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Describe your writing or art-making space.

Yark!  I write wherever I am–sometimes at my computer desk on the desktop computer or in a notebook.  Sometimes I write while sitting on the couch or in bed, with the laptop or pen and paper.  I’ve been known to go to the library and hide in a corner and scribble like mad in a notebook.


For art–there’s always the floor–and the table–when I can find it.  Usually the floor though–more room there and I can spread out more.  Since i cannot get to any table lately, I have actually been using my ironing board as a sewing platform to hold my sewing machine aloft as I sew.

Describe your writing implement, device, equipment, or tools you use to create.


pens of all sorts, pencils, crayons in a pinch–usually because my dd steals all my pens and leaves me broken bits of crayon in place of the stolen pens, laptop computer, desktop computer, dip pens, markers, a finger or two dipped in paint upon occasion


What is the oddest object in your creative space?

a big round metal thing–we found it on the ground during a trip to the library–it looks as if it fell off someone’s car although for the life of me we cannot identify where on any car or truck or anything else it could have come from–it’s as big around as my hand with a big hole in the middle and all rusted and beautiful–and my dd and I immediately said we needed it for an art project–that particular art project has not yet presented itself so I have the piece just lying here and there as it gets moved around alot just to keep it out of the way

Do you listen to anything while you create? If so, what?

my dd singing is a norm–Deva Premal, Duran Duran, Madonna are other typical things–of late my favourite thing to listen to is absolutely nothing at all–which has now come into conflict as we live in an apartment and school is nearly done for the year apparently as there are kids–as in near teen-agers always about yelling and screeching and basically being a menace on many levels

Do you engage in any interesting habits, exercises, warm-ups or rituals before you settle down to create?

hiding from cats and kid?  making a nice strong pot of tea is a definite–I drink tea all day and night.  other than that I do alot of deep breathing all the time

when I use the laptop I do try to keep the charging cord nearby just in case I need it lest I lose anything 


Raven TK



The place where I like to write is where I am right now.  A comfortable computer chair with head and lumbar support combined with a card table situated by a window looking out over my backyard.  From this spot I can meditate, read, or write at the table with my purple gel-pen.  Frequently I lean back, gaze out the window, watch the birds, butterflies, bugs and bunnies, while clouds of all configurations coast by. I delight in the deciduous and evergreen trees of all hues of green, and revel in whatever flowers are blooming, from the huge wild rose bush with cascading white-flowered canes to the erect purple iris – I observe it all, and mull.


Mulling is the process whereby I throw various ideas and thoughts in, allowing them all to slowly simmer at their own pace as they recombine into new permutations and possibilities.  It is my brain’s slow-cooking process whereby ingredients swirl around in the stew pot, colliding, passing by, softening and recombining, each adding flavor to the other, to concoct a great stew or soup.  And sometimes an unexpected ingredient I forgot I even added enhances the end result. 


I sit, surrounded by bookcases of books, art supplies, pictures of my loved ones, even a reproduction of a clay Sumerian tablet from about 2500 BC I purchased on one of my many visits to the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.  I often wonder what people might think if they rummage through the collapsed remains of my house in Arkansas years from now and unearthed what would appear to be a Sumerian artifact.  One of the unexpected ingredients surrounding me.


The place where I like to write is also the place where I like to meditate, read, mull, watch nature without the exposure to ticks and chiggers, plan gardens, listen to music; in other words, the place where I relax in ways necessary for my life.  I realize, though, that I might sometimes need to inject a little more fire and play into my mulling to prevent the tendency to drift off with the clouds.  



Writing Rituals – or generally odd things I’ve gotten away with using
the excuse, “Because I’m a writer…”

–One of the oddest writing spaces I’ve ever used was an abandoned,
quite weathered tiny mobile home, which had no electricity, no
furniture, no bathroom – and it was parked in a national forest (behind
a friend’s log cabin). Me, a yellow legal pad, and a couple of pens – I
had everything I needed to write for a whole weekend. My only company
was a few long-dead wasps on the floor. It was quiet, peaceful, and I
filled several pages easily…

–Probably the oddest writing utensil I ever used was a dandelion. I
was at an outdoor concert, got inspired, but had no pen or paper. So I
tore up a paper drink cup, picked a dandelion, and smeared a poem. It
was a rather short poem.

