Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Writing Life

I've seen a lot of writers post pictures of their workspaces to give you a glimpse into what they do. I always think it's fun to see, so I thought I'd share mine with you. I'll warn you right now, though, that it will probably make you feel bad about your own workspace. Especially if yours looks anything like Laini Taylor's or Stephanie Perkins'. Too bad theirs are so dull and depressing. Anyhow, with no further delay, I give you:

My Workspace
I'll pause to give you time to "oooh" and "aaah" over the color scheme in my apartment--every shade of beige imaginable! I am such a fan.

Alright, now that you've wiped the drool from your face, I thought I'd break it down. You'll notice the numbers attached for your convenience.

1. Laptop. Of course, my faithful companion, without whom I could accomplish nothing. No writing, no wasting hours upon hours every day skulking around online instead of writing, no watching interviews of people with Irish accents, or old Flight of the Conchords clips. Laptop, do you have anything to say?

This is quite possibly your worst post ever.

See? What would I do without him?

2. The outlet. Which is also essential because Laptop's battery lasts about three minutes.

Who's stupid fault is that?

It's true. They can't all be macs.

I hate you.

If you can't say anything nice I'm going to disinvite you from contributing to this post.

Oh. No. The horrors. The horrors. Yawn.

Sarcasm is not an attractive trait in electronics, my dear Laptop.

3. Dr Pepper. Enough said.

4. Popcorn. You'll notice the bowl is empty.

5. Random crap, including but not limited to a notebook for (shockingly enough!) taking notes, whatever book I'm reading at the time, a whole mess of wires and cables, and a stuffed koala bear that has no business whatsoever being there, but that I simply don't care enough to remove.

6. Snow Patrol playing on Laptop. Speaking of which--I get to go to their concert in October! My very first concert! I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so...so...scared! I mean, whoa, channeling Jessie Spano for a minute there. Just excited, not at all scared.

You'll notice that Word is also open in the background. I like to open up my work in progress during the day so that it sits there, blinking at me, mocking my inability to get anything done while Dojo is awake.

7. My favorite feature--the dishwasher! Right in front of me to constantly remind me that I have not, in fact, done the dishes yet today. It's also a really fun activity for my kids when they get annoyed with me to come over and pull it open, smacking me in the stomach or whacking me in the shins. Of course, just to the right is the dishwasher's companion, the sink. Lovely.

She keeps me next to the kitchen sink, for the love of DOS. THE SINK.

Sorry. It's true.

And finally, in another pleasant feature, you'll notice something conspicuously missing from this picture--that's right, no chair! If I want to get anything done during the day I have to stand at the counter. The moment I take Laptop to the couch with me Dojo is climbing on both of us, his body magically transformed into nothing but elbows and knees, viciously finding any soft spots to dig themselves into while he makes his best efforts to break Laptop.

Still, he's cute.

Agreed. Someday I'll have Hot Stuff take a picture of me when I'm actually writing, but all I do is curl up in the corner of our hand-me-down of a hand-me-down couch, typing furiously away while Laptop singes my thighs.

I do that on purpose.

I know, my love. I know.


Natalie said...

I'm totally jealous. Mostly because I don't have enough kitchen counter to put a laptop on.

Marsha Sigman said...

True creativity does not need frills to flourish. It can grow in a wasteland of desire and despair.

Whewww...I sounded really deep...that actually hurt a little. I am sooo not calling your kitchen a wasteland...really. I gotta say though, suddenly my office/spare/junk room looks really good right now. I have a chair.

Mama White said...

For the love of DOS, you are one funny little lady!

Novice Writer Anonymous said...

Poor laptop. But it looks like you have a system all worked out for you that works and will help you get those revisions done lickety-split whenever you get your revision letter.

Congrats again on the deal!

sraasch said...

That's one swanky set-up you've got there! You know, they have these new-fangled things called desks. Perhaps you should purchase one now that you're a huge, famous, soon-to-be published author. It seems fitting.

Monnik said...

I love it! Great setup, if you ask me.

T. Anne said...

I was going to say it's the same set up as mine (crap and all) but then you got to the part about the chair. Perhaps your could be known as the stand up author?

storyqueen said...

Yeoowwww! I guess I have a deee-luxe set up with my two TV trays behind the couch and the chair from the dead grandma's old dinette. On my "desk" are the following: notepad, another notepad, and another notepad (seriously, 3?), a pen, a Q-tip, a rhinestone crystal, lens cleaner, an Irish dance trophy won by my daughter this weekend, a copy of CatWings by Ursula Le Guin and my laptop.

