Tuesday, December 30

Office Space



No, not the movie or the TV show. Today, I’m talking about our actual office space. Or your writing space or your writing cave or whatever you call the place where all the wordy magic happens. This month at a writerly event, some of the folks got to talking about where and how they write. One author said she made a nest in a recliner, sitting with her laptop on her lap and TV tables around her that held her printer, beverage, snacks, etc. Another said she wrote early in the morning seated at the kitchen table, as close to the coffeepot as she could get. Another author who lives in a university town told us that she packs up her computer and heads to the college library to create her stories, while another loves to write at Starbucks, and a garage turned office/sewing room suits one of our Word Wranglers just fine.

I have to confess I’m a little envious of writers who can simply plop down anywhere with their laptops and fall into their fantasy worlds. Maybe it’s because as an editor, I’ve always worked at a desktop computer, but I do my best writing sitting in my office at home working on my PC. Oh, I have a great laptop and I do use it when I travel or sometimes at night when I’m sitting downstairs in the living room by the fire with Husband, but mostly, I write upstairs in my own little garret. 

It’s a great office and the one room in the house that’s completely and totally my own, which may be why it’s my most comfortable writing spot. It’s the smallest room in the house and once was Husband’s office, but when Son moved out, Husband took over his old bedroom and I moved into the back corner room. On the upside, it’s farthest from the kitchen, which means I can’t grab snacks anytime I want to, but on the downside, it’s also miles from the furnace, which makes it the coldest room in the house in the winter. However, we fixed that with a nifty space heater and if I close my door, it stays quite warm and cozy. 

I probably don’t have to tell you that the décor is pretty French because by now, you all know that I’m a hopeless Fracophile. My desk and hutch are painted white with natural wood tops, the wing chair in the corner is covered in an antique quilt that I found at a shop in a little town north of me, and the walls are painted soft lavender. I have the typical filing cabinet and bookcase, but a small table by the wing chair holds an amaryllis in a clay pot, a candle, and a dragonfly nightlight that my sister gave me.

Bulletin boards above the desk spill over with photos and cards, playbills, a gym schedule, feathers a friend gave me, various magnets from other authors, and a framed poster/picture my sister made that says, “I am quite certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.” The pictures on the walls are family photos—my sisters and me when we were little girls, Son standing by the Irish Sea from our 2009 trip to Ireland, and a collage of the Eiffel Tower being built. In the corner, a glass jar holds dried flowers and peacock feather and the window is covered with lavender sheers and a violet-printed valence. The window looks out at the backyard and the woods and field beyond, so in nice weather, I can open up and let the breeze and the birdsong in.

On my work table, I have my PC, a printer, a desk lamp, a stack of two drawers that hold, well, anything really, a glass tray imprinted with a map of Paris, a pencil cup that Son made for me for Mother’s Day in 1986, and a stuffed beaver the kids put in my Christmas stocking several years ago. His name is Barney and he reminds me to keep my sense of humor. The best part of my writing place is that I’m utterly at home and happy there. Even on the worst days, I can go up there and escape to Nan’s world, which is a lovely place. 

So, okay, your turn. Tell me about your writing cave…

7 comments:

  1. I love your office--it's so pretty (and neater than mine on my very best day). I'm also amazed at the monitor on your desk. I've worked with a laptop for so long I forget there's another way of doing things!

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    1. I love my big monitor--it's perfect for putting documents side by side when I'm editing. I can have several open at one time. And this is weird, but I'm not particularly a neat freak, but I keep my office pretty tidy. I can't work in clutter.

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  2. Nan--I love your office! I am a fracophile as well so I quite envious. I am a bookstore/cafe writer. I like tuning out the hubbub and getting immersed while peering out the large windows of the world--err, parking lot. I write most first-drafts by hand because I love the flow of my sharpie liquid pencil over my graph pad.

    But I have great plans when KB moves out--taking over her room and making it my own personal writing cave.

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    1. So jealous of your ability to tune out the world, Margie! I get into the coffeeshop and I'm immediately drawn into that world and people watching and yes, I confess, eavesdropping. Shameless I know! A fellow Francophile! Margie! We'll have to compare notes!

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  3. I like your office space! I also have a desktop computer and am envious of those with a laptop. Sometimes it's restricting to always be stuck at a desk. My computer isn't as neat as yours though.

    Happy New Year!!!! :)

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    1. Hi, Chrys! Thanks for stopping by! It can be restrictive to sit in one place, but I guess it's all a matter of how you get used to working. I'm lucky to have both a laptop and and desktop, so I can pick if I want to, but if I'm really wanting to get work done, I'm at the PC. Happy New Year to you too!! Hope you have a lovely 2015!

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  4. Love your office and the fact that you actually have one. Me, I'm at a rather large oak desk in the corner of my bedroom, which is also the farthest room from the furnace. The window next to my chair still seeps cooler air despite being brand new and very well insulated (if I say so myself!). I envy those who can sit on the sofa or recliner and be comfortable with a laptop. Can't do it, myself.

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