About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Working, working, working

Before I forget, I'm cross-posting this blog today to the Witchy Chicks blog, so if you're already reading this, there won't be anything new on my that blog, though there's lots of stuff from the last week. So don't go there if you're only looking for today's updates, okay?

Let's talk about where I work. I work at home, oh, surprise, I'm a writer. Not many writers manage to have their own office separate from their home, and even if I could, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't.

I'm not one of those people that spends all day in my pajamas writing, but I do like to be comfortable. So I shower, have breakfast, put on my yoga pants, a comfortable shirt, makeup every single day, earrings every day, and my slippers. And then I sit down in front of the computer.

I've just recently decided that email is too distracting so right now - believe it or not - I'm in an internet cafe up the street from my house. That's not because email is so distracting but it is how I figured out it was. My internet access has been down for a couple of days - including yesterday when I was racing to finish Seeing Death. No distractions. It was great. So once I get my access back, I'm going to turn my internet off except for one hour late in the morning and another hour late in the day. That's going to be it.

Where do I work/live/play? I live in a small (495 square feet) apartment. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia and I live right on the beach. I walk out the front door and I'm on the beach facing west. It's gorgeous and I walk on the beach or the seawall almost every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Maybe especially in the snow because we have it so seldom. In fact, everyone in Vancouver rushes out the minute there's snow on the ground just in case we don't see it again for a couple of years.

So a lot of where I live is about the location. If you know Vancouver, where I live means I'm a 15 minute walk from downtown - theatres, shopping, restaurants galore. I'm also a five minute ferry ride from Granville Island, 25 minute walk from the 1000 acre Stanley Park, and within a short walking distance of almost everything that goes on in the city. But I LIVE on the beach. I have the best of both worlds.

Where do I actually sit down and write?

If you talk a look at the home and bio page of my website, you'll see some pictures. www.kateaustin.ca On my home page is a picture of me in what I jokingly call the great room. On the bio page there is me in my writing chair, and a picture of the view out my window, and in front of my apartment building.

The great room is where most of my life takes place. I play the cello (badly, I'm just a beginner) there. I read there. I watch TV (very occasionally) there. I eat dinner there. I entertain there. I work there.

My computer sits in an alcove which is supposed to be the dining alcove and my writing chair (see the bio page of my website) sits next to it. I usually write the beginning of almost all my books on very porous yellow pads with a very dense pen. The ink often soaks through to the next page. When I'm doing that, I'm sitting in my writing chair. Right now I'm working very hard at writing the rest of the book directly to the computer - less typing mistakes that way - but I'm not sure yet how it's going to go. I'll keep you posted.

I write almost every day though I find (if you read my personal blog you'll already know this) that I do work better with a deadline. I'm the kind of person who knows exactly how long things take - so if I have 100 pages left to write, I know that it'll take me X number of days and I usually fool around, writing a few pages here and there, until I absolutely have to finish the book. I know, I know, total procrastination - but I can't help it.

I love my space. It's full of light and color. I have bookshelves floor to ceiling on one of the walls, I have 40 or 50 pieces of art that I've been collecting for years on my walls. I have photographs on my bookshelves, quotes on my desk, gifts from friends and family scattered everywhere. But despite this, it doesn't feel crowded, it just feels warm and homey, safe and inspirational.

I know, though, that one of these days - when I get enough money - I'm going to have to move to a bigger space. It's not about the writing or the living, I'm fine with that - it's about the work. Every time I sell another book, there is paper. There are copies of the books, there are multiple copies of the manuscript. There are more bookmarks, maybe magnets, there are envelopes, mailings, paper, paper, paper. And I'm running out of places to keep it. I keep my computer paper under my desk, my extra books under the chairs in my bedroom. I have no room for clothes because there are books, promo items, misc. business stuff, in all my closets.

But I do love my working space and I'll be very sorry to leave it. It's definitely home and I love working at home. I love making tea and bringing it to my desk. I love stopping for a break and walking outside to the beach. I love popping over to Granville Island for half an hour and buying fruit and vegetables at the farmers' market, wine at the wine store, fish at the fish market, takeout food at the fabulous food fair.

I couldn't ask for a better place to work and live. I can't imagine a better place to work and live.


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