Enjoy these answers from a host of authors in multiple genres, from YA to mystery to romance — then enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or BN GC and more!
Tasarla Romaney A can of diet coke, a package of peanut M&M’s, a weight ball (for arms while reading what I just wrote), lotion, and a tube of carmex
Ash Krafton Computer, phone, psychology book, hard roll, cup of tea.
Linda Palmer My iPhone, a Prince of Persia poster (love my Jakey G), a goddesses calendar, my computer, Seasons 6 & 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Debra St. John A box with chargers for my Kindle, camera, and ipod (Gotta keep those electronics up and running!), camera (It needs to be close at hand for downloading pictures into blog posts or onto my web-site.), pens & pencils (Does this really need an explanation?!), memory stick (I work on a pc and a laptop, so I always start my writing session off of the stick and then save to it and each separate computer. This makes sure I don’t lose track of where I’m at, and I also have several copies of a mss saved…just in case one of the computers crashes.), a piece of Ghirardelli chocolate (Dark chocolate with mint that I earned for completing a portion of the summer reading program at the library. It won’t be in touching distance for long…).
Judith B. Glad Kitchen timer (how I keep track of time to move sprinkler)
Cup of tea on warmer (sustenance!)
Binoculars (to watch the birds outside my office window)
2 pencils, 5 pens (all different color ink)
Netflix envelope that has to go out in today’s mail
Kaylie Newell A Kleenex box, my dog Pedro, my pillow, the remote and my phone.
Judy Alter computer, iPad, TV remote, stapler, telephone
J.A. Garland My Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Mac Book, Nook…I’m starting to see a technology addiction problem here!
Linda Rettstatt Cell phone, remote, checkbook, laptop, cat.
Maeve Greyson Jasper
Laura Strickland My dog, Shannon, the notebook containing the book I am currently writing, a lamp, my pen, and total happiness.
Niecey Roy Computer mouse, note pad, a stack of bills, my headphones, and my six year complaining he doesn’t like the flavor of ice cream in the freezer. Oh, snap.
Tess Morrison A fake candle, a picture of my Mom and my sisters, a tiny angel, a ceramic strawberry, and a black spider (calm down, it’s plastic. My husband and I hide it on each other from time to time.).
Anne Van I’m sitting at my desk so my computer, an art nouveau lamp, a snow globe with the Effie Tower inside, a Hello Kitty pen, and a Darth Vader candy bank. Don’t judge me. : )
Jana Richards At the moment I’m in my office and the following things are within touching distance:
1. Filing cabinet
2. Container with pens and pencils
3. My nearly worn-out copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary
4. My telephone
5. My calendar
Tina Pollick Besides the mouse?
A blue cup (that had tropical punch Kool-Aid in it- I need to get some more), a pair of safety scissors, my daughter’s cell phone, a pack of sticky notes, and my phone.
Debra Doggett A fly, my computer, a table, my purse and a chair.
Nia Simone A stack of books: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, Poor Man’s Orange by Ruth Park, Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, my journal, and my Nook, with a hundred books on it.
Zoe Forward Dog. Water bottle. Laptop. Toblerone. Lego.
Virginia Crane my computer keyboard, coffee cup, calculator, dictionary, day timer.
Graeme Brown My coffee cup, journal, my editing textbook, my Kobo, and notebook for writing down new words.
Shereen Vedam Right now?
1) The cookbook, since I opened it to the recipe I wrote the Cook’s Tip about.
2) My cup of tea. It’s 6:14am, I’m about to begin my writing day on this Sunday and I always make myself a cup of black tea before I sit down at my computer.
3) Two tiny frames of the two cats that passed away.
4) A tiny green baby dragon is sitting next to my monitor.
5) My CD player on which I like to listen to music sometimes while writing.
Nancy Fraser My third cup of coffee, telephone, printer, pictures of my grandchildren, and my cork board where I post my story ideas and writing schedule.
Robyn Bachar A cup of coffee (the mug reads “Shh…I’m reading”), Harrison the Samhain Duckie, a poster signed by Dana Marie Bell, my cranky old cat, and a butterfly bookmark that belonged to my grandma.
Jeanette Baker My Iphone, wedding ring, purse, kindle, contact lense. I have two different colored eyes so I wear one contact lense because I find the real me distracts people from what I’m saying or what they’re saying.
