First of all, I’d like to remind you that you’ve only got a week left to come up with a story for this month’s picture prompt. And in case you also need a reminder of what the picture was, you can find it HERE. I’m hoping to get my story done this weekend...you know, in all my spare time. ;-)
As you know, or maybe if you’re new here you don’t, I’m in the midst of The Great Office Shuffle - I’m moving my office to the smaller room across the hall. Pretty much everything from my old desk and the filing cabinets is in boxes stacked in corners or in the small storage closet. I moved the hubby’s electronic equipment over onto the desk and dismantled his old work space. And that’s pretty much where things stand at the moment. I can’t do much else until my new desk is in place.
I really didn’t think it would be a big deal to have to wait until this weekend to set up my new desk. Apparently I was wrong.
I had just started getting into the habit of writing at my desk before I started the Shuffle. But not only was I unable to use my new desk this past week, I also couldn’t use my old desk - it’s covered in “stuff” that won’t have a home until I get my new office set up. I was actually kind of surprised at how much I missed it.
It’s important for a writer to have a space of their own in which to write. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a room of my own, but not everyone is that lucky. So what do you do if you don’t have that kind of space?
A desk in a corner of the living room or basement would work. The bedroom is a good choice because you can close the door to keep interruptions to a minimum. A screened in porch could be winterized so it can be used year round. I know one writer who turned a large closet into their work space. If space is an issue you can use the kitchen or dining room table. And there’s always the option of writing in a coffee shop.
Roald Dahl, George Bernard Shaw, and Dylan Thomas wrote in a sheds. Agatha Christie came up with her plots while in the bathtub. Gertrude Stein wrote in her car. Maya Angelou liked to rent a hotel room to write in. Truman Capote, James Joyce, Edith Wharton, and Marcel Proust all wrote in the comfort of their beds. Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up at their desks.
The important part about having a space of your own is that once you start using it on a regular basis, your brain will realize that when you’re sitting there it’s time to write. And that can only lead to being a more productive writer.
This week’s excerpt is from Wandering Wizards, the third installment in my Moonstone Chronicles series. There have been a few signs that there’s trouble brewing, and this scene, taking place during a class in divination, only confirms it.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
“Try again, Horace,” Paranithel encouraged gently.
Dutifully Horace scooped up the stones and placed them back in the velvet bag. Paran was pleased to note the boy remembered the cleansing spell, to alleviate any negative energy, before he started gain.
“Remember to focus on the question you wish answered.”
“Maybe you should focus on whether or not you’ll pass this class,” one of the other boys snickered.
Paranithel rapped his cane sharply on the ground. “That will be quite enough of that!” His voice gentled as he gave Horace an encouraging nod. “Go ahead.”
Face fierce with concentration, Horace slowly dipped his hand into the bag and stirred. He pulled five stones out at random and cast them onto the table in front of him. All five fell with the symbol marking them facing down towards the table.
There were murmurs from the boys and tears filled Horace’s eyes. “I focused, I really did!”
“I’m sure you did, boy.” Paranithel patted his shoulder. “These things happen when the stones have no answer to give. Garnet, why don’t you have a try?”
A little nervously, Garnet approached the table. She took the bag of stones Horace offered her, smiling slightly in thanks. Taking a deep breath, she cast the cleansing spell and then focused on her question. Dipping into the bag, she pulled out five stones and cast them on the table. One again they all landed face down.
“Most curious,” Paranithel murmured, looking over her shoulder. Rather than have Garnet try again he nodded to the next student. “Warner, you give a try.”
Warner swaggered up to the table and took the bag from Garnet. “Let me show you how it’s done,” he boasted. He made an elaborate show of the cleansing spell, shaking the bag and casting the spell again for good measure. Finally he reached in and cast his stones. For all his theatrics, his also fell face down.
Paranithel had to bite back a chuckle at the boy’s crestfallen face. Warner was one of those students who sometimes needed to be taken down a peg or two.
“Maybe the stones need to be re-energized,” one of the students suggested.
“Perhaps, perhaps,” Paranithel agreed, although that was not how the stones worked. “But it is plain we’ll get no answers from them today. Class dismissed.”
Murmuring amongst themselves, the students picked up their notebooks and filed out of the room. When the last student was gone, Paranithel reached into his pocket and pulled out the small box that held his Tarot cards.
Lifting them from their silk wrapping, he did his own cleansing spell and began to shuffle. While the cards were capable of being more specific than the stones, he focused on the future and what it held. Done shuffling, he laid the cards out in a spread.
For a long moment he stared at the cards in front of him. Too many reversals, too many swords, all leading to an uncertain future. With a sigh he gathered them up again. He needed to talk to Thackery again. But before he did that, perhaps he would have a chat with Aracelia to see if the elves were experiencing similar problems.