how and where


I am as brain dead as David claimed to be, and then Catie claimed. But really, I *am* brain dead. I may be more brain dead than anyone. It’s been difficult six months. Okay. I’m whining. I’ll stop now. But I’ll still use the brain dead excuse to *not* come up with a new subject.


So – how and where I write:

I do not listen to music when I write except when I write scenes when Jane Yellowrock is exploring her American Indian heritage. Then I play AmIm music given to me by Judy and Melanie. (waves!)

I drink excessively when I write. Not beer or wine. Not stronger stuff. I drink tea. Golden Monkey, Gunpowder Green, sometimes GreenTea Lemondrop, sometimes Rooibos Chai. Like the character I am currently writing, Jane Yellowrock, I am a tea snob. I have multiple tea pots, a whistling kettle, a, electric Tea Drop (for making tea fast or making hot tea to ice) tea tins, a cabinet *full* of teas in black metal foil packets to keep the leaves away from light and air, gold metal mesh tea leaf strainers and mugs mugs mugs. My work room is right off the kitchen. I have learned to keep out of it. Most of the time. Except for tea refills.


My work room has three large windows (behind my chair or I’d never write) that look out on the woods and creek behind the house. A TV for news breaks (hubby and I are huge news-oholics) a blue dual recliner, two bookcases (one in the pic) and an antique wooden tool chest I used to keep version of books in until they outgrew the space. On it are angels (I collect) candleholders (they collect me) antique sewing machines (used to collect), antique pottery and glass (use to collect) and always one blooming orchid. I am not a ruffle-y, lacey, frilly kinda gal. I don’t care overmuch for flowers Except for orchids, which I totally adore. I have six and, currently, two are in bloom.




My work area.

First off, it’s dusty.

I don’t dust while working on a book because I might misplace something important. That’s my story. Most people fall for it. I can even say it with a straight face.


Second, like Catie, I have a multilevel desk, with three upper levels and a large lower level where the computer brain, backup battery, and lots of electrical cords lie in state amid the dust.

Starting left to right, is my recliner – used for moments I need to cogitate. Or nap. But cogitating sounds so much better. In its seat are two auto manuals, a Lilith Saintcrow novel, and an annotated Bible with apocrypha which I used for angels and demons tales for the Rogue Mage novels. Against the wall are two small antique tables, a short file cabinet with paper supplies and cards in it, and three clear file cabinets stuffed with stuff I use (d) in novels. On them is a hand made calendar from my sis-in-love Susan, a small painting of egrets by my mom, two metal boating models (one from friends/fans, one from hubby) and the first copy of the massmarket of Bloodring with my editor’s card and a note on it, a Dutch-made tile brought back from overseas for me by Tamar Myers, and a pinkish salt candle holder given to me by my friend Joy. I have two more of them on the desk. I’m a Leo. If one is good, three is better. I have a fourth one by my bed, so maybe four is better.

The blue rocker was my MawMaw’s, and currently over the back is a T-shirt, a gift from Kim Harrison for her most recent book tour. Oh – the red thing on the floor is a blood droplet with legs and arms. My dog plays with it. I know. Even my dog likes bloody stuff. But hey, I’m on page 228 of the sequel to Skinwalker, and I have vamps and a rogue-vamp hunter on the brain.


Behind the desk hang a few awards, a couple of framed, enlarged book covers I can’t make myself discard, and a gold cupid face with wings. Someday I am going to find a male angel with sword and shield, wings held wide. It would be nice if I could afford when I find it, but the economic crisis makes that seem unlikely for now. There is also a pic of me taking a Class IV rapid on a one man IK (inflatable kayak). Whoowhoo!

On the desk, top shelf… The thing that looks like wings is a naked lady angel. She is bent over, holding her knees and weeping. Purple agate bookends, another salt candle holder, the monitor, which is ages old, heavy as sin and should be replaced, but seems to be going to live forever. On top are raw gems (also something I collect) some tiny angels and a gray farting dog. Don’t laugh. I like my farting dog. To the right is a green glass mug I use as a pen holder, three baskets filled with paper stuff (cards from friends, friend’s cards {not the same thing} book covers, junk) another salt candle holder, and a small blue lamp with crystals on the shade.

Second shelves are pretty empty. Stapler, speakers, old floppies, a hand carved soapstone box my friend Joy gave me, a blue and pink porcelain box.

Third shelf. There’s a gray junk/pen holder, and open on the flat part of the desk is my daily calendar without which I am totally lost. My phone book (it’s little and black) a silver bowl of paperclips, and a copy of Cherokee Words with Pictures by Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey. Under that is a pile of stuff I will get to when I am finished with this next book. Yeah. Riiiight.

On the keyboard shelf is my left hand mouse (I use a mouse right handed at the lab. I’m ambidextrous) and my old fashioned keyboard. I bang on keyboards. They don’t last long enough for me to afford a fancy one. And a copy of Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees by James Mooney. The Cherokee books are for Jane Yellowrock, my Cherokee Skinwalker character. On top is my favorite mug (I love the color) filled with my fav black tea, Golden Monkey.

Between desk and bookcase is a color atlas of the human body and another file cabinet also filled with book stuff (hidden by desk). I’ve been writing for 20 years. I have a lot of book stuff.


My chair is ergonomic black leather. I love my chair. It is not fancy like Caties. But I spend a *lot* of time in it and it keeps me out of the chiro’s most of the time. The bookcase is filled with my books stacked two deep on one shelf and autographed books of friends on two shelves, along with pottery I used to collect, a few statues, and wood things (a carved antique car, a three inch wood chest, an Amish farm wagon and horse, a sleeping bunny,) my hubby’s meteorite and the books I use (d) in writing: Ikebana, Mysteries of the Unexplained, The world’s Great Small Arms, Back to the Basics, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Knots and Ropework, A Pleasure in Words, Rhyming Dictionary, an old Thesaurus, World Mythology, The Collected Works of Shakespeare, The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices, The Herb Garden, A Physician’s Desk Reference, The RandomHouse Encyclopedia, the Book of Enoch, and somewhere I have a book on poisons and another one on trauma, among way too many others.

