Friday, January 18, 2008

Where the Magic Happens

I’m sure you all have a picture in your head of us Lusties, chained to our desks, slaving away. I’m sure you think it’s all champagne and sex toys, as we lounge in lingerie and write with fountain pens before being distracted by our boy toys (or girl toys) who come to give us massages.

Sometimes, this is true.

But most of the time, alas, there is another scenario in which we find ourselves….

A deadline looms. It’s way past our bedtimes, and our boy and girl toys are languishing alone in our beds. Their mournful calls fall on deaf ears. Instead, we’re typing frantically, vaguely nauseated from too many cups of tea or coffee. Our desks look like an office-supply store exploded. Our eyes burn; our fingers ache—will we ever be able to grasp a vibrator again?

The truth is, we Lusties are a varied lot, as proven by our writing spaces. Nine of us have bravely taken pictures of our work areas, mess and all.

Here’s the game: Can you guess which Lustie works in which space? Your choices are Dayle A. Dermatis, Kate Pearce, Janine Ashbless, Madeline Moore, Madelynne Ellis, Olivia Knight, Portia da Costa, Shanna Germain, and Teresa Noelle Roberts….

Workspace 1
This is my office. But I can't work there... Could anybody?

Workspace 2
Yes, I write in bed! (Desks give me backache.) Note essential author's equipment: laptop, mug of tea, copy of Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass, and two dogs.

Workspace 3
This is my desk. On it I have a bobble head Nora Roberts (signed) so that when I ask her a question she always answers me. Also a Jane Austen action figure, complete with lap desk and quill pen! Underneath the desk on the red silk cushion is my pampered dog, Hunter, a King Charles Cavalier spaniel.

Workspace 4
This is one of the smallest workspaces I’ve ever had, but the one at which I’ve been most productive. You will see hard copy of my latest manuscript. (I prefer to do my first draft on the computer, then print and work from hard copy, then type the final draft on the computer.) I have all my essentials close by: glasses, a can of diet Schweppe’s Ginger Ale, a Dictionary of Sex, some Rub-A535, hand lotion, and gum. The bulletin board is papered equally with important information and my favorite celebrities, including Ms. Joni Mitchell. There are pieces of paper everywhere but the actual message holder, that weird metal spiral thing, is empty.

Workspace 5
My three cats (two are shown in the picture) boast a total weight of 45 pounds and any one of them, let alone two or more, takes up more than the area on my desk available for sprawling kitties while I'm actually working. Unfortunately they like my desk. A lot. And they're so darn cute that it's sometimes hard to boot them off so I can, for instance, get to my keyboard.

Workspace 6
I bought this treadmill specifically for its wide, flat handles, and then I Velcroed an old shelf across the handles as a makeshift desk. The laptop sits on top, and has its own bit of Velcro to keep it anchored. It's best for emailing and editing (I edit by ear, so I often plug my headphones into the laptop and listen as Word reads my work back to me), and if I go too fast, the keyboard gets all sweaty, and not in a sexy way.

Workspace 7
I do have a proper desk, honest! It has all my books on it, well, apart from the ones on the sofa, obviously. Quit smirking. You almost got a picture of my bath, which is where I write all my best stuff.

Workspace 8
I'm as likely to have a glass of wine at hand as I am a cup of tea, but I really do love having candles lit. I admit it: I'm a romantic at heart. Then again, the small calendar above the mousepad depicts penises from famous Italian statuary…. Guess I'm also a mass of contradictions!

Workspace 9
The real world is inside the computer, but all the essentials surround it. The oil is a mix of patchouli, mandarin and pine; the incense is sandalwood—these ingredients vary for each story. The notes are for “The Three Riddles” in the Enchanted novella collection—if you look closely, you can make out the heading “The first riddle.”


One of the others said...

Workspace one made me laugh until I ran out of oxygen. But not as impressive as whoever types and treadmills!

Janine Ashbless said...

Champagne? Lingerie? I think you're mistaking me for someone else! Possibly Barbara Cartland...

Dana Belfry said...

Workplace one scared the hell out of me.

The treadmill one intrigued me. The rest are variations I've tried for my own office (minus the cats). Okay fess up ladies!

Olivia Knight said...

Whoever's number one, I'm itching to pop around and straighten it up...! Then again, such heaps of magnificent chaos take patient years to achieve; who am I to undo your creation?

I don't have a cat anymore (there's a clue for you!) but when I was studying, my cat felt very strongly about the division of attention. Why would I want to stare at scribbled-on paper when I could gaze at her splendid fur and slow-blinking eyes? My eventual solution was to put her firmly on my lap, then sit so close to the desk that she couldn't get any space to clamber onto it (although the occasional paw essayed a foray).

Janine, you don't wear lingerie? You naughty girl!

Right, back to my writing - where'd that bottle of champers go...?

workspace one said...

I'll probably never be able to use that room again... One of these days, I'll just lock the door and regard it as a dead zone.

But what's wrong with the rest of you? Don't you have 'stuff'? A writer should have lots of 'stuff' as part of the rich tapestry of their lives...

