Roxanne Rustand here–hoping you are enjoying this beautiful fall wherever you are! Since I’m new to this wonderful blog, I’d first like to extend a warm howdy to everyone, and introduce myself.
My husband and I live on ten acres in the Midwest, with two rescue dogs, three horses, and six barn kitties–or so we think. We brought them home last winter from a rescue situation when they were kittens, had them all neutered, and nurtured them carefully in our warm barn–with good Purina dry cat food and also canned Iams food, wanting them to really love being here, so they’d stay around. But, I’m not so sure we actually own them. J We still serve nice dollops of canned food on their cat chow (not something that barn cats generally enjoy!) but still they come and go. We’ll have any number at dinnertime, from one up to six, plus the neighbor cats who come to check out the good chow.
Tending cats is rather like all the planning I do when writing a book. I might think I have everything set up just right–but then some of the characters will have their own ideas about where their story should go!
Our animals are such good company now that our three children are out of college and married. At this time of year I feel such nostalgia for the days when they were small–their excitement over buying just the right school supplies, and waiting for the big yellow school bus to come down our country road. Happy memories! But I find myself going through the same type of rituals of preparation and planning when I start every new book. New ring notebooks with tab dividers. Brainstorming the new plot and characters. Neatly typing up the results.
And the hard part: cleaning my office before I start the new book, because finishing the last one has invariably left every flat surface covered with an avalanche of paper. Research references. Notebooks where I’d kept track of the plot and subplot and character details…and added copies of each chapter as it was finished.
Somewhere under the rubble there are probably multiple coffee cups from the final rush leading up to the deadline. A flurry of Post-it notes. Random dog leashes, dog treats, maybe a sweater or two. A shoe. Mail and phone messages to deal with. It’s a disaster. And nothing at all like the stock photo I just added to the left! :-) But clearing the decks and having a clean office and empty desktop is so invigorating—it’s like having a blank slate, with all of the possibilities in the world before me.
I just finished writing the first book in a three-book contract for Love Inspired, which was great fun to write. And now, my office is finally clean and organized for the next one.
So how about you? Do you have engrossing hobbies that land you in my regularly scheduled predicament– a housekeeping disaster zone? Or if you’re a writer, are you able to keep everything organized all the way through?
I’m just wondering if I’m the only one…
Wishing you all the best,
Sally Shupe says
Hi, Roxanne! It is so great to see you here! When you said: Tending cats is rather like all the planning I do when writing a book. I might think I have everything set up just right–but then some of the characters will have their own ideas about where their story should go!, I laughed out loud. They are so good at doing that, aren’t they? Can’t wait to read these books. Love your writing!!
Roxanne Rustand says
Thank you, Sally! So nice to hear from you!
Valerie Comer says
Welcome, Roxanne! And here I was hoping to see a real picture of your real desk right after you finished your project!
Roxanne Rustand says
LOL. It is already starting to disappear under my work on the next book. :)
Jill Weatherholt says
Welcome, Roxanne! Congratulation on your three book contract…how exciting! One of my favorite things to do, when I start a new book, is shop for new supplies. I love office supply stores. I can spend hours browsing. This past Sunday, I submitted my first revisions on my first Love Inspired book. Afterward, the first thing I did was clean my office. It’s spotless now, but unfortunately it won’t last. Your property is beautiful!
Roxanne Rustand says
Congratulations on completing your revisions on your first Love Inspired novel. I love writing for this line! best wishes to you with your book!
Melissa Henderson says
Welcome Roxanne! My hobby that keeps me from doing others things is reading. :-) When I find a good book and that is very often, I tend to get lost in the story and put housekeeping aside. But, everything works out in the end. Housework gets done and I finish reading one story and start the next. :-)
Roxanne Rustand says
Sounds like a great plan! I can so relate to reading time…when I have a great book in hand, I just can’t put it down!
Katy C says
Reading is definitely my biggest hurdle to cleaning house (especially with Kindle Unlimited!), but my cluttering hobbies are Mary Kay and crocheting. I am terrible about starting crochet projects and leaving them strewn around the house.
Hi, Katy! What fun–crochet! I’ve always wished I was good at that, and also a good knitter. I’ve tried, but I just don’t have the talent!
Carolyne Aarsen says
Welcome Roxanne, from a fellow newbie. And yes, I agree with the disaster zones. Trouble is I have more than one. My reading/colouring/facebook checking zone in the living room and the crafting zone in the office I share with my husband. Thankfully I have a separate writing office – it’s always a disaster but it also has a door. I have moments where I suddenly seem to notice the mess and then tidy but usually it falls into a certain level of disorder. Nice to know I’m not alone.
It was fun to hear about your disaster zones. You made me realize that alas, it isn’t just my writing office. I also have masses of cookbooks and cooking magazines in the kitchen….and a guest bedroom over-run with boxes, packing materials and things to list on ebay. I think I am hopeless! :)
JoAnn Durgin says
Roxanne, welcome to Inspy Romance! I enjoyed your post, especially as a relatively new cat owner (after several dogs). Cats are definitely a different and very intriguing breed (can you say entitled?). But we love our cat, Brady, and he’s much easier to take care of when we’re out of the house than our dogs ever were, to be honest. And forget my desk area being clean. No desk is big enough for all my clutter. As it is, my desk is in our bedroom. The one thing my husband and kids hear me say the most right now is, “I need an office!” I say it at least five times per day. We’re seeing what we can do about that. In the interim, I’m kind of a mess. But I’m organized in my messiness. Somehow it all works. Blessings on the continued success with your books!
