What’s Cluttering My Desk? Fairy Tales and Doodles

A look at my desk when I’m in the middle of things (especially when I’m not preparing for other humans to come and visit and see my mess) is a good way to get a sense of what I’m working on, and potentially my emotional state.


With the overall look of it, I seem to be in a pretty good place! I have some notebook stacks, and I still haven’t found a home for the new pack of multi-colored Sharpies I bought, but the only coffee mug in view is the one I’m currently drinking out of, and there is a minimum of crumpled up used tissues.

Desk booksI have a couple other books that are just out of the frame in the first photo, but these are the ones I’ve been flipping through while sitting in my chair. Show Your Work! is another Austin Kleon book that I find helpful, with advice on how to share the things I do and connect with people online. I actually read this one before Steal Like an Artist, but that was from the library, so this one is still waiting for me to completely deface it with those brand new Sharpies.

I’ve also been flipping through my copy of The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’m working on another story idea, and I’ve been borrowing some elements from fairy tales. How do I help myself with that? By reading more fairy tales. (Really, I should always read more fairy tales…)

Notebooks and DoodlesThis pile of notebooks represents Becky, which is currently getting critiqued, and my new middle grade fantasy, which I’m calling The Witch’s Woods for right now. I don’t want to say too much about the plot or the characters, but I’ve been gathering the pieces of it for a couple of months, and now I believe I finally have the clumpy, pudding-like consistency of an actual plot, so I’ve begun writing it. I’m excited for this one — I hope I don’t hate it in a week.

I’ve also got out my notebook where I’ve been drawing and doodling while I try to come up with ideas or wait for my slow computer to load webcomics, and I’m remembering that satisfying feeling of when a drawing comes out sort of right. I’m going to keep at it, and who knows, maybe I’ll start posting a weekly doodle.

And of course, over everything, Sadness watches.

That’s my work space, and (sort of) what I’m working on! How does your desk look right now? Does it become an awful mess when you’re in the midst of a project, or do you manage to keep everything organized and neat?

Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings I’ve Read

This post is a part of the Top Ten Tuesday meme on The Broke and the Bookish. Check out their blog for other lists!

Cinder, Scarlett, and Cress by Stephanie Meyer. I started reading Cinder and the other books in this series last year, and I was immediately super impressed that Meyer follows the basic story of the fairy tales, while making it her own thing entirely. In particular she blew my mind with Cress, her retelling of Rapunzel, when she seamlessly integrated some elements that I had forgotten occurred in the fairy tale.

Dearskin by Robin McKinley. I first read this book, a retelling of Donkeyskin, in high school from my school library. Honestly, I think that book was in there by mistake, since a big part of the story involves incest and rape, but I’m so glad it was there. It’s an excellent, emotional book, and I’ve read it a couple of times since.

The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block. This is an anthology of fairy tale retellings.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. It’s Snow White, but figuring out which character is the princess, and which one is the evil stepmother, is part of the fun in this one.

The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka. Obviously this has to be on here.

There’s five for me! There are probably others that I’m forgetting, or others that I forgot/didn’t know were fairy tales to begin with.

What fairy tale retellings do you love? Let me know, and go to Broke and Bookish to add your list!