Although it's probably not wise to have quite as much rich tapestry as I have, obviously.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I have a ton of "stuff"--I just aimed the camera carefully, so you didn't see the heaped up bookcases, etc.

And most of my extraneous stuff is hidden in the sewing room, which we should more accurately label the junk room.

I love the treadmill idea. And whoever belongs to the dogs--they are darling (although I can't imagine the idea of lounging in bed to write.)

Nikki Magennis said...

Ooh, I love this! I reckon I can guess most of your spaces, but who the hell can type and run at the same time?! That is wild.

I think I want workspace 8 for my own self. Candles and all pretty, with no 'rich tapestry' piled up on, under and around like what I have in my burrow.

Alison Tyler said...

I'm with Nikki. I love this post, too! I feel as if I've been waiting forever to see these...

I'm not going to play the mix and match game. But I grew up in a house with a writer whose office was exactly like Workspace #1's. Eventually, he would become isolated to one tiny corner until everything either exploded on top of him, or he'd abandon the room and move to a new space.

Ta very much, Lusties. I'm off to post a pic of my office here so I can play, too!


P.S. And Nikki did post one of her desk a long time ago, especially for me!

Olivia Knight said...

I used to have much more "stuff" but my habit of constantly moving the furniture around means that it doesn't always get a chance to rebuild in the new location. I rearrange everything with almost every book I write, in order to get a new headspace, and a new collection of bruises as I lurch into tables that didn't use to be there.

I think for my next book I'm going to write in Alison's space...

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Oh yes, I suspected some of us were more honest with others about our workspaces. Mine's reasonably tidy, but the camera angle was deliberate, and I did toss the used Kleenex and whatnot.

Of course, then I sprained my ankle yesterday, so my workspace is now the foldout sofa in the media room. I have a Laptop Laidback, so I'm alternately working and elevating/icing my ankle!

Dang it! Nobody's playing the game!

Kate Pearce said...

Well I'm married to the cleaning Nazi so he constantly touches the stuff on my desk, and he took the photo which is why it all looks so serene...if he'd taken a bigger picture, you'd see my overstuffed bookcase to the left complete will big jar of jelly bellys, hula girl, cross-eyed cat, various photos, my tiara and all my millions of books!
I'm guessing some of these, others are harder...and I know you guys!!

kristina lloyd said...

Can I play? Or am I barred for having too much insider information? Cos I've read those emails written on a treadmill and they surely belong to Dayle! Um, I think.

The nice, tidy shrine (no. 8) baffled me for a while. At first I thought Olivia because I know she's a candle-nut (similar to a hazlenut) but I decided Olivia wouldn't regard candles and stone penises as contradictory or romantically opposed. And I don't think she's that tidy, to be honest. So I consulted my psychological profiler who reckons the shrine is Shanna's. And that there's a body buried under the patio.

There is also, according to my profiler, likely to be a body buried in workspace 1. Or maybe several bodies. They *would* be cut up into tiny little pieces but Ms Workspace 1 has lost her chainsaw among all that rich tapestry.

Sorry. I think I'm on the wrong blog. I'll get off at the next stop.

Shanna Germain said...

Kristina, that comment totally cracked me! [insert evil body-burying laugh here].

I love how all these spaces are different, how each one has some combination of inspiration, dedication and personality. I never write anything long-hand anymore, so I love to see who does. And all the candles and scented things--I really should try that, but I find that I get into my written "world" and forget all about the candles and then I'm likely to burn the house down. (I'm not giving away too much here, am I?).

Plus, I know that I have three writing spots. I'm guessing most of us have at least that many...

Best, s.

Bedspace said...

Boy, I wish I'd been using matching bedlinen when I took that photo.

kristina lloyd said...

Damn! So the shrine isn't Shanna's. The cup of tea did make me suspicious because I know Shanna's a coffee-nut (similar to a coconut). So maybe 7 is Shanna (though I thought that was Madelynne Ellis). And maybe body under the patio (8) is Dayle because there's a pre-Raph mousemat and it's all outrageously tidy and I reckon Dayle has a strong serial killer - sorry, perfectionist - streak.

But that would make Madelynne Ellis The Phantom Treadmill Emailer.

No, that can't be right! Argh.

So maybe Madelynne Ellis is the serial killer. With a dildo. In the Sewing Room.

Alison Tyler said...

No, no, no! It's Tilly in the shed with the Golden Cock!

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Everyone can play! (Except me...but that just means I get to be the scorekeeper. Bwahaha!)

I don't have the treadmill, but I think it's a fabulous idea and would do it if I had room. (I have a dream of turning the apartment over our garage into my writing office--but right now, we need the rental income!)

This is turning into one of those "the man in the fedora owns the zebra"-type games, isn't it?! :-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

This is turning into one of those "the man in the fedora owns the zebra"-type games, isn't it?! :-)

I swear, the zebra and I are just good friends.

Janine Ashbless said...

I just spotted the inspirational message in the Cat Picture:

"You can't revise a blank page.
But you can revise crap."

Oh yeah.

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'm sure you observed at once, Watson, that one of these photographic plates shows a North American electrical outlet, while another reveals a European outlet (and the Queen's own dictionary).

