Friday, April 22, 2011

Wannabe Me - An Aspiring Writer's Reality

Today I thought I would show you some of myself. I am a writer, and I thought it might be nice to see some of what The Writer's Life looks like over here. All of you of course have your own Writer's Realities - and all of us are unique.I love seeing the process, the place, and the personality of fellow writers - published and unpublished. I find myself looking in the backgrounds of pictures to see what kind of counter top or wall paper someone has. I just like those things. I also love to see their yards and their pets. Am I weird? Well, yes.

So here I am:
Not a great picture - but - it is me. Ariel Swan writer of supernatural women's fiction.
This is my wannabe writer's reality.

This is my office - the table where I do planning and school work. I am home on vacation from the day job - teaching eleventh graders English literature and writing. I love to read and write and that is what I do in my free time. 16 year olds on the other hand - not so much. I wish I had a classroom full of students like me. You can see in the picture some grading I need to do - today.

I am an obsessive planner. (As a teacher and a writer.) I love organizing and putting things is order. Told you I was weird.

 I have started using art paper - long 12x 18 art paper - to look at my plot - as I am revising - and to lay out genealogies - which is a layer that has been added to my WIP - well not really added - it was part of the original idea - but something I chose not to do in the first draft. Now that I am revamping - adding oomph and more story to support my premises - I have added it back in. The trick is not to make it too complicated - but to use the family tree in points of interest only.

I am an avid reader of everything.
These are some of the books I have on my working bookshelf. Some of them I just reference for inspiration - others I look at to chart plot pacing that has worked. To Ride A Silver Broomstick one I use for witch knowledge - spells and herbs and such - which figures into DISTILLATION. There is also the Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions. And of course a regular dictionary which I use all the time. Somewhere in there is a Writer's Market too - but now I use Query Tracker which is much easier as it is up to date and cross reference-able.

Although you can't see me I am sitting at this desk right now. Spooky.                                                               My writing desk is a mess and every time that phone rings it scares the bejesus out of me- especially when I am writing a scary scene. Up to the right is an antique unframed mirror I found in an old garage when I worked for a General Contractor doing the books. I love antiquy things - especially old Dags and such. These also figure into DISTILLATION.

You can also see to the left the pile of my print outs - that is all novel stuff. Spread out it looks more like this:

All right - I cheated - I pulled out the files and the print drafts too. It is a lot. As I've said I've worked - hard - to make this story what it is. Maybe too hard. And now I am re-writing - which is different than revising. Some say I should put it away. But I mostly write in the summer - so I do get some distance. After this rewrite - and an edit - I will stop and move on. I am stubborn - what can I say. I want to get it RIGHT.

One last thing to see. I said I like seeing pets - so here is one of mine. My baby - Simone. Tortie Point Siamese and Princess Extraordinaire. I also have chickens.

So, that's my Writer's Reality. What makes up your Writer's Reality?


  1. I love this little glimpse. Thanks, Ariel!

  2. This is an awesome look into how you work - love it! I think I may use the huge white board in our spare bedroom (where I work) like you use your art paper. Great idea! I always love seeing how and where other people work.


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