–I don’t know how odd it is, but it seems appropriate for a writer: no
matter what room I’ve used as an office, I’ve always hung a bright 9 X
12 inch orange sign with 4-inch glow-in-the-dark letters that spell,

–When I was writing my novel about my experiences in a religious cult,
I used to listen to Gregorian chants to get in the ethereal mood.

–For warm-ups, I try to remember these inspirational words from Ray

“You throw up at the typewriter all morning and clean up all afternoon.”
And “He who has fun creates!”

—an aside – When John Steinbeck was writing East of Eden, he kept a
companion book which was published as Journal of a Novel. He would warm
up for the day by talking about the story, how it was going, his hopes
for it, by drafting a “letter” to his editor each day…Often, the last
line of the letter read, “And I hope you like it…” I try to keep that
same warmth, friendliness, and respect for my readers in mind when I
start writing…


I usually write on a computer. I find that odd sometimes, because I have always found a clean sheet of paper and a smooth-writing pen pure inspiration. My hand, however, is rarely able to keep up with my mind, and my handwriting degenerates into unreadable, thoughts get lost, and the whole thing turns writing into an exercise in pure frustration. (Poetry is the exception. I still need paper and pen for poetry.) The days of typewriters were no better. My fingers often hit the wrong keys, and I have no patience with myself over that. A computer, though, with a word processing program – now that is my best work-place.

Ideally, I would have a quiet room with peaceful blues and greens decorating it, a few favorite pieces of fantasy art and knickknacks, and a comfy chair and a desk the right height for my keyboard. I would have either no music, or something like world music or new age or gentle classical -anything without words – on the stereo, very softly. Alas, reality is far different.

If I have my keyboard, I can, and often do, write anywhere. I lose myself in what I am writing, and the world around me disappears.

I write at the dining room table with the family squabbling and dogs barking and birds squawking and the stereo booming whatever the last person who got to it set it on, all normal and noisy around me.

I write at my desk in the bedroom with a sport-of-the-season game blaring in the background, my desk cluttered and frequently topsy-turvy. (Although it is topped with some of my favorite bits and pieces – a baby griffin, a Chinese dragon purchased on a trip to Los Angeles almost thirty years ago, a scene of a wizard’s cottage, a sand dollar that my oldest son brought me from a trip to Seattle, a few small stuffed critters, and some tiny eggs from my birds. There is also, regrettably, a collection of tea cups and mugs up there that needs to go back to the kitchen.) But when I’m writing, I really don’t notice the state of the desk. (And yes, I know I actually can do something about the messy desk, but when I do, it never lasts very long. Entropy is strong in my house.)

I would write in the car (this is serious downtime and boredom sends my imagination into overdrive) but I get car sick. I do have a car charger for the computer, though.

I used to think I needed things just right to write. Now I know that if I want things right, then I just need to write.

– She Wolf © 2008

My writing rituals are fairly ordinary and my workspace extremely mundane. Typically, I draft my writings by hand, where I absolutely must use a black felt tip pen, preferably a Flair. With this pen, I can recline and keep the ink flowing. Sometimes I write on my living room sofa; other times I’m at my local natural food store that has free wi-fi—a fact that is important and I’ll describe in a minute. Typically, I write either very late at night or early in the morning, such as right now.

So, anyway, my handwritten drafts just tend to be a list of notes, phrases that roll around in my mind, and perhaps some more complicated explications. Then I move to my PC and flesh out the text. Now, when I am creating digital art, I typically skip the handwritten bit and just go straight to my computer and start working. My computer is in my bedroom/library/office/storeroom…. See, I live in this really, really small apartment and most rooms are utilized in a multipurpose manner. No I do not write in the bathroom but I have had many inspired thoughts there.

