Welcome to the nook where I as a writer struggle to become an author. The Iron Horse Chronicles is being created here. I wrote the first outline and began assembling research notes for my trilogy at this desk nine years ago. Most of the writing of the three books occurred here, although portions were written in a suite during various visits to the Colorado Belle Resort in Laughlin, Nevada, and portions in a stateroom onboard the Golden Princess on a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands.
The Dell PC is my primary writing instrument. The Gateway laptop provides access to research while writing and serves as the primary tool when traveling. I write in Word on a Windows 7 operating system. The left-hand cabinet door is my bulletin board where I post the historic timeline and post-it notes to jog my memory while writing book three, Golden Spike.
Within easy reach on top of the left cabinet are the books to which I refer while writing. Each black binder contains the manuscript of one book in the trilogy. The thin white binder contains my contracts with and guidance from Five Star Publishing. The wide white binder is my “writer’s bible.” It contains the outline of the novel I’m currently writing, details about fictional and historical characters, maps, calendars, historical notes, and other information.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition
The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition
David Haward Bain’s Empire Express, the definitive one-volume history of the Pacific Railroad
Stephen E. Ambrose’s Nothing Like It In The World, the inspiration for the trilogy
Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson’s Grammar Desk Reference
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Character Naming Sourcebook, Second Edition
Advance Reading Copy of Eagle Talons, containing the final edits prior to publication
Advance Reading Copy of Bear Claws, containing the final edits prior to publication
Scattered across the top of the cabinet are memorabilia. Hanging from the nutcracker is the eagle talon necklace Lauren Beth Murphy, aka Jenny McNabb, made and wore at the book signing for Eagle Talons at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas in 2014. Hanging from my fraternity mug is the eagle talon necklace that graced the display cabinet in the Sun City Anthem Recreation Center when Eagle Talons was featured last year. Next to the clock is the HO model of Union Pacific Locomotive #119, which was also displayed by Anthem Authors last year. The header of this website shows #119 at Promontory Summit, Utah, as do the screensaver photos on both computers.
I hope I haven’t bored you with this post. The idea came from my friend and fellow Western Writers of America author Lucia St. Clair Robson, who recently shared a photo of her office on Facebook.