Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Becca Puglisi

TWN WWW 300

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  Becca Puglisi, co-author of the amazing Thesaurus trio of books, and blogger at Writers Helping Writers.

Thesaurus Book Trio

Welcome, Becca!

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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?

Becca2 modified

Author Becca Puglisi

I think I can safely call myself a writer, though I’m a stay-at-home mom first. I write for the YA market—fantasy and some historical fiction. I also co-author nonfiction books for writers with the fabulous Angela Ackerman. As for hidden talents, I have none; when I’m good at something, I make sure the entire world knows ;).

 

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

Well, I’d love to work on the back patio, where there’s “scope for imagination” as Anne Shirley would say, but I need to be within calling distance of my son. Since I’m an orderly person, I almost always work here. All my stuff is in its place, where I can reach everything when I need it. There’s also a nice view from my desk, which is great, considering the amount of writing time I spend staring out the window.

 Work space

Becca’s workspace

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

I wish I could say someplace cool. Sadly, I ordered it from Staples. It gets the job done.

 

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

I doodle and make a lot of notes when I’m thinking, so I always have a notebook and one of my favorite pens. Also, as I mentioned, my nonfiction work is done with a co-author; I’m in charge of the business side of things, so I need certain office supplies within grasp: highlighters, stapler, stamps, post-its, etc.

 

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

There’s nothing really special about my workspace, but I love it because of what it’s become. My daughter just started kindergarten this year but my four-year-old son is still at home all day. Writing time is hard to come by, so I have a dedicated block of time in the afternoon. That time has become sacred—time when I get to do what I love and am good at. Not only do I do my writing here but I also take care of family business, make appointments, organize school stuff, etc. I get things done here, which gives me a sense of peace. I love this spot.

As for special things, first and foremost is the Dragon Triumvirate, who watch me work and keep me on track. The green one is a candle that my parents gave me in high school when I first read Anne McCaffrey and fell in love with all things Dragon.

Dragon Triumvirate

Becca’s Dragon Triumvirate

But writing has to be fun, too, which is where Olaf comes in. Cutest Disney Sidekick EVER.

Olaf

Olaf

And lastly, my bulletin board. It holds inspirational writing quotes and mantras, Bible verses, friends’ prayer requests, and Angela’s and my business plan. That last one is especially important for me to keep in view; when new opportunities arise and I’m unsure whether to say Yes or No, I check our plan to see if the opportunity aligns with our goals for the year. It keeps me balanced.

 

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

Oh, Mountain Dew, all the way. I’m so addicted that I’ve had to cut back recently, so I can write without it. But I’d rather not :).

 family

Becca’s favorite picture of her beautiful family

On Writing

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

Robin McKinley has to be my all-time favorite. Her world-building and attention to detail are mind-boggling. I also love Tolkien and Garth Nix. And when it comes to sheer creativity, I have to give a nod to Rowling. When I first started writing, I was reading the Harry Potter books for the first time, so those were a huge inspiration for me.

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

Well, as I mentioned, I have a preschooler at home. My time with him is quickly dwindling, and I want to make the most of this stage of life, so I limit my writing to a two-hour block in the afternoon, when he has established activities to do. This time is constantly interrupted with requests for snacks and Mario Brothers and how-many-minutes-until-Quiet-Time-is-over, but I make it work. I always have a candle burning (right now, it’s hazelnut coffee) and music playing. I’m not an easily-distracted person, but writing is something that requires intense focus for me, so I can’t listen to music with words. Because of this, I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks. E.T., the original Harry Potter film, and the Star Trek Into Darkness albums are favorites right now. But, really, anything by John Williams will work.

 

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

I try to write every day, but it usually ends up being 6 days a week, two hours per day. Because my time is so limited, I’m not easily distracted from it. But these two are my biggest distractions ;).

 distractions

Becca’s two adorable distractions

4. Why do you write?

This is an interesting question. I’m not one of those people for whom writing is as important as breathing. I took a three-year break from writing when my first child was born so I could have babies, and I was so busy (and sleep-deprived) that I honestly didn’t miss writing. The reason I returned to it, and why I love to do it, is because it’s something I’m good at. Writing gives me a sense of purpose and a boost of self-esteem. I truly believe God has given me this ability and, as with any gift, it’s my responsibility to hone it and share it. That’s why I write.

