Monday, January 02, 2006

A writer's office

A reader's comment on what I posted earlier today inspired me to take some pics of my office and show you what it looks like this afternoon. My little yellow room is always tidy but rarely clean because while I cannot work in the midst of clutter, I have no problem with dust and, yes--actual dirt. The carpet hasn't been cleaned in two years because I'm dithering about tearing it up to expose the wood floor beneath it.

I work at a small table, not a desk, because that keeps me from amassing a lot of books and papers around my workspace. I have a small filing cabinet (the drawer-pulls on that and on my writing table are little brass teacups), but I also use the closet behind my desk for storage (when it gets too junky-looking, I can always close the door). I keep a map on the wall in there, and have found it useful for deciding where to set my stories. Look closely and you might see a couple of dart holes.

In the next photo you can see how I decorated my computer for Christmas. And if you're the curious type, you can enlarge the photo and see what tunes I was grooving to while I moved around the office snapping these pictures for you. (At least, I hope you can. I've just republished this page six times because Blogger appears to be having some kind of stroke.)

I'm happiest writing when I have fresh flowers and scented candles and other "daydreaming aids" nearby. Here are two: a cheery little primrose in a yellow pot sitting on a bone-china cake plate and a real silver-plated leaf that hangs from my ceiling fan, where it catches the light.

Click on any of the pics to enlarge 'em. Just don't look too closely at the used-to-be-blue carpet, okay?


Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Your office is adorable and neat...hmmm...I think Jennifer might come looking for you!

And don't think it escaped me that you have a new flower in your life, a primrose now....does it know what happened to the orchid (insert maniacal laughter here)!

Mindy Tarquini said...

Wow. I'm embarrassed to post where I work after looking at this. It's at a laptop, half the time in my bed, the other half of the time in my living room. You can keep flowers alive? I kill silk plants.

Brenda Coulter said...

No, M.G., I cannot keep houseplants alive. Yes, Bonnie, the orchid's dead. As is the miniature rose. But I'm not feeling guilty anymore because I've started thinking of flowering houseplants as disposable decorations. I buy one, enjoy it for a month, and then go buy another one.

Anonymous said...

Your office is beautiful! I could work there.

And what a fun idea. I'll have to post photos of mine too.

Pilgrim said...

I'm for taking up the carpet, if there's wood underneath. Definitely.
Very nice office.

Come on. You can do this plant thing. Go to the dept store or the garden center and get some terra cotta earthenware pots with holes in the bottom, and big saucers to

Those plastic pots plants come in will kill them. You probably just need to change the pots after purchase.
You also need to get some good, loose dirt. Regular potting soil usually needs to be amended with something that will help the roots drain: perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, whatever.

Unknown said...

Nice space. I'm clinging desparately to the "hopelessly cluttered desk/hugely creative mind" paradigm.

As for plants: Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum) in water. Rotate as needed to keep them from falling overboard trying to get sunlight. It's been over a year and I haven't kill it yet!

One day I will not be relegated to the corner of the living room. /envy

Brenda Coulter said...

The reason I'm not sure about the wood floor is that they're not very comfortable underfoot in the wintertime. I'd have to take to wearing slippers when I stagger downstairs at three in the morning to write.

And, Julana, I've finally made peace with my inability to keep houseplants alive. Leave me alone!

Susan, I began writing on a desktop computer in our family room with two rowdy teenage boys and their noisy friends constantly tearing through the room. I had to get rid of my Number One Son before I could transform this bedroom into my office.

Camy Tang said...

Cute! It's so full of nice inspiring things. I think mine's just full of clutter. Sigh. Time to clean.

Tina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tina said...

You inspired me! I had to post "before" shots of my disaster of an office. Remodel should be done by the end of the month when I'll post updated photos!

Brenda Coulter said...

I took a look, Tina. You should be able to make a very cozy space out of that. You've already got some good storage space, which is a problem for most people.

Somebody asked why I don't have any books in my office. The ones I need to keep close to my desk are on the top of my closet shelves and are not visible in the photo. The rest are kept in the living room, where we have floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

I like having a very unofficelike office, which is why I don't have a big honkin' desk. My husband and my kids and our houseguests frequently come in here and make themselves comfortable and chat with me while I'm answering e-mail and such. That's why there are three chairs in addition to the one behind my desk. I also have an antique mirror in here, which is kind of silly in an office, but it's pretty (my husband found it at an auction and refinished it for me) and it bounces light around an otherwish dim room, so I like it.

Anonymous said...

Your writing office is unique and inspiring with all the special touches you've included. I especially like that you don't write on a traditional desk. The flowers, dangling leaf, and other personal touches really make your office a place you'd want to be in. I'm in the process of doing a drastic makeover and by doing a Google to get ideas, I came across your blog. So glad I did. Oh, and though I don't have a purry cat in my office, I do have 3 furry office assistants: Pearl & Austin (Australian Shepherds) and Maggie (Springer Spaniel).

write reams,

Brenda Coulter said...

Diane, I'm so glad you stopped by. Thanks for taking the time to say hello.

Anonymous said...

Your writing office is very artless