Archive for September, 2012

Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Akoss, author of those fun blogs Peace Reads, and Akossiwa Ketoglo.

 Welcome, Akoss!


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?



I am a professional Graphic Designer. However I took a break from that life to care for my first and lovely baby. Consequently designing has become more of a freelance thing. I love to draw and read and when I can manage I watch a lot of anime. I don’t think I have a hidden talent or if I do I am totally unaware of it.

I write fantasy with a touch of my culture. I was born and raised Ewe in the country of Togo in West Africa

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I write mostly at my computer. However since I became a mom writing has turned into note making instead. Then when I have a small window of “free” time for myself I try to put all my notes together really quick. Trust me they are all over, on my phone, pieces of paper, napkins and such.

Akoss’s reading chair 


2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

Ha! I wish I had a desk. All I have is the computer station. When I need to do edits on paper I print chapters out and go sit on the couch with the papers on my lap or the coffee table. Now again with the baby I had to get creative and upload a chapter to my nook instead. Then you have the notes that get spread all over our place.

Akoss’s workspace 


3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

I do have to point out my computer station looks messy but I know where everything is and why they are there. I don’t need anything special. I have music on the computer and earphones that I use mostly when I’m first drafting or re-writing. When I’m revising I prefer quiet most of the time. Maybe I should change that since I dread revision. lol


4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

There are three things I use often, the keyboard, my earphones and my bamboo pad for drawing.

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

That will depend on the weather outside. Iced tea (black Tea) during summer and hot chocolate during winter. I used to drink coffee but after my pregnancy I realized I do just fine without it. But I do love the occasional starbucks packed with sugar and caffeine.

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

She is a French author. Her name is La Comtesse de Segur. I devoured most of her books as a kid so when I decided to start writing my own stories I followed her way to the “t”.

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

Nope I don’t. I wish though. I write whenever I can. When I was in the “work force” I tried to write a little, every day after work. Now anytime is good as long as I don’t have to catch a nap or get through some chores.


3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

Sadly I don’t write every day although that’s what I try to do but life keeps happening, so instead I’ve learn to just roll with it.

Back in the days when I wasn’t a mom yet, playing World of Warcraft was what got in the way of my writing. I used it as a bribe. lol

4. Why do you write?

Because I enjoy it and it’s a way for me to escape from real life. When I get deep into it I don’t even hear the phone ring.


5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

 I don’t think of myself as “mature” or “experienced” enough to give advices. All I can say is to surround yourself with a lot of writing buddies because when you tire they will keep you going.


Thank you for having me Nutschell.




Thanks, Akoss, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.





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Getting Ready for the Working Writer’s Retreat

I’ve been a woefully bad writing friend lately.  I haven’t had the time to visit all my favorite blogs and leave comments.  I haven’t even been checking in regularly with my Write On buddies. :(

I’m only thankful that I have understanding and forgiving bloggy friends like you. :)

The reason I haven’t been stalking your blogs lately is that I’ve been neck-deep in preparations for a writing retreat.

This coming Friday is the start of my favorite writing event for the year. I’ll be attending SCBWI-L.A.’s Working Writer’s Retreat from September 7-9, 2012.

There will be critique sessions, schmoozes with other writers, agents, and editors, and the writer’s version of American Idol, wherein I get to read my work to the entire audience and get instant feedback from a panel of acquiring agents and editors.

How have I been preparing for this writing retreat?

Well, for one thing, I’ve been writing advanced blog posts so I don’t have to worry about them during the retreat week.

For another, I’ve been revising my YA Urban Fantasy novel since August, and I’m happy to report that everything is going well, and I’ve been sticking to the schedule I made for myself.

Also, I’ve been making lists.

I have a To Do List, which looks something like this:

  1. Finish revising the manuscript.
  2. Choose which chapters to bring for critiquing.
  3. Print out copies of these chapters for all the members of my critique group.
  4. Make a list of things to bring to the retreat.
  5. Pack.


I also have a To Bring List:

  1. Clothes
  2. Toiletries
  3. Emergency medication (for the stomach aches and migraines I’m bound to have after the critiques)
  4. Copies of chapters to be critiqued
  5. A copy of my entire manuscript, in case I find the time to reread this version.
  6. Laptop and accessories
  7. Portable Printer, and extra ink
  8. Copy paper, staplers, staples, pens, highlighters, etc.
  9. Notebook

And, since I’ve been the unofficial photographer for the retreat since I started attending three years ago, I’ll also be bringing my camera gear.

I’m giddy with excitement just thinking of all the wonderful new things I’ll learn, the helpful feedback I’ll get, and the new friends I’ll make. I’m also looking forward to meeting some wonderful agents, who will be our faculty for this year’s retreat.

The Working Writer’s Retreat is the event I look forward to every year. It is worth every penny, and certainly worth preparing for. (In case you’re wondering, the retreat costs about $400. That fee already includes food, lodgings and materials, and the retreat program fee itself.)

I still have a few chapters to revise before I’m completely ready for the retreat, so you’ll have to forgive me for not being able to visit your wonderful blogs (again). I promise I’ll be my chatty, blog-visiting, comment-leaving self again, after the retreat.

And, of course, since I can’t take you with me, I promise to come back with a full report and tons of pictures from the event.

In the meantime, I’m sending you all virtual hugs.

Wish me luck!

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