It’s all about the paper and pens. Most of my story ideas start out as a handwritten note—sometimes in notebooks, but just as often on the back of a grocery store receipt because that was all I had handy at the time. Eventually, I sit down and type all the scribbles into a more readable form in their appropriate Scrivener file.
The typing happens at the desk in the above photo. It’s an old wooden elementary school desk I bought for my daughter at a yard sale for five dollars probably twenty-five years ago. She insisted it be pink.
Also in the photo are my other writing tools. A few pens—there are many more. The bullet journal is for doodles while I pretend to keep track of how I’m spending my time. The faux traveler’s notebook contains several inserts for journaling, sketching, story ideas, and writing craft notes. The large three-ring binder is home to reference items, such as maps of the story’s town, calendars for timelines, all the names I’ve decided on, etc.
And of course, the computer where the magic has to be turned into reality. That’s the hard part.
Growing up, I thought it would be wonderful to write a novel of my own, but I didn’t think it was possible. So I stayed an avid reader. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden eventually gave way to Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, anything gothic or historical. In junior high school, my best friend and I devoured her mother’s Angelique novels. I was hooked.
Writing, however, wouldn’t happen until many, many years later as I daydreamed about what I wanted to do after I took an early retirement from my day job. I began writing down all the story ideas that had been floating around my mind for decades.
My first short story, “Fire in the Storm” in First Response, and my upcoming novel, Drove All Night, are the result of those daydreams scribbled on countless pieces of paper, with a multitude of pens, typed on the MacBook laptop, on that pink desk.
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