Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What's In Your Office?

What’s in Your Office?

I am fortunate enough to have space I can call my own. It’s a little bit of a room on the second floor of our house that belongs to me. The door has a lock. I use it to keep people out. This applies mainly to my twelve year old daughter who has special needs and loves photographs. My scrapbooking side of the room, with its tempting piles of pictures, calls to her. The devastation she can cause to my stacks of carefully sorted photos is heart attack inducing. Don’t feel sorry for her either, she has them all at her disposal on the main computer in the family room.

My office contains many things. Most of them inspirational or educational along with some clutter. It is divided into two halves; one side for writing and one side for scrapbooking and crafts. The wall on the writing side of my room has bits of paper and pictures plastered over it. One of the pages is an email I received from a member of our SWR group, the New Year’s Resolutions for Writers by Dara Girard. I tried to find a link to the list but failed. I hope I don’t get in trouble with the copyright police for including the first resolution: JUST FOR TODAY I will write. I will not think about writing, dream about writing, read about writing or talk about writing. I will not brood about yesterday’s writing or obsess about tomorrow’s efforts. There are six other resolutions. Every time I read it I feel inspired.

I have pictures of Jonathon Rhys Meyers taped to my wall. Those reasons should be obvious.

I have a quote from Richard Curtis, screenwriter – Notting Hill. “When I was lying sleepless at nights I would sometimes wonder what it would be like if I just turned up at my friends’ house, where I used to have dinner once a week, with the most famous person at that time, be it Madonna or whomever. It all sprang from there. How would my friends react? Who would try to be cool? How would you get through dinner? What would they say to you afterwards? That was the starting point, the idea of a very normal person going out with an unbelievably famous person and how that impinges on their lives.” Thank you, Richard Curtis, for one of my favorite movies.

I have articles that I’ve cut out of newspapers for story ideas. I only bore you with one. The headline – “Woman seeks pardon for grandma’s witch sentence”. This woman’s grandmother was convicted and jailed in the 1940’s under a law that came about in 1735. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

I have a sheet of descriptive words my teenage son received in grade seven titled ‘Be More Descriptive’. Example: instead of ran, use: hurried, raced, scurried, dashed, galloped, trotted, bolted, darted, sped, jogged, sprinted and rushed. It reminds me to be, well … more descriptive.

I can’t forget my muse with the ideas sparking out of her head.

So, where do you write? Is it an office, corner, closet, or cave? Is anyone else allowed in? What do you surround yourself with to inspire you?


Janet said...

So, I clicked on The Chicks first thing this morning - before even opening my mail - and a streak of jealousy warred with the jolt of caffeine I had just consumed. "That's not her office!", my muse said. Yep, as the eyes skimmed the post it became obvious that that was a picture of your office.

Three cups of coffee down and I'm still envious. I'm sitting in the basement - at my small second hand desk The Husband had to jimmy to fit a keyboard tray, next to a larger surface (two bookcases propping up an old door) that I use for my files and paper and other tasks that I can't accommodate on my little computer desk. I have a blanket over my legs and an inadequate space heater for the size of the room. By three this afternoon, I'll have to pack up my laptop and my papers and go sit upstairs because The Husband will want to play his Wii Golf Game - the "course" conveniently located right next to my "office". Hmmm...

Wonderful office, Karen. I dream of one day having a house with enough room in it to offer space for my muse. Since I don't make any money at this endeavor (yet), The Husband gets the spare room for his computer (he does make money from home, webmaster for a car dealership with the drive to take on more website development). It is so important to have a space for your muse. (Says to own muse - soon, you'll have one soon). for anyone interested in the Writers New Year Resolution Karen mentioned in her post.

Karen said...

Hi, Janet. I am indeed spoiled. Thanks for the web address. You have no idea how many times I've looked at that list and been inspired or encouraged not to quit. Thanks, Janet.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Karen, you've written a wonderful inspiring post today.

I've recently bought myself a writing armoire which sits in the corner of the living room. The cold corner. When the wind is blowing from the N or W or points between, it comes straight at me on the left side and I freeze!

Usually I know my Christmas gifts but this year hubby surprised me with a twin size electric blanket - soft, too - and I cover my lower body (up to my armpits!) while I work in my comfy office chair. My computer is a laptop.

