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 Jemi Fraser, author of that fun blog Just Jemi.

Welcome, Jemi!


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’m a teacher up in Northern Ontario. I love my job!! Nothing much better than working with kids all day. I’m currently writing contemporary romance although I do like to dabble in a variety of genres. I also love to read, bake, cook, watch sports and play with my family. Hidden talent? Hm. Does never following a recipe count???


On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I don’t actually have a desk – our house is a little too crowded at the moment! One of these days I will. Currently I do most of my writing in my favourite chair in the living room.

My favourite chair modified

Jemi’s favorite chair

In the summer, I like to write in this chair on the deck!

My deck chair modified

Jemi’s deck chair

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

Nowhere yet! But when I do have the space, I hope to get an old roll top desk – love those with all their nooks and crannies! But I’d also like a big modern desk with lots of table top space to spread out all my stuff. So as long as I’m dreaming, I’ll take both!


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

I’m pretty flexible. As long as I have my laptop I’m good to go. I do have my notebook with me most of the time too, but that’s it!


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

Despite having no desk, I have a few items waiting to decorate it (or at least hang out somewhere in my future office). I have some great book ends given to me as gifts and my daughter has framed the first paragraphs of my favourite books for the walls. Can’t wait! I also have an R2D2 USB hanging out with the backups of all my files.

bookends 1 modified

Favorite book ends

bookends 2 modified


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

Chai tea! Always have a cup with me.


On Writing

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

Impossible to answer! There are so many. My childhood favourites introduced me to so many new worlds and ideas and styles. Everything from Nancy Drew & the Boys to Little Women & The Hobbit. The most influential was probably Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gable series. Anne is such a wonderful character!

 1st lines 1 modified

First lines from Jemi’s favorite books

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

During the school year, I tend to write after 9 at night once family life has settled down. In the summer, I love to head out to the deck in the morning and write for the morning. Life’s too busy & fluid to have rituals – as long as I have my laptop, I’m good!


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

I tend to work 60 hours or more a week. Squeezing in writing during those times can be tough, but it doesn’t take long to get back in the swing of things.

As for distractions, I’m a bit of a sports nut and I often have sports on TV on in the background. Wimbledon can be very distracting!

1st lines 2 modified

First lines from Jemi’s favorite books



4. Why do you write?

It’s so much fun! When I was little I used to make up Star Trek episodes in my head when I was supposed to be sleeping. I’d block out scenes, rehearse dialogue, create settings… Never thought of writing any of the stories down though. A couple of decades later I wrote a (way-overly-dramatic) Star Trek novel for fun – don’t even know if I have a copy of it now. Then I wrote a few more novels, some short stories and lots of poetry (mostly for kids). I didn’t hang on to any of it – the fun was all in the writing. It took me several more years (okay a decade) to realize I should actually try to write for publication. Still working on that!


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

Wisdom? Generally not an abundance of that going around, but… I think we all need to find our own joys, our own paths, our own styles. Take risks and don’t be afraid to chuck it all and start over. Listen to your gut. Good enough really isn’t. And most of all – have fun!

Thanks so much for having me!!:)



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

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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47 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Jemi Fraser”

  1. Hope you get a desk one day. Although your current writing spots look comfortable.
    Sixty hours a week? Whoa…

  2. Sheri Larsen says:

    Laptop and a chair … yet, basically the essentials. Well, and internet connection for a little cyber space waste. LOL

    It was great hearing more about Jemi!

  3. jeffo says:

    That looks like a comfy chair! Nice interview!

  4. Loved learning more about Jemi. I’m like her in terms of using a laptop that moves around my house. So impressed she’s awake enough to write at 9:00 pm.

  5. Jemi Fraser says:

    Alex – I do have great chairs! Have to be comfy :)

    Sheri – love having that WiFi too – need it for when those stumbling blocks appear!

    Jeff – thanks! :)

  6. Jemi Fraser says:

    Natalie – not always awake – but trying! :)

  7. Shelley Sly says:

    Hi Jemi and Nutschell!

    I enjoyed this interview and loved learning more about Jemi and seeing those pictures. (The deck looks particularly warm and inviting!) Happy writing, Jemi!

  8. DEZZY says:

    love the bookholders

  9. Southpaw says:

    I love your summer writing area. That is such a great idea to frame the beginning for your favorite stories.

  10. Murees Dupé says:

    Writing in a chair can be more comfortable sometimes. I hope Jemi gets her ideal writing desk soon. And I agree, writing should be fun.

  11. It was fun to learn more about you, Jemi. I’m also impressed that you squeeze in time to write when working such long hours all week. Wow.

    I’m probably the last person on the planet who writes on a desktop computer. I can totally see the appeal of writing outdoors on a lovely summer morning!

  12. Jemi’s one of my favorite bloggers and I’ve known her virtually for years. It was so cool to take a glimpse into her writing space.

  13. Hi, Jemi and Nutschell,
    Gotta love the mouse. Our differences make us so unique. I’m a desk person, so I’m not sure how I could function working from a sofa, but that obviously works for Jemi.

  14. I used to make up Star Trek episodes too Jemi! I never went as far as writing one though. Thanks for sharing such a mondo interview, and you have yourself a smooth day Nutschell.

