When I set out to furnish my home office, I started with the basics – a desk, desk chair and a bookcase. Now, over a year later, the bookcase has no books in it, and 99% of the time I don’t sit at the desk to write. Instead, both surfaces are home to things that inspire me while I’m sitting in an enormous (and ugly but comfortable) recliner with my laptop in my lap.
THE DESK THAT SEES ACTION 1% OF THE TIME
Though my desk chair is comfortable, using the desk to write is not. That’s because it was designed with desktop computers in mind. It has a little pull-out tray for the keyboard and openings cut into the back to accommodate the million cords and cables that went with those types of computers. My laptop, however, doesn’t fit on the pull-out tray, and if I put it on the desk itself then it’s too high for me to type comfortably. So my desk is mainly used for addressing envelopes and for decorative boxes holding pens, bookmarks, and other paraphernalia. It’s also the repository for items that inspire me.
I have copies of my first three books there, including the original cover of Song Without Words. When the print edition of Sister Golden Hair becomes available, I’ll add it to the collection. It’s definitely inspiring to look up and see them there, especially when I’m in the midst of editing. I finished those books, so I know I can finish the one I’m working on!
Also at the very top of my desk are photos of my two youngest daughters. Both of these photos were on my desks at radio stations at which I worked. Even though they’re more than ten years old, I won’t change them for more recent pictures. They remind me of those days when my girls were that age, and of seeing them on my work desks for so long.
The other side of the desk is sort of a memorial. The mosaic calico cat lamp was given to me years and years ago by my middle daughter after my 18-year-old cat died. The plaque was a gift from my dear friend Sherry last year when I lost my sister-in-law. You can barely see it there in the photo, but it’s inscribed There are not stars in the sky, but rather openings, where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy.
The lower half of the desk is where those decorative boxes reside. It’s also home to some of the mugs I collect, including one sent to me by Jessica Topper to mark the publication of her novel Louder Than Love. The American flag was on my late brother’s desk, and now it’s on mine. The little Arkansas Razorback used to belong to my dad. It was on a set of windchimes he had, and when the string broke he just kept the pieces. I found it among his things after he died, and brought it home with me. The two books are Old Dogs by Debi Matlack, and Bounce by K.M. Jackson. They’re there close at hand so I can re-read them when I’m through writing for the day, and hope that one day I’ll be able to write as well as those two wonderful women. And that nameplate? That sucker is not only decorative, but could serve as a weapon, too! It’s made of pure marble and weighs a ton. It was a gift from an advertiser at one of the radio stations, and I was so surprised when the business owner gave it to me. And, no, I’ve never minded that my name is misspelled. 🙂
The last corner of my desk is closest to where I sit to write. Some of my reference books are there, like The Handbook for Writers, On Writing by Stephen King, Writing Active Setting by Mary Buckham, Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction by Marcy Kennedy, and The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn. Most of my other reference books are on my Kindle, including The Emotion Thesarus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I’m slowly acquiring all of them in print, and they’ll be added to this corner of the desk. Also residing here is the shadow box containing my iPhone cover that Jimmy Page autographed for me, the pen he gave to me, and some rose petals from the Four Seasons hotel in Boston where I met him. *sigh*
And that’s my desk in my office. In case you’re wondering where I do sit to write, here it is, in all its unattractive glory.
It may not look like much, but it’s one of the most comfortable chairs ever manufactured. Plus, it’s enormous, so I can either sit in it the way it’s intended to be used, or turn sideways with my feet hanging off the arm. It’s a great writing chair! The lovely afghan was made for me by my cousin Ann, and it’s wonderful to curl up in since my office gets well-refrigerated when the AC is on. You can see a few more reference books and decorative boxes on the table next to the chair, and a basket containing all my copies of magazines that feature Jimmy Page. 🙂 In front of the basket is my writing partner, my 17-year-old cat Quinn. That’s where she’s chosen to sleep this week.
One day soon I’ll show you the bookcase with no books, and give you a peek of some of the things I’ve hammered into the walls to try to disguise that awful white fake paneling. 🙂
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