Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Rebekah Loper

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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 Rebekah Loper, author of numerous fun blogs. You can find a list of them at blackanddarknight.wordpress.com.

Welcome Rebekah!

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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?

Spring 2013 Author Pic

Rebekah Loper

Well, I consider myself a “Jill of All Trades”, but also joke around that I should hire myself out as a “freelance organizer”, because my two most recent jobs have involved organizing offices.

I write fantasy almost exclusively. I get bored with real-life (or intensely frustrated) and making up worlds is my outlet.

Interests besides writing? Uh…. What else is there? Okay, slightly kidding. I’m a budding urban farmer, and this is smack dab in the middle of planting season in my part of the world. I have chickens living in my backyard, and am planning to convert the front yard into a mini-orchard (eventually). Otherwise, I also read and sew.

And my husband and I also celebrated our fifth anniversary this past January :D.

Also, I just won an award last weekend! My first big writing award 😀

OWFI certificate modified

 

Rebeka’s OWFI Award Certificate

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

In my house. The exact location within the house varies a couple times a day – I usually rotate between the living room sofa and the bedroom, rarely the dining room table or my actual “writing corner” (see the pink chair with the white cat? That’s my writing corner, and one of the reasons I rarely use it).

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Rebekah’s Workspace

 

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

I don’t actually have a desk, currently. There’s a couple of reasons for this – the main one being there just hasn’t been money for one yet. The second being that I can’t actually figure out what type of desk I want. There’s so many to choose from! Do I want the tidy containment a secretary’s desk offers, or a traditional writing desk? A computer desk, and if that one, do I want a standing desk since those are so much better for you in the long-run? Decisions, decisions! Gah!

My current work area was arranged by elimination of space. IE: what was leftover to work with after everything that we had to get in the house got in it. So, currently I have a bookshelf with all my writing books and projects scattered all over it. I try to organize it at least once a month. Doesn’t usually happen.

 

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

Pens, paper, and index cards. I do most of my actual drafting on the computer, but all of my character creation and plotting is done by hand with a pen. Not a pencil. I despise pencils. (I don’t know why, I’ve just never liked them.)

 

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 it’s in a central part of my house. The only place I can’t easily access everything from is the bedroom, but if I’m in the living or dining room, everything is just a few steps away.

 

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

TEA. I love tea. My current favorite is Harney & Son’s ‘Hot Cinnamon Spice’. It’s delicious. I blame The Barenaked Critic (http://barenakedcritic.wordpress.com) for getting me addicted to it.

 favorite pic of me modified

An unexpected quiet moment at the wedding.

On Writing

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

I have several favorite authors, in all honesty. I will read just about anything by CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Kathy Tyers, Dean Koontz, and Terry Goodkind.

Tolkien was who inspired me to write, though, when I realized that (at least for some people) making up complete, complex worlds was absolutely normal.

 

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

I have no idea. I’m still trying to figure all of these out. It would be easier if I had a ‘typical day’ even without the writing. So I pretty much write when I have the time and am not too exhausted. Rituals and quirks are, sadly, a waste of what little time I do have. I wish I had more time, because I think I’d actually be more productive if I could have a set ritual to get me ready to write. Oh well.

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

I attempt to, but this rarely goes as planned. On days that I do write, I can typically spend anywhere from an hour to five hours, depending on what I’m working on, and how many interruptions I have.

Worst writing distractions? The cats. The chickens making odd noises in the backyard. The telephone (that I sadly can’t ignore currently, because of some long-term health issues going on with another family member). Reading.

chickens modified

One of Rebekah’s distractions

4. Why do you write?

Because there are characters and worlds in my head demanding to have their stories told. I rarely create a story completely from scratch – usually the characters dictate to me. Their stories have already happened, and I’m the scribe recording it for ‘history’.

If I don’t write it down, it feels to me like there are hundreds of histories that will be lost. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

 

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

If you’re going to call yourself a writer, make absolutely sure that you want to be a writer. It’s not glamorous at all. It’s grueling, heart-breaking work at times, interspersed with the most thrilling highs. But if the stories won’t shut up, even if you don’t write them down? Then the work is so very worth it for the few moments of peace you can find.

As for a favorite writing quote, it’s probably overused, but still captures how I feel about writing perfectly:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

 

 

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Thanks Rebekah, 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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25 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Rebekah Loper”

  1. Loved learning more about Rebekah. My writing space moves around in my house too.

  2. Loved learning about Rebekah. My writing space moves around my house too.

  3. Shelly says:

    Love her sofa and chickens.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    • Thanks! Sadly, the sofa isn’t the most comfortable thing on the face of the planet, but it was the one that fit in the budget. The chickens are awesome, IMO :D.

