Writing Spaces

on September 6, 2007

I’m moving in February.

This is good news–awhile back I blogged about how I don’t have my own writing space. After giving birth to Brennan #5, I sacrificed my den. My writing space moved to the living room and I ended up sharing it with my husband.

Not good.

I like my stuff. I like my stuff around me. I know where my stuff is, even if no one else understands my organizational system.

My husband can’t work with a desk that has anything but a computer and keyboard on it.

Needless to say, conflict.

I started writing outside the house–at Starbucks, the brewery, Panera, BJs, wherever–because I found I couldn’t write well at home. Too many distractions, even when the kids were at school. When I was sitting at a booth alone, I could really do NOTHING but write. And I found I wrote not only faster, but better. It became a self-fulfilling prophesy–I sensed I wrote better, so I did, and I sensed I couldn’t write at home, so I couldn’t, and therefore I started having solid 30 page days at Starbucks and Chilis, and 1 page days at home.

But we’re moving from a 2200 square foot house into a 4400 square foot house. And I’ll have my own detached office, nearly 800 square feet of MY space. Mine, all mine. With a door and a lock, a kitchenette and a bathroom. I’m so excited I can hardly wait. Except . . .

What if I can’t write there?

I know I’m going to have to retrain myself. I know it’s not going to be easy. And I’ll have time–I have a book due February 1 and we’re moving shortly thereafter. My next book after that is due June 1, so I think I can get into the groove. Because after buying this house, I certainly can’t afford a $200 a month Starbucks habit or having a three hour lunch at local restaurants during the week.

As the house is being built, I’ll post pictures of my space. One of the best things about it is the view–my office has the best view on the property. I’m hoping that’ll inspire me.

Anyway, where do you write? Do you change locations when you’re stuck? Do you prefer a laptop or a desktop–or (gasp) pen and paper? And if you could no longer write in your favorite writing spot, what would happen?

Help!!!! . . . In DYING BREATH, the third book of my prison break series, I’m introducing the heroine for the first FBI book. She’s in her late 30s, an assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Sacramento field office and has some specialties (not sure what yet.) She’s a by-the-book agent, very smart, a little on the cool side. A little like Kate Donovan, but she would never have broken the rules or left the country to catch a killer on her own. Not because she isn’t capable, but because rules matter. (Can you just FEEL the conflict between her and Jack Kincaid??? I can hardly wait to write their book!) Unlike many of my heroines, she had a relatively normal childhood (I think). Her brother is the District Attorney of Sacramento County (Matt Elliott, who is the hero of my short story Killing Justice.) But when she was a relatively new agent she was part of the Evidence Response Team that went to Kosovo. She saw and experienced things that effected her deeply and reinforced her natural law-and-order personality. She is not afraid to risk her life to save others, she’s intensely loyal and compassionate, but doesn’t always come off as caring even though she is. She pushes everyone hard, but pushes herself harder. Except for her brother (they have dinner once a week because they are their only family left and/or in the area), she doesn’t have much of a social life.

So, the name game. Because of the brother, her last name has to be Elliott. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it works so well with the story to have her brother as the D.A. (I was going to make him her ex-husband, but that doesn’t work.) BTW, Matt will come back too. I adore him 🙂

My first name choice was Margo. My mom hates that name. I keep coming back to it, though, so I’m putting it on the short list. Then I was calling her Madelyn, but it just doesn’t fit. The other two names I’ve considered are TJ (short for Theresa something); Jaye (who was a heroine of mine in a book that was never published); and Sydney. I don’t know if Sydney Elliott sounds good off the tongue. The other three . . . Margo, TJ, and Jaye, sound better to me.

So please vote:

Margo Elliott
TJ Elliott
Jaye Elliott
Sydney Elliott

. . . or does anyone have a better idea? I spent hours yesterday thinking about this because she needs to be mentioned in SILENT SCREAM because that’s how I get Mitch Bianchi, the hero of DYING BREATH, back to Sacramento. She’s his boss. So right now I have XXX Elliott, which just isn’t going to work . . .