Everything Books
Writing and reading and books, books, books (and anything that might relate)

March 6, 2012

The Reading Chair

Filed under: writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — jennifer @ 11:34 am

This week I’m working on the loose galleys of Becoming Clementine, which means reading the entire book at least once with a colored pencil by my side (I typically choose some shade of purple, but for this one I’ve decided to use green).

Even though this stage isn’t as grueling or intense as the editing/copy editing phase of book writing, it still means long hours pouring over the manuscript, trying to make sure every last word is in place.

In an earlier post, I talked about trying to find just the right reading chair for my office– something cushy and comfortable that would be a great place to sit for hours at a time.

After scouring the internet and visiting furniture store after furniture store, my boyfriend and I paid a visit to H.D. Buttercup, which is the largest furniture retailer in Los Angeles– 150,000 square feet. Its located inside the historic Helms Bakery Building, built in 1931 (ancient by L.A. standards), which once housed the famous family-owned and operated Helms Bakery. Back in the days when the bakery was still a bakery, the air of Culver City– including nearby star factory MGM– was filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread.

My father loved shopping, but I do not. I made it through that store in record time, flinging myself into every chair until I found The One. I’m almost always one to impulse buy, as my mother calls it (she’s sometimes like me in this way), but my boyfriend believes in comparison shopping, so even after I saw the chair and fell in love, we continued testing others.

Of course I bought it in the end, now knowing more than ever that I’d gotten the very best one, and it currently sits in my office covered in cats. Every single time I get up to refill my water or check email, another cat seems to appear and my place is once again taken.

But when I can get in it, the new reading chair is the perfect place to read galleys, especially now that I’m learning to juggle at least one lap kitty with the book pages, my green pencil, my eraser, and my pencil sharpener.

The galleys will Fedex their way back to Penguin on Friday, and then I will turn back to Velva Jean’s Hollywood adventure. At that point I’ll be back at my desk, which means the cats will almost certainly become bored by the chair and find other places to nap.

February 13, 2012

In Search of the Perfect Reading Chair

Filed under: writing — Tags: , , , , , , — jennifer @ 12:03 pm

Now that I’ve handed in the copy edits, here are the primary things I’m working on:

~ Creating, shooting, appearing in (!), and producing a book trailer for Becoming Clementine. (More on this later…)

~ Updating my website for Becoming Clementine, building web pages for the book as well as redesigning my homepage to feature the cover (which means I’ll be revealing the brand new cover soon!). (No, I don’t actually do the implementing and the building– my computer genuis boyfriend handles that.)

~ Researching and outlining Velva Jean’s adventure in Hollywood (hereafter referred to as “Hollywood”), which means sifting through volumes of material from that era, including book after book on everything from the studio system to Max Factor to Hollywood nightlife to the story of MGM to Los Angeles and the mob to every movie star biography/autobiography ever written about or by a star of the 1940s.

With all this researching and outlining, I’ve been reading at my desk, averaging two books a day, hunched over in my office chair, going back and forth between the book and my computer, where I’m inputting notes. At the end of the work day, my back feels 150 years old, and while yoga and Physique 57 certainly help, the next session at my desk seems to undo most of the good they’ve done.

So I am on the hunt for a cozy, comfortable reading chair– this is in addition to my office chair– something I can sink into and relax in, and something that will ideally be big enough to hold me and several books and maybe a literary cat or two at the same time. Of course, it also has to have a nice sense of style and look good in my office.

And, perhaps most important, the cats have to like it. After all, they spend almost all day every day with me in my office and they are always looking for new and exciting places to sleep. (Usually on top of my work or on the computer keyboard.)

Any recommendations? If so, I’d love to hear them.