writer

My Desk

A short, true story, by author Helen Pugsley.

 

I had the stupendous and rare fortune of purchasing my mentor’s home, The Nest, as she named it. June Wilson Read and I shared the only town I want to live in all through my childhood. She has helped me in all things writing since I began. Being in her 80’s she wanted to move closer to family. With her home came her desk. A door laid across two wooden filing cabinets.

“I’m so happy you’re the one getting my house!” she said, “And my writing desk!”

I grinned through that last part. I was and am madly in love with the sun-drenched cottage but as soon as a replacement could be found I had every intention of throwing the door down a ditch and stacking the filing cabinets on top of each other to save on floor space. I could use one of the nice metal desks my family keeps in the garage until I got the guts and finances to purchase an antique roll-top!

But winter came…

First, my mother said, “You’re going to trade wood and good memories for cold steel?!”

Being porous, wood absorbs a lot of things. That’s why I won’t use wooden cutting boards. As well as beef blood I hope wood sops up talent! “Ack! Fine. I don’t feel like moving the heavy summagun anyway,” I reasoned to her.

Next, there was going to be a washer dryer set there, right in my dining room.

“But Dad! Actually having a desk will keep me from writing in bed!” A terrible habit. Guess where I penned this?

“You should really quit doing that! But find somewhere else. The washer and dryer will go here.” You can’t argue too much when someone is financing the labor and the appliances.

However, the contractor inadvertently took my side. “A water line on an exterior wall? Are you crazy?!” The huge, rectangular window is amazing for gleaning enough natural light to write by until twilight. It is not so great for keeping water lines above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A stackable apartment sized washer/dryer will now set next to my oven.

When she left she handed me a pile of pelts. June was truly a Wyoming woman. Not knowing what else to do with them, I set them in one corner of the desk in a neat pile with an axe. Later, the axe got moved to my bedside.

A short while ago a neighbor of mine wanted some kittens. In a week she discovered she was horribly allergic. So now Iris and Wilhelm live with me. When they’re not in their heated bed they like to sleep in the pelt pile on my desk. I like to think of it as the kitten annex.

Even newer than the kittens is a kitchen chair I picked up at a second-hand shop for under $10. The silk seat is perfect for resting my feet on when I’m feeling rebellious. I sit with my tooshy on the desk and a notebook in my lap.

One day my mother and I got to looking at the door-desk very carefully and realized it’s probably my closet door. It is literally a part of my home. I can’t just throw it down a ditch! Not when the empty door knob socket is perfect for stringing a laptop cord through! And how could I when that desk is where June Wilson Read penned most of her book, Frontier Madam?! Maybe parts of Whistle Creek and Other Wyoming Tales. Also a score of unpublished works she tells me she keeps in a trunk. How could I throw it down a ditch?! That’s my desk!

 

About Helen

Helen M. PugsleyHelen comes from a small town of twenty in eastern Wyoming. She has been passionate about writing since she was small. Helen enjoys traveling and is always thrilled to excite friends with tales of playing music on the streets for money, conversing with the drunks who frequent gutters, and the epic struggle of finding a decent bath when living in a car. Visit her on Facebook‘s War and Chess page!

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Meet Julie Flanders

Julie FlandersJulie Flanders is an academic librarian by day and a writer all the rest of the time. She is also an animal lover and has written features about pets and the importance of animal rescue for media outlets such as Best Friends Animal Society and Cat Fancy. Julie is a television addict, an avid walker, and an obsessive fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Although a lifelong Ohio resident, Julie nevertheless has an ongoing love affair with the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Julie’s novels include the paranormal thrillers Polar Night and Polar Day as well as the historical love story The Ghosts of Aquinnah. She is also the author of the horror novella The Turnagain Arm, and her horror short story “Cardinal Sin” is part of the Mayhem in the Air anthology. Julie is a history buff who loves incorporating history into her stories, which she affectionately calls “mysteries untethered by time.”

Find Julie at www.julieflanders.net or visit her blog at julieflanders.blogspot.com. Also visit her on Twitter at @JulesFlanders or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/julesflanders/

Polar DayPoalr NightThe Ghosts of Aquinnah

5 Fun Facts: S.A. Check

 5 Fun Facts About the Author:

  1. I’m an amateur fire juggler (that one is completely false)
  2. I consider myself a hamburger connoisseur.
  3. I love the Three Stooges (which is lucky because I’ll be writing a new Stooges comic book coming this April!!)
  4. I have no musical talent whatsoever (You’ll have to trust me on this).
  5. I just started watching Breaking Bad (I’m on Season 4 – why didn’t anyone

ever tell me how good this show is?).

