Thursday, August 4, 2011

See Hyaline Work

I've shared pictures before of my two favorite spots in the New Old House--my reading nook and my writing nook. I had intentions of sharing pictures of my sewing corner, but it's always such a mess that I have a compulsion to clean it whenever a camera gets near it, and it never quite steps up. So...forthcoming!

However, my writing nook pictures were a little too...pristine. Nice. Artfully arranged. This is not how it looks while I'm working. It looks like a mini tornado hit a tiny five-and-dime store on my desk while I'm working.

So here's a shot of the desk in action, with helpful deciphering key below:

A) Pencil cup holding two fans and a tube of hand lotion that I can't decide if I like the scent of or not. No pencils.

B) My giant hardcover notebook that holds my mishmosh of outlining, sketches, short writings, and other pen-scratch paraphernalia. More on that below.

C) The stack of books, papers, etc. underneath the notebook. This includes a printout of the last draft of The Courier that I edited from a few months ago. Clearly I need to recycle some stuff.

D) The laptop, open to the current document. At any given time, I might have Pandora or my own music open as well, and possibly my Twitter feed if I'm looking for #1k1hr motivation. Sometimes I disable my internet if I need to minimize distractions.

E) Stuffed behind the laptop are more file folders of papers, including this loose piece, which happens to be a retirement fund statement with my name spelled wrong. Need to fix that. So I put it beside the computer to remind me. That's not worked as well as one could hope (three months later).

F) I usually have a glass of wine, cup of tea, mug of coffee, something to sip on. It was a muggy, deep-summery sort of evening when I took this picture, so I was enjoying a very chilled glass of Torrontes. Seriously, people--Argentina is where it's at for wine. Thank you, free wine tasting at local specialty foods store, for enlightening me.

G) Also featured: A photo of my grandmother when she was in her twenties, in the 1920s. She had awesome hair.

So how do all these pieces fit together? Well, that giant notebook is where most of it starts. I write down story ideas in here, and details I don't want to forget on stories I'm currently working on (often inserted in pre-existing outlines with big circles scrawled around them). I'm a terrible outliner. Really, I am. Yet, I'm not really a pantser, so I plot the course of the story through a series of really, really ugly entries in the lined pages of the notebook.

They look like this. See? Ugly. Arrows, brackets, stuff scratched out and circled and moved to other places. It's a mess. But it works. Of course, someone someday will find it and think it's some kind of elaborate code covering up the location of buried treasure or a government conspiracy or military intelligence or something.

I also sketch maps, family trees, and anything else that I'll need to remember later to keep straight what the heck I was talking about. This is a map of the Colony, the setting of my current project:

I am not a cartographer, clearly.

As for that stack of books...I would love to say that they're all research material related to the WIP and that I have them all marked with wee little Post-It notes and refer to them while I write.

Nope, mostly costuming books, actually.

Which should probably live upstairs with the rest of my sewing stuff, but I was doing some comparative research between current commercially available patterns and these extant garment sketches. Hi, I am a dork.

Though I did find myself using some gown elements from this book in The Courier and Book Two, its sequel.

How do you work? Please feel free to share pics or posts in the comments!

1 comment:

anachronist said...

I won't dare to share a pic but I liked your working corner very much. Mine is well...not entirely mine. I do not feel saying any more.