I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and today’s the day! I want to brag about my workspace, and answer a few questions people have had regarding software and equipment I love.
First and, uh, largest: The Desk. When I moved to Kentucky I couldn’t bring the dog-crate-straddling beast of a desk I’d built in Savannah, so I needed a new one. I looked for weeks at stores, online, etc. Everything in my broke-ass price range was flimsy, and when surrounded by giant dogs, flimsy is no good.
Enter Craigslist. Never used it before. Found this. I win everything.
It’s solid cherry, and has leaded glass, a roll-top, cubbies, shelves, and marvelousness. Behold its glory.
I pull out the drawer in the front and cap it with a cutting board (that I turned into a spirit board) to hold my keyboard/tea and work. For play, I ditch the board, close the drawer, and pull up a recliner so I can kick back with fancy headphones and wander the Wastelands.
Here it is opened up.
What do we have: some of my gargoyles on top. Lots of boxes and jars and things that contain other things. Tarot decks. Candles. Skulls. All of my unused blank books. Whatever BPAL stuff I’m into at the moment. Random e-juices. Reference books I’m not actively using. Box of kyphi, dish of sage, old ram sticks and hard drives for emergencies.
Deep in the guts of the desk – behind the skulls – are almost all the books in which I’ve been published. I put them there to keep them safe.
Instead of having the books displayed on a shelf to remind me that I Do Things, I have a bracelet with a charm for everything I’ve published. I’m still missing charms for Brisé and for Last Night at the Blue Alice. Headspace counts as workspace, so I’m including this:
This is my favorite pen and ink (and my commonplace book – basically a bullet journal with a bunch of other crap in there. I can’t keep diaries, they feel weird. See how much trouble I have blogging? Diaries are worse for me.) I need another one of these pens in Amber, and about seven hundred other inks, though Yama-Dori is glorious.
The meat of the matter: my keyboard. Oh, how I love it. I love it so. People near me, not so much, because it’s loud. This is a Quickfire Rapid TKL (tenkeyless) mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Blue switches (ie, very clicky + tactile feedback.) The keycaps are Filco doubleshots – tall, spherical profile. They’re very dark brown, heavy, and feel like Bakelite. I used dampeners with my old Rosewill doubleshots but prefer these without.
No freaking numpad – that’s what got me started looking at mechs in the first place, b/c I hated having to reach waaaay past stupid wasted numpad real estate to get to my mouse.
VAST reduction in wrist/finger fatigue.
Clickful, clackful. I love loud keyboards. I’m that dorktopus that installed typewriter-sound apps.
Doubleshots, btw, mean that the letters are poured, then the rest of the key. The lettering is part of the plastic and will never wear off. Since I wear the screenprinted letters off keys in about a month, this is crucial.
Cons: none. Ok, too loud to use in public, like if I wanted to go write at the library or whatever, but I will never, ever do that, plus I knew going in that it would be loud.
Also, subsidiary workspace:
This is my flippedy notebook. Inspiron i3147 (thank you, Dell Scratch & Dent clearance.) I can stand it like this (its own keyboard facing down), plug in my keyboard, and basically have a touchscreen laptop with mechanical keyboard. And Scrivener. It’s so good.
(And if I ever get my hands on a 60% keyboard – a PokerII or backlit V60 – it would be even more compact.)
Is that everything? I think that’s everything. I’ll save the software post for another time, because I’m spent, and because dinner just got here.
Here’s Bronte as a treat for sitting through this ostentatious display.
Last month, author and old friend Alex Bledsoe invited me to talk about Last Night at the Blue Alice on his blog. I thought that was as good a time as any to describe one of the weird things I chose to do along the way, which was build this dollhouse. You can read all about it here, and while you’re there, see what Alex has been up to. You should read his books, they’re wonderful.
The crumbling Blue Alice has been gathering ghosts for over a hundred years. Once a grand mansion, it was converted to a rooming house in the 1920s. Tenants throughout the century since have suffered violent poltergeist attacks by a vengeful spirit, complained of a spectral woman in black who looms and leers at their every move, reported hearing music when there should be none playing, and appealed to exorcists when tormented by a judgmental demon.
Mollie Chandler is on the verge of joining a shadowy Order whose magical operatives, the Glymjacks, manipulate events of the past. As the only candidate for the role of Psychopomp, she must pass one final test before the job is hers.
Mollie must use magic, ingenuity, and intuition to travel back in time to the source of each haunting, avert their circumstances, and change history.
If she succeeds, she will have to give up everything she’s ever known to become a Glymjack.
If she fails, Mollie will not survive – if she’s lucky. When it comes to time travel, the alternatives to death are far worse.
Mollie has but one night to change the histories of the dead and plot the course for her own future.
She is running out of time, and into the haunted heart of the Blue Alice.
October 2015, Bedlam Press: this novella is available from Bedlam Press in a signed, lettered hardcover edition and in a trade paperback edition, both with black & white interior art by Erik Wilson. Order yours here.
I’ve got a couple of big announcements to make, but I want to rearrange my website a touch before I make them. I don’t blog enough for this to be my landing page, despite my grand intentions.
As soon as I’ve done the adjustments, I’m sure I’ll start posting 5x a day, because I’m ornery like that.
In the mean time, woohoo, big news!
I’m alive, but I am working hard to finish this novella and feel horribly guilty doing anything else, including blogging. Scrivener’s always right there reminding me not to play around on the internet. I want to talk about nine hundred different things, vaping and bourbon and blue boots and my elderdog and how we shoveled snow with a lawn chair, but it all has to wait. I’ve got some more killing to do first.
In order of intended completion:
1. Switch to henna. After decades of dyeing my hair red I think I may finally be ready to commit… to red.
2. Finish and deliver 25k-word novella to Secret Publisher X, who has not killed me yet for being a diva/freak/problem/tardy person. Yet.
3. Build and fancify a giant dollhouse.
4. Write novel properly, without going into a detail vortex*, which is what killed the first draft of the novella. Had to dump it and start over in a whole different world.
5. Concurrent with 4: puppy?
… detail vortex.
What I need to do instead is just Write Shit Out and embellish/correct the details on the next pass.
Anyway, can’t write much here until I get the novella ready to go, because I’m ashamed to do anything other than work on it.
So, onward and onward and onward!
Happy New Year from Bitte, who dislikes parties, as is proper.