The Writer’s View
Writers love to daydream. We build, tear down, and create new worlds in our minds and on the page every day in countless ways. Where we work this magic can be anywhere. I love walking every morning because I get some of my best plotting done as I pound the pavement. I can be shopping for groceries on the outside while planning weddings, murders, or seductions in my brain as I walk the aisles, coupons in hand. Some of my most inspired thinking occurs in the shower. I truly “write” everywhere.
But every writer needs a little place to do the steady work – working on character sketches; outlining; getting a first draft down; reading over what’s been written; and revising.
I have a corner in my bedroom where I do the bulk of my work. And believe me – it IS work! Oh, some days my fingers do fly across the keys like lightning, but more times than I’d care to admit it can be a painful, sometimes excruciating process. Yet seeing my characters and ideas come alive on the page makes it all worthwhile.
My corner has everything I need, with a super comfy chair that my parents passed down to me. I keep a throw along the back in case I get cold and need an extra layer of warmth. I have all kinds of research books nearby, from life in the Middle Ages to books about cowboys to slang used throughout history. I also have craft books I use as references, with such content as traits that heroes and heroines possess to how to structure a scene and even different poisons that can be used to kill. These books are all within my grasp.
I also have a file cabinet next to my writing chair. The two drawers are packed with all kinds of articles and information from historical research to notes I’ve taken at various conferences and workshops. I have maps of San Francisco’s streets back in the 1870s. Handouts with terms used on a cattle drive. Notes and pictures from a speaker who was a medical examiner for Dallas County. Even verses of Irish ballads from the 19th century. The file folders I use most I keep in a stack tray on top of the file cabinet for easy access.
Also on top are two essentials. The first is a fan for those hot Texas days when the A/C needs a little boost. The second is my noise machine. I find I can’t listen to music as I write because I want to sing along. That pulls me from my imaginary world. So my noise machine acts as white noise to block out any distractions. I set it to waves rolling in and out from shore or to a rain shower coming down. I especially like a brook with running water.
I keep a snack tray beside the chair with my laptop and a pen and pad of paper. The computer usually rests in my lap, while the pen and paper help me work out ideas and make connections between key plot points or characters.
I have a lovely view of my backyard from my writing chair. It’s very green in Texas this time of year, and I’ve watched the scraggly tree we planted twenty years ago grow into a real beauty. It literally stayed a stick in the ground the first five or six years. I’d about given up hope when it finally decided it was time to mature.
Probably my favorite thing to see from my writing chair when I need a break is Jake, lying lazily on the bed. He’s the sweetest dog in the world, a pound puppy with a happy smile now that he’s found a forever home. Sometimes I sit back in my chair to take a brief break and give him a smile in return, glad that he’s come into our lives.
So that’s my little nook in which I create my historical romances.