A garbage can and a shredder. The brick is a gas fireplace. In very cold weather, I like to have it on while I write. It’s cheery




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20 comments to how and where

  • I love your eclectic workspace! I love all the personal touches – mine is rather impersonal 🙁

    Faith said: I don’t dust while working on a book because I might misplace something important

    Do you mind if I borrow this reasoning?

  • I love your eclectic workspace! I love all the personal touches – mine is rather impersonal 🙁

    Faith said: I don’t dust while working on a book because I might misplace something important

    Do you mind if I borrow this reasoning?
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  • Anna, please feel free to borrow it. A
    nother I use is: I seldom interrupt the mating habbits of my dust hippos.
    But the hubby *finally* fixed the vac and I went on a hippo hunt. Killed massive numbers of the swarming suckers! It was very satisfying.

  • In my total excitement at being able to import a pic, I left a paragraph off the post. It said:

    I am so impressed with myself. I copied Catie! Now, if I can just copy her bestsellerdom-ness I’ll be set for life.

    But I left it out. I can stop being impressed with myself…

  • Ooh, that is a good one for my dust creatures. My trouble is I have thick hair which I shed like mad, and two cats. I had dust elephants roaming my laminate-floored halls until my parents bought me an expensive superduper powerful vacuum for my 29th!

    Oh, and an aside! I’m reading Bloodring right now as you are my ‘New Author to Try’ for March – am really enjoying it; I find Thorn a sympethetic character, and I love the post-apocalytpic world you’ve created.


  • Oh the shame of spelling errors – sympathetic. Whatever. I like her!

  • Thanks, Anna! Whoowhoo!

  • Both pretty nice work stations. I sometimes wish I had something more like an office instead of a small corner of the living room. Not enough space/heat in our old drafty, improperly wired and fuel oil heated house for that. And I wouldn’t be able to keep track of our daughter during the day. I may have to go looking for the tea you mention. I’m a coffee-holic/snob/connoisseur, but do enjoy a good cup of tea once in a while. One of my favorites is one called Earl Grey de la Creme that I picked up at a specialty tea shop in Michigan. The place wasn’t there last time I went, but I found the tea online.
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    Rooibos is also good and I gotta have a good Chai on occasion as well.

  • Meh, html tag no worky. Just paste the link if you’re interested.

  • After these posts by Catie and Faith, I feel like I should have given more information on my work space. Maybe even a picture. Thing is, we’re trying to sell the house right now, and my office looks terrible — it’s all . . . neat. Not at all writer-like. I’m a little bit ashamed, actually….

  • That white recliner is sooooo comfy! When we had writing group at Faith’s house, I would show up early just to be able to claim that lovely chair.

    And I’m giggling helplessly over the blood drop with arms and legs. Did it come from the hospital?

  • Daniel, we shop at the same tea place! I love that online shop! If you like lemon try the Lemondrop Green and add a spoonful of whipped topping. Yuuum. It is a lo-cal dessert!

    Oh my, David. A *neat* workspace??? I doubt I could create someplace neat. I need stuff all around.

    Misty, I remember you liking that chair. And yes, the blood drop is from the lab. It is very Bella Lugosi — I vant to drink your blooood. I have two, actually, and will save one for the puppy I will get someday. (No puppy while Dinks is with us, though. He is the big dog now and likes it!)

  • OH! I left something out. I also have two metal kayak models, one with one wire paddler and one with two metal bendable kayakers given by paddler friends Judy adn Melanie. I can just make them out beside the desk!

  • Wendy

    *is whomped with mid-afternoon tea craving*
    All I have at work is mint. Certainly a favorite, but now I want something more interesting.

    These have been such fun posts! Thanks for sharing your space.

  • *is whomped with mid-afternoon tea craving*
    All I have at work is mint. Certainly a favorite, but now I want something more interesting.

    These have been such fun posts! Thanks for sharing your space.
    PS: Wanted to add great post!

  • I’m starting to become brain dead myself… Drawing a map for one of my fantasy novel ideas. Useful, but tedious.

  • Melanie

    Ah! The paddler! I can just about see it. My snowboarder wire figure’s on top of my monitor. And I’m flattered about all this press – goodness! *blushes*

    For all of you reading this, Faith has made me a tea snob. Or at least a discerning tea drinker. (Not blood-drinker; that’s my vamp. Well, she’s learning, anyway.) I, too, work with a multi-level desk, 24″ flat monitor (I’m a photographer in my other life), extending support for my ergo keyboard, and *looks under desk*, um, some of those dust-critters. Well, and clutter. Not that I want it there, precisely, but uncovered desk space summons it you see. At the moment most of mine is composed of writers group critiques on the WIP. And some music. Fanvids to animes I love have introduced me to more new artists than I’d have ever expected! Both animators and musicians are making $$ off of me, and helping me write/revise.

    ~ Melanie
    (who waves and goes back to lurking 🙂 )

  • Gail

    Love your workspace! It appears comfortable and relaxing. All the better for you to write some more books! I’m looking forward to Jane Yellowrock. Thanks for sharing your space with us.

  • You can post a workspace picture next time you’re braindead, David, and I’ll post an actual ephemera post next time I am. 🙂

  • Melanie, dust hippos mate fast. I think they can mate across the Internet, like internet dust porn.

    Thanks, Gail! It is a space that I feel very comfortable in.

    Ephemera. Got to dig out the dictionary…