(How do you type with salty fingers?)


P.S. Will you buy a real desk, now?

Kiersten said...

We actually *have* a desk, it's just taken up by the massive monitor for our desktop. And it doesn't matter anyway, because it's back in the bedroom and I have to be out where my kids are during the day.

Plus, there's no room anywhere else for one. So, how about now that I have a book deal I can look forward to moving out of this apartment within the next year, at which point I promise I will get a desk and a cushy chair?

Renee Collins said...

Popcorn and Dr. Pepper. My writing snack from the beginning. I highly approve. :)

Valerie said...

Your space is not nearly as messy as mine, if that makes you feel any better. I write in the kitchen too, (I also have an office with a desk and a desktop that I can't bare to use) at a pub table. Maybe I should try standing at it and see if I get more done that way.

Also yay to Dr. Pepper and popcorn, to of my most vital writing food groups!

Juliette Dominguez said...

Kiersten, you totally made me LOL. I did a post on my blog about the same thing ~ Where Writers Write =


and, just fyi, here's a picture of my desk ;)
having seen that you have to stand in front of your dishwasher, I will *never* complain about my lack of space again.


Lindsey Leavitt said...

Hi Kiersten!
Congrats on the deal and welcome to the tenners. Let me know if you have any questions about navigating the site.
Also--saw on your side thing Blue LIly Photography. A friend of mine used them and I totally want to get out to CA just to get a family pic. Once my two-year-old's self-inflicted hair diaster grows back. So in the next four years.

Kiersten said...

Hi Lindsey, and also, ha! Your poor daughter. Well, really her poor mother, because I'm sure she doesn't care. And yes, Wendy from Blue Lily did my author pics and she's FABULOUS.

I'm excited about the Tenners! Just trying to get everything set up right now...

Juliette, I'll check that out!

Little Brother said...

Your first concert? Really? Wow, sister. Maybe I'll have to show you the ropes.

Lisa said...

Love seeing where others work. Very impressive (no sarcasm inserted). A true sign of a major multitasker!

Carrie Harris said...

When I had a working laptop, I kept it next to the fridge. Which is really dangerous when it comes to my diet. I think I practically mainlined Dr. Pepper.

Lindsay Price said...

I'll bet that when you get a desk and a chair, you'll still end up typing standing in the kitchen.


Rachel Bateman said...

Love the workspace-it looks a lot like mine right now (including the popcorn, but minus the Dr. Pepper-I am more of a water/herbal sweet tea kind of gal).

I LOVE standing while I work; I much prefer it to sitting. We walk on treadmills at the office while we are working. My next big writing area improvement will be making a treaddesk at home (of course, I will probably have to move out of the kitchen once that happens).

Also, the two desks you linked pictures of--SO jealous of those gals. What fun colors! Oh, to own and not rent!

Amanda J. said...

That is one nice work space!

Also, I gave you an award, because I think you're awesome. :P

Amanda J. said...

I forgot to leave you a link! Doh!


Lily said...

This should be a photo challenge!

Anna Claire said...

Ah, a thigh-singeing laptop. I also have one of those.

Thank you for posting the pics and the links. Writing spaces are always fascinating :)

Megs said...

I think I'll ditto Natalie's comment - at least you have counter space to put a laptop on. Mine is sitting on the footrest to the rocking chair in the baby's room.

It's amazing what you can do while on the computer...

Kristan said...

LOL. My laptop is a Mac, but he's not as funny as yours.

Marsha Sigman said...

I would like to add that Dr. Pepper is dangerously addictive. I've struggled with this for some time and although I stay pretty much clean now...I still drink it socially.

VĂ©ro said...

That's funny! My laptop would probably get along with yours! It also has a 3 minute battery life and it mocks me by making me POUND on the keyboard in order for the keys to register.

Tara said...

Love it! I'm a huge Dr Pepper fan--give me that and my laptop and the rest of the world can disappear for three to four hours (give or take the battery).

Stephanie Perkins said...



I'm so happy for you! I know how badly you wanted to go :)

Kathleen O'Keeffe said...

Lol! This post made me laugh. And crave Dr. Pepper.

And I love the color scheme. You'll have to give me the name of your interior designer.

Kiersten said...

Little Brother--I know, sad, huh?

