My Workspace Blog Hop

Albuquerque at nightWelcome to the My Workspace Blog Hop.  When smart, funny, and talented, Jo Robinson tagged me for this bloghop I did a double take.  “What workspace? ” I thought.

When I lived in the desert southwest I had a detached house with a little work room I used for writing and crafts.  It was not a large house by most standards, but it was much bigger than the townhouse I’ve been renting since I moved to my nation’s capital.  (And I’ve been lamenting the complete lack of storage space ever since…) So — I don’t actually have a workspace now, but here’s what I do have…

Workspace-1 blog

After hunching over my laptop on the coffee table for a few years, I found this perfect little tilt-able laptop desk on wheels. The photo isn’t really how the laptop desk is positioned. This was just the only half decent looking view I could give you.

Editorial staff 2014

Editorial Staff

I squeeze the tilt-desk between the sofa and coffee table, allowing the table to give me extra “desk” space and (as you see) room for my big coffee mug.  As the day goes on, the mug might contain tea (usually iced), or seltzer with fruit juice.  The coffee table is also a staging area for my editorial staff, pictured here.

When I’ve finished, I roll the laptop desk behind the sofa so that it’s mostly out of the way.

My living room is small enough that I can also run a cable from my laptop to my TV, to stream Netflix or YouTube. (I don’t have a smart TV, so it has to connect to something.) So sometimes I listen to Bob Proctor or Louise Hay or Mike Dooley while I work, for a dose of positivity.

How I Work

It seems like I can’t participate in any of these things without bending the rules.  Since I didn’t have a workspace or a story behind it to show you where I work, I’ll show you a little about how I work.  I haven’t tried any of the writer’s tools I’ve been hearing about. What I developed a few years ago works so well for me, that I haven’t investigated them.  Most of my process is electronic. For longer works I make a detailed spreadsheet. Here’s a snip of the one for Three Ingredients.

Electronic notes

I use “Styles” in word, and use the navigation pane to see an outline of what I’ve done and easily find things I want to further develop. This requires using the “headings.” I make headings for ideas, in the order I expect to use them. Then I convert the notes into manuscript as I go.

Here’s a snip from a work in progress so you can see what I mean. I break the outline structure down more while I’m working the idea, using headings down to three levels.  As I move from “ideas stage” to “draft” I cut back to just heading level-1, because I only want my table of contents to one heading-level for the book.  You’ll get the idea — below I have a draft of chapters 1 and 2, and part of 3, but the other headings are still notes.

Atonement 2 nav pane

Atonement, Tennessee by Teagan Geneviene

“Atonement, Tennessee” click here.

Sometimes I make hand-written notes, but not too often.  I don’t have the time/energy I’d like to focus on anything except work.  Ideas don’t often pop into my brain unexpectedly, since I’m preoccupied with non-writerly things.  However, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an exception to that.  I carry a notebook with me during November, and I keep it beside the bed at night.  I’m not a good sleeper, so once in a while the midnight idea comes along. (I did the draft of Atonement, Tennessee during my first NaNoWriMo.)   Talk about scribbles — yeesh…

atonement notebook

You know how these blog hops work — I’m supposed to tag other people. You have also probably noticed that I rarely find anyone who wants to be tagged. So, as is my custom — Tag — you’re it if you want to be.  Anyone who wants to take up the torch feel free to do so. Hopefully you’ll link back to this post if you do your own.

However, Siobhan Daiko graciously agreed to be tagged. I can’t wait to see what she does. Her general environment is breathtaking and fascinating to me. No matter what her workspace is, I know I will be intrigued.  Visit Siobhan and learn about her excursions in Italy and her beautiful book, The Orchid Tree.

As you saw, I don’t have much to show you for my workspace. No interesting snacks, or anything very inspiring. I just realized I could have taken a picture of my office at work, but that’s even less interesting.  So here are a few writers at work who are much more intriguing.

Hugs,

Teagan sig

 

 

 

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terry Brooks

Terry Brooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris

Writing from an Unexpected Point of View

Originally posted at Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s Blog.

Chris TSRA

 

Many thanks to Chris Graham (aka The Story Reading Ape) for hosting me at his amazing Author Promotions Enterprise blog. “The Ape” generously promotes authors on his blog, and he offers excellent resources for our use. However, he’s also a gifted cover artist. Be sure to take a look at some examples of his work.  Also, he has started creating fantastic book trailers! (By the way, his trailers are much, much better than the one I have.)