Kim Hornsby Revlon nail polish because all other brands flake off on me after a week. the color is burnt sugar
Coffee in my huge Maui Starbucks mug, No sugar, little milk
A stack of my books, autographed
This gorgeous laptop that my husband bought me to celebrate I’m a published author. Dell, wide screen.
My nightgown and fuzzy GAP hoody because I’m wearing them as I type this.
Juliet Waldron A fluffy yellow cat, (who, for once, is not standing with her butt in front of the screen) some Jordan almonds, (stop munching!) a hefty atlas of world history, a water glass decorated with cat cartoons which is half full, and my other pair of glasses, the ones I need in order to see anything that is not this screen.
Mary Jo Burke The remote to the stereo(blaring Bruce Springsteen’s Thunder Road), the phone(kids aren’t home so I’m on call), a black pen(making notes for edits), TBR pile(includes books, magazines, and wish list catalogs), and notebooks(for ideas and characters that float through my mind)
Willa Blair Keyboard, computer, monitor, mousepad and cat. What is it about cats and keyboards when you’re trying to type?
Lynda J Cox A coffee cup filled with dried sagebrush, a pair of sunglasses, a can of diet coke, all my lead making stuff for the beaded, bling show leads, and a reproduction of a Confederate cavalry officer’s frock coat (don’t ask).
Elaine Violette My computer, cell phone, printer, family pictures, and a Happy Birthday balloon.
Lynda Coker My computer, cell phone, camera, thesaurus, and a bowl of cherry tomatoes.
Susan Fox My Audubon appointment calendar with the lovely photos (purple columbine this week), which no smart phone can ever replace. My Kindle Paperwhite, plugged into my netbook and charging its battery. My “do list” for the week, printed out on turquoise paper so it can’t be overlooked. An orchid plant that once flowered and may do so again. My USB drive, as a reminder to back up every night.
Brenda Gayle 1. Coffee
2. Keyboard & mouse (I’m going to group this into one as input devices)
3. Day-timer (why I have a physical calendar on my desk when I generally use the one on my computer, I don’t know. I think it’s a safety-net type of thing).
4. Cell phone
5. Stacks and stacks of paper–post-it notes, scribbled character descriptions, receipts, old news clippings, kids’ appointment cards
I do make sure the bottle of scotch requires me to physically get up to retrieve it–otherwise who knows how a difficult scene might turn out.
Lesley-Anne McLeod A map of Britain, a book on the art and architecture of London, a reproduction quill pen, a copy of Pride and Prejudice, and a cat called Pansy.
These five things speak of my interest in the England of Jane Austen, my love of art, architecture and literature, and my fascination with cats. These five things are my world, in microcosm.
Maryann Miller The closest thing within touching distance is my keyboard. Otherwise I could not be typing this, could I.
Next to my monitor is a mechanical pencil that I use for all note taking or note making. I know I should be working on having a paperless desk, but I do so love that process of writing notes about the story I’m working on in my notebook, which is the fourth thing within touching distance. I am not a plotter, so I make detailed notes of what the characters are doing from chapter to chapter. Then I can refer to those notes to make sure I am keeping the story on the right path.
The other, and perhaps the most important item within reach is my coffee cup. It is actually a multi-purpose cup and has been known to hold a little wine on occasion.
Lynn Kellan (1) My huge computer screen is within touching distance, and it’s covered in pictures of Wladimir Klitschko. He’s the heavyweight boxing champ and a great looking man. I’m working on a new manuscript, and Wladimir serves as inspiration for my hero’s rugged good looks. I like to use pictures to remind me of how my character looks, but sometimes my husband doesn’t quite understand why my office is plastered with pictures of shirtless men.
(2) My camera is always within touching distance in case I want to photograph something funny for my blog.
(3) Nearby, there’s a shirt I ruined in the wash. I’m hoping to find a replacement online, but haven’t had luck yet.
(4) I’ve got a heavy glass paperweight on my desk that I made during our vacation in Vermont last summer. It’s a bit misshapen, but I love the orange and yellow swirls inside.
(5) My nail clipper is always within reach so I can trim my fingernails if I get stuck writing a scene. Admittedly, there are some weeks when my nails are quite short, thanks to writer’s block.
