I finished a book this week. The second Cutter’s Code installment. What does this mean? First and foremost for me, it means post book crash. That’s why I’m writing this now, before it hits. Today, a rare warm, sunny October day in the Pacific Northwest, I shall be taking myself outside as soon as this post is finished, to enjoy it before the rain begins. I’m not complaining, mind you, I love it here, and I adore the rain, but days like this are special.
But I digress. There’s another major project that has to come between the end of one book and the start of the next. And that is….my office. I am not the tidiest of writers. In my old, much smaller office, my beloved DH used to try to navigate through the piles on the floor with a pained expression, to which I responded, “There aren’t too many piles, your feet are just too big!” I need, either in actuality or in my mind, everything close at hand. Notes, reference books, scene lists, 753 post-it notes, and in this case, since Cutter is a series, a much-marked copy of the first book, and the bible for the series. The bible, if you don’t know, is a notebook full of all the details on all the stories and characters for all the books…this is something I haven’t done on my two previous series, Redstone, Inc. and Trinity West. (boy that’s going back a ways!) I can already see how much easier my life would have been if I had.
But again I digress. Why? Because I’m putting off that task of bringing in the figurative bulldozer and cleaning up this mess! So in the interest of procrastination, and because I often get asked about how and where I work, I thought I’d give you a tour of the disaster area.
First, an overview:
Many of the things here are common to many offices, computer, printers, phone, lamp. But then there’s my office knitting. Yes, I said office knitting. Something relatively mindless that I can work on while reading, waiting for downloads, or that most hated of chores, talking on the phone. In this case, it’s a dish towel in a stitch pattern I wanted to try, shown here lying atop a pile of contracts I need to sort through:
Directly in front of me are the most crucial things. First book in the series for constant reference, hence the post-its. Index cards that are the bones of the original synopsis. Scene list. Knitting pattern in case I forget where I am after having lived in another world for a while. All the things I mentioned before, plus one very important reminder.
The reminder is this:
I bought this stone originally as a gift for a friend who used the phrase often. But before I could present it circumstances changed and it was no longer applicable. But one day I realized this was something I, as a writer needed to be reminded of: the value of editing, changing, cutting and rewriting. Indeed, nothing is etched in stone except those words.
And lastly, a gift from one of the best editors in the business, full of truth and wry humor:
Now, before I get stuck in the very long hallway of cleaning up this mess, since I don’t have that bulldozer, I’m going to go sit in the sun for a while. Maybe that’s my door opening, for now. Rain will be here soon enough.