Hero worship & WFMAD 28

Toni Morrison is one of my heroes for many reasons; she’s a gifted, brilliant, powerful author, she lived in Syracuse NY for a while, and now, she’s helping our country remember. (Here’s a non-NY Times link for those of you who aren’t registered with them.)

That bench is now on my Must-Visit list.

I am deep, deep in my research, trying to figure out how to wind the strands of my character’s story around historical events. I’m swimming in a sea of correspondence with historians and preparing to meet a couple of them.

One of the more interesting aspects of writing historical fiction is meeting those historians who have made one tiny facet of your story their entire life’s work. It’s sort of like challenging Kobe Bryant to a game of one-on-one, knowing that he’s not going to cut you any slack, but feeling like you’ve got your game on and you have a chance.

I spent a good hunk of yesterday marshaling my arguments for a historian who doesn’t believe that oxen were used to pull the artillery wagons towards a fort under siege. I’m pretty sure I’m right; he’s wavering, but he doesn’t seem to have any evidence to back up his concerns. If any of you, by chance, have anything to contribute to this conversation, please get in touch with me.

In honor of today’s WFMAD session, I present to you…..

… my desk.


Today’s goal: Write 15 minutes and maybe a little more, because it’s Monday.

Today’s mindset: organized

Today’s prompt: Today is all about the space in which you write. I have written in many, many places (my former writing spaces are an essay waiting to be written) and now I have my own slice of heaven. I work on the third floor of our house, in a loft space tucked under the eaves. I have a giant teacher’s desk from the 1920s that I trash-picked from my parents’ trailer park. I do not have enough bookshelves, but BH is going to change that when I go away on book tour. This is my creative kingdom.

If you are taking your writing seriously enough to try and do it every day, then it’s time to examine your writing space. What else besides writing happens there? Does it say “Dedicated Writer at Work” or “Sure, Go Ahead, Interrupt Me, I Don’t Really Want to Finish This Novel”?

The Guardian has a regular feature on writers’ rooms. I hope they do more.

If you can’t think of anything else to write about, today I’d like you to sketch out or write about the positive, affirming changes you are going to make to your writing space. Do you need to tidy it up? Get rid of visual clutter? Pay the stack of bills? Add flowers or a candle? Is there music in your space?

Extra-super bonus points will be awarded to those folks who actually act on their palns for their writing nook.


10 Replies to “Hero worship & WFMAD 28”

  1. Part of my writing space is visible in my avatar. I do have my own dedicated writing space, but need more bookshelves, like every other reader/writer I know.

    With the space under control, it’s a matter of managing the time part of the writing space/time continuum.

    clickety, clickety, click.

  2. I am clearly ready to take a “before” picture. Maybe a series of before pictures to get it all. Maybe a video. My desk – my office – could inspire horrow story writers. You have this whole accountability thing down, don’t you? Thanks for the prompt and for the challenge to earn extra-super bonus points.

  3. I have a dedicated writing space, but I don’t have a desk, and when I was writing out this prompt a few minutes ago, I kept getting stuck on the word “desktop” as it applies to the computer. On the one hand, it implies something that it’s not. On the other hand, I use it like a wooden desktop. I have folders and notes and spreadsheets all sitting there on it. And solitaire.
    My space: comfy recliner and a laptop, a little table for tea, a few bookcases, a stereo, patio doors that can be opened to let in the sound of rain – or closed to keep out the sound of the neighbor’s dog. I wonder if a writing desk would be good for me (if space allowed), or if I would spend too much time procrastinating by cleaning it.

  4. Okay, my coffee vat is fatter than your…

    mug! You know I LOVE the way you stated the historical perspective. I think the only reason I attempt it is that old saw of “if not me, then who?” But most of the time I feel like I’m at the base of the Great Pyramid of history and the noonday sun is beating down.

    Not as consistent as I’d like, but I have to say your WFMAD has been a great help. Thank you.

  5. Of course, oxen were used. Horses were the first choice because of their speed, but they used what they had. The worst, though, were mules, who were so freaked out by the noise of the guns, they made asses of themselves.

  6. Full day of writing today. 🙂

    I can’t write in lots of clutter, so I try to keep my writing space neat and organized. If it’s messy, I have to clean it up before I can get to work. So I try to take the extra few minutes every day to keep it clean.

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