Meg Benjamin My MacBook, the TV remote, a glass of Crystal Light, lip balm, and a credit card for buying books online
Mary Hughes Cat. Coffee. Writing netbook. Protein bar (aka breakfast Aromatic candle.
Shannyn Schroeder While at my writing desk, the space is pretty sparse. My laptop is centered, but I don’t count that. The 5 things within touching distance are–
1. A bowl of M&Ms – writing makes me munchy, so I like to have a snack nearby. M&Ms are about the most perfect snack because I can pop a few in my mouth and not get anything on my computer.
2. A drink – I usually try to have a glass of water on my desk while I write, but depending on what time of day it is, it might be Diet Coke.
3. My bulletin board with my collages for my current book pinned up – Before starting a new book, I always collage the main characters. I use actors and models on scrapbook paper and use stickers and things to show who they are. I keep the collages up the entire time I am writing and editing. It gives me a visual cue to keep my head in that book instead of wandering to other characters and books. Right now, I have Chris Pine and Christina Hendricks as place holders for the characters in the 4th O’Leary book.
4. Pens and sticky notes – I never know when I’ll have to jot something down and I love sticky notes to make reminders for myself. I stick notes anywhere that might work: computer screen, bulletin board, daily planner, etc.
5. My phone – I don’t make calls while I’m writing, but In do have to be accessible in case the school calls about one of my kids, but really, I have my phone for music. In addition to creating a collage for each book before I write, I also create a playlist or soundtrack. The music gives me an auditory cue, much like the collage gives me a visual cue during writing.
Lynn Crandall I’m presently working at my desk, where my cat often sits on my lap while I work. I’m weird about disturbing her, so anything I might possibly need is within reach. My laptop, of course, my printer, my files, paper for the printer just in case, and my phone. What I need is a mini frig and coffee pot nearby. For food and coffee I have to get up!
Sheila Claydon My MacBook Air, iPhone, glass of water, the latest book I’m reading (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce which is a really lovely quirky book) and a carved wooden statue of a penguin mother and her baby. The statue is quirky too. It’s about 12 inches high and painted in black and white with a touch of yellow and red and was given to me by my Mum who died many years ago, so it has real emotional value.
Carol Henry Seeing as I’m at my desk while answering these questions, I have to say, My Keyboard, phone, mouse, printer, and of course—chocolate (I hide my dark chocolate in the corner where no one else can find it)
Robin Renee RayAll my needs..LOL My TV remote, laptop,.Dr Pepper, three leg kitty, and my junk food hiding spot.
Joya Fields My four year-old pug is snoring at my feet, a set of five different nail polishes sits (awaiting a decision about which one I’ll use in a few minutes), my iPod with all the cool songs I’ve been listening to for my next book, a dead flower in a vase (ooops, time to change that), and the shot-up target from my last shooting range visit.
Annette Bower 1. The Oxford Mini Dictionary Thesaurus & Wordpower Guide a gift from a secret Santa.
2. Three pages of critique of a 100 word story, the last line telling me that the last line isn’t significant, and “that is unfortunate–endings are so important!”
3. A first novel, Dollybird by Anne Lazurko a writer and friend who has been in my writing group and we are members of each other’s street team.
4. An A6 Chunky journal purchased London, England with notes from the RWA 2013 conference as well as a webinar I attended on July 31, 2013.
5. A Sales Book to record the sales of my print copies of Woman of Substance which was available in print since June 2013. I am amazed at the number of sales which have taken place out of the Home Hardware store in Regina Beach, Saskatchewan.
Patty Campbell Keyboard. Water bottle. Family photos. Check book. Notebook filled with all my passwords because there are too many to remember.
Genie Gabriel A dog, a dog, a dog, another dog, and somewhere in the stacks of paper there’s a page of notes for my next project.
Pamela S Thibodeaux computer, cowboy heart rock, books, calendar, coffee!
Elysa Hendricks Pen, paper, cat, husband, and computer.
Allie Boniface 1. My coffee mug
2. My Nook
3. My iPhone
4. My notepad with the daily “to do” list
5. My laptop
And looking at that list, I realize that totally sums up most days in the life of Allie Boniface!
Kate Robbins 1) My Samsung Galaxy 4S. Love that thing.
