How excited are YOU? This is our very first installment of 1 Question, 20 Answers for 2013. This time around, we decided to take it a little easier on our participants. The last couple of questions required a bit of thought. This one is pretty straight forward. And here it is:
Where do you write? Show us your workspace. I’d really like a picture because pictures are cool and everybody likes pictures, but it’s not required. But I may pout if you don’t include one.
Look how lucky we are! People sent pictures. That means I don’t have to pout and y’all don’t have to witness it. Also, we would LOVE to see YOUR workspace. Post your pictures in the comments section. I know I’m going to!
Wow, an author’s writing space…you hear so much about it. This is the place where inspiration transforms into written reality, where thoughts and ideas become a readable journey, where the rubber meets the road… Where the…well, mostly, where the dog farts under the blanket as I gaze out the window and wonder why the story that seemed so obvious at 3 A.M. is now just a mess of rabid plot bunnies. My writing space is the sofa. One third if it, to be precise, the right hand side, wrapped in a blanket at the moment because it’s Winter, you see (someone go tell Nell Stark..Winter came already).
My space consists of said 1/3rd sofa (and farting dog), a side table to hold a beverage-of-choice, and an old Acer one netbook limping along with lubuntu operating system (yes, with an L, for the geeks out there).
Oh and that window? Faces the back side of the house. With the sun shining, I can see just how bad a job I did on repainting it about two years ago. Discipline comes easy when it’s write or go repaint that mess.
Sandra Barret writes sci fi and young adult fiction and publishes through Bedazzled Ink. Currently, she’s at work on another novel in the world she first created in her sci fi novel, Face of the Enemy. She lives in New England with her wife, 2 children, and lots of animals.
Ashley Bartlett is a writer, a coffee slinger, and a general all around badass (as evidenced by the amount of extra metal she’s thrust into random parts of her face). She also appreciates a little Dirty Sex now and then. Her third novel, Dirty Money (which is actually the second in the Dirty Trilogy) is due out in February from Bold Strokes Books. Check her out on the web HERE or HERE or HERE.
I write in my screen porch when no one is home and the weather is cooperative. Outside, especially looking at my own yard, is my favorite place to write, but not necessarily my most productive place to write.
As of January first, I joined a fabulous writers co-op called The Witers’ Mill. Even though I am not a fan of the apostrophe after the s in Writers’, so far I love this place. It is reassuring and inspiring to have otherwise silent writers tapping or scratching at their desks in the same room or in an adjacent room. This place has two bathrooms, a kitchen, a library, and a common room where conversation is encouraged. Yup, it is very cool for $80/month. And, it is housed in an old factory. I spent many of my formative years working in factories and am happy to have landed here doing this kind of “piece” work. Sitting next to me as I type is a handsome serious young man, very metro-sexual in skinny pants and a short tight jacket, curled over his desk, typing faster than seems humanly possible. We are both wearing red Converse sneakers. Oh wait, his are Keds. Perhaps I am in love with him? No, no, I digress, I am old, attached, and lesbian.
I also write on Monday mornings with a group that meets at my house, Wednesday mornings with a group that meets in the library, every few months with a manuscript critique group, and Friday mornings with a group that has been meeting for thirty years. Sometimes I write in my car, but I pull over first. Sometimes I wake up between two and four AM and leave our (twenty-six years) shared bed to fluff up the pillows and write in the bed in the guestroom.
I write on paper, on the keyboard, on the bottom of Kleenex boxes, on an old-fashioned black (ok green) board, in the sand, on my beloveds back, in my jammies, in my goulashes, braless, buck screaming naked, under the table, with coffee, tea, and on rare occasions while sipping a glass of Sherry.
Sally Bellerose is author of The Girls Club, Bywater Books, http://www.bywaterbooks.com/shop/the-girls-club
The Girls Club http://amzn.to/apVqj1 The manuscript won the Bywater Prize. Bellerose’s current project is a short story collection Fishwives which features old women behaving badly. Sally writes about class, sex, illness, absurdity, and lately, growing old.
