The final frontier

1=Trusty laptop
2=Homonculus #1. He does my bidding.
3= Homonculus #2. He keeps Homonculus #1 in line.
4=Pinky and the Brain mega mug. Narf!
5=Voodoo doll. Given to me by a former employer who apparently harbored false beliefs that I would never use it against him.
6=View of the liquor warehouse and parking lot
7=Sync cable for iPod touch. VERY important

My muses, who sit to the left of my desk. Can YOU name them all? (Hint: Not all, such as the penguins, have names.)

This is a print called "Flight of the Red Pajamas" by Lori Bitwer-Stewart. It hangs to the right of my desk. I'd been admiring it for years and finally bought it to celebrate selling my middle grade trilogy. It is very pretty. I keep telling myself that, someday, I'm going to write the story that goes with this picture.

Another print by Lori Bitwer-Stewart. In my mind, THIS is what my workspace really looks like.

Now for the kicker: I rarely use this space to write. I've crafted a lovely work area, complete with muses, homonculi, and art. And I'm almost never here. Largely because, owing to space restrictions, I share the office with my wonderful husband. And when he's working on his computer, I have to be somewhere else. (Not his fault; it's just how my brain works.) Often, I find myself at the dining room table. (Actually, I wrote 90% of THE VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES at the dining room table.)

Sometimes I find myself at this desk. Right now, for instance. But, honestly, I take what space I can get. Wherever I am, I need room to pace. I pace a lot while writing, talking through scenes, speaking bits of dialogue. Give me that and an acceptable degree of solitude and I can be extremely productive.

Or not. Sometimes, the optimal conditions are met and I sit like a lump for eight hours, wondering why there are cars in the parking lot of the liquor warehouse at 6m on a Sunday. For me, having a space is nice. But having something to write is GLORIOUS.


  1. Love this...I totally agree with you on the too-optimal conditions...(When things are too perfect, I seem to find MORE distractions...) I'm also an antique store / flea market junkie, which means my office is brimming with weird of my faves is the old guitar string display on my wall...

  2. I have to share this with you, Brian. Been meaning to. This is a brief excerpt from an as-yet-unpublished novel. The main character is a US teen, and the secondary character is Rwandan. I wrote this a couple of years ago, before I knew there was any such thing as you.

    “Why do you name the little dog ‘Pinky’?” he asked. “He is not pink.”
    “No,” I said. “I guess he’s not, huh? I named him after a character in a cartoon.”
    “Cartoon?” he asked. It was hard to tell, by the way he asked it, if he knew the word or not.
    “Yeah. There was this cartoon character named Pinky.”
    “And he was a little dog?”
    “No, he was a mouse. He was a laboratory mouse. And he shared a cage with this other mouse named Brain, who was really smart. And Brain was obsessed with taking over the world. And in this one episode, Brain disguised himself as a human and went on a game show to try to win money so he could take over the world. And the host kept calling him Brian. It was really funny.”
    A long silence.
    “So, this cartoon mouse, he was pink?”
    “Um. No. Not really. He was white.”
    “Okay, Steven. This is good to know. Now I know to never ask you any question like that, ever again, at any time.”
    “I guess you had to be there,” I said.

  3. I probably should have mentioned that one of his dogs was named Pinky and the other was named Brian. I did not know you yet, so you can't sue me (I think).

  4. Holly: I used to have a much larger collection of muses. When I needed more space, I had to vanquish the ones who didn't speak to me as much any more. After the Purge, the other muses snapped to.

    Catherine: Zort!


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