Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Arlee Bird



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 Arlee Bird, creator of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge and author of that fun blog Tossing It Out.

Welcome  Arlee   !


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?


Blogging Guru Arlee Bird

I was born Robert Lee Jackson in Cleveland, Ohio.   After a number of moves when I was growing up, I ended up in East Tennessee for high school.  That’s where I’m homesick for in some ways, but I happily reside for now in the Los Angeles area.  I retired in 2009 after eighteen years managing a wholesale costume business.   Currently I blog like a madman, but hope to be published before too many more years.   When I do sit down to write something other than blog posts, I like to focus on adult fiction and memoir.   When I’m not writing I enjoy watching movies and reading.  Having spent many years as a professional juggler, I’m still interested in juggling and show business.   I also can play violin and have a fair aptitude for music.

 I_dropped_the_clubs modifiedMe at about age 1 or 2 frustrated with juggling.


On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I write almost exclusively in my home office.  After my daughters moved out, that left empty bedrooms for my wife to set up as our individual offices.  Ah, the luxury!


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

The desk I use is one of those modern wrap-around affairs that I bought at Staples when my youngest daughter still lived at home.  She was into a sort of goth décor at the time and picked out a black desk.  I like it.   After I took over the office I set up one portion entirely for the computer and associated components.  On the other side I keep a CD player/radio and stacks of CD’s.  There are usually books and papers stacked up there as well.

My writing space

Arlee’s workspace


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

The main thing that I need on my desk is my computer and I’ve got to have my music for when I feel like listening to something.   I also always keep a thesaurus, a dictionary, and a Bible in front of me in case I need to look up something.


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

I like that I have everything I need for writing basically within reach.  I have a couple of bookshelves in my office that are well-stocked with good-reading and books of reference, but usually I look up most things online these days.

 office_library modified I don’t watch much TV but it’s nice to have one in my office just in case. 

I particularly like my bookshelf.  This is one of many we have in our house


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

I usually don’t have a beverage on my desk other than in the mornings if I have a cup of coffee there.   On rare occasions I enjoy a glass of brandy and Amaretto at night.   But that’s not very often at all.

 office_sunrise_4 modified

Sunrise from my office window


On Writing

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

My favorite authors are Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy.  I discovered them when I was in college.   As for who inspired me to write, I guess I’d have to give credit to Rod Serling.   I was a huge “Twilight Zone” fan when I was a kid.


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

Typically my writing day for now mostly consists of blogging activities.  I’ll start the day checking my email and then my blog comments.  Off and on throughout the day I will read and comment on blogs or prepare my own posts.   Since my wife works full time, I also do housework, fix meals, and run errands when needed.  I usually can’t stay at my desk for more than an hour before I have to get up to do some sort of activity so I try to space my chores to coincide with my breaks from the computer.


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

Unfortunately I don’t write what I need to be writing much at all of late.  I write a lot of blog posts, but I’ve put my writerly writing on hold.  Blogging has become my big distraction from writing the books or articles I should be working on.


4. Why do you write?

I write because I have stuff to say and writing is a good way to say it.


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

The best thing I can think of is that if you want to be a writer then just keep writing.  I think I’ve seen a quote related to that somewhere, but I can’t think of the exact quote.   I guess my advice is my quote.



Thanks  Arlee , 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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28 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Arlee Bird”

  1. Loved learning more about Arlee as I’ve heard so much about him from the A-Z challenge. I can so relate to spending too much time writing blog posts and not enough time writing. Much as I like it, I need a better balance.

  2. Shelly says:

    I love Arlees’s posts.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  3. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Lee .. interesting read – and loved seeing your study at home .. and the fact you’re all set to write. I hope you get to write your book/s … I’m sure there’s a few in there … but certainly we love having you around the blogosphere as you’ve done so much for us .. .and the Woven Tale Press is a wonderful accolade … while the A-Z challenge has been hugely successful …

    Chores should interfere with our sitting down – something I’m working on too .. Cheers to you both .. Hilary

  4. Yvonne Lewis says:

    A wonderful post, Arlee is an inspiration to people especially to me, if it was not for his A to Z I would have given up, but I have two published books AND have met Arlee in LA last year. He is truly a wonderful person.

