Webb's Blog

Read the first chapter of THE PUFFIN OF DEATH at

http://www.bettywebb-zoomystery.com/




Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where I Write



A couple of weeks ago, when I finished “Desert Wind,” the 7th Lena Jones mystery, I let out a big WHOOP! My husband came running. “What’s happened now?” he asked.

“Done, done, done! Isn’t it wonderful?”

After a long silence, he finally said, “Actually, it’s pretty horrible.”

Hubby is still alive because he wasn’t talking about my book; he was talking about the state of my den (see picture), which, I’ll admit, was horrible. You see, I don’t generally clean up as I go, at least when it comes to writing. I don’t edit until I finish my first draft, and I don’t tidy up my work room until I’ve written “The End.” If you think I’m exaggerating, take a close look at that picture. See? That’s around a year’s worth of papers and dust bunnies scattered across the floor. My den is usually so awful that my husband, who himself isn’t known for being a neaknik, refuses to enter except in dire emergencies, such as heart attacks or fires.

Well, okay, to be honest, last year he did come in when I was having a gall bladder attack, and dragged me to the hospital, where I stayed for five days, finally emerging without said gall bladder. And before you ask, yes, I’d written for two days while doubled up and moaning. Turned out some of my finer passages, too.

Anyway, as my husband surveyed the sump pit that is my den, he said, “Don’t move,” then disappeared, returning a few minutes later with a camera. “Smile for the birdie.” I did, and he snapped the picture. When he looked at the digital display, he decided that with me in it, I hid too much of the mess, so he snapped the next picture with me out of the way. We both like that one better.

Yes, the walls of my den really are red. Almost the color of dried blood, if you will, which I think is quite fitting for a mystery writer. As far as the mess goes, I’ve always worked well in messes. Those of you who’ve ever taken a tour through a busy newsrooms know that journalists aren’t known for the neatness. We. Don’t. Like. To. Throw. Things. Out.

Just call us the hoarders of the writing world.

Where do YOU write? And how neat is that place? Feel free to respond to this blog and share the nasty truth about your writing habits. I promise not to tell anyone what a slob you are.

15 comments:

Betty Sullivan La Pierre said...

Oh, Betty, I'm so tickled to see your messy room...Mine looks like that all the time...I wouldn't dare take a picture of it...cause I figured I was the only one who worked in a cluttered atmosphere...You're a brave soul...

Msmstry said...

Let me recommend the book A PERFECT MESS. It gives validation to those who spend more time working than filing.

Kaye George said...

Mine is worse, I think. The only time I clean up is when I've lost something. But I usually know where things are. Which stack and about how deep. If I spent all my time straightening, I could never write!

Donis Casey said...

This must be a common trait among writers. Mine is a mess, too. I don't like it, but after the rare occasions I manage to clean up, I can never find anything.

L.J. Sellers said...

My office is in our family room so I have to clean up regularly, but in between the cleaning episodes, I'm surrounding my sticky notes and lists and unopened mail.

CK said...

OMG, and here I thought I was the only one! Much appreciation of your bravery, Betty, in actually showing a picture. Until my old kitty died I had tons of cat hair, and you know what? Now that she's gone I even miss that. Looks like most writers are slobs...er...sloppy at heart. But personally, I'd rather write than clean.

Laurie Fagen said...

It must be a writer/artistic thing ... my desk is massively cluttered too, but it has to get REALLY bad for me to do anything about it. Just chalk it up to GENIUS like Einstein!!

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,
of what, then, is an empty desk?”
–Albert Einstein

susan259 said...

Oh--I know there is a whole group of us who love clutter and organize in piles. Just be glad that you are not married to someone who likes order and to put everything away. After 13 years of marriage, we have come to a compromise...

Mostly I am so happy to hear the 7th Lena Jones is finished...I just finished Desert Lost today.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Yes, Betty, we're all happy to see that the most wonderful Betty Webb is messy like all the rest of us.

Marilyn

Betty Webb said...

It's so nice to know I'm not the only slob around!

Barbara said...

Let me join in the cluttered den club please. I have an old typewriter I should throw out, boxes of books to donate, overflowing shelves, a desk that looks like a hurricane went through, and too much furniture all covered with messes. I don't dare vacuum in here. What a mess! The sign on my door says: "Caution: Crisis in Progress!"

Erica Goodin said...

Betty, I wish I could write in a mess like you...and it not bother me. Unfortunately, my environment has to be clean!! I don't know why....I just am that way!!!

Kaye George said...

How boring it would be if we were all alike!

Dana Davis said...

My office has looked like that, Betty! Especially when I'm working on multiple writing projects. It's the only place I allow a mess. LOL!

Sylvia said...

Oh, I feel so much better, seeing your 'mess'! Between my writing and website work, 'piles of stuff' defines my office. I straightened up a couple weeks ago but it still looks much the same!