I have an office in our house in Pennsylvania, but I do the majority of my fiction writing during 3 months out of the year in our tiny place in Amelia Island, Florida. Here’s a photo of the rather average writing table, with a painting by my mother to encourage me and a painting of pair of salt and salt shakers, for a laugh. The most inspirational thing about this writing spot is that it’s a block from a beautiful 14 mile beach. I take long walks along the ocean to work out plot lines and to clear my head, both alone and with my spouse Trish. I can even speak-text into my iPad-mini as I walk, which makes other folks on the beach think I’m nuts, but they think that anyway, because, well, I’m a Yankee (and proud or it I might add). I’m currently working on a non-fiction LGBT information almanac and on the 3rd book in the Maggie Gale Mystery Series, C-Notes and Ski-Nose.
Liz Bradbury is the author of the critically acclaimed Maggie Gale Mystery series. Her series books have been called “Perfect” by Houston Outsmart Magazine, been a finalist in the Golden Crown literary awards, and been named one of the 20 top Lesbian mysteries for 2010 in Curve Magazine. Her most recent release is the mystery/romance “Being the Steel Drummer – A Maggie Gale Mystery” (Boudica Publishing – 2012). She has a short story in the recently released anthology, “Affinity Puts the X Back in Xmas” (Affinity Press-2012).
This is a photo of my cozy study. I’m generally more productive when I leave the house, but when I’m home, I like to write at this desk. The desk and I have bonded. It gets me.
My favorite place to write is outside, longhand – but since we moved, we don’t have a screened porch anymore. It’s also much colder in Texas this time of year than in Alabama.
Here’s my pic of my office. See? I didn’t even clean it up first – I thought it would be cheating if I did. LOL. The lights coming from the window area are from the crystals that line the entire windowsill caught in the camera flash. What you can’t see is my Secret Agents -Scully & Mulder Barbies on the shelf. Or, my giant Imagination poster with my daughter’s picture in the frame.
Yvonne Heidt currently resides in Texas with her partner of eleven years along with their four dogs. When she’s not writing for her awesome publisher, Bold Strokes Books, she’s either thinking about writing – or conquering small planets. To learn more about Yvonne, visit her website, www.yvonneheidt.com, or check her out on facebook.
I write at home in my sunlit office in Rehoboth Beach, Schnauzer at my feet and little post-it notes all over with scribbles about things I have found to be absurd and infuriating. Right now, following a November car accident, the post-its are all about surreal daily conversations with insurance companies. I have rant material for months. In addition to totaling the car, I broke my left hand in five places. Suffice it to say I now type one-handed, although today I was able to depress the shift key with my left index finger, so ladies, WE HAVE ACHIEVED CAPITALS! I love my office because it is chocked full of books and posters and awards from my writing career. But, lest I get a swelled head, my dog makes me take him out twice daily so I can pick up and carry his poop. Nothing like that job to keep a writer grounded.
Fay Jacobs is an award-winning writer who has contributed articles to venues like the Washington Post. She continues to write columns, but she also writes and publishes hilarious, poignant, quirky memoirs with A&M Books about her beloved Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where she resides with her partner and miniature schnauzers.
Where I write depends on my mood (where I feel like working that time). Sometimes I write in my office (pictured–can you tell I love Nintendo and Mario?). Sometimes I’ll work on the laptop in the living room. Once in a while, I work on my laptop in bed in the mornings. I’ll also go to Barnes and Noble or Starbucks to work sometimes. Fun fact: Just about all of “Strange Bedfellows” was written in the sole Starbucks in Staunton, Virginia, while I lived away from home in 2010.
Q. Kelly loves corny jokes, the color purple, and being weird. Not necessarily in that order. To learn more about her work (and the things she loves) visit her WEBSITE.
My partner and I are fortunate enough to have the space in our home for each of us to have ‘a room of one’s own,’ which we’re big believers in. This is mine, and I do most of my writing here, though more often sprawled on the little sofa rather than sitting at the desk. There are bookshelves on the opposite wall and as much art work as I can find space for. The room is like a cocoon. I feel comforted and warm when I’m in it.