  5. Great interview, Lee, that’s a fantastic evening view from you office window!

  6. Arlee Bird says:

    Thanks, Nutschell, for featuring me today!

    Thanks to all who have stopped by today and especially to those who left a comment.

    Tossing It Out

  7. LOVE the view from your window!

    Great interview :)

  8. Nice interview guys.

    Love the view, too!!!

  9. Nice of you to do the chores around the house. Only fair, right?
    I have a big screen television in my office, and yes, it’s always on. Oh well!

  10. Arlee is always full of helpful advice. With a sunrise view like the one he has, I’d think I’d be full of inspiration, too. I’m still a huge Twilight Zone fan. Thanks, Arlee and Nutschell for another Wonderful Wednesday Workspace.

  11. What an awesome view Arlee and the 2-year-old you looks frustrated indeed.

  12. LinnAnn Pike says:

    Lee, you can come organize my writing space anytime. sigh. I love all that neatness! This was great, getting to know you better. And the pic of you crying cause you couldn’t juggle, so cute and so sad. Poor baby! You were a child prodigy I take it? I’m going to try and post the addy so others I know might come and see this. Thanks for sharing.
    love, LinnAnn

  13. tcavey says:

    I’m guilty of blogging distracting me from my other writing…if I hope to ever be published I need to find more of a balance with my time!
    Thanks for sharing, it’s nice to know others struggle with this as well.

  14. Sunni Morris says:

    Nutshell and Lee,

    Nice interview. Love the pic from your office window. I have a view from mine too, but unfortunately it’s not palm trees, only gigantic red rocks and sagebrush.

    You sound very talented, juggling and playing violin. That’s great!


  15. Nutschell, great to see Arlee here!

    Arlee, I love your philosophy about why you write. It’s that simple!

  16. It’s nice getting to know Arlee better. Thanks for sharing this post.

  17. deniz says:

    Thanks for sharing, Arlee! Lovely sunrise – that’s a very inspiring view!
    You reminded me of the time my dad bought a juggling book and we all tried to learn as a family…

  18. DG Hudson says:

    I like music sometimes when I write, too. Love that sunset from your window. Nice to know more about you, Lee.

    Another great blogger feature, Writing Nut!

  19. Ella says:

    Nicely done you two!
    I love the easy access and how you keep what is important close!
    Important to have those things on hand 😀

  20. Arlee Bird says:

    Thank you again Nutschell for this feature spot.

    A big thanks to all who visited and left a comment here and to those who commented at LinkedIn, Facebook, and direct emails to me. I enjoyed sharing this corner of my world.


  21. Nick Wilford says:

    Nice to find out more about you Arlee. Very cosy workspace – and you’ve got everything you could possibly need there, eh? :)

  22. mooderino says:

    Nice to get a glimpse inside Lee’s writing life.


  23. Julie Luek says:

    We have a little in common including our desk reference books and too easily spending overt amounts of time blogging rather than working on the bigger writing. Thanks for sharing your views and desk– I love the Wed posts!

  24. Emilyann says:

    Lee, I’m so jealous of your view from the office window. It looks beautiful :) Must be very inspiring. I know what you mean about blogging can be a bit of a distraction. I love blogging so much, but I’m about to dive into another round of edits on my manuscript, so I’m going to have to tone it down a bit.

    Thanks for sharing Lee. Another great interview, Nutschell :)

  25. Allison says:

    Sounds similar to my writing life! Besides the gorgeous palm trees, of course.

  26. Nas says:

    Love the view through your window!

    Thanks for sharing Lee. Another great interview, Nutschell

  27. Karen Lange says:

    it’s great to see Lee here! Fun too, to learn more about him. Great interview, thanks to both of you! :)

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