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 Sci-Fi/Fantasy author M. Pax.

You can also find M. sharing her writing wisdom and blogging at Wistful Nebula .

Welcome, M!


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?

Author M. Pax

I write mostly science fiction and fantasy. I have a healthy obsession with Jane Austen, and dream of joining the Browncoats and Stargate Command. When not writing, I’m often persuaded into pampering my two cats, Nini and Makayla.

Every summer I docent as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory and take a lot of moon pictures. My astronomy pals are convinced I have the most thorough collection of moon photos ever. So, yes, I enjoy photography. I take lots of photos of trees, rock, water, and flowers, too. I also like going out on adventures with the Husband Unit into the wilds of Oregon.

M’s summer weekend office

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

At my PC usually piled high with notes and journals and who knows what else. Only the desk knows.


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

My desk came from IKEA. I have lots of pens … Did you notice?  and I have a pile of stuff … notes from old stories or stories not yet written and notes from writing workshops and the like, a pile in front of that with what I’m working on now, my calendar and journals [for current projects + idea journal].

M. Pax’s Workspace

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

Pens. Did you notice the pens? Journals. Paper. Post-its to stick on my monitor when I’m in a middle of a project. I just finished one, so most of the post-its are gone. Sometimes there’s a live cat on it.

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

I love my flat monitor stuck to the wall, so I have all that space to set piles of crap on. I love my ergonomic keyboard. Although most of the letters have worn off of the keys now. Good thing I learned to touch type in high school.

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

In the mornings, green tea with ginseng. In the afternoon, water. You’ll notice it’s purple in the photo. That’s because my water has EmergenC in it lately. My body is trying to catch a cold again … I’m trying not to let it.

On Writing

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

 Thomas Hardy, Hermann Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jane Austen have influenced me most. That and poetry. I like the abstraction of poetry. I try to incorporate some of that into my style.

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

I write in the morning, then print out what I did. I read over what I wrote later in the evening and make edits by hand. In the morning, I start by inputting those edits. Helps me get into the mindset where I left off. I recently switched to green tea with ginseng. Gets my mind going nicely.

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

I write every day, including most weekends. Here and there, I’ll take some time off for frivolity – an outing with my writer friends, astronomy pals, or the Husband Unit. I include revising, tweaking, editing, and redirecting as writing. I do a lot of those. I write three or more hours a day, and spend another two reading over what I wrote on paper and marking it with a pen, getting ready to go the next day.

4. Why do you write?

Otherwise I’d be a miserable mess. Writing makes me happy.


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

Write everyday. You need to write, write, write to discover your voice and style. No matter your talent level at stringing words together, writing fiction is a unique skill set. It takes time to learn how to layer everything in and do it well. My favorite quote: Never give up. Never surrender.



Thanks, M, 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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20 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes M. Pax”

  1. Browncoats and Stargate Command – that is why Mary rocks!
    I always print out my work and edit from paper rather than the computer. I miss stuff on the screen. And I stare at it enough.
    Now, back to writing, Mary! We want to read more.

  2. Great workspace and great quote!

  3. Mary says:

    Yes, I must get back at it. I’m about to start on it now, Alex.

    Thanks, Carol.

    Thanks for the feature Schell. 😀

  4. I love Bradbury and Clarke!

    It was great to learn more about you and your writing space. :)

  5. Southpaw says:

    Nice interview, but I think you need more pens!

  6. Lynn Kelley says:

    Ah, so funny that I thought I was visiting a blog I’d never been to before when I clicked on ‘Magic Nutshell’ on Mary’s post! Of course I thought of my buddy Nutschell when I clicked on it, but I’d never heard anyone refer to you as Magic Nutshell!

    I enjoy this series, Nutschell, and got a big kick out of Mary’s pens, pens, and more pens comments!

    It’s nice to finally get back to blogging after taking time off from it and then was gone to Pittsburgh for a family reunion last week. I hope everything is going well for you, Nutschell. Talk to you soon!

  7. Mary says:

    They write awesome stories, Eagle.

    I think I got that from her email, Lynn. Great to bump into you again today.

  8. Great interview! I love having a peek at your workspace, and I’m jealous of your summer weekend office. Oh, the inspiration and quiet out there!

  9. Mary says:

    I love that weekend office, too, Christine

  10. Brinda says:

    I am sure those are really not “piles of crap” , but vitally important research documents. :)

  11. I can so relate to the things on top of your laptop. I like seeing things in hard copy, like Alex, especially the final edits (and I have the same routine for dailys), and classes. So interesting that you moongaze. I love watching the shows at our local JC and in SF at the Academy. In fact, wrote a scene about one of those sessions.

    But Staples and Office Depot are my new Neiman Marcus haunts, so I can definitely relate to the pens!

    Thanks again, Nutschell!

  12. Mary says:

    I do need more pens, Southpaw.

    Of course they are, Brinda.

    Those shows would be fun to watch, Sharon. Inspiration is all around.

  13. I love Mary’s astronomy pictures. It’s a reminder that the universe is much bigger than the walls in which I work.

  14. mooderino says:

    I feel my life would be vastly improved by a great big telescope. Wonder if they sell them on Amazon.


  15. Mary’s writing day sounds so organised. I wish I had that, I might get more done!

  16. Hey,

    Yes, Mary you have figured out the power behind controlled chaos :)

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks Nutschell for spotlighting another awesome blogger :)

  17. Laura Eno says:

    The pages of writing notes on my desk are full of cat hair. Do you make your cats sweep up after themselves?
    I love your routine! I’ll have to try it, since I’ve gotten behind on the input thing and have 10 hand-written chapters staring at me.

  18. Great interview. It’s so cool that you still us good old pen and paper Mary!
    – Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr

  19. michelle says:

    I love the old fashioned pen and paper, though the computer allows for faster writing.
    Great interview. Thanks Nutschell & Mary!

  20. Nutschell, nice to see M. Pax here.

    M. Pax, I love the shelf with all those books!

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