A room of my own -- not!
You'd think I'd have this writing thing down pat by now. I've been at it for many years now. Over 20 to be exact. That's when I first turned my journalistic typewriter into a fictional keyboard and started book one. You may not remember it because, sad to say, it was never published. Never even sent out, I admit. I had the good sense to recognize drivel when I read it and tucked it away. I used to look at it every few years just to remind myself that there was no way to go but up from there.
There are two such full manuscripts tucked away, and a couple of partials, too. When I finally got around to sending out my babies, it was after adopting a more serious approach to writing. I belonged to Capital Crime Writers and soaked up the words of our guest speakers -- cops, forensic pathologies, arson investigators and that ilk. I had my fabulous critiquing group, the second I would join, and it eventually morphed into The Ladies' Killing Circle. I would get up early and write for at least one hour every weekday morning before getting me son ready for school, and me, too (I worked as a Community Educator with the local school board).
Two manuscripts in that series are completed, a third is a partial. The first was sent out, several times, and although I received lots of encouraging words, there was no contract involved. So I moved on to short stories. These were more in keeping with my new lifestyle schedule and LKC had anthologies to produce!
Now, I'm back to writing novels full time. Well, some days it's full time. You know how life loves to intrude when you're having fun!
Which leads me to my writing room. I thought for several years I could no longer write fiction at my desk, in my home office. It was the place I did my store paperwork when I owned Prime Crime Books, the place I pay my bills, the desk my cats love to sprawl across.
Enter my new keyboard. It's one of those massive ergonomically correct numbers from Microsoft, my monitor is positioned at proper height (physiotherapist's orders), and my Notebook will be relegated to writing when traveling. The walls in this office are lined with books, unlike the dining room walls, where I was using my Notebook. The books should set the mood. The distractions of dirty dishes and sun-bathed deck are now removed. Back to being a full-time writer.
But it's still not my room, not totally. It's the space the cats allow me to use. If they want to saunter across the keyboard, it's as a reminder to me to take a short break, stretch, give them a quick massage. Don't tell me to close the door and shut them out. These are cats we're talking about. If you live with one or more, you know what I mean.
So, here's to writing, the proper space to do it in, comfortable new keyboards...and cats!
Do you have a room of your own, for writing or whatever you may do? Or is it shared space with something furry?
writing as Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming from Berkley Prime Crime in April, 2012