  4. Arlee Bird says:

    Chickens? Now that’s interesting. How do they get along with the cats? Do the chickens supply you with eggs?

    Nice to get to know you better, Rebekah.

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    • Hey Lee!
      Well, they don’t really have to get along with the cats, because the cats live inside, and the chickens live OUTSIDE exclusively. With the exception of the rooster – he lived in our bathroom for about a month. He was a rescue, and was severely malnourished and underweight when we got him. That was the longest month of my life. He lives outside permanently now, lol.

      And yes, they do supply hubby and me with eggs! Hubby actually didn’t like eggs at all before, but then we got the hens, and he tasted what eggs are supposed to be like.

      There’s no egg tastier than one from your own chicken that free-ranges in your backyard :).

  5. Maurice Mitchell says:

    Congrats on the award Rebekah! I read an article in the paper about Arizona limiting the number of chickens you can own at home. I thought, “how many chickens does one person need?” Nice to know it’s a worthwhile pursuit.

    • Thank you! It’s the first writing award I’ve won other than an honorable mention, so it’s quite the thrill.

      Well, the “how many chickens does one person need?” question can be pretty subjective. We have five hens and one rooster. The limit stated in our city municipal code here in Tulsa, OK, is up to 6 adults and 14 juveniles (6 weeks old or less) of any combination and gender of poultry/fowl. So, we’re at our limit for adult chickens. Eventually, we’ll start incubating eggs to raise for meat chickens, but we haven’t reached that point yet.

      Our five hens put out about 2-4 dozen eggs per week, depending on the time of year. In winter, they lay less, because they’re using the nutrients, etc, they would use to make eggs to keep warm. In summer, we get an egg a day from each hen.

      So they put out more than enough for me and hubby (trust me, we’ve started eating a lot more eggs!), and enough for us to give some to family members whenever they ask.

      Considering they free-range in the backyard, we only spend $20 on supplemental feed every month to month-and-a-half, so it’s well worth it when you compare the cost of buying cage-free, free-range eggs at the grocery store.

  6. You’re the first person I’ve ever heard say she was distracted by chickens!
    Congratulations on the writing award.

    • LOL … well, I know what the NORMAL noises they make are. It’s just that they like to make abnormal ones often, too, and we do have stray cats in the neighborhood that have tried to go after them before. So I always keep an ear out for anything that might be endangering them. (We also have hawks, foxes, and raccoons around here, which all will go after chickens.)

      And thanks!

  7. tcavey says:

    Congrats on your anniversary and your award!

    I don’t have chickens but I hope to someday have a few. Love your tip for writers…make sure you really want to be one!

  8. Julie says:

    It was nice meeting Rebekah! Congrats on your writing award! Hi Nutschell!

  9. Love the interview and all the pictures! Congratulations on your recent successes, Rebekah–I know you’ve worked hard for them!

    “Rituals and quirks are, sadly, a waste of what little time I do have. I wish I had more time…” Ah, the cry of the aspiring writer. Tell me about it! It always seems like on the days my head is buzzing with ideas I have a million other more pressing things to do, whereas the days when I have some free time, I can’t think of a thing to write. So I do it anyway, because a hundred words are better than nothing, but oh for unlimited time in which to scribble!

  10. Taylor FitzGerald says:

    Congratulations on the award, Rebekah! It’s great to hear that you’re doing well and writing lots!

    • Taylor! Thank you very much, and I’m so glad you commented :). Yeah, it seems that once I started writing all those years ago on the Plaza, it got into my blood, hehe. Though I look back at my writing then and cringe now.

  11. Nas says:

    Lovely to meet Rebekah!

    Congratulations on all your achievements Rebekah!

  12. Ashley Nixon says:

    Tolkien inspired me to write as well! My niece lobes chickens, lol! We call her the bird whisperer.

    • hahaha, we call my husband the “Chicken Whisperer”. He just goes out and sits down in the backyard and suddenly, chickens all around! It’s rather amusing.

  13. deniz says:

    Happy anniversary!
    Aww, I’m jealous – I wish I had chickens too!
    Organizing offices, eh? I need some help with that – I collect way too many papers/magazines/brochures, etc. :-)

  14. Chickens are awesome!

    The first office I organized was an insurance office. They were, I kid you not, a year behind on filing. I pretty much re-did their filing system. It sucked.

    The second one (my current job) is working as a file clerk at a legal office. They weren’t quite as bad about being behind on filing, but what they were behind on was digitizing & destroying older client files. I’m still in the midst of that project, lol.

    As for collecting papers, etc – just go through a few a day, see if they’re actually something you need to keep, and if not, toss/recycle. Flip through a few magazines a day and see if you wanted the entire thing, of just one article. Tear single articles/recipes/whatever out, and get rid of the rest. :)

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