Scheduled or Unscheduled Chaos

by Shannon Fox

Hello everyone,

I spend the majority of my time over at Isleofbooks and on the Dark Globe writing books reviews and talking about other people’s writing. But now for something totally different! I’m going to talk about my own writing and routine (or lackthereof).

Some of you know I’m currently a full-time student at UC-San Diego. I’m graduating in June so I’m in last quarter. I’m taking a heavy class load of 20 units (in quarter system, 16 units is considered ambitious/the max you probably want to do if you want to have even a little fun). Luckily for me, most of my classes are heavily writing based. So while I’m now essentially writing one project or another (my novella, my full-length stageplay, my short film script, or a short story), I’m not getting much work done on my own front. My primary activities outside of school writing consist of working on my novel, writing short stories, jotting down some poems, and plotting my attack on the literary world. Emphasis on the latter.

My original computer was some sort of HP that eventually died when I was 17. I remember that computer with fondness because it was when I got it that I started to write for real. I don’t much like writing by hand because I write too slow, even though in reality I’m writing as fast as my little hand moves and you can’t even read the words. Then I got a Macbook and I actually still have it, though I upgraded to a Macbook Pro around Christmas 2010. Sometimes I open them both up, set the older computer to do an easier task like play a DVD (because the computer has so many issues) and use the Macbook Pro to do homework or something. This morning I decided to work on a screenplay adaptation of my honors thesis, so I opened up the word document on the old program and launched Scrivener on the Macbook pro. I like having full screens and not needing to flip back and forth through things and since I have the two computers until the old one finally kicks the bucket once and for all, why not?

My laptop on my desk in Colorado.

I know that Quill did a post on the types of writing technology she uses when she’s out and about. I’m pretty low-tech. I write a poem or lines to a poem either in the basic notepad feature on my Android phone or on the notepad section on my iPad. Though I did recently download some free apps for writers for the iPad. At home, I use Scrivener on my Mac. I enjoy it, but I’ll admit that I don’t know probably even fifteen percent of what you can do with it. Check out Spontaneous Derivation’s blog here to see the crazy capabilities of the program. And if you’re a student, you can get a discount on the program itself.

I pretty much write in my spare time, whenever no one is around to particularly bother me or no one actually wants to talk to me. I write at home at my desk, on the couch, at the dining table, at various coffee shops, at the library at school, during class, in restaurants, at the food court at school, on the airplane, etc. I can really work just about anywhere with the right level of inspiration. I also don’t usually work every day. I try, but really I am most productive when the inspiration strikes and I bang out pages upon pages if not interrupted.

My preferred drink is the Rose Petal Republic of Tea. My friend gave it to me for my last birthday and now I’m addicted. Second canister of loose leaf in about four months–I even reuse my leaves! I also like Soy Chai Lattes a lot, though tea is less calories 🙂 Either way, I’m practically useless without a little bit of caffeine. I don’t like coffee or energy drinks, so tea it is.

Simply the best!

And coolest of all? I have two typewriters! One was a gift and one ended up in my possession after my ex and I broke up. I don’t use them as much as I could (I’m an imperfect typer haha), but I like using them for art projects. Here’s one of them below:

With my assorted collection of wooden animal ornaments


6 Responses to “Scheduled or Unscheduled Chaos”

  1. Congrats on being so close to graduation! I’ve been trying to do that for over a decade! 😛

  2. That’s a Cute Typewriter… I’ve actually been wanting to Locate an Old Typewriter… I need a break from My Laptop and Notebooks

    Typewriters have Character

    Great Post Shannon


  3. I’ve been wondering if I should wait until my computer dies to get a new one, but you definitely just convinced me to go ahead and buy a new one (when the new macbooks premiere, that is). That way, I can watch a movie/tv on one while I write on the other! Perfect plan. Good luck with all your writing projects!


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