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Although writing is very much an inward journey, the external environment can support and enhance the creative process.
The view outside is lovely. I can see a forested ravine that is a lush green in summer and offers spectacular fall colors as well. From my vantage point, I can also see part of the Toronto skyline. (The view from my living room captures the full skyline and is breathtaking.)
I spend a large part of each day working at my computer. I have my own consulting business and am also working on new books. So I do a lot of writing every day, whether it relates to my consulting work or the next adventures of Ryan Cole.
As a result, I’ve put a lot of energy into creating a comfortable and ergonomically sound work environment. I have an adjustable chair as well as a footrest – which are vital tools of the trade for those of us who are not so tall.
I love to listen to music when I write, so I have some good speakers connected to my computer. I generally listen to instrumental music when I’m working or writing. As a result, I’ve created a sizeable library of music on my computer that features both classical and new age works by a variety of artists.
I also look to music to help inspire my writing so I’m always on the lookout for songs that work well with particular scenes. I keep a playlist for each of my books that I revise or expand over time as new music crosses my path.
My desk is L-shaped, so there’s plenty of space for both my technology and working papers. Sufficient desktop space is important, especially since my desk frequently hosts visits from my cat Murphy. He likes to sleep by the computer while I write. Sometimes he sleeps on the printer.
Murphy is especially fond of sunbeams, so I also find him basking in a pool of sunlight behind the computer or on the floor near my desk. He’s partial to warm, comfy places, which I think explains his affinity for the printer.
Beyond my immediate work area, my writing space includes two bookcases, a filing cabinet, a shredder, and a recumbent exercise bicycle. I confess that I’m not currently using the bike on a regular basis. But that’s on my to-do list. In the meantime, Murphy can sometimes be found sleeping on the seat.
Writing requires a significant inward focus. Attention to the external elements of the writing environment can help facilitate that inward journey and make it even more enjoyable.
When a red-eyed wildcat starts threatening ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan Cole recognizes the danger is far more menacing than the ranchers realize. Cole specializes in tackling unconventional security threats, particularly those with alien origins.
His investigation puts him in the crosshairs of Antoine Drake, an international arms dealer with a penchant for weapons from other worlds. Both men are hot on the trail of powerful alien artifacts known as guardian stones.
Cole and his team of investigators embark on a dangerous quest to recover the guardian stones before they can be assembled into the ultimate alien weapon. To succeed, Cole must also decipher the wildcat’s deadly secrets.
But in the woods of Hawkley Ridge, it’s easy for the hunter to become the prey.
A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series.
Enjoy an excerpt:
“An alien capable of assuming human form might also be capable of assuming a human form with specific details, like the retinal pattern of a dead man.”
“How do we fight that?”
“We figure out what makes them tick, and then we find a way to counter them. Just like we do when we confront any other type of military threat.”
“I’m glad we have you on board,” said Beecham. “I trust you’ll make this your top priority.”
“You know we will,” Cole replied. “So, do you have any plans for this morning?”
“Why do you ask?” queried Beecham.
“I have a briefing with members of my team at ten. I thought it might be valuable for us to compare notes. We’ll even provide the coffee.”
Beecham looked thoughtfully at Cole, feeling a sense of relief. “Will that rogue Dalton be there?”
“Hmm … And what do I get out of it? I can’t see any point paying you guys your exorbitant fees if I have to do all the work.”
“We’ll see about that,” said Cole. “Do you like cats?”
“Cats? No, I’m a dog person myself. Why?
“Because I think you’re going to find this cat especially interesting.”
“Well, that seems fair,” said Beecham.
“Why’s that?” asked Cole.
“Because I think you’ll find what I have in the back of this SUV especially interesting.”
About the Author: A Darker Rain is Claudine Kapel’s first novel. She lives in Toronto and enjoys books, music, and travel. When not working as a consultant, she can be found writing, reading, or contemplating what else may be out there.
The second book in the Ryan Cole series is planned for release in 2014.
Claudine loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at www.claudinekapel.com.
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