Welcome to my cave.
It’s a place of organized chaos; a mirror for what goes on in my head. There are corners, crevices, and hideaways for everything.
Check out my computers. As the daughter of an engineer, I’ve always been a computer geek. My friends like to call me a techie but I use computers rather than build them. My computers like to bully me. I know they’re psychopathic – they rule – no questions asked. I approach by their permission only; manipulated by their charm; terrified by their ruthlessness. When things get dicey, I call in my computer doc, Howie, to save the day. He arrives remotely or in person – an unsmiling cop who gets everyone to behave.
I have more terabytes than some would need in a lifetime. I have several backups that act like community organizers, making sure all essentials are secured beyond the bickering of sibling chips. That’s before my iPad and SurfacePro check in to share the booty.
When my computers purr, I add a heavy dose of photos from my Nikon, with their own 3 terabyte drive. I have tens of thousands of photos in those terabytes, all obsessively organized so I won’t drown in a sea of images.
Visit the skull that sits next to my computer. His name is Yorick. [Alas, poor Yorick!/Shakespeare]. Scary portraits of Yorick appear throughout my books.
In the bookcase over my desk, live many of the volumes I use for my historical novels, along with a gold enamel plate from Girona, Spain, a bronze “Fiddler on the Roof” statue from my dear friend Bill, and an assortment of tchotchkes that keep me company. I have a large Lucite container holding chocolate wrappers from my research on the subject, bursting with exotic remains like Pralus Sao Tome, iCru Purea di Arrancia, and Vosages Bacon & Chocolate.
You’ll never catch this author with Nestle’s Crunch.
As expected, I have files, stacks of papers, articles, and other stuff to feed my calling. Behind me (where you can’t see), I have a full wall of bookshelves crammed with volumes like New Yorkers in a rush hour subway car. I have lists of lists, and so many passwords that I’ve resigned myself to using a Rolodex because an electronic password manager (and my memory) doesn’t cut it. Lewis Carroll said it best:
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand
The beach was white from side to side
But much too full of sand.
“Mr. Walrus,” said the Carpenter,
“My brain begins to perk.
We’ll sweep this clear in half a year
If you don’t mind the work.”
I doubt I’ll ever sweep my cave clear in any amount of time. Fortunately, the real writing takes place in my head. Can you imagine the jumble there? With my most recent seven-book series that spans 500 years, and endless psychopaths, haunted family trees, and photo insights, my cave remains very cluttered.