 

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

My current favorite writing tip write is one by Shannon Hale that’s making the rounds. I just finished my own NaNoWriMo in the month of January. It’s the first book I’ve planned and drafted since having kids, so I was a little terrified, and when I started, I was appalled at how bad my writing was. Then I found this quote, and it totally resonated with me:

 Shannon Hale quote

Becca’s favorite quote by Shannon Hale

This gives me permission to write badly—just get the words down on paper and pretty them up during the revision stage, which is my favorite part, anyway. Everything Shannon Hale does is beautiful, so this is advice I’m happy to follow.

 

Thank you for having me here today!

 

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Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Becca!

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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25 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Becca Puglisi”

  1. I love the idea of lighting a candle – I might try that! And there’s plenty of time to acquire a cool desk :-) Nice to meet you Becca, and hello Nutschell :-)

  2. Tyrean says:

    Great interview!!
    I love the desk with a view and a “scope for imagination” – love that quote! I also understand those distractions since I have a few of my own – they are still adorable and distracting as a teen and a pre-teen.
    I’ve used and re-used those excellent writing books on my kindle . . . and I may have to get paper copies because I prefer thumbing through my writing help books.
    And I’m with you on writing to music without words . . . lyrics are far too distracting.
    Have a wonderful day!

  3. LOL, I think this is the first time I’ve seen your writing space, which is sort of hilarious when you think about it. We face time all the time, so I see a lot of the back wall, haha. You and I have almost exactly the same books, too (aside from ours I mean, obviously).

    Nice window into your writing world–thanks Becca, and thanks Writing Nut for asking her by to visit! :)

  4. Staci Troilo says:

    It’s always nice getting to know the writers you follow a little better. I especially liked the Shannon Hale quote. I never saw it before, but I believe it’s going to become one of my favorites. Great interview.

  5. […] Becca is goofing off over at The Writing Nut today, so indulge your inner voyeur as she shows the world her personal writing […]

  6. Dragons on her desk! That is cool.
    Those books are so helpful.

  7. mooderino says:

    That was very interesting. i enjoyed Becca’s musings on why she writes. And the quote on writing resonates with me too. Thanks for sharing.

    mood
    Moody Writing

  8. Lee Wind says:

    So interesting to see this window into another writer’s life and process – and I LOVE that Shannon Hale quote: “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” Awesome.
    Thank you both!
    Lee

  9. Julie Luek says:

    Becca, I could have written this exactly:

    This is an interesting question. I’m not one of those people for whom writing is as important as breathing. The reason I returned to it, and why I love to do it, is because it’s something I’m good at. Writing gives me a sense of purpose and a boost of self-esteem. I truly believe God has given me this ability and, as with any gift, it’s my responsibility to hone it and share it. That’s why I write.

    I feel the same way. It’s not like I can’t live without it or it’s like breathing, but I do believe it’s been given to me to do and I enjoy it. I totally get this.

  10. LD Masterson says:

    I love your Shannon Hale quote. Hope you don’t mind it if I borrow it for my writing corner.

  11. That Staples desk could still be cool if it came from Australia or someplace exotic like that. I’m sure the buy office supplies too. Good interview!

  12. Lovely post, Becki. Do you also read Tamora Pierce? Tamora, Robin and Meg Cabot started a site called Sheroes.
    Hats off to all moms who write. (I blog with two of them.)
    I don’t know how you do it.. LOVE the dragons.

  13. Sorry. I am a terrible typist. I meant Becca.

  14. Karen Lange says:

    It’s great to see Becca here! Enjoyed learning more about her and seeing her space. :)

  15. Hilary says:

    Hi Nutschell and Becca – excellent to meet Becca .. and those books look to be so good – I’d like to get a set and will do at some stage …

    Love the kids too and your family photo – fun … as you say good to be around them for now … cheers and good luck to both of you with your writing .. Hilary

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