Anne Laughlin’s short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and her novel Veritas won a Goldie for best lesbian mystery in 2010. That and her latest novel, Runaway, are currently published through Bold Strokes Books. She resides in Chicago.
D. JACKSON LEIGH
I do most of my work in a front bedroom that I converted into a home office. My desk is flanked by book shelves that hold lots of inspiring lesbian fiction and trinkets I’ve collected from readers, friends, and travels associated with my writing affliction. I brought lots of stuff back from my Oklahoma-Texas tour last year.
Directly in front of me is a combo white board where I’ve noted things to remember in about my current work in progress and cork board where I’ve pinned other things I want to remember. Over the board is a poster of the Duke Women’s Basketball team, dressed as boxers and ready to fight. I love tough women — fem tough or butch tough. I blogged once about things that inspire me.
For a change of pace when I plan one of my favorite marathon 16-hour writing sessions, I head to my sofa – which reclines on either end – and settle in with a lapboard that V.K. Powell gave me. It saves my back and my two terriers like it because they can snuggle up next to me while I work.
Bobbi Marolt lives in New England and she occasionally gives in when her friend Jove says, “Will you do XYZ?” She has published three novels with Bold Strokes Books and can be found hanging out online HERE.
Here are 2 pics of my new, still not organized workspace [Andi note — Bett recently moved into a whole new house]. The file cabinets are in the closet. The windows look out into the front yard. The desk is a fold out table. I like a clear workspace, lots of clean surfaces I can pile books and papers on in stacks, if I’m in research mode.
Alabama native Bett Norris currently resides in Florida, where she writes historical fiction that has mined the history of the South. Her first novel, Miss McGhee, was set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Her most recent, What’s Best for Jane, is the sequel. Both are published through Bywater Books. Her third novel will deal with Montgomery, Alabama, and the Civil Rights era.
My writing depends on my work. When I edit, I’m at my desk, a big extendable affair. When we moved into this house three years ago, we decided to put my office in the dining room instead of in the tiny nook upstairs. That way I could at least be in the same part of the house as Sam if I had to work while she was home. This means it’s also right outside the kitchen, which means easy access to copious amounts of coffee. And the conservatory is next to me as well, so I can hear the rain on the roof and open the doors to the back garden in the summer.
If I’m writing instead of editing, I can’t work at my desk. It’s like the mindset carries over and my writing becomes stilted and doesn’t flow right. So I curl up on the couch with my laptop and a cup of coffee, or I leave the house and go to a coffee place.
Victoria Oldham is an American writer and editor based in the UK. She has published short stories in several anthologies. Her most recent published story is “All the Colors of the Sun,” in the lesbian paranormal anthology Sheshifters. She’s currently working on her doctoral dissertation, which deals with Medea.
Where do I write or where do I compose? Because they’re different spaces. I write in an alcove off the living room. Noise doesn’t bother me when I’m in flow, and I’m usually plugged in to music, anyway, so I don’t hear much. Also, I like to have people around. I could never work in a private study. I need my partner, my kids, my dogs to keep me company. They help me get into the right frame for spending time with my characters, so it’s all like a big party. As for where I compose, that’s often in my car. When I’m driving, I hear dialogue — conversations in my head — and I talk back. I’ve sometimes caught sight of the people next to me at stoplights and they’re staring. Then I realize I’ve been talking like a mad woman, complete with hand gestures. I need a bumper sticker that says, “I’m not nuts. I’m a writer.”
Joan Opyr is a writer and editor currently based in Moscow, Idaho with her wife, children, and pets. She is the author of the quirky mysteries Idaho Code and From Hell to Breakfast. Her latest novel, Shaken and Stirred, deals with family, responsibility, love, and finding out who you might be, told in the way that only Opyr can tell it. She is published through Bluefeather Books and Bywater Books.
I write in bed. I think this started a few years ago when we lived in a house in New Zealand with very inadequate heat, and I would write under the covers with my robe on over my clothes just to keep warm. Honestly, writing in bed is not great for your back. I use one of those pillows shaped like the back of a chair (we call them “husbands”) to prop myself up and a lap desk to put my laptop at the right height. On the table next to the bed I keep all the necessary items- water, tissues, chocolate, a backscratcher, and a notebook and pen. Some people think it is strange that I write in bed, but that is where I love to read, so it makes perfect sense to me.