Lisa--That, or a true sign of a very small apartment : )

Carrie--Yes, the kitchen location is not friendly to my waistline.

Lindsay--I sure hope not!

Rachel--I recommend looking at Laini Taylor's whole blog--her house will make you CRAZY with envy. So bright and wonderful.

Amanda--Thank you!!

Lily--Post yours : )

AC--You don't notice it until your done and your thighs are this unnatural, angry bright red...

Megs--Amen to that.

Kristan--Macs have a terrible sense of humor. It's their one downside.

Marsha--Sadly, I am quite addicted to it.

Vero--No doubt our laptops would get together and mercilessly mock us.

Tara--Dr Pepper as muse--I like that : )

Steph--I KNOW! My sister's friend is coming for it and had an extra ticket!!

And I was all, Yeah! I just answered every comment! Until I realized I didn't respond to each of the earlier ones.

Crap. Ah well, you know I love you all, right? You're cute and funny and nice.

Kiersten said...

Kathleen--I believe the interior design company was "Cheapcheapcheap As Cheap Can Be!"

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

Your workspace is cute! I love that you listen to Snow Patrol-great choice!
And you gotta love the apartment beige/white/tan color scheme. In my apartment, it means my husband gets to be creative with sports memorabilla to "liven up the walls" haha

Ebony McKenna. said...

My first thought was 'if that's a dishwasher, where do your knees go when you sit down?'

Thank goodness you got a (3) book deal - now you can get a proper desk!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Kiersten, you've inspired me to post a pic of my work space. I have a mac, so your laptop automatically hates me but I can live with that :-D

Adam Heine said...

Were I even brave enough to move my laptop into our house's primary source of water, I could not. The kitchen belongs to my loving wife. I, on the other hand, have to search for whatever flat surface is not presently covered in food, toys, or toddlers.

Laura Martone said...

For the love of DOS, I'm totally with you on the laptop, the popcorn, and the random mess to the left... but I must... have... a chair. My back would kill me standing up for so long - I should know, I get a backache doing the dishes at the sink. And that only takes a half-hour.

jckandy said...

Well, now. That's a charming counterspace and an excellent work space. My problem is if I sit down with my laptop, either a) my mother gets at me for, ahem, "sitting on my butt all day" and "not contributing" or b) my sister gets at me asking to play The Sims 3. The problem with us writers is that being sprawled out with, well, Dr. Pepper and popcorn (coincidentally my staple food) doesn't really look like work.

It's our duty to convince them otherwise. Let the bloodbath begin.

writtenwyrdd said...

Do you really work there, apparently standing in front of the dishwasher? If so, I am truly amazed at your writing prowess under those conditions! I am weak and lazy and Require A Chair!

moonrat said...

I love when Laptop gets his say.

Kiersten said...

GBTQ--Sports memorabilia, huh? I suppose I'll be happy with beige then : )

Ebony--My laptop has an inferiority complex. Don't take it personally. I like you very much.

Adam--The toys and toddlers thing is the reason why the kitchen counter is the safest place!

Laura--The funny thing is, I can stand here forever and not be bothered, but the minute I start doing dishes my back kills me...psychosomatic, perhaps?

JCKandy--It's true. People just don't understand the sacrifices writers make, do they?

WW--I do work here. In the evenings when I do the bulk of my writing I'm on the couch, but during the day for blogging and editing I'm standing here.

Moonie--So does he.

CMOM Productions said...

I have really enjoyed reading some of your blogs! :) Partly because I know you are also height challenged, and everyone knows that alone makes someone entirely talented and gifted.

carolinestarr said...

My "office" is a closet. Not the walk-in kind, either. It's big enough for the bookshelf/headboard I bought at a Habitat for Humanity Restore. I also have a Restore chair I re-covered. Under the headboard are my files. Above the headboard are the illustrations for the first poems I ever sold (my sister hunted down the illustrators and bought them as a surprise for me). I also have my degree hanging behind my chair and a painting of me as a child. See? It's a real office with inspirational art and accomplishments surrounding me!

When we moved in, the moving man asked me where to put my chair, and such. I told him the office closet. He looked at me really confused and said, "That's an office? An office for midgets, maybe."

My husband is always a little embarrassed when I give the grand tour of our home. He makes sure to announce I chose the closet, that I wasn't somehow banished there. I figure I could have shared bigger space elsewhere in the house or claimed my own small corner. I picked the corner. It's hot, cramped, and fantastic.