Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Welcome to my Office

I love visiting writers’ offices. I’m often amazed how tidy/untidy, large/small, isolated/communal are the spaces from which their wonderful books emerge. I’m a relatively (!) tidy person – outside my office. Remember those predictions of paperless offices that computers were supposed to bring about? Would my workspace be tidier if I wrote only fiction? I doubt it.

I’ve got a small office, but it fits me like a comfortable old shoe. Bulletin board is a hodgepodge of personal and professional stuff going back years. The large butcherblock table (it weighs a ton!) was a gift from a friend who was moving cross-country. It’s perfect for a nf writer – plenty of room to spread out. My son advised me to buy those vertical folders to clear the stacks from my desk. I did, but I still have stacks.

A wall of windows opens to the garden. I can see a giant bougainvillea that blooms all year. Someone once told me that it’s bad feng shui to have your desk facing the outdoors. You should face a wall instead. Whatever inspiration leaks out the window, more comes in when I look up at green things. (When I moved into this house over eight years ago, I designed the garden with a view to the views from each room.)

I never leave home to work. Coffee houses are much too distracting– all those people on their cell phones, the roar of the espresso machines, (usually) annoying music. I stay in my office to write first drafts, but when I’m reading or revising, I’ll take my laptop into the garden.

This small desk holds an overflow of Stuff. My wall of family pictures brings them all close.

An original Tony Ross illustrated plastic poncho was bought at an ALA Conference Silent Auction. The organizers hadn’t taken it out of its nondescript little envelope, so no one knew what was inside. I was the only bidder – and the lucky winner for $10!

My Vermont College MFA diploma holds pride of place with some writing awards.

And here's Tony Ross close-up. The text says "Worn at the Edinburgh Tattoo 2001 by Tony Ross. The night the sky opened!"

My first book, a history of windmills, spawned a collection of windmill-related items. Here’s a Rembrandt print and an antique horse brass.

Every office needs a cat. I’ve got two that vie for the privilege of hunkering down close by.

Thanks for stopping by!


Ann Malaspina said...

Love the controlled and inspirational clutter--and the garden view!

Ann Downer-Hazell said...

I want it all: office, garden view, inspirational clutter, cats. Sigh!