Arcane Game Lore

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Where I Write – February RPG Blog Carnival

RPG Blog Carnival logoI was going to try and knock out another 3D modeling post for today but I still haven’t caught up after finishing issue 11 of the Frontier Explorer.  Especially since school has started up and I’m knee deep into the two graduate classes I’m taking.  Luckily, the new topic for the monthly RPG Blog Carnival dropped into my mailbox yesterday and I realized that I could cover the topic of the carnival and kill about 3 birds with a single post.

The three birds in question are:

  1. Write a blog post every week.  As I referred to in my delayed New Years post, I’m attempting to post at least once a week.  This covers this weeks post.
  2. Participate more in the Blog Carnival.  While I didn’t state this in my new year’s post, I want to try to do a post each month on the blog carnival topic.  In addition to being fun, it gives me one more topic each month to cover and on a topic that I wouldn’t necessarily write about.  I really wanted to do a post for last month as I think my interest in sci-fi gaming really lends itself to the topic (which was New Year, New World), I just didn’t have the time to work on it.  Maybe I’ll make up for it with a late post at some point.  In any case, this post covers this months topic (with a bit of a long preamble).
  3. Write at least 15 minutes each day.  I just participated in a writing seminar at work aimed at encouraging and motivating faculty (I’m a university librarian now) to write at least 15 minutes a day, every day, to work on producing publications for scholarly journals.  I have a writing log I have to fill out and today (as I’m writing this) is the first day.  In addition to writing for work, I also need to be writing for school (I’m working on an Master of Library and Information Science degree, hence the graduate classes mentioned earlier), and I want to write for fun as well. So that’s really three 15-minute blocks.  This post covers the “fun” category time.

But that’s enough preamble.  Let’s get on to the topic, where and how I write.

My Workspace

I really have two workspaces for writing, my “work” location and my “home” location.  Until June of last year they were one and the same as I telecommuted full time and worked from home.  But since I started as a librarian, I now have my own office at work.

At Work

At work I have a brand new office (literally, it didn’t exist when I started and construction finished up just after Thanksgiving and I moved in mid December 2014).  So while clutter has already started to pile up on the desk, the walls are still bare and I’m not really buried under a mountain of stuff.  Here’s a panorama shot of part of my office.

Panorama view of my desk.

My office at the library

I have a nice dual monitor setup, a not too cluttered desk, and bare white walls.  I also have a nice big (currently unused) whiteboard that I can use for notes, sketches, or whatever else I need.  On my desk are a bunch of the 3D printed miniatures I’ve been working on.  They sit on my monitor stands right in front of me.

The room is a bit echoy as I don’t have much on the walls yet and that can sometimes be a bit disturbing but it’s not so bad.  The biggest distraction is that big window that looks out into the library stacks.  The path by my office isn’t a heavily used one but people are wandering by all the time and it can be a bit of a distraction as I see the motion out of the corner of my eye.  It’s like I’m on display for the world to see. (Here is a university librarian working in it’s native habitat.  Notice how …)  Supposedly blinds have been ordered but they sure are taking their time in getting here.

At Home

At home I actually have three different writing areas depending on my mood or inclination at the moment.

The first is my home office which is semi-private.  It’s my office but the family computer is in there in addition to my computer and so I often have one (or more) of my seven kids in with me.  I’m not posting a picture of that office.  I’ve been in it for 7 years and it has accumulated the mounds of material that you might expect which, no matter how often I try to clear my desk, just keeps piling up (I need to be better about putting things away once I use them and getting my kids to not just dump stuff on my desk). My computer setup here is similar to my one at work with two monitors (although my two home monitors are bigger than the ones I have a work) and a nice ergonomic keyboard.

Larry Elmore's Star Frontiers cover image

Larry Elmore’s Star Frontiers cover image

That room has one wall completely lined with bookshelves that are filled to overflowing with books, magazines, games, and other items.  I sit next to a large window (like the one in my work office) that looks out onto my front lawn (and which has blinds, yea!).  I also have a work table where I do my tinkering with computers and painting my miniatures.  I have two pictures hanging in my office to provide inspiration. One is a photo of my beautiful wife in her wedding dress and the other is a large signed print of Larry Elmore’s Star Frontiers cover that my wife bought me for my birthday a few years back.

The second place I work is lying on the floor in my living room in front of my fireplace.  Some times I like to stretch out here and enjoy the ambiance of the fire.  When I’m not working on my desktop in my office, I have a trusty Asus EEE PC netbook that I got many years ago that I use to do my writing on.  It has a decent screen and keyboard and is relatively light-weight.  The main drawback to this writing location is that whenever I’m lying on the floor, my kids think it’s wrestle time and make me their personal jungle gym.  Plus the baby of course loves to go after the laptop.  This location usually gets used when the kids are in bed to minimize distractions.

The final location is my bed.  Sometimes I just want a nice soft seat and my bed is the perfect place.  With some pillows propped up behind me I can relax and work.  Again my netbook is the computer of choice for this location.  Here I can work fairly distraction free.  I typically work here when the kids are up and about and I don’t want to be in my office as I can shut them out and minimize the disturbances.  Of course the family television is right outside my room so there is usually a kids show or the Wii going but the sound proofing in the walls is pretty good.

None of my home locations are ideal as there are always distractions (which is to be expected with 7 kids) but they all work well enough and each gives me a little bit different setting that I can use depending on my mood and what I’m looking to write to help get the creative juices flowing.

How I write

I’m well over my 15 minutes for the day and this post is ending up longer than I expected.  I’ll do a follow up post on the how I write part shortly.  Until then, visit the main post for this month’s carnival on Leicester’s Ramble and see what others are saying.  (Update:  Here’s a link to part 2 – How I Write).


Categorised as: General


One Comment

  1. [...] of my entry for this months RPG Blog Carnival covering “How I Write” (here’s  part 1: Where I Write).  However, before I dive into the topic of how, I realized as I’m writing this that I have [...]

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