Hi there! I'm Zette's Muse, and I thought I'd take a few minutes away from tormenting . . . inspiring Zette to show you her work area. So, welcome to the spot where Zette spends the majority of her time. We'll tour the various controls and additions to this location. Please also note that while most assume the 'Z' in Z Command Center stands stands for Zette, people should realize that Zaphod (present in the photo) disagrees. Though he has accepted the title of 'Second in Command' this may be a misnomer since Zette doesn't appear to be in charge of anything at all.
Let's take a tour of the location!
Note on the left upper edge of the desk is a desk calendar. This calendar will never be on the proper date and is only there to look at cute cat pictures. Pay no attention to it. The larger calendar on the wall (with cute cat drawings) is most likely to be on the proper month sometime after the second Monday.
At the front edge of the desk and beneath the cat you can see several notes, carefully placed under a plastic covering. The notes will, at any time they are really needed, be covered by at least one large cat (note Zaphod's position). If Zaphod is not available for the duty, he will call in his brother Edmond, or on occasion bring Wind in to sit the desk for a short time. If there is absolutely no other choice, he will call in The Demon Cat from Hell (aka Buffy Fluffy Bear), but this is a dangerous ploy since she might not be willing to give the spot back. At least once a day three to four cats will take the position in order to drive Zette into the kitchen and the food containers. One of them will be back at the desk before Zette returns, so the 'ploy' to lure them away rarely works.
The window to the left looks out on the bird feeders which allows for interesting photography most days. The box below the window contains several hundred bags of tea in 52 different flavors, As long as she can keep cats off it, Zette can choose any of the wonderful teas . . . of course, then she has to keep the cats from drinking them. Zaphod, in particular, has a fondness for fruit tisanes.
To the right of the monitor are several indispensable books: Character-Naming Sourcebook, Dictionary of Costume and Fashion, Super Thesaurus, Flip Dictionary, Grammatically Correct, Random House Dictionary, National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region). These books never leave the desk. To the far right of the desk you can see one of the 17 bookcases that have places throughout the rest of the dwelling. This particular case has various history books along with several program-related books and the Cambridge Ancient History collection which has now grown to four books.
On the right corner of the desk is the printer/scanner, which at all times is carefully protected by several stuffed teddy bears. Important notice: Despite some suggestions to the contrary, the bears are not cleverly designed listening devices, recording and archiving anything heard. It is perfectly safe to talk to the bears about anything, including your darkest secrets. You can trust them. (I'd worry about the stuffed moose in the back, though.)
Also note that the printer/scanner is rarely used. The small laser printer to the right and below the desk proper is the printer-of-choice for most quick work. This proves that the bears are doing an outstanding job of protection, since even Zette rarely gets to use the device.
At the curve of the desk you will see three weather stations. None of them have ever agreed on data, which has led to the likely theory that at least two are linked to alternate realities. Behind them is a cat-decorated covering cleverly concealing cords from Buffy. Well, until she takes the covering off, which happens at least two or three times a week. (Below the desk are several boxes, carefully places to keep Buffy away from the plugs. This has never worked.)
Visible is one of the three external hard drives to the system. This is the oldest and smallest of the hard drives, so of course Zette decided it would be best for cataloguing her extensive photo collection. At some point in the future (near future, actually) the folly of this choice will be apparent.
Next to the hard drive is The Observation Deck: A Tool Kit for Writers. Mostly this consists of a deck of cards with various odd things written on them, which can occasionally spark an idea for a scene. Beside that is a plastic container with all the things Zette doesn't want the cats to play with. This only works when she actually puts those things in the container.
The heart of the station is the computer, monitor and keyboard. It is here that Zette writes (and writes and writes), communicates with others, catalogues photos, creates art work and occasionally plays with music creation programs. Zette eats at the desk (without cats, if possible). She can be found here at almost any time, busily typing away or fighting with the sometimes recalcitrant mouse (I think the cats scare him). The computer, which considers himself much abused, has lately taken to trying out future career changes, such as giant useless paperweight and Random Annoyance Generator. (You really don't want that file, do you? This one is so much better. No really. Not that file. Oh, what do you care about deadlines? That's why you're an Indie Author. Get a grip, Zette.)
While some might think spending so much time in this one spot creates a rather limited world (and possibly an interesting form of insanity), the truth is that Zette is connected with more people via the Internet than in real life, and the computer allows her such a wide variety of creative choices that she's never bored and needs more time to do all the things she truly wants to accomplish in a day, let alone write all the stories building up as a backlog in her brain.
So, time to get back to work! Well, as soon as we can get Zaphod off the notes.
If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer