Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Peek Into My Work Room

          I've been working on the third book in the Sterkarm series, after The Sterkarm Handshake and A Sterkarm Kiss. In fact, I've been working on it for the past three years, amongst other things.
          Most of that work has been done on my laptop, in the corner of my sofa - partly because that suited me and partly because what I call 'my office' upstairs was in such a mess I could hardly get in the door.
          Housework has never been a priority for me - and then when both my parents were ill a few years ago, a lot of other things fell by the wayside. And since they died, a lot of things haven't seemed worth bothering about. The 'office' became a place to stuff oddments into and close the door.
          But the work on Sterkarm 3 is becoming increasingly serious. I felt the need of somewhere I could go that was away from my usual sofa-corner, a new place that would send my brain the signal, 'Time to work.'
          Like many other writers, I've often found it productive to get out of the house altogether, and go and work in a library, pub or cafe. I spent a lot of time trying to think of somewhere. The library was out, because personally, I find the grim silence in libraries distracting! I prefer somewhere with a bit of talk and coming and going. But the trouble with pubs and cafes is that you have to keep buying food and drink as 'rent'. This is perfectly reasonable - if I was trying to make a living from running a cafe, I wouldn't want the place full of free-loading writers either. But reasonable as it is, I still can't afford it.
          So I decided to clear my office of junk, generally tidy up, and see if it could serve as my change of scene. For the past week it's been working well. And I thought I should commemorate the tidy office, because it probably won't stay that way for very long.

           It may not seem remarkable to you, but those friends and relatives who have been allowed into the place over the past few years will be staggering with shock at this photo. There are places where you can put things down!
          I was too ashamed to publish a 'before' shot, but just imagine the desk and chair piled with archaelogical layers of papers, cds, books... And the floor littered with the pages of books ripped apart to make e-books.
          I had a lot of photos, cards and such that I wanted to display: and decided to tack them to the back wall instead of having them cluttering shelves and falling off in drifts.

           That male nude in the centre is a birthday card sent to me by my Mom and Dad. Obviously, that's the only reason it's up there - for sentimental reasons. Alongside it is the crashing racing-car card sent to me by my brother when I was learning to drive: 'Mirror - signal - manouvre - Oh !&%?!!' It still makes me laugh.
           Here's my own ghost-drum on its shelf, with its antler hammer, so I can summon the spirits - or Blott - when I need them.

          Here's a corner of one bookshelf -

          But now I have to get back to work, so I will hand you over to Blott...

          Weather Report: Friday 18th. Here, on top of the Black Country Plateau, it has been snowing gently but persistently all day. Kerbs have vanished, steps have become slopes, and my car is one big white mound. Don't think I'll be seeing anyone this weekend. Plenty of time to work!



Joan Lennon said...

Awe-inspiringly tidy - well done! And I will try to use the fact that you are busy re-re-writing Sterkam 3 to get stuck into my own re-re-writing.

madwippitt said...

So no excuse now for getting S3 finished! I'll expect to be able to download a copy by next weekend then?
And do I spot a picture of dogs on your wall?
And nice to have a close up of the titles on your bookshelf so I can browse through them ... although having done so, should dinner guests be concerned?
And finally Blott - some humans are slow to realise that its wrong to eat our friends. Some of who have four legs.

Jenny Alexander said...

Gosh - I'm seriously impressed! I'd have loved to have seen a 'before' shot though - it might have been embarrassing for you, but it would be so reassuring for other authors to see they aren't the only ones whose workspaces gradually get silted under.

madwippitt said...

gah! whom!!!!

Susan Price said...

I'm amazed that people seem to think my office impressively tidy - it still seems pretty scruffy to me. But it was a horror before - tottering piles of stuff everywhere that fell over if you breathed in their direction, and ink carton wrappers and old paper on the floor... If I'm honest, the real reason I didn't post the 'before' picture is that I didn't think of doing this blog until after I'd tidied up.
Karen - I think those 'dogs' you can see are actually wolves. Liz Kay sent me a sheet of photos she'd taken at a wolf sanctuary near her, because she knows I'm a bit of a wolf-fan. One nipped her on the bum!
And despite the book, I only occasionally make monkshood casserole.

Leslie Wilson said...

Cool! Enjoy. I tidied my study last year and it is only slowly getting messy again. It does feel nice, and I'm so glad to hear of the progress on Sterkarm 3.
Wolves are cool, too, though of course I am a dog-lover. Will there be wolves in the book?