Author Snapshots: Where we write – Richard goes vintage.

Hello, everyone! My name is Richard Due, I’m the author of the award-winning Moon Realm series, and this is my desk.



The vintage items you see here aren’t part of a deliberate theme on my part. Everything simply came together over time. These are my authors tools.

1. 20-inch Dell 2009w LCD monitor. I bought this in 2008. It’s great for text, but the color isn’t up to snuff for production work. (Oh, and hiding behind that lovely illustration by Carolyn Arcabascio, is the working draft of The Murk, which I am currently editing.)

2. Western Electric model 500 telephone (sold from 1950 to 1984). This is my high-tech communications system. I picked it up at a yard sale ($5) several years ago because I was getting tired of buying new batteries for my cordless phone. It still dials out, but when confronted with an automated message system and asked to press “4” or whatever, I just have to hang up.

3. Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener, model KP-77 S (probably early 70s, with Auto-Stop!). My trusty friend, bought by my wife for $3 at a church bazaar. Amazingly, you can still buy replacement parts for this model.

4. Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones. My portable orchestra. I bought these in 2001, shortly after purchasing an iPod, because said iPod couldn’t pump out enough juice to drive my old AKG 260s.

5. 15-inch Apple Macbook Pro (Winter 2006). Tucked behind the monitor, Graphic Mayhem rests in a little wooden bracket and runs in closed-lid mode when it’s not doing color work.

6. Apple Pro Keyboard (2000). The computer this came with is gone now, but I kept the keyboard because Apple built it to outlast the sun.

7. Apple Mighty Mouse (2005). I have no clear memory of how I acquired this mouse, but it’s still on the job.

8. Picture of an Egyptian chariot (gift from a friend), because chariots are cool.

9. Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition (1938). Yes, it’s old, but it still beats the hell out of any other dictionary I’ve ever used.

10. Two Rinn. These were a Christmas gift, hand-made by my wife and children. They are more precious to me than my weight in 1st edition hardbacks of The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (Fine in Fine dust jackets). And THAT, my friends, is saying something.

11. Placebo coffee (or sometimes placebo tea). It’s hard to see in this photo, but it’s right here on the corner of this middle shelf.

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3 comments… add one

  • Ian Sutherland May 9, 2014, 8:52 am

    So you actually use your monitor in portrait mode to write? Sounds interesting. Mine is capable of the same, I’ve just never thought to try it. Thanks, I shall give it a go! And given I use Scrivener to write, full screen composition mode in portrait mode should be even better. At least theoretically!

  • Richard May 10, 2014, 11:35 am

    Hi, Ian,

    Portrait mode is the only thing I use on this setup. For me, it’s incredibly better for writing, email, and browsing the internet. In fact, once you’ve browsed the internet (or viewed email, for that matter) in portrait mode, it’s hard to go back. If I could flip my laptop screen into portrait mode I would. The ONLY time I need landscape mode is when designing a cover (so almost never).

    It’s possible things will change when I go to a 28-inch plus 4K monitor, hopefully later this year, when I upgrade to a new Macbook Pro (this one is getting long in the tooth). I’d consider a new Mac Mini here, if Apple redesigns the new one to be more like a Mac Pro Mini, making it about the size of a pencil cup holder. Although, there are many advantages to the own-only-one-computer-and-use-it-like-a-desktop. It’s very convenient to workflow when all your files are portable and in one place. God knows, the top-of-the-line Macbook Pros are as powerful as any desktop other than a workstation. So why own more than one computer? (It’s normal to get 8 to 12 years out of an Apple product. (This old Macbook Pro will go into my TV/Stereo setup as a media server after it finishes duty as my writing rig.)

    • Tahlia Newland May 10, 2014, 11:29 pm

      My lap top PCs usually last around 5 years, not your 8-12, but not too bad for the difference in price. Though my daughters last one managed 3 and with a lot of problems. She bought the same lap top as the one I have now, an Acer on special for $600, and though mine is still going, her hard drive crashed twice. I make sure I back up my present projects daily. I’m thinking that a top of the line Surface Pro with an external monitor for when I’m at my desk might do the one computer fits all trick for me when my present laptop dies. It works as a tablet as well as a full scale, high scpec computer.


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