I love cats and miss having one in the house….but our son-in-law is terribly allergic to cats, so I just have to enjoy the ones in the barn. :(
Best wishes on carving out a great office space for your desk! When I first started writing, there was NO place for my desk. None. But I put one in our grade school age son’s bedroom, and after he was safely asleep, I would turn on a tiny light and work in there until one or two in the morning. I as so happy when I finally got a space of my own!
Hello, Sharon! How interesting to hear about the non-fiction side of writing! And yes–the sheer joy of reaching “The End” sounds just as wonderful with textbooks as with fiction! I always wish I could dance on the rooftops!
Reading tends to get in the way of housework, cooking, cleaning & etc! And my desk….oh my….I really try to keep it clutter free but I tend to pile stuff-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with on top of it until I get so sick of looking at it, I throw 99.9% of it away…lol! Then I ask myself “why in the world did I keep this?”….ever say that to yourself? I’m sure you have as a writer! :-)
By the way, Roxanne…..I was really looking forward to today’s post so I could give you a great big warm howdy, hi, hello and welcome to the Inspy Romance blog!!! I hope you will feel right at home here, these are a great group of ladies who always have encouraging posts for us to read. I always find something to glean out of them….whether it be a good laugh, a thoughtful reflection, a scripture fitly worded for my day or just a good old fashioned love story or two to tell :-) I love reading and commenting every day on here and if I miss a day, I feel so bereft like I’ve missed something good…and that’s the truth of it! Congrats on your three book contract with Love Inspired and finishing up on your first one. They are my favorite go-to books and I do have almost 200 on my shelf as we speak (all genres)….all neatly piled up in rows of three deep and four wide :-) That is ONE thing I do keep organized, all my books on the shelf….haha! Maybe I can add a few of yours when you get them done & published :-) Thanks for introducing yourself today. I enjoyed reading about your life, cats, dogs, horses & 10 acres you call home. Love that picture you posted here too, so pretty! I live on the Oregon coast, so I miss all the fall colors…..not much here but pine trees and they just drop their needles everywhere! I did grow up in Illinois though, where we had huge maple trees and all their splendor in the fall. So from one Midwesterner to another…..welcome!!
Hi, Trixi! So nice to hear from you. I love the vivid fall colors and the distinct seasons, but I would also love to live in Oregon or Washington if only they weren’t so far from our little grandkids. We were in Seattle for the first time last August, and I just loved the climate out there! Sounds like you are a very active participant on this blog, which is wonderful! Best wishes to you!
Sharon Kay says
Welcome, Roxanne. I know what you mean about the mess when you finish a manuscript. I am not a novelist but when I was working I wrote a few clinical nursing textbooks. I wrote at the dining room table and had stacks of reference materials on the table and floor around me along with notebooks and scraps of paper, etc. It was such a mess, but it was worth it for the sheer joy on completion! BTW, I think your pets are lucky to have you.
Sharon, for some reason. my answer to you hopped up higher on this page!
Merrillee Whren says
Roxanne, welcome. My desk is constantly in chaos. I share an office with my ever-so-organized and neat husband. He just shakes his head when he looks at my piles. I do clean up every now and then, but not necessarily before I start a new book.
Hi Merrillee, so nice to see you here–and it was nice seeing you at lunch in New York this past summer, too.
I could never share an office with my husband!! he is super neat, and would be driven mad. As it is, he claims that both he and our dogs are terrified to come into my office, for fear there’ll be an avalanche. :)
Diane Adams says
Welcome, Roxanne! A fun blog to read – thanks! My desk was clean in August … only because we had just moved. Congrats on your contract!
Diane, I chuckled over your comment. :) I can’t remember the month when my office was in good order! :)
Hi Roxanne, I’m happy to hear that you have more books coming out and congrats on that ! Reading gets me into trouble all the time; they keep me up late, my house gets dirty and laundry piles up. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has clutter problems. Jenny
Hi Jenny, I can so relate!! :)
And I have three kitties, one dog, two fish tanks and one hermit crab! Nice relating with you Roxanne!
Diana Wise says
I wanted to reply yesterday, but ran out of time! My favorite hobby, besides reading, is sewing. We live in a townhouse and I am a daycare provider,so I can’t leave a mess out during the week. On the weekend however the dining room table can be covered with a sewing machine, small ironing board, needless, pattern, material, iron,.scissors, material, etc. We’ll eat dinner on tv trays or I’ll push the mess to one side! I enjoy reading the posts here. Thanks for all the work you do as a writer. I love to read!
Sewing–how I wish I was good at that! I used to quilt, but anything beyond simple seams is beyond me. :)
Narelle Atkins says
Hi Roxanne, Welcome to Inspy Romance :)