A writer’s laptop junk drawer

Right at this very moment, the random files sitting on my computer are a near-perfect representation of the things that have been going on in my life for the last month: active projects, miscellaneous pictures, screenshots of things that amused me, a mai tai recipe…. It’s like my own personal time capsule of April, 2018. So if you were to peek at my desktop, what would you find? Here’s a sampling:

Mr. Wiggles: (Yep, that’s his name.) I was in Austin this weekend, and my friend’s cat was my welcome ambassador, making sure I always had ears to scratch. We’re now best friends and I’m considering catnapping him. Look at this face. I think he’d come willingly.


Kellye’s Agatha Award: On Saturday night, our own Kellye Garrett won Best First Mystery Novel at Malice! The Chicks couldn’t all be there, so she shared a pic of her commemorative teapot with us via text. This is really just an excuse for me to say: “CONGRATULATIONS, KELLYE!!!”


Draft of my short story: I’m working on a short story for our Sisters in Crime chapter anthology — which is exciting because it’s my first short story ever. Actually, I take that back. In eighth grade, my family moved and I had to change schools. For an English assignment, I wrote a totally-not-at-all-autobiographical short story titled “The New Girl.” It is somehow still unpublished.

Porpoises: I went online to confirm that the plural of porpoise was “porpoises” and not porpi or porpopluses or something, but then I noticed the “trending now” searches that were listed down below. Um…. wow! I don’t know what was going on in the news that day, but I decided to just stick with the porpoises.

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 1.52.11 PM.png

Sisters in Crime stuff: One of my jobs as V.P. of our NorCal Sisters in Crime chapter is planning our spring and fall author showcases. So I have a folder full of our chapter’s book covers for the flyer plus the social media graphic for the event. (Come join us this weekend if you live in the Bay Area!)

Sisters in Crime NorCal Chapter presents_Stories by Northern California Crime WritersSubmissions open January 15, 2018 — April 1, 2018For submission guidelines, visit_www.sincnorcal.org%2Fwp%2Ffaultlines.png

Channel Ecosystem chart: I was sitting in a two-hour meeting recently when someone shared this chart. The business-speak was so over the top it almost felt like a parody. Did you know that nuances in messaging and targeting on each channel determine whether a placement drives to the hub or directly to the segment page and that upper-funnel and active-use messaging drive to the hub? You learn something new every day.

channel ecosystem.png

Eventually, all this stuff will get filed away or deleted… but I’m not quite ready to part with my spectacled bear or Kellye’s teapot just yet!

Readers, what does your computer desktop (or your actual desktop!) say about you? 



30 thoughts on “A writer’s laptop junk drawer

  1. Nothing as adventurous as yours! You would learn that I am allergic to my cats ( tons of tissues nearby!), my eyes are dry after reading a ton of books or my computer (eye drops), I am either drinking water or tea constantly (mug and glass), my love of crochet (coasters for glass/mug and current crochet project), love of music (Pandora playing) and finally my stack of library books, which right now I have read 6 of the 8. Oh, I did forget my array of reading glasses, some which are on the table/desk, some which are on top of my head!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can totally relate to the pile of reading glasses! I tend to leave them scattered all over the house so there’s always a pair within reach.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s start with the most important piece. Congratulations Kellye!
    Ellen, you had tough competition going again the guest of honor. But I read several of the them, and still liked your humor the best.

    My computer desk is horrendous. It’s not a conducive workspace, but the desk is the only place in my 1800sq foot home that I can call my own.
    Elfa system with shelves.
    Two shelves of my most important writing books. One shelve for my million drafts. The top has my writing inspirations, such as pictures of Vegas, love items my MC would have on her desk at work, my Godiva bear muse named Truffle, a fedora, Nanowrimo paraphernalia.
    And a framed copy of the only thing (and check) I ever got published, in a defunk e-zine, an article entitled “The Struggles of the Unpublished – a Comic’s View”. The only thing I’ve ever gotten published was an article on how hard it is to get that first published piece! I think it was an omen.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. They say a cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind! I tend to believe it. Because my desk is cluttered and I’d like to somehow think that it’s a virtue. 🙂


    1. Good for you! I keep a handful of things on my computer, but sometimes when I see someone who has 5 million documents on their desktop, it stresses me out! During a road trip last summer, I spent about an hour cleaning up my friend’s apps on his iPhone. So I guess I have a neat freak side to me too!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow. That’s quite a diverse list.

