A Day in the Writing Life of …. Eleni Konstantine

Today, we are featuring a day in the writing life of Eleni Konstantine. Eleni is also one of our tireless volunteers. She is on the web team and is also the Paranormal loop co-ordinator. Welcome, Eleni.

What time of the day do you write?
I’m a night owl. I tend to edit better during the day, and write my first drafts at night. Though, I do love making scribbles in my notebook while I sit in waiting rooms (and boy, the last six months have been full of them). So I suppose, I’m an anywhere and anytime writer, when I have to be.

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go?
I’m mainly a pantser. I love discovering the story as I write the first draft, which really is like the skeleton of the story. I suppose it’s equivalent to a plotter’s plot. I do have sign posts along the way, but new characters and situations always pop up when I’m writing. I’m more likely to stick to a plot in a short story. But even then, characters decide on another path. Those darn characters! I am writing a book at the moment, where I have plotted the quest, but again, surprises come along the way.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?
Oh, I do wish I had a schedule. It changes week to week, day to day. I have CFS and that does effect me in all aspects of life. I have to be realistic with my energy levels, so some days there is just no writing, because of having to concentrate on other aspects of my life. Though I’m constantly thinking about stories.

I do have goals. Mainly yearly ones. Though I do try and set goals and share with the Paranormal e-group, and the Bootcampers to keep me accountable. The trick is to do things that are attainable, and also to readjust when needed. Flexibility is key.

Is your writing space messy, organized or somewhere in between? Are you prepared to show evidence of your claim with a desk photo? Well I can’t SEE my desk, it’s so messy. I go through a big clean up and then a few days later, it’s messy again. It’s not only writing related things there, so that is part of the problem. As a librarian, I used to be so organised, not so in my own study.

Help, I’m drowning!

As for showing you my work area. Umm…has anyone EVER shown you a messy desk? Enough said. But not to leave you empty handed, here is a picture of my precious Mac, with writing mascot Scooby perched on there.

What’s the last thing do you do before you finish your daily writing session?

Backup, backup, backup. And thanks to Angela James’ ‘Before You Hit Send Self-Editing’ Workshop, I discovered SugarSync, which backs up the selected folders in the background, and I don’t even have to think about it. Before that, it I had Dropbox (but I had to put the file into the folder), emailing files to online account, and USBs every so often.

You can find me at my web: http://elenikonstantine.com, my blog: http://eleni-konstantine.blogspot.com, Twitter: http://twitter.com/ElenisKafe

My flash fiction story, Dragon Quest, will be published online at Antipodean SF (http://antisf.com) in the June issue, and an audio version of the story will also be available.

Eleni, thank you so much for participating on our blog.

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30 Comments

  1. Lovely having a peek inside your writing life, Eleni! RWA would not be the wonderful organisation it is without out all you lovely volunteers 🙂

    Reply
  2. Hey Eleni. I feel so much better about my mess now I have seen yours. 🙂

    Reply
    • LOL Lillian. Oh that photo does my mess no justice. It is on a grander scale than you can imagine. Still, I get things done, so I suppose that’s the main point. 😉 At least I could make you feel better about your writing space. 😀

      Reply
  3. Hi Eleni,

    lovely to have a bit more of a sneak peek into your writing life. I know what you mean about those goals, sometimes they just can’t happen =)

    Reply
    • Hey Mel, I have come to the realisation that goals shouldn’t be set in stone. That things change, and you have to change with it, otherwise major melt down – we don’t want that 😉

      Reply
  4. Claire Baxter

     /  June 24, 2011

    Lovely flash fiction story, Eleni.

    I’m going to look into Sugarsync. Thanks for mentioning it.

    Claire

    Reply
  5. Thanks, Claire! Glad you enjoyed it. As for Sugarsync, I just love it. Hope you find it useful as well.

    Reply
  6. Hi Eleni, I always love finding out more about you 🙂 As for a tidy desk, mine gets a good clear up after I finish a book but it never stays that way for long! Organized chaos is the way to describe it I think!!

    Reply
    • Hi Christina *waving* – you’re a good girl clearing your desk after every book. Organised chaos is a good term. Coming from a Greek background, I should be used to it 😀

      Reply
  7. Fabulous insight into your writing life, Eleni! And great tip about Sugarsync.

    Reply
    • Hey Ms Rachel, great to see you! Having nearly lost work, backing up is a major thing. And instead of fiddling around, it’s nice to know that every time, I press save it’s being backed up elsewhere. Bliss.

      Reply
  8. Scooby Doo makes the best mascot 🙂

    And I’m another writer-grad from Angela’s self-editing workshop. Eye-popping to realise how many bad habits I have.

    Reply
    • Hi Jenny, I just love my Scooby Doo. A present to myself when I went up to the GC for the RWAus conference in 2003. And he sits so nicely on my Mac. The Sylvester plush kept falling over. 😀

      Wasn’t Angela’s workshop fantastic. So much common sense, and like you said, it’s amazing how you get yourself into bad habits, or as I like to view it, forget the good ones. 😉

      Reply
  9. LOL – on your messy desk. Sounds exactly like mine 🙂 And I reckon being able to write anywhere is a VERY good thing. x

    Reply
  10. Messy is good, keeps you on your toes! Great insight Eleni!
    =)

    Reply
  11. Anita Joy

     /  June 24, 2011

    Eleni, I *lurv* sugarsync and am very grateful to Angela James for introducing me to it (and yes the rest of her course was very worthwhile too)!

    My kids love scooby at the moment and would love your little mascot. I try and have mascots for myself, but usually they end up on the kids desks, lol.

    Reply
    • Hey Anita, I did see your name pop periodically during that course 🙂

      As for Scooby, I don’t have any kids to borrow him. Though my godson “admired him” (read: wanted to take him home) I said, no way, kid, he’s mine. I’m such a meanie 😀

      Reply
  12. An audio version! It must be so surreal to hear someone reading your work like that. Can’t imagine how cool it feels. I love that pic of you too. Great post.

    Reply
    • Hi Jenn! Actually, I read the podcast version (now up on the antipodean site – issue 156 beta). It was an interesting experience in learning how to use Garage Band, and blending it all in together. Always weird hearing your own voice. Thanks re the pic – it’s got lots and lots of airbrushing! What you don’t see is my godsister laughing along with me. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Louise Reynolds

     /  June 24, 2011

    Lovely to see you hear, Eleni. Thanks for reminding me about Sugarsync. I did Angela’s fab course as well, just haven’t put that into action.

    Reply
    • Hi Louise. You will not regret putting into action. Though be aware of how many files you upload that first time – it took ages for me but then again everything worth doing takes time, right? 😉

      Reply
  14. Nicky

     /  June 24, 2011

    Always wonderful to learn more about your Eleni (& I think I showed a chunk of my mess way back whenever I did my bite *lol*). I know what you mean when your desk shares other things as well as writing. I no longer know which paper pile belongs to which part of my life anymore.

    I loved listening to your podcast (after having read the story online). You spoke so clearly (as one who is hearing impaired this is important) 🙂

    Goals are good to have and, like deadlines, they can whoosh by though I think the paranormal room keeps them tucked up in a corner somewhere (so they can bite one *lol*).

    Reply
    • Hey Ms DarkSider Nicky. I don’t remember you as being messy and if you saw my desk, oh my goodness. As for the paper piles – they have turned to one big huge mound. Seriously. 🙂

      I thank you again on the comments on the podcast. I’m so glad it was clear.

      Yes, indeed the paranormal room would magically let me know re outstanding goals. It’s spooky that way. Thanks for dropping by.

      Reply
  15. Hi Eleni,
    Lovely to catch up with you last conference. I think I’ve known you for ages. lol… It seems like it. Loved the podcast. As we all know you are doing so well. Keep up the excellent work. I don’t believe your desk is that messy. 🙂

    All the best,
    Suzanne 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Suz, I believe we have been virtual buddies for a long long time, so it was so good to finally meet you in person. Thank you for your lovely comments. As for the desk, yes, I may do a lot of things, but having a clean desk is not one of them. If you saw the whole picture, you would think, OMG 😀

      Reply
  16. Hi Eleni,

    Dunno what RWA would do without volunteers like you – uh, me either! I love your good sense and good humour about living with your health issues. It’s admirable.

    And, and I bet my desk is messier than yours! Oh, and thanks for the Sugarsync tip. I love my Dropbox, but I’m going to check it out just the same.

    Reply
    • Hi there Denise! Thank you so much for your lovely comments. As for my health, yes, I may have not so good days, but I hope I don’t whine about it too much. I think volunteering helps keep me positive too. I feel like I still CAN do things, if that makes sense. And thank you to you too for volunteering-I think you’ve been doing one thing or another since I’ve known you 🙂

      There’s a reason why I didn’t show a photo of my desk, Denise. Be afraid, very afraid 😉

      Reply

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