  1. I apparently really stink at making 5 Fun Facts lists since this is number 6

but I felt compelled to make up for #1.

 

Meet the Author

SA CheckS.A. Check is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Book writer living in Southwestern Pennsylvania with his E.R. nurse wife and tween daughter, enjoying all the small dramas that come his way. He earned his degree in English / Writing from Penn State University and has been writing all his life.

He can be found at his website www.SACheck.com , his profile page over at Ink Smith PublishingAmazonGoodreadsFacebook, or shoot him a tweet @S_A_Check.

Author Interview with S. A. Check

Ink Smith Publishing is extraordinarily proud of our authors and want to show them off in any way we can. This week, S.A. Check, author of the recent release Maxx Fragg, VPI, talked about some of his writing techniques and favorite authors.

Q: Who are your favorite authors/books? 

A: Wow, that’s rough to only pick a few. I’d have to say I have, or at least I think I have, a rather eclectic taste in books. In no particular order – let’s see where this goes….

1) I make no qualms about the fact I’m a geek and in my early geekly training one of the greatest influences has always been comic books. The late 1970’s to early 80’s Marvel comics, Ditka / Shooter / Lee / Kirby / Simonson era played a huge role in my literary development. (I know that’s not one book. I’m warming up here.)

2) Robert Asprin’s “MythAdventures” series has always remained a favorite of mine. This series was just straight up fun. It pulled you in to a brilliantly imagined world with compelling characters that you just loved more and more with each new book. I can still remember pestering the guy at the book store waiting for the next one to come out. (Still not a single book but I’m getting closer.)

3) Piers Anthony – On a Pale Horse (See, I did it.) Truly a classic that just blew me away the first time I read it. The first of his Incarnations of Immortality series and the one that will always stand out to me.

4) Dan Brown – author – I love all his books. As a writer, he stretches the line so thin between reality and story that it makes a seamless step for the reader to get lost in his worlds.

5) A. Lee Martinez – I’ve been enjoying a lot of his books recently from Gil’s All Fright Diner to Monster. He’s entertaining and finds a great balance between comedy and horror, a genre-blend I’ve always loved.

That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought.

Q: Where do you do most of your writing?

A: While I always wanted a “writing room” like a Ray Bradbury, stuffed with trinkets to inspire creativity, I have to admit, most of my writing takes place on the couch, as unglamorous as that sounds.

Q: What is your writing process like? 

A: My writing process is ever-evolving but I stick to the same basics for each book. When I have an idea that I think is book worthy, I’ll usually put three or four paragraphs together to capture the main points or ideas and put it in my “books I need to write” file. When it’s time to start a new book, I’m a firm believer in outlining but this is the one point in the process that I like a more organic feel, meaning I’ll set aside the laptop and go straight to pen and tablet. I can fill up a tablet with notes and arrows, scribbles and sometimes even sketches. It becomes my story roadmap but like any good trip, a few detours make it all the more interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever started a book that ended how I originally planned.

I sum up my writing with this philosophy – It’s there, in the brief moments that we allow fantasy to reflect into reality that as authors, we are given the privilege of building worlds to capture a reader’s imagination and try to hold on long enough to leave them with something more than when we started. If I can change a perception or add to a perspective, then I’ve accomplished something worthwhile.

Maxx-Fragg-OFFICIAL-350x500Q: How did you come up with the idea of this book (Maxx Fragg, VPI)?

A: I was always fascinated with virtual reality worlds and the endless possibilities that they bring to a writer. When I considered crossing the paranormal with that, it was an exciting blend that needed explored to me. While ghosts and technology aren’t exactly a new theme in literature, mixing the two genres using the idea that virtual reality could be the bridge to crossing over to the other side was something I hadn’t seen done before. Having Maxx run a virtual ghost hunting business to deal with the death of his brother pretty much sealed the deal for me to start writing.

Q: How long did it take you to write?

A: It usually takes me about six months to get a rough draft for a novel done and then the editing process starts, which can take me weeks to months to get it where I’m comfortable releasing it to the world. With Maxx Fragg, the book took on a few versions and travelled quite a few paths before finding a home with Ink Smith Publishing.

 

Meet the Author

SA CheckS.A. Check is a Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Comic Book writer living in Southwestern Pennsylvania with his E.R. nurse wife and tween daughter, enjoying all the small dramas that come his way. He earned his degree in English / Writing from Penn State University and has been writing all his life.

 

He can be found at his website www.SACheck.com , his profile page over at Ink Smith Publishing, Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, or shoot him a tweet @S_A_Check.