When my back is hurting, I sit in my spot on one end of reclining sofa beside my armoire in the cold corner. With a heating pad on my back, feet out in recline position, blanket across lower body (yes again), my laptop sits on a lapdesk across my lap but because it's not a comfy position for my wrists, I only sit there for an hour or so at a time.

When the family comes home and I want to write in peace, I take my laptop to my bedroom but it's reeeeeeally cold in there and no back support so I only work in there when I absolutely have a deadline.

I have history books in and on top of my writing armoire and fiction books beside it.

When I was working on my historical last summer and fall, the living room wall beside my desk was pasted with old and new maps of railways, stagecoach routes, modern roads and the Oregon trail. (Hubby made me take them down at Christmas. sigh)

Also for my historical, I found the perfect wallpaper on the 'net of a cowboy with his horse and kept it on my laptop. Athough he was shirtless, he was wearing a fringed leather jacket. Not only did it inspire me, but when hubby saw it, he commented I should've used him as the model. I laughed. A few days later the kids asked why Daddy was growing a beard. (My wallpaper cowboy has a beard.)

Wow, this is long...thanks for asking, Karen. 8-)

Karen said...

Anita, it sounds like a comfy and inspiring spot. The wallpaper on my computer is from the movie August Rush featuring, you might have guessed it, Jonathon Rhys Meyers.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Karen, I'm not familiar with Jonathon but I think I'm gonna have to look him. LOL

Oh and Janet - I absolutely love the Wii golf game. If I were to change anything aboout it though, I'd add video like some of the other game systems have. Video is an important feature because then I could prove to my husband that I did get an eagle on that par 5 on the 6th hole of the...

Jana Richards said...

Hi Karen,
After several years of working in the basement, I finally took over the guest bedroom upstairs (we don't get that many guests anyway). I've got a corner computer desk, a couple of small filing cabinets, a bulletin board, and a book shelf with all my favorite books and reference books. Aside from being cold in the basement (to anyone not from Saskatchewan or Manitoba, trust me, it's cold in the basement) it was too dark for me. I started getting SAD down there. I feel much better writing near a window.

Occasionally, I'll take my laptop on the road. We have a screened deck and it's nice to sit out there with my laptop on pleasant days. Oh, to be spring again!

Unfortunately, I have something of a clutter problem. I usually have to dig under piles of paper on my desk to find things.

Oh, and Karen, I totally know who Jonathon Rhys Meyers is. I thought he was hot the first time I saw him in "Bend it like Beckham", and he's even better looking in "The Tudors".


Suse said...

Hi Karen,

Great post. I too am jealous of your writing space. I used to have a separate room to write in. Like Judy, it was a guest room. After Janelle moved out, I moved my desk from our bedroom into that room, and used the bed as another 'desk' to catch the many piles of project papers. I use a laptop too. The desk is a little high, but it wasn't too bad if I didn't write for long periods of time. But Michael moved back home, and for reasons too long to go into, he moved into my newly acquired 'office'. It was supposed to be a temporary move back home, but half a year later, he's still in my office. My papers are all over the floor in his old room. I guess we're hoping that he'll move out soon, and I won't have to move my desk (which is now under his papers and clothes)into the other room. At present, my laptop resides on a chair in the living room. When I write, I sit with my feet up, also with a lap quilt over my legs. It's less than ideal for long range projects, but that is my reality now.

I guess I'm just glad my writing space is fairly comfortable, but it is in front of the TV, so I am easily distracted.

My books are in built in bookshelves in the basement. I'm okay with them being down there. It makes me get up and move to get a book that I might want to reference.

Janet said...

So, Karen, I'm going to assume your a fan of The Tudors?


Karen said...

Hi Jana and Suse. Laptops are a lifesaver especially if you need a change of scenery. Your office becomes portable. Thank goodness for technology. JRM has a new movie with John Travolta coming out in the near future, encase you're interested.

Janet, you'd probably be surprised to know I don't watch the Tudors. I'm rarely a lone when its on and I'm not sure its appropriate viewing for my kids.


Ryshia Kennie said...

My office is lined with books. I have an ancient Underwood typewriter which I stumbled on in a garage sale and insisted on hauling home, quite a feat considering I was on a bicycle that day. Reminders of one trip or another are here and there, a good luck charm or two and the rest is the business of writing filed or stacked waiting filing. I lucked out on the office. It's not the prettiest in the world, it's in the basement, but it's all mine and for that I'm lucky.