I don’t have too many odd things around my workspace—just usual things like books, papers, music CDs, books, a vacuum cleaner, my bed, a DVD of Qi Gong exercises (which I watch on my computer because my DVD player is broken,) books and more books. Regarding books, the two that are right next to my monitor at the moment are Writing Down the Bones by Goldberg and Krause’s Color Index: CMYK and RGB Formulas for Print and Web Media.

I don’t usually listen to anything specific when I write or make art. At the moment I am listening to some guy on the radio ranting about the state of the world—oh, I just heard a crow caw right outside the window—really, I’m not making this up—and two bus lines roar by my front door every five minutes from about 5:30 am to about 9 p.m, rattling the windows and drowning out any other sounds. In hot weather, when I have my bedroom windows open, I can hear everything coming from the people who live in the building next door. I hear them talking, cooking, watching tv, entertaining, etc. This is usually followed by the sounds of my muttering something about their getting a room somewhere else and the loud sliding shut of said bedroom window.

I have no other writing rituals except when I work at my computer, I MUST have something to drink—it can be anything (usually coffee) as long as it is sitting on the right side of my computer—which is interesting because I am left-handed. Also, and more importantly, I can’t even begin to work unless I check my e-mail first. I don’t know why this is, but I cannot work until every unread e-mail is read. So when I am writing somewhere not my home, then I must find a place with a free wi-fi spot (such as my local natural food market), when I can plug in my Ipod and look at my e-mail. Oh, no, I’m not addicted at all to the internet, nope, not me.

My ending ritual is realizing that I have to be somewhere else, scrambling to sign off, and bolting out of the room–Such as now– It is now 6:20 in the morning and I have to hustle to get ready for work.

Have a great day everyone. I’m looking forward to reading about your writing habits.


Two wooden figures  on the upper shelf
wave to some hidden presence
bend their knees
in ritual parade
one kicks out at the set
of opera glasses as if it knew
them ancient and useless
The tiny carved cat disregards the lot
and shuts her eyes

And at that point a thunder clap
closed my electronic performance
so I took off with the book that explains
my  predicament:  Chaos theory; now there’s
an explanation for the break up
of pattern and its reconstruction and that, I think,
is the oddest thing
I keep at hand.

The rest is routine, a keyboard, Mac,
a WACOM that is refusing my direction
I cannot listen
to music, but strangely often
to someone who speaks to a far off microphone
as if the drone of someone else’s voice
will help to  find my own when the new pattern
has failed to form at the edges of that chaos,
age and history create

You talked of habit—most of mine need discipline
a question to be answered
a plan to make
a memory  to release
a view from far beyond the  walls of quiet room, or garden
an old letter
an attempt to picture a long-forgotten face
and now this challenge—the reply
too long perhaps—I thank you friend
for demanding a place in mine.

by Fran Sbrocchi

I’m a person who loves creating and living in a sensual, harmonious and warm environment that melts me into my Muse. Though I have a formal desk, I rarely use it. Instead, I put my laptop and Wacom tablet on a folding table that can be moved anywhere in the house. Typically, it’s the living room where I spend most of my time digitally painting.

The room is a blend of deep reds, blacks, tans and earthy yellows. Candles, a Japanese Gong, Chinese Cabinet made of 300 year old Chinese wood, tea set, books and other objects of meaning add character. A Feng Shui Consultant had this to say about the living room ambiance, “It’s a beautiful, rich and elegant blend of Asian, African and Balinese that manages to come together creating a strong sense of sensuality and serenity.” That about says it all! Now with a new water fountain, it’s become an outer sanctuary reflective of an inner sanctuary.

During the day, I listen to a TV Satellite Station called Audio Vision which is a place where you can be surrounded by sounds of nature, poetry and acoustic music. It’s pure pleasure for me and my black cat, Serena.

Sitting in this environment makes it easy to create. The rest is up to my Muse. She’s very pleased that I listen and give way to her devotion for creating beauty. With each brush stroke, she’s in the mood — the mood to express and bring forth form from something deeper.

— genece hamby, contemporary artist & poetry

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