after looking at all those lovely heirlooms Aithne surrounds herself with, our contest question presented itself. Tell us what your favorite family heirloom is and you’ll be entered for a chance to win Aithne’s Enchanted Ravensong. But everyone’s a winner today, because Aithne has also made Pearl Luster, a short story in her Touch Time & Soar mini-series, free on Amazon.com for the day.
So let the commenting begin! What is your favorite family heirloom?