  15. Arlee Bird says:

    Good to know more about Jemi’s life and writing. I’m pretty sure if I had that chair to work in I’d fall asleep. I have a difficult enough time staying awake at my desk.

    Tossing It Out

  16. I love those book ends… and the framed first lines from Jemi’s favorite books…

  17. Nas says:

    Love your summer writing chair, Jemi. And you work such long hours. Great to know all these about you.

  18. mooderino says:

    Sounds like a very busy schedule. I’d probably fall asleep in that comfy chair first chance I got.

    Moody Writing

  19. Jemi Fraser says:

    Shelley – thanks! The guys in my life are very handy with tools and our deck is a great bonus!

    Dezzy – thanks! Me too :)

    Southpaw – it is! Love being out there :)

    Murees – thanks! I’m hoping to have the space soon too!

    Laurel – there really is nothing better when the birds are out!

    Medeia – thanks – it’s been a while, hasn’t it! :)

    Maurice – I love it that you wrote the Star Trek stories too!! :)

    Lee – that’s so funny! I love writing in my chair!!

    Michelle – my daughter did up those frames for me – can’t wait to put them up! :)

    Nas – thanks! Teaching is an awesome job but it does require a lot of heart and time!!

    Mooderino – I have to admit I’ve been known to nap on occasion! 😛

  20. Gary says:

    It’s awesome to see the lovely Jemi over here and thanks for the interview with her. Always fascinating to read how somebody manages to fit in their writing time. Your hectic schedule certainly does reduce any chance of rituals. I think that chair looks comfy. Although, here’s to an actual desk! :)

    Take care, eh!

  21. wendy says:

    So interesting to get to know the lovely Jemi even more!

    And that’s some chair :)

  22. Jemi Fraser says:

    Gary – one of these days I’ll have my desks!!

    Wendy – it’s so comfy! :)

  23. Ava Quinn says:

    (Just crawling out from the rock I’ve been editing under.) I swear we could have been separated at birth, Jemi. I don’t have a designated writing area either. And also the teaching thing. lol! Great stuff!

    Again, Nutschell, great of you to open your blog to others! You rock!

  24. Jemi Fraser says:

    Thanks Ava – Love being twinsies! :) Hope the editing has been spectacular!

  25. Trisha says:

    I join you in the “don’t have a desk” club, Jemi. But I do plan on having one someday. 😀

  26. I like the book quotes. Since you don’t have a desk, where do you keep them?

  27. Mason Canyon says:

    Jemi, it’s always fun learning more about you. I love both your writing chairs, but it would be hard to get any work done in the one outside – such a pretty area.

  28. Jemi Fraser says:

    Diane – they’re sitting in a box right now waiting for my den!!

    Mason – it really is – my hubby and son build a mean deck! :)

  29. deniz says:

    Who needs a desk when you have such a cosy chair and another seat out on the deck? :-) Although I’d love a rolltop with nooks and crannies and secret cubbies too…

  30. Jemi Fraser says:

    Joy – yikes! I didn’t see you comment until now (sorry!). I love my Minnie – she totally rocks :)

    Deniz – I love those old roll tops. I’m all about modern furniture except for those!! :)

  31. Beth says:

    So many writers were inspired by Anne of Green Gables. I know I was! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

  32. Jemi Fraser says:

    Beth – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Anne – love her story!!

  33. Julie Musil says:

    I love Jemi!!

    So great to learn more about her. Jemi, your comfy inside chair and your deck chair look so comfortable. I’ll bet you read in those chairs as well, don’t you?

    Teachers…you guys give so much. As a parent, I’m thankful for your time and dedication.

  34. Jemi Fraser says:

    Awwww, thanks Julie!! :) Teaching is time (and heart) consuming but it’s the best job in the world! And you’re so right – I do a LOT of reading in those chairs too!!

  35. Your writing chairs are the best! I love them.

  36. Jemi Fraser says:

    Thanks Lynda – me too! :)

  37. Love your deck – so relaxing!

    Hi, Nutschell.

  38. Jemi Fraser says:

    Carol – my deck is awesome!!! My hubby and son did a fabulous job! :)

  39. teresa c. says:

    Aww, Jemi, it’s great to learn more about you. I too work at a school. Not only is it a job, but a school job is intense and stressful to the max. Off times are very nice to regroup. I’m afraid my brain is fried at 9 p.m. so I write early morning 5:30 to 7 mostly.

  40. Jemi Fraser says:

    Teresa – I can’t do the early morning – I think my brain is too occupied with planning the day instead. Wish I could though!!!

  41. You have a tight schedule during the fall and winter. Hope you relax a bit and do some major scribbling this summer.

  42. Jemi Fraser says:

    Lee – I hope so too! Only one more week to go!! :)

  43. I love this post! Jemi’s chairs (inside and outside) look so cozy. I also tend to write late at night after school. Chai tea is my special treat. Wishing Jemi the best of luck and hopefully a roll top desk. :)

  44. Jemi Fraser says:

    Thanks Stephanie – I’m hoping for that desk too … one day :)

  45. joylene says:

    I wrote my first novel once I had the boys in bed for the night. Now I have grandchildren. Where’d the time go! Love your writing area, Jemi. It looks very comfy.

  46. Jemi Fraser says:

    Joylene – time certainly knows how to zoom along! It’s crazy how fast these years go :)

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