Ask Dayton #6 – Dayton’s Man-Cave
Question: What are the items that are a must for you when you write? Whether it is for Star Trek or for your own setting, and how do these items help you in the creative process?
This is actually a pretty interesting question, as I’m sure the answer is different for every writer to whom it’s posed. Music is an obvious answer, and for me it does indeed play a vital role in my creative process. I tend to need some kind of background noise when I’m writing. Some times it’s the TV running, but at a low volume and out of my line of sight, but more often it’s music, either from the CD player in my home office or my MP3 player if I’m writing somewhere like the library or a coffee shop or whatever. When I’m writing Star Trek (which, as you may have heard, I’ve been known to do on occasion), I’ll usually load up the Trek movie scores and let them run in sequence. I’ve also managed to acquire just about every piece of music scored for the original series, which never fails to put me in the proper mindset when writing stories set in that era. I also have a large library of film scores along with classical and other instrumental music which helps to set the mood, whether it’s writing Star Trek or something else.
As for other ambience, I have my home office, which is my primary “creative space.” It’s part work place, part rec room, part memorabilia dumping ground, and all man-cave. Here’s where I store my files, research materials, and whatever else helps me with my writing. I have a couple of white
boards down here, for brainstorming story plots and whatnot, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The walls and shelves are jammed with stuff I’ve acquired in my travels over the years – military mementos, books, pictures and framed posters, and other collectibles, family heirlooms and knick knacks that take up space and gather dust. Even the walls of the small bathroom in my basement Lair of Evil are decorated with pictures, posters, and other weirdness I’ve collected over the years. As for the office, there’s the big-assed TV, of course, and even a fully-functional 1980s Star
Trek arcade game…you know, for when I want to brainstorm big space battle sequences with the Enterprise blowing the shit out of something.
Okay, reading all of that back, I can see where some folks might think it all sounds pretty boring. “Come on, Dayton,” I can hear someone saying, “I’ve heard the rumors. What about that big bath tub you never let anyone see, where you employ your special blend of jasmine, lavender, rosehips and just a touch of Tahitian vanilla? What about the scented candles, and the wine, and the post-bath full-body massage administered by scantily-clad servants waiting at your beck and call?”
Well, of course I do that, too…but only when I’m trying to summon my muse as I write steamy erotica under my pen name, Terry Lynn Shull.
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But, wait. There’s more.
He is the co-owner of Busy Little Beaver Productions and is the producer and co-host for G & T Show and Gates of Sto’vo’kor. He’s directed voice actors, and produced and edited audio podcasts and dramas because he doesn’t have the face for video. He plays well with others and is always on the look out for the next project, the next thing, the next next. If he wasn’t working on something with a half dozen other projects waiting in the wings, somebody please check to make sure he’s still breathing.
During the day, he’s a mild-mannered computer repair man who dabbles in web design in his small, rural, Central California community. He lives with his lovingly dysfunctional family and loyal canine companion and spends most of his time in the closet concocting some hair-brained scheme or another. He’s got an unhealthy obsession with Lego video games, Klingons, and Star Trek Online that borders on the neurotic.
Despite all this, he still finds the time to write the words. Find out what he's doing here.