But what do you make of the hounds?

kristina lloyd said...

Of Baskerville? Ah, they can't be real.

Anyway, thanks Sherlock. Course I observed the outlets. Um. Here, have some more morphine. So:

1. Wendy
2. Janine
3. Kate
4. Madeline Moore (Sings: Oh-hhh, Canad-aaa)
5. Teresa
6. Shanna (Quick everyone! Hide! She's insane!)
7. Madelynne Ellis
8. Dayle (Quick everyone! etc etc)
9. Olivia

What do I win? Can I share it with Sherlock?

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

I'll post the winning answers tonight before I slip between the sheets. :-) As for the prize, how does the adulation of your peers sound?

Personally, I like reading the explanations of why a particular space might belong to someone. I'm still trying to sort out why candles = serial killer, though! :-)

Jeremy Edwards said...

I think #3 is Portia, based on the blurb's content and writing style--which assertion will make me look pretty foolish when it turns out I'm wrong. Likewise, I'm guessing that #8 is Teresa. Moving along from foolish assertions to idiotic ones, I'm going to make a wild guess that #4 is Madeline, just because Joni Mitchell is Canadian.

kristina lloyd said...

No, no! It's not the candles Dayle. It's the copy of Catcher in the Rye, the blood-stained daggers, the -

No! It's the orderliness, the thought that's gone into making the image, the suggestion that the desk owner is putting on a show in order to conceal the dark, terrible truth ... that they have BODIES BURIED UNDER THE PATIO!

Alison Tyler said...

Ha! I think it's the candles.

Kate Pearce said...

i was going to post my suggestions and then I realized that if I did, everyone would know which one was me (duh) So I'll just guess at a couple:

Portia is #1
Janine is #2
Teresa is #5

how am I doing?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kristina (about everything - we have a hive mind, a very small hive mind). Well, except about everyone being an axe murderer...

Um, possibly...

You can see mine here. I mean my workspace, not my enormous golden cock, although that seems to be in the picture too. How'd that happen?

Kate Pearce said...

It's the Madeline/lynne's I can't work out! grrr...

#6 Shanna
#8 Dayle

Janine Ashbless said...

Now Mat's workspace is frighteningly neat. Apart from the enormous phallus of course...

Alison Tyler said...

Here are my guesses—

#1 Wendy
#2 Janine
#3 Kate
#4 Dayle
#5 Teresa
#6 Madeline
#7 Shanna
#8 Olivia
#9 Madelynne

I actually had Anne in there, but realized I was guessing people who hadn't sent pics in! I'm probably massively off, but hell... it was fun playing.

Dayle A. Dermatis said...

Well, I'm delighted to report that Kristina had us all nailed. (Um. Er.) The answers, as she so astutely sussed out, were

1. Portia
2. Janine
3. Kate
4. Madeline
5. Teresa
6. Shanna
7. Madelynne
8. Dayle
9. Olivia

I admit I may possibly have a perfectionist streak. I swear, though, that I haven't killed anyone except in my fiction. Really.


Anonymous said...

So Shanna is the jogger...

kristina lloyd said...

Yay! I win, I win! That was heaps of fun - thank you.

And Janine, your dogs are beautiful. I have two greyhounds in Split, one of which is a brindle like yours. I called him Twiglet. They seem such lovely, gentle creatures and they're astonishing to look at.

Shanna. Gosh.

*moves away slowly*

And now I must go sweep the patio.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Well done, KL! I always knew you were a genius.

I do count my #8 as a correct answer, given that Dayle and Teresa are, in the context of certain book covers, all one person.

TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

Yes, but while we are both likely to own a "great cocks of Italian sculpture" calendar, she's tidier than I.

Shanna Germain said...

Correction: Shanna is the walker.

I said if I go too fast, I get all sweaty. In truth, I write mostly at coffee shops, and I have a junk-covered desk as well. But the treadmill geeky secret!

:) s.

Madeline Moore said...

Fun! I think I was the only one who inserted an obvious clue into my description. I love seeing where everyone is working - and envying everyone who has a laptop and works in bed, which would be my preferred process if I had a laptop.

Yes, I moved the snorf-rags (Canadian-ese for Kleenex) and other pitiful props essential to my well-being while writing. But I left in the A-535!

Thanks for this!

Madelynne Ellis said...

Damn, guess I'm too late for the guessing. However, it's good to know I'm not a serial killer.

Kate Pearce said...

Jeremy, I hope you're eating your fedora right now...

I got Olivia and Madelynne the wrong way round!

Jeremy Edwards said...

Jeremy, I hope you're eating your fedora right now...

Yep, with deerstalker for dessert.

SandDanz said...

the first workspace makes me feel a bit better about my apartment as now I see I'm not the only one that is a packrat!!! I have more than 1 room like that unfortunately. *blush*

As for the treadmill workspace... WOW!!! That is just awesome!

EllaRegina said...

I don't know any of the "candidates" personally so cannot even begin to match writer to workspace but I *LOVE* this!

Typing whilst running, or even walking! Amazing!!