It took me a moment to decide exactly what I should call my “studio.” I can—and do—write pretty much anywhere and everywhere. I write on the bus to work, on my coffee and lunch breaks. I’ve dictated scenes into my phone while on the road, edited on planes and in hotels on my way to, from, and during, conferences. I’ve transcribed notes on the couch while watching D&D livestreams and cartoons. Pretty much wherever I can steal a moment and a scrap of paper and pen is fair game to make some new words or fix some old ones. All that said, my home office is still where I call my writing home.
Having a dedicated space for the craft helps it feel tangible and real in a world full of distraction. In addition to housing my desktop computer, my office also holds all the annotated drafts of work in progress. I still primarily edit on printed pages, marking up my manuscript in one colour pen or another until I archive them at year’s end. I keep a list of all my projects currently in progress both creative and business side taped to the shelf to my right of my desk: stories to draft, stories to edit, grant application deadlines, website updates to make, research and conference trips to plan, that sort of thing. Many of the stories in When the Sky Comes Looking For You lived on that list for a long time, and when that fluttering page is always in sight, the to-do list is never out of mind. I really enjoy finally crossing things off that list, but despite my best efforts, that list never gets to zero. There’s always a new idea creeping onto the page to develop, draft, and polish.
To the left of my desk, above my stacks of manuscript drafts is my collection of notebooks and the portfolios holding prints of all the art I’ve commissioned or gifted from artist friends over the years. One day, I swear I’ll get more of that art framed and hung on my office walls. It’s getting to the point where I’ll need a second office to serve as a gallery, but that’s a problem for another day. Behind where I sit at my desk is my myth and folklore reference library. Over the roleplaying game library is the brag shelf, all my author copies lined up in a row. On the days when I’m struggling with the words or story, I can always turn around from the problem stories to remind myself that I can, and have, fought through these struggles before. Many times.
As much as I love my office space, and its view of Winnipeg’s downtown skyline, lately most of my writing has been happening on the couch with my laptop. I recently replaced my lumbering old beast of a desktop, which meant also saying goodbye to the first keyboard I ever owned; the keyboard I wrote damn near every word I’ve ever published (and a whole lot more I haven’t). It’s only goodbye for now. That keyboard still works perfectly fine, even if some of the letters have worn off, it just wasn’t compatible with the new machine. As soon as I track down a suitable replacement, or better yet, the adaptor that will allow me to bring new life to the old beast, I’ll be back in my chair, surrounded by all the words I’ve written and the ones yet to come.
Which is good, because at least three new stories have joined the to-do list while I wrote this blog. Hopefully you’ll see them sooner than later.
When the Sky Comes Looking For You celebrates 10 years since the start of the Thunder Roads Universe.
Thunder Road, the book that started it all.
Winner of the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher, and the Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction.
Short-listed for a Prix Aurora Award for Best Canadian Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel in English.
After beating back the might of Surtur, Ted Callan is getting used to his immortal powers.
Short-listed for the Aurora Awards and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award.