2) My thermal coffee mug
3) A Highlighter
4) A glass of water
5) A calculator
Liana Laverentz Pens, computer paper, phone, eyeglasses, and a calculator.
Ryshia Kennie Well, this is my “lazy” work space. I’m sitting on the couch with my feet up where, later in the day you’ll find me in my office. But for now, it’s early in the morning and the room is still hazy as dawn breaks into day. I have a coffee go-cup beside me and a TV remote, actually there’s two of them (the TV I’m not using, it’s just there). There’s a glass of water because I’ve realized that maybe drinking more water is a good thing. There’s a bottle of coconut hand lotion and the mouse because the track pad on this computer just drives me crazy.
Troy Lambert Headphones, phone, coffee, Jameson, a keyboard, and a Chicago Manual of Style.
Jane Toombs A case of blank CDs. Two pens. A calendar open to August. A stack of torn-out pages of The Forty-Niners waiting to be scanned into the computer so it can be published as an ebook. A camera and the cord that plugs it into the computer.
Jaleta Clegg A panda rocking toy, the vacuum, and three zombie frogs.
Beth Trissel All sorts of books, a small dog, crayons and paper for the little people, and my favorite chapstick.
Heather HavenCoffee, phone, keyboard, pencil sharpener, cat. What more does a girl need?
Gail Pallotta Paper, paper, paper, paper and paper. I’m buried in paper, but I also have gem clips and my mouse…the mobile phone just rang, and yep, I had to identify the pile of paper it was under before I could answer it. Okay, of course, there’s the computer, keyboard and the printer. I know I should be more tidy. I straighten all the papers and clean up every so often. Then I can’t find anything I’m looking for.
Helena Fairfax My dog, my dog’s fluffy rabbit (which she’s chewed to bits), my diary, my Kindle and a cup of tea!
Kelly Whitley 1) Two phones–not because I want them here, but because I have to.
2) Kindle. A reading attack can come at any time.
3) Clipboard with notepaper for writing down inspirations that hit when I’m away from my desk. I’ve been known to leave a notepad on the counter while I take a shower. There’s always paper by the bed as well.
4) Drink–Vitamin Water Zero. Go-go mixed berry.
5) Lip balm–because chap is never a good thing for lips. You never know when a kiss could crop up!
Laurel O’Donnell My cat, Charming. He always sleeps by my side when I write.
My journal. Just in case I need to make some notes.
My coffee cup. Who could go without coffee!
My tums. Just in case the kids interfere with my writing.
And my computer! Can’t write without that!
Paty Jager My computer, my date book, my phone, bottle of water, research book on Yukon.
Linda McMaken Within touching distance of what? I’m guessing my amazing author desk.
I have my cell phone, computer, orange marker, a glass of southern sweet tea, and a hazelnut candle.
Penny Estelle My glass of wine, the phone, printer, huge plant, doodling pad
Keena Kincaid iPhone, flashlight, doggy poo bag, pen, blanket
Isabo Kelly Seven month old baby, phone, laptop, tablet and coffee.
Lynne Marshall My glass coffee mug. All of my print books lined up along my desk. A photo of my first critique group. A batch of smooth rocks I can roll around in my hands with words like – strength, confidence, breathe, and create on them, and a beautiful pewter frame from a special trip I made to Halifax (got to speak to a group of authors there, too) It was a gift for my visit and it has the Legend of the Starfish inside. If you don’t know that story, look it up – it’s a keeper!
Melissa McClone I have a sixteen year old cat named Spirit and a fifteen year old cat named Miss Mousie to my right. To my left is a power cord for when my MacBook Pro needs a charge, my Kindle Fire HD so I can read or stream videos and the lamp cord so waking up or napping is easy.
Aaron Speca My laptop, my dog, my wife, my drink, and my remote.
Pamela Turner My computer mouse, wine glass, chapter print out, calculator, and pen. The pen is used to dash off notes on the chapter print out, while the wine glass is there to help ease the pain of editing. The computer mouse? Well, that’s for clicking on YouTube to watch videos while I should be editing… And the calculator? I wish I could say it’s to tally my awesome royalty checks… Oh, look! Weird Al’s on YouTube…
Shirley Martin My computer, books, typing paper, an American flag, and a cup holding pens and pencils.
Amy Corwin: In order of proximity:
My Jack Russell terrier;
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