    To my left are two piles of the books I’ve read since February. I need to move them to another part of the house. They are out there so I can reference them as I review them, but then they have this habit of just staying there without me getting around to moving them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s not usually so multifaceted, but right now it really does represent lots of different aspects of my life.


  4. My laptop and iPad desktops are almost total clean and sparse. Except for lovely ocean background rotating pics. Due to my neatnic husband of 59 years I have learned to hate clutter.

    Yea Kellye, what a great year you are having. I nominated you for an Anthony!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good for you, Mary Lou! My computer desktop has so many files and documents crowding it you can barely see the background image!


  5. Marla, this is so great — I love rummaging through other people’s junk drawers! My own desktop screen mostly says I’m disorganized. Currently, it includes bits of research for my WIP, a recipe, and a photo from LCC last month of all six Chicks together — because it makes me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ohhh…my laptop desktop has my daughter’s wedding stuff, my 2017 taxes (ugh–must file that somewhere else so I don’t have to look at it anymore), my WIP, my synopsis-in-progress, assorted real estate client files, and miscellaneous photos. And if my late mom could see her huge, antique French desk right now, piled with towering inbox, stray miniature succulents, a standing file of bills and unmailed cards and cat paw prints, she would be appalled. (She’d approve of Vickie Fee’s adorable Christmas card, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The struggle is real!! I feel like I could dedicate an entire month to cleaning up my computer. (Marie Kondo would probably tell us we had two days.)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Funny! I can’t believe that flow chart. There’s so much stuff on my desktop I can’t even begin to list it. I can tell you it drives my husband nuts. He thinks desktops should be pristine. There are pix of our late, burned-out AC units, pix of the fire in the hills above us last year. (Apparently my desktop is where i keep all fire-related items.) And there’s a photo of a friend’s fortune cookie that I plan to share. It reads: “No entertainment is as cheap as reading and no pleasure as lasting.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get it with the burned-out AC. I mean, it’s not like you’re going to have a folder for that! I have to confess that I have a whole folder that’s a deeper junk drawer, more like a junk cabinet. It’s called “Old Desktop Stuff” and it makes me feel organized! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. All righty, the screen on my laptop is actually quite tidy, as I can’t stand having random files out on the screen–I think it would be too easy to accidentally delete them. My physical desktop is a whole other personality, I think. Piles and piles of paper–random notes, receipts, bills, books, just stuff! What it says about me is that I HATE to file. Also, that I have a weirdly lazy thing when it comes to the household bills. I pay them all online (except the oil company, which has an office set-up still in the 1950s), yet have not bothered to request e-statements. So, say the electric bill comes, great I say, the electric bill. I then leave it unopened on the desk and go to my online account to see how much it is and to pay it through my bank account. Eventually, I spend an afternoon with my shredder!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mr. Wiggles needs to be on a book cover ASAP! And I will probably never remove that tape from my Agatha!

    I try to keep everything organized in ‘files’ so my laptop has a Sisters in Crime file, a current projects file, author photo file, Hollywood Ending file and a file that just says “new folder,” which is where I put everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. HA HA HA! This is hilarious. You’re so funny, M. I usually keep the laptop desktop super clean so I can see the picture…

    But lately I’ve been putting project-related files there, like friends’ manuscripts that I’m reading for edits or blurbs AND comments from beta readers and from my editor. So those are there. Otherwise, it’s a picture of doors that I love. I don’t know why.

    Congrats again, Kellye!


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