Workspaces, Setups, and Gadgets!

For some reason, I’m very interested in processes. Specifically, how people work. Especially creative folks. I’m always ready to “borrow” some techniques to make the writing process more efficient, and yeah–I admit it–easier.

I found 2 techniques recently that seem obvious in hindsight, and they’ve really helped me get back on track with writing:

  1. Turning off the wireless to my laptop the night before my morning writing sessions. Can’t access it (easily), can’t get distracted by it.
  2. Setting a timer for 45 minutes and doing nothing but writing during that time. You can do anything for 45 minutes, right? That’s just 3/4 of an hour! You’d be surprised how focused this can make you. I often keep going after the alarm on my phone goes off. Or if it’s slow, I’ll just keep putting down words, comforted by the thought that I only have a few minutes left before I can take a break…

Those tricks came from reading the blog of screenwriter John August, who has a great series called Workspace that I’m still working my way through, as well as a cool site called The Setup.

Both series focus on the tools people use to do their writing or acting or voice work, or whatever their jobs are.  I’m also discovering a bunch of cool creative types to track and read. At some point I may try to do a blog like that.

But I’m not that ambitious right now. What those sites got me thinking about today was all the gadgets we have around the house, and how all those gadgets are geekily named.

So I give you this Master List of the Jasper Gadgets–and Their Names:

  • Treebeard: our wheezy old Windows XP desktop computer
  • Galadriel: Elizabeth’s somewhat wheezy old iMac, forever stuck at version 10.4 because it’s so darn old
  • Celeborn: the ancient iPod (pre-iPod Touch, even) that we got with the iMac in 2006
  • Strider: my iPhone
  • Arwen Evenstaaah!: Elizabeth’s iPhone (yes, that’s how she spells it!)
  • Baggins: my shiny new Windows 7 laptop (“Shire! Baggins!“)
  • Mithrandir: my Kindle Touch
  • Gandalf: our rarely used digital camera

Ah, the Lord of the Rings-induced goofiness of it all… Also, we have a crapload of computers and gadgets. And I took two laptops to the recycling center last year. It’s kind of a crazy, first-world situation.

Now I just need an artistic, pensive author photo like they have for the Workspace creators… Like this, maybe:

… Or maybe not…!

2 thoughts on “Workspaces, Setups, and Gadgets!

  1. I like your avatar picture much more than the “pensive” look. I honestly thought you copied it off the back cover of one of your books! It projects a very friendly, open and honest persona. It tells me, “this is a person whose book I’d like to read”.


    1. Thanks! I was just goofing around with my iPhone and took that picture above, then edited it with Instagram. My avatar pic is indeed my official author photo, taken by my neighbor who has some fine photography skills. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!


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