Thank you so much Roberta for stopping by and giving us the opportunity to get to know a little more about you and how you write!
We also get an excerpt from her Novelette, A Life in the Service!!
My Writing Quirks and Must-Haves
By Roberta Pescow
All human beings are quirky, and I’ve been told I have more quirks than most. Be that as it may, that quirkiness definitely extends to the way I write. So here are a few of my writing quirks – see if you share any of these or they at least give you a smile for the day:
- I like to put my feet up: I don’t know what it is about sitting at a formal desk that makes me feel not particularly creative and kind of trapped. Although sometimes I end up working at my desk, when it comes to fiction and even non-fiction writing, I’m much happier on a laptop, somewhere where I can sit back put my feet up. My favorite writing spots are the living room couch and the comfy chair in my little reading nook (a glorified alcove in the stairs!). If it’s warm enough to write without shoes on, so much the better J
- Nighttime isn’t the right time: Right or wrong, I’m just not a night person and it’s very rare that I feel even remotely inspired to do anything creative after the sun goes down. Yes, I know it’s downright weird, but my most productive writing hours are in the late morning to early afternoon. For me, nighttime is the time to hang out with my family, curl up with my dog and, well, sleep!
- An open window helps: Bright outdoor skies make it challenging to see the screen on my laptop. So even though I’d love to write outdoors, I usually don’t. The next best thing is to sit by an open window where I can still see the sky and feel the air. (Hmm, with a backlit screen, perhaps I should rethink the whole night thing and consider writing under the moonlight…)
- Having my dog around helps too: Strange as it sounds, when my dog comes to sit with me, I enjoy the writing process even more. I love how she can be so close to me and still allow me my personal space…if only humans could learn to do that…
- I like things quiet: Even though I love music, I’ve found trying to mix it with the writing process just doesn’t work for me. I’m happiest writing when I’m only listening to the sounds of nature through an open window.
I guess everyone has his or her own unique approach to the writing process. One of the nicest things about being a writer is getting to indulge all of my quirks and do things just the way I like best. I hope all the writers reading this are enjoying the same luxury.
YA – Fantasy (Novelette)
Date Published: 6/21/12
Jenny accepts the fact that she was born into a domestic race for a life of domestic work. In return for this loyal service, the householders provide food, protection and shelter. Jenny’s earthy spirituality and gentle nature allow her to be content with her lot, even when her situation is far from ideal. But during a terrifying fire, Jenny accidentally becomes separated from her master and mistress.
Out on the street with no identification, Jenny finds herself an unlikely fugitive with no protection from a dangerous world. The experience shakes her beliefs to the core and causes her to question everything she has ever known. Follow Jenny’s adventures in strange world of inequality that is a lot closer to home than you think. This novelette is approximately 12,000 words in length.
Somewhere in the cacophony of sound, I could make out the high-pitched voices of Victoria and Alexandra crying my name in the dark night outside. “Miss Jenny! Miss Jenny!” they called. “Oh Mommy, Daddy – Miss Jenny is still in there,” they wailed. The response was firm. “No! You both stay right here!” the master shouted. “You can’t go back inside or you’ll be killed for sure.” It was then that I panicked in earnest. The fire growled without mercy and I heard screams all around me. I could feel my feet beginning to burn painfully. I tried to steady my mind. If it was time for me to return to the Great Mother, then that could not be undone and all my protests would not change my fate. If it was my time, I could accept that, I realized, only why did it have to hurt so much?
And then the oddest thing happened. I know this sounds rather implausible, and maybe you’ll chalk it up to the insanity of oxygen deprivation, but I heard the most beautiful whisper dance across the black smoke. I blinked my eyes with the shock of it, a whisper of such great love and comfort, that even in my most dire situation I could feel nothing but joy.
“It is not your time, little one,” she told me, “although the path you are walking will bring you home sooner than expected. You must turn back, and you will find escape where you thought there was none.”
Escape where I thought there was none? What could she possibly mean? But who was I to question? I retraced my steps and headed back to the nursery. The flames had not yet reached this area, and I was overcome with relief at any respite from the growing inferno. Even if only for this moment, I was grateful for this space of relative cool and darkness. But then I turned and noticed, to my amazement, the wide-open window and the pale curtains dancing wildly in the cold night wind. I could have sworn that window was closed a moment ago. We never would have retired in such a drafty room. To this day, how it got opened it remains a mystery. But I had no time to ponder the mysterious gifts of the Great Mother. It was now or never. Without hesitation, I took a literal leap of faith into the night.
About the author: Roberta Pescow is a freelance writer with articles featured on over 200 websites nationwide. She is also a jazz singer with Narrow Escape Duo, performing at venues in and around Northern New Jersey. Roberta is a proud mother of two, and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. As a long time vegetarian, she has a deep love and respect for all creatures. When she gets some free time, Roberta also enjoys sculpture, photography, reading, swimming and quiet time with family, friends and her beloved dog, Summer.