author events, read around the rainbow

Read Around the Rainbow: My Ideal Writing Shack

Hi, everyone! Some fun news – I’ve joined in with several other authors to do a webring sort of thing, where we all blog about the same topic on the same day, and link to each other’s posts! It’s called Read Around the Rainbow!

It should be very fun, and good for connecting us – authors and readers! – and also (I hope) neat to read, to learn about everything from our favorite characters to our favorite desserts, from book recommendations to thoughts on the books we haven’t managed to write yet.

This month, we’re thinking about our ideal writing shacks! I usually write either on the couch or upstairs in my office, depending on who else is home and how much time I have and the general noise level, so I do love the idea of a separate sort of writing retreat. Let’s see…

If we’re going with really truly ideal, not having to exist in reality, then…it’d be someplace with some history and character, some pretty stonework, exposed wood beams, medieval but up-to-date, with new appliances and plumbing and the internet and such! I’d want to be near the ocean, and to have big windows, so I could look out at the sea – I’ve always found the ocean calming. (I grew up near the beach – Southern California former lifeguard and all!)

I also love rain, of course. Can I control the weather, in this fantasy writing shack? If so, then I want sunny mornings and afternoons, so I can go walk along the beach if I need a break, but then cozy rain settling in at night: softly purring, dancing, playing overhead, wrapping the whole world up in the sound.

I want big squishy sofas and chairs – things I can stretch out in, or pull both legs up onto and sit crosslegged upon, or curl up against an armrest, under a blanket. Nothing too fancy, but space for the laptop and a pile of books. (Of course there are also books. Many books. For pleasure and research – all at once!)

Of course it’d also have cats. Big cuddly fluffy cats, not too hyper, but good for snuggling up and purring next to me.

And we’d have various punk rock and classic rock playlists going, when not listening to the rain. (It’s what I write to, usually. Gotta toss some Bowie in there, some New York Dolls, X-Ray Spex, Green Day, Billy Idol, The Pretty Reckless, Buzzcocks, The Struts, Foo Fighters, Rise Against, Against Me!…)

And we’d need a fridge with beverages, sparkling water, diet soda, good craft beer, and so on. Maybe snacks, depending on how long we’re settled in and getting writing done! And definitely, definitely, no interruptions allowed – though Awesome Husband is allowed to text first and ask if he can come hang out too. (I like being alone when writing – I always end up self-conscious about writing sex scenes, or mouthing a line of dialogue aloud, or just staring at a screen blankly while Thinking Happens but it looks like I’m not doing anything…and then of course sometimes other people try to talk to you, at that point, and you lose the thoughts! But if I’m doing something like editing or revising, then other people can come along.)

I do need the internet – I’ve never been one of those people who can use an app or a timer to lock themselves out of everything while writing! I always end up looking up pieces of stories: bread recipes, or facts about Napoleonic-era sailing ships, or medieval gingerbread. Or just giving myself a five-minute reward-break to go and read an interesting article about Mesopotamian scribes that I’ve got open in that other tab. (Hmm – I haven’t written a story about Mesopotamian scribes, yet…) I also do like chatting with friends and co-authors, and of course if I’m writing with someone, we need to share our new words!

Speaking of sharing words, two things!

First, I’ll pop back in with a proper announcement soon, but two stories on the horizon: “Tempests in April,” the next Finn/Wes story (I need a proper name for those, don’t I?), which has some injured Finn and some very worried Wes and a lot of truly terrible puns because that’s how Finn copes, will be out April 2! And also there is a new Character Bleed story on the horizon, which I have just got the copy-edits for, so that is coming…soon. (It’s not the top!Colby story, though that’s still happening! This one’s mostly just soft and tender cuddly roleplay as a means of reassurance, and also enjoyment.)

The other thing, of course, is that – having read all about mine – you should absolutely now go and explore the Ideal Writing Shacks of my fellow marvelous authors! Find out about their dream word-crafting places here:

A.L. Lester

Ofelia Grand

Nell Iris

Amy Spector

Lillian Francis

Fiona Glass

Addison Albright

10 thoughts on “Read Around the Rainbow: My Ideal Writing Shack”

    1. I feel like I might’ve written that into a Finn & Wes story eventually…there’s a great Getty Museum online talk about scribal culture and women writers in Mesopotamia, in fact! It’s probably still on their YouTube channel. 😀

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  1. Having an audience while writing is terrible. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a:
    ‘Mum, what are you doing?’
    ‘Huh?’
    ‘You were frowning/smiling/laughing/gesturing at the computer.’

    And sex scenes… Those get written at six in the morning when small monsters are asleep LOL

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    1. Oh, the “you were smiling! Let me ASK YOU QUESTIONS” moments! Oh yes. :p

      And people don’t realize that just them walking into the room disrupts the flow (at least for me) – it’s not like I don’t notice they’re there, and then I have to look up to see what they want! The Awesome Husband and I have had this discussion more than once, if I’m writing in the living room and he comes out of his home office to do something. I usually end up writing sex scenes on the days he goes into the at-work office, when it’s just me and the cat at home!

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  2. I think this sounds very practical, particularly the plumbing. It’s all very well wanting to live in a shack in the woods; but who will look after the drains? (To misquote Joyce Grenfell!)

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  3. Love the addition of cats to your writing shack! They’re good for the occasional forced mental break when they decide your keyboard is the perfect place to squat for a bit. 😁❤️

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    1. Yes! And if you need to get up and walk around a bit, and play with a bouncing fuzzball. Miss Merlyn makes sure I get up to play with her every so often; she’ll come yell at me until I do. :p

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