Standing up to write The Black Scroll

March 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm 5 comments

Here's where I'm writing The Black Scroll. Notice my makeshift high desk so I can stand?

Here’s where I’m writing The Black Scroll. Notice my makeshift high desk so I can stand?

Doesn’t look very glamorous, and not my greatest photography, but here’s a shot of my workstation for writing The Black Scroll.

Hope you’ll notice the height and no chair. After some back problems from sitting in front of a computer all day, I elected to write standing up.

I’ll admit it took a little getting used to, but I seem to have come over the hump. My brain’s working; the Muses are singing.

The screen on the left is the book itself as I write in InDesign. The laptop screen has my Excel spreadsheet with research including the 500+ quotes I’ve collected. I also do frequent Google searches to research details and fact check.

The eyes of the woman on the screen are Elektra, protagonist of Book Three. The pink towel between the two banker boxes is for my cat who sometimes sleeps there while I write.

Stack of books? Hadrian, The Roman Cavalry, Atlas of Classical Archaeology (for city plan of Leptis Magna) and Sex and Society in Greco-Roman Egypt. Under it all is a binder containing pages of notes.

Hanging above the work station is a photo I took on the Nile, a movie poster from ‘The Eagle’, a map of the Ancient Nile Delta and a map of the Mediterranean. To the left is a printout of an email from my friend Ann Calhoun with much appreciated (and always needed) words of encouragement.

On the far left, taped to a book shelf, is a printout of my favorite cover – but one I’m not using. It’s the Red Mirror with Isis’ eye. I opted for another cover to make the series more identifiable and the covers more cohesive. Could never repeat, no matter how hard I tried, the power of that Eye.

In case you have trouble making out details, standing on the shelf above my head are two sailing ship models, a bust of Aphrodite, Nefertiti’s head, a statuette of Athena my daughter brought me from Greece, a sitting Japanese sage, a carved wooden “Old Salt,” and a bronze figure of Shiva. Oh! don’t want to forget the brass falcon head of a shoehorn.

Here I am working on this very blog post.

Here I am working on this very blog post.

On the desk always my cup of black tea with milk – or my snifter of brandy or scotch depending on time of day.

The Black Scroll – 84,433 words as of yesterday. 38 Chapters. 261 pages.

Entry filed under: Sandra's Comments, The Isis Trilogy. Tags: , , , , , , .

Chapter by chapter the story reveals itself Aerial shots of Leptis Magna taken by Jason Hawkes for The Telegraph

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brijit Reed  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    In spite of standing up, it sounds like a wonderfully inspirational way to write.

    • 2. Sandra Gore  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

      Was having difficult time being inspired when couldn’t get comfortable sitting 🙂

  • 3. shanesbookblog  |  March 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I Also have back problems ,ruptured disks , scoliosis and degenerative spine disease. It also absolutely kills my back to sit all day in a chair in front of a computer. When you are a writer who reads a lot of books….you typically have to sit down all day in front of a computer to do so or sit in a comfy chair or couch to read a book…..recently it has been bothering me so much so that i had to stop writing and reading for a while. I Thought about standing up to do my blog posts and to continue to work on my first novel but i figured it was a ridiculous idea but now that i see that someone who has back problems thought of the same thing and is doing it and its actually working for ya i am going to try it! Thanks for that post and thanks for sharing that idea with the wordpress community,it has certainly inspired me to not give up what i love doing and that is Priceless! ~Shane

    • 4. Sandra Gore  |  March 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Your comment makes me feel good that my article wasn’t “silly.” I started the standing up bit when I was tweeting 10+ hours a day during the Libyan Revolution. I put my laptop & screen on top of my grand piano. Perfect height. I can’t write there tho cause it’s in the living room and too many distractions. Thus the banker box jerry-rigging. 😉 But whatever it takes – GET BACK TO WRITING!!!!

  • 5. Ann Calhoun  |  March 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    If you’re standing, the back problems go away but the feet and leg problems arrive. Next up, working on a balance ball. (That’s fun.) Then rotate all three. Hey, it worked for Hemingway, except for the balance ball. Don’t think he had one of those. And he had rum, not black tea and brandy. But then Hemingway was no Isis/Athena/Elektra!.


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