Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Another Day at the Office

Laptop, desktop, Underwood or pencil. Do you budget based on book sales, or do you just go for it? What’s your dream office look like?

-From Frank

There are times when I use my laptop -- basically when I'm not at home -- but I work almost exclusively on my desktop computer. This all happens in my study (Kristi calls it the office, I call it the study, but somehow we make the marriage work). On the advice of my good friend Jill Maser (and after some achy tendons), I made the small but important investment in an ergonomic wireless keyboard. I've got two screens -- the 17" that I had for a long while, and the 40" flatscreen TV that we bought when Kristi was strongly considering a move to Las Vegas to get her doctorate. Ultimately, she decided not to go that route, so now I have a huge screen to work (and play games) on. The second screen is nice when editing from one document to the other, or when podcasting, for example.

Our house is cozy, and the study is a small room. The walls are adorned with an eclectic mix of art and achievements I've collected over the years, from the first check I ever got for writing ($15 for "Bill's Son" in 1990, never cashed) to the Scalise family crest to a pencil drawing of Bruce Springsteen to my Nanu's best painting ever to a few 'awww, you're great' plaques from my police career. My headphones and podcasting microphone sit butted up against the computer tower, ready for use. There's a little bit of closet space, some bookshelves, and room for the guitar stand within an arm reach and a half. My desk is right in front of the window (half obscured by the screen) that looks out to the back yard, and Kristi's desk is nestled in the remaining corner. She doesn't use the study/office nearly as much as I do, but there are occasional, joyful times when we're both ensconced, tapping away at our separate projects (side note: I don't know about every teacher, but my wife puts in at least another 50% of time outside the classroom to prepare...anyone who thinks teaching is an easy gig is a moron. Also, I once thought teaching was an easy gig).

All in all, it all feels like comfortable insulation from the world. It really is my dream office. I don't need, or want anything else.

As far as budgeting goes, I guess I kind of do base it on sales, to a degree. I have a separate account for my writing business. If it is flush, I know I can upgrade my desktop computer (haven't since 2014, except for a new video card), but it is more likely that the money will get spent on Bouchercon or LCC. Or there was that one magical year in 2012 when royalties were enough to pay for our trip to Italy the following summer. I'd love to have those halcyon days back!

Not to sound too much like a high school essay, but...in conclusion, my study is a very content place.


Blatant Self Promotion Brought To You By Me

My newest release, At Their Own Game, was just released from Down and Out Books. 

This novel is the first in my SpoCompton series, which focuses on telling stories from the perspective of those on the wrong side of the thin blue line -- the criminals. The second, In the Cut, comes out in January 2020.

At Their Own Game features Jake Stankovic, a former cop turned fence, who runs a two-man crew. He's doing great until he breaks his own rules and gets in over his head on a deal. Now he has to deal with a pissed off drug dealer, a pissed off police detective, a worried and possibly treacherous crew, as well as a dangerous woman from his past....and he has to find a way to beat them all, at their own game.

That is all.  


Paul D. Marks said...

Insulation from the rest of the world. That's the part I like, Frank.

Frank Zafiro said...

Appreciation from another functioning introvert, I'm guessing. :-)

Susan C Shea said...

Your work place sounds super organized where it counts. And, aside, yes, teachers are hardworking as well as under-appreciated generally, so hat's off to Kristi!

Peter parker said...
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