Ripley Patton is the author of Ghost Hand, a YA paranormal thriller, and the first book of The PSS Chronicles. She is also an award-winning short story writer, and she lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat, two teenagers, and a man who wants to live on a boat. To read more about Ripley and her fiction you can check out her website or like her on Facebook.
I prefer to write at dawn in our sunroom. My brain works best at the hour, and I love the quiet of sunrise.
Bev Prescott is the author of “My Soldier Too” published by Blue Feather Books. Her second novel, “Step into the Wind,” will be released in January, 2013. When she isn’t writing or playing outside she works as an environmental attorney.
I write a lot of places–living room, guest room, outside. But my main–and preferred–writing space is my home office, which, as you can see from the pictures is a Blank White Canvas. Just kidding. I’m pretty visual, and I find myself the most creatively stimulated in a color-saturated space. So, the desk is where I do my writing, and I generally edit in the chair. Sometimes that switches.
Lea lives and writes in Denver, Colorado. When she’s not writing, she’s editing, and when she’s not editing, she’s bending herself (and teaching others to do the same) into impossible positions. Check her out HERE. Or HERE. Or HERE.
I have access to two different offices (home and school) I often use them to edit, but when it comes to writing nothing beats my livingroom. I feel most comfortable snuggled up in my green chair surrounded by Jackson’s toys. It’s a cluttered, multipurpose room and I can only really work when the boy is at school. In other words the space is nothing like what the “experts” recommend but when it comes to creativity, comfort is key for me.
I write on my phone in bed between the hours of 1 am and 10 am. Sometimes I move to the couch around 4:30. No one wants to see my bed though, so here’s my chair and my Scooby Doo blanket. This is where I proofread and rewrite.
Rebekah Weatherspoon currently resides and writes romance in southern California. Her latest (out in January, 2013!) Blacker Than Blue, is book 2 in her vampire sorority girl series. We think her Scooby Doo blanket is freaking AWESOME. And the fact that she writes on her phone…WHOA.
AMANDA KYLE WILLIAMS
It’s tough on a crime fiction writer who also happens to be a neat freak. I’ve had to give up some ideas about the kind of order I need around me to function. Crime writing requires sharing my space with stuff that I couldn’t handle anywhere else in the house. Yes, I have relaxed my standards in order to become a fulltime writer. I need reference material, manuals, magazines. I need that note stuck to my file cabinet that says “Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in it.” I need coffee and pushpins and paperclips and binder clips and notebooks and sticky notes and pens and colored pencils for edits. I need a bulletin board with newspaper clippings on top of clippings. I need a big honkin poster of my most recent book because not only have I turned into a goddamned mess, I’m a narcissistic mess.
My office was once an old mudroom. Most days, my three dogs and a couple of cats are hanging out in cushy beds on the floor near me. But they aren’t clutter. They’re my calm. Seven years ago when I moved into my 1950s house, the room I now work in most of the time was dark knotty pine. But it had the best view of the seven acres of green space behind the house, a rare find in the city. So it was painted and cheered up, though the ancient fake-brick vinyl is still on the floor. This photo was taken just after Christmas, before the decorations had been completely deconstructed out back and after winter and wind and rain had stripped the leaves away. But I love all Georgia’s seasons. And a view is an important thing to a writer, a view of whatever you love. I highly recommend it.
I also use a mobile desk, which you can see in this photo. When the mood hits, I move to other rooms or I pack it in the Jeep with my desk chair and my dogs and head to a cabin in the mountains or a cottage on the lake or a beach house. Sometimes when I’m stuck, the view just needs to change. Mobile desks are important too. I highly recommend them.
Georgia-based author Amanda Kyle Williams publishes her thrillers starring ex-FBI profiler/PI Keye Street through Bantam Books. Her debut, The Stranger You Seek, earned her comparisons to Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell. Her second, Stranger in the Room, was released in September 2012, and we’re anticipating the third, Don’t Talk to Strangers, in August 2013.