Friday, September 5, 2014

Disaster zone....writer working! ....Roxanne Rustand

Roxanne Rustand here--hoping you are enjoying the beginning of fall!

Each year at this time I feel such nostalgia for the start of school.  It was always so exciting, stocking up on fresh new pens, pencils and notebooks. Going to town to buy new outfits.  Then laying everything out the night before the big day--and wondering what my new teacher would be like.  Would my friends be in my class?  Who would I get to sit with?

Do you remember those times?

In later years, I enjoyed re-living those days with our own three kids...waiting for the big yellow school bus to come down our country road on the first day, after weeks of tracking down school supplies and buying new school clothes.  Happy memories!

All of that is long over in our family.  But I find myself going through some of the type of rituals of preparation and planning when I start every new book, starting with new ring notebooks with tab dividers.  Brainstorming the new plot and characters, and neatly typing up the results.

And the hard part:  cleaning my office before I start the new book, because finishing  the last one has  invariably left every flat surface covered with an avalanche of paper. Research references.  Notebooks where I'd kept track of the plot and subplot and character details...and added copies of each chapter as it was finished.

Somewhere under the rubble there are probably multiple coffee cups from the final rush leading up to the deadline. A flurry of Post-it notes.  Random dog leashes, dog treats, maybe a sweater or two.  A shoe.  Mail and  phone messages to deal with.
It's a disaster.  And nothing at all like the stock photo I just  added to the left!   :-)

But clearing the decks and having a clean office and empty desktop is so invigorating---it's like having a blank slate, with all of the possibilities in the world before me.

I just finished writing a novella, A Scottish Christmas, which was great fun to write.  I so enjoyed the characters, and the chance to vicariously "spend a little more time in the Scottish Highlands" --one of my favorite places to visit!  But now....I need a week to recover, and to unearth my desk!

So how about you?  If you are writing, do you end up in a housekeeping disaster zone by the time a book is done--or do you keep everything organized all the way through?  And if you aren't a writer, do you have engrossing hobbies that land you in my regularly scheduled predicament?

I'm just wondering if I'm the only one...

Wishing you all the best from Iowa,
Roxanne Rustand

Roxanne Rustand is the award-winning author of over thirty traditionally published novels, and now has three indie-published novels on Amazon and other e-book sources:  A Montana Legacy, Summer at Briar Lake, and Comeback Cowboy.  A Scottish Christmas will be available this fall.


  1. I loved reading your description of the disaster area, Roxanne, and look forward to A Scottish Christmas. I almost have my post-Christmas story disaster cleared away to start fresh for the next book. Great fun!

  2. Disaster zone here, too. Wherever I park myself to write gets cluttered while the rest of the house goes untended. Luckily, I have a husband who keeps it going around here. Enjoyed your post, Roxanne.

  3. I have a psychologist friend who once told me (after looking at my work desk over several different times - during crunch time and after crunch time) that I reassert control over my life by cleaning my desk. Currently, my desk is a scramble of papers.