Here’s the article Chris hosted for me.  It features my Lilith character from “Atonement, Tennessee.”

If you want to capture someone’s attention, whisper.… Maybe, but they Book Cut Out Holmesmight not hear you at all. One way to capture a reader’s attention is to occasionally write from an unexpected point of view.

That can also be a practical tool, not just a “hook.” When I wrote Atonement, Tennessee, I decided to have my heroine narrate the story. However, there is a stumbling block with that kind of writing. My heroine could only tell about what she had witnessed. If she was not present for part of the action, someone would have to just tell her about it. Not nearly as exciting, huh?

So I wanted to occasionally shift and let another character be the witness. But who would be suitable? None of the people in my fictional town of Atonement, TN would be likely to see the events I needed to describe. Then I remembered an old exercise about writing from the point of view of an inanimate object. It was very enjoyable to me. Next I thought, what about an animal instead?Cat Eyes Watching

I gave my heroine a cat. At strategic points I make that shift and let the feline witness events. To bring you into the fun, I’m sharing a “character interview” I did with Lilith, the calico cat and part time narrator of Atonement, Tennessee.  Then I’ll show you a snippet of the novel written with the cat as witness.

Here goes!

Character Interviews: Lilith the Calico

Teagan: Lilith, won’t you come over here and sit with me?

(She looks all around the room — everywhere but at me.)

You’re even prettier than I expected. (Now she jumps onto the sofa. The compliment seems to have helped.) For this interview, the Creative Muse has given you the power of human speech.

Lilith and mirrorLilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  Now, Lilith. There’s no need to be contrary. You know you can talk for now. Take advantage of it. I understand you were a rescue kitty. Tell us about your life before Ralda adopted you.

Lilith:  Meow…

Teagan:  (I sigh. Talk about catitude…) I think what everyone wants to know most about you is — are you really a cat? Or are you some kind of supernatural? Maybe an enchanted person who has to… atone?  Because, in all honesty, even though I wrote the novel, I do not know.

(Lilith narrows her eyes then turns her back on me and proceeds to wash her face.  Clearly that line of questioning is not acceptable.) Calico washing face

All righty then; I’m not going to get an answer to that one either.

Okay, moving on. You tell the parts of the story that Ralda doesn’t see. What about Cael? Do you know more about him than anyone else?  Wait — what’s that?  …Are you purring?

Cael at rest- Adrian Paul

Adrian Paul as Cael

Lilith: Oh, Cael is simply divine. (Purrrrr…) Yes, I know more about him than Ralda does — even at the end of the story. He’s strong, courageous, faithful, and he knows about a lot more than is apparent. Cael is also childlike sometimes, which is an intriguing contrast to his strength. I also sense even more about him than I witness. I can’t really describe everything I sense. I can’t quite put my paw on some things.

Teagan: At least that brought you out of your shell. Ralda said you like attractive men. Anyway, I don’t think Ralda really trusts him. Do you know why?

Lilith: She can’t put her paw on it either. Or rather she can’t put her finger on it. Cael is truly extraordinary though. His backstory is only hinted at in this novel. I’m sure there will be more about him in “book 2.”

Teagan: What about Gwydion? Ralda seems to at least try to trust him. Should she?Man Flower Face

Lilith: (She purrs again, even louder. Then she even turns halfway upside down, a paw across her face.) Ah… Gwydion! Oh he smells delicious, all manner of flowers and herbs and catnip. Did you know that he brought me catnip?

(Lilith sits back up, still purring.) Gwydion is a magical creature, you realize. His magic is tied to flowers. It’s not stated outright in the novel, but it’s pretty obvious. At the very beginning it’s even hinted that his grandmother was a faery. You know, Fae’s Flowers, named for his Gran?

Teagan: Who do you think would be better for Ralda, Gwydion or Cael? If they, so to speak, fought for her affections, who would win?

Lilith: Oh, it would be awful if those two actually did fight, wouldn’t it? They do seem to compete with each other in odd ways. But if they fought…  No, I couldn’t bear for either of them to get hurt! I’m not sure, but I have a suspicion that if it came down to it, Cael might be stronger than Gwydion.  However, Gwydion would have fewer — or at least different inhibitions so he might best Cael.  Oh, I’m just not sure. I really don’t like that question at all.

