Friday, July 2, 2010

Where I write

Inspired by the divine, charming, elegantly foul-mouthed Rejectionist, whose industry blog I read religiously, today I describe for you my writing space, where I toil day after day breaking records in Bejeweled Blitz writing for your education and entertainment. This is my main desk area, which I present to you in its cleanest, most organized state. I must admit it only looks this pristine maybe two weeks out of the year:

It's very nice: printer and supplies to my right, along with a window to the outside world where I can watch birdies on my finch feeder (or even better, watch my kitties watch the birdies). File cabinet, cameras, and media supplies to my left, and plenty of room to spread out research folders, books, and miscellaneous scraps of paper listing other things to be done. [edited to add: I am a bad daughter. Please note the very nice "I Heart CATS" cross-stitch my mom slaved over. See it above the desk, where Hearted Cats usually knock it out of alignment?] Plus, I have books!
The short bookshelf is Boy's (he reads!), while the tall one is for the grownups. The bottom shelves contain many of the reference books I've edited, along with reference books I use. The middle shelf has oversize map books (my husband's), while the middle shelves hold frequently-read or on-my-list-to-read-next-no-really books. Oh, plus stuff that accumulates on the floor in the endless cycle of "I'll clean it up and put it away later." I don't mind the floor clutter, it makes my mind clutter less alarming. You might have noticed the cat artwork:

The tiger on the left is by the fabulously talented Heidi Woodward Sheffield, a Michigan artist I met through SCBWI. I acquired this print at a conference by hovering over the silent auction table, staring daggers at anyone who got too close to the auction paper. The acrylic painting on the right is from San Francisco-area artist Mary Delave. I found this little gem ("Mouse Dreams") on a trip to the area in 2000. I was enchanted with it and hemmed and hawed and finally splurged. (It wasn't horribly expensive, but since I already had plenty of feline art it felt indulgent.) I never get tired of the bright colors and wild images, even when revision gets me down. Take a closer look:
Oh, the "plenty of feline art"? On the wall next to my desk. Clockwise from the top we have a Steinlen print from a museum, a E. N. Downard print acquired at an antiquarian bookshop in Canterbury, a Foujita print (also from a museum), and a lithograph by an artist named Carl Hoffner that I got at the Ann Arbor Art Fair probably 20 years ago.
And the final, most recently added element of my workspace? This essential item, a kitty condo that makes my workspace more efficient, for instead of leaning over and falling out of my chair to pet Clio or Gigi (this is, after all, my primary function, just ask them), I need only stretch out my hand:
[Edited to add once more: I am a horrible, horrible daughter. See the other lovely cat cross-stitch above the lamp? Isn't it nice my mom made it for me even though I'm so ungrateful?] So there you have it, everything my little writer's mind needs to work, think about working, or avoid working.


  1. Love your kitty shrine--I mean, writing space. :) I keep all my books in my reading room, and this (and other writing spaces) kinda makes me want to lug all my bookshelves over here instead.

  2. Ooh, so maybe THAT'S what I'm missing: a kitty condo! Then maybe my desk kitties would be condo kitties and I could actually write without shooing one of them away from my keyboard, lol. Nice writing area. Here's mine, kitties and all.

  3. Now Lola Pants is agitating for a condo. Thanks a lot. Hee hee.

  4. OMG! Le R commented on my blog! And her cat is jealous of my cat!

  5. Love the tiger and acrylic cat, but where is the cross stitched cat? Oops?

  6. That's "feline craft," and the cats invariably rub on the "I heart Cats" cross stitch so that it's always out of alignment. I was trying not to look totally like a crazy cat lady. My bad.

  7. Kitties watching birdies are the best! So focused and intense. You and your cats seem so happy in your space. (You don't seem like a crazy cat lady; you seem like a writer.)

    I love your cat prints. And the cross stitch pieces are very nice. I thought the one above the lamp was a print at first. You have found the perfect spot for it near the bird-watching window!

  8. What gorgeous artwork--and I include Clio in that!

    I've noticed that all writers appear to have vast book collections and one or two few bookcases . . .