(Her tail makes a slash-thump against the sofa, signaling annoyance. Lilith jumps down from the sofa and sashays out of the room.)

I suppose that ends my interview with the cat.  However, you can read more from Lilith in Atonement, Tennessee.

veil_of_sky_open_Lilith copy

And now for that promised excerpt…

Esmeralda slept. Lilith’s ears pricked when she heard a tiny rustling sound coming from downstairs. The first time she inspected the bedroom, the calico had found a way out. She hadn’t shown it to Esmeralda. Immediately on the hunt for the source of that sound, Lilith soundlessly got up from the pile of blankets on the floor where they slept.

WardrobeShe trotted soundlessly to the tall heavy wardrobe. It was even bigger than the one where she found the mirror, and it reached almost to the high ceiling. It stood a few inches away from the wall. She squeezed behind the wardrobe. There was a gap in the wall. It was actually a door, which would open with a push. At some point in time, it had been left ajar. Lilith had originally found it because she scented the different air from the drafty opening.

Beyond the door was a narrow hallway and equally narrow steps that led to the parlor downstairs. She had a bit of trouble opening the door to the parlor. Fortunately it had a lever handle that was much easier to manipulate than a doorknob. After a moment her persistence paid off and the door creaked open. She stood still for a second. The rustling sound had diminished to almost nothing. The calico stalked into the living room. Her tail was held low and her body was close to the floor as she walked.

Her ears had more than twenty muscles, which the cat used to pinpoint the sound of a final rustle. She looked toward the flower arrangement by the windows. The white heather had grown and branched, vine-like until it covered every window and the front and back doors as well. All the flowers in the vase pulsed as if with a heartbeat. Lilith watched them for a moment to see what else they might do.White flowers take over

A sound came from the kitchen, and she went to investigate. It sounded like something had pressed against the porch roof for a moment and then pushed off. Immediately afterward she heard a few heavy beat and whoosh sounds, like extremely large wings.

She jumped to the kitchen window, but the heather covered it too, and prevented her seeing anything. However, through the little draft of air that came in around the window, she scented one of the odors she had tracked earlier that evening. There wasn’t enough of it for her to be sure which one.

After a while, the cat grew bored and returned to the secret door in the parlor. It was still open. She gave it a little nudge, using it to scratch her cheek, and it closed behind her. She returned to the bedroom.

***

I hope these examples have entertained you. Maybe you’ll want to try writing from an unexpected point of view.

Thanks for reading,

Teagan

Links
At My Website
https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/ More about Teagan: https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/?s=workspace
Link to character interviews blog category: https://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/category/teagans-books/character-interviews/
Pinterest
I’ve used Pinterest to tell a story in pictures not just for “Atonement, Tennessee,” but for my works in progress as well. Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
Amazon Author Page
http://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
TWITTER: @teagangeneviene
Barnes & Noble Nook
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/atonement-tennessee-teagan-geneviene/1117790203?ean=2940148918431
Kindle and Paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412384486&sr=1-1
Amazon UK
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B00HGSVA8A
Amazon India
http://www.amazon.in/Atonement-Tennessee-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1481826948
Business Profile
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=174325949&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Copyright 2013 Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. All rights reserved.

Manuscripts Lost

paper in windA couple of years after I moved here, in utter frustration with my lack of storage space (and a number of other “lacks”) I told myself that if the things in boxes had not been needed for two years, I could do without them.  I further insisted to myself that I’d be more likely to “do something” about the pathetic no-storage situation if I didn’t even look in the boxes.  I had heard or read that advice somewhere.  So I threw out a few dusty boxes without even looking.

As I said, I was very frustrated.  You know what’s coming don’t you?  In one of those boxes were the computer discs for three count ‘em three nearly finished manuscripts.  The computers on which they were written were long gone.  I found partial hardcopies; extremely incomplete.

This page is meant to contain blogs, blurbs, and teasers from such “lost” manuscripts and other partially forgotten, or partially written stories.  It might also have other similar thoughts that swirl in in my mind. The trouble is — I cant’ find the time to retype and post them…

Workspace-1 blog

Copyright 2012 – 2013 Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene.  All rights reserved.