My desk is the old kitchen table we dined at growing up. One morning when I was fifteen, I mentioned to my lovely mother that I needed to have a desk in my room. When I returned home from school that afternoon, she had set up the table, which had been collecting dust in the cellar, along with a chair and a catch all full of pens. I still write on this table and hopefully always will. Its scratched top bears stains from my fountain pens and red ink editing markers, some of them dating back to 1980. Behind the desk is my Muse Wall -- with autographed photos of the many childhood icons I've had the privilege of interviewing, meeting, and becoming friends with as an adult. Lovely new rug -- reminds me of van Gough's "The Starry Night" painting.
View of my desk, with the ancient card catalog box containing my as-yet-unwritten ideas on notecards (a brilliant idea from my brilliant grandmother, Rachel, who used to write for Highlights for Children, and who gave up a promising writing career to care for my grandfather, Wallace). Across is the white shelf unit filled with press kits, press trinkets, office supplies, and my retired fountain pens.
One of this year's many birthday gifts -- an antique Khroener hardwood credenza and shelves. My new 'archives' contain all of my published work and contributor copies, some 4,000 in all. The cabinet is filled top to bottom with magazines and newspapers my work has been featured in, as are the three drawers and sliding shelf on the right. The top drawer contains my two episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and the unsold HGTV pilot I wrote, filmed on the island of Nantucket. The ancient sailing ship on top was carved by hand from scraps of driftwood by my Grampa Wally's Uncle Angus in Nova Scotia and had run aground on the rocks of my family's laundry room, until I rescued it. It's had a place of honor in my writing room since.
A view of my filing cabinets, another birthday present, purchased from one of the strangest places I've ever visited - a used office supply store in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. You take a turn at the birch tree, follow the dirt path over the babbling brook, bank right at the gray squirrel... Those cabinets contain all of my longhand drafts, my contracts and acceptance letters, notebooks, etc., all of it neatly filed and accessible. Writing awards I've won and documents-to-be-filed on top.
Another view of the Muse Wall. Muse lights lit behind my insanely comfortable ergonomic office chair, which is now in its 11th season of providing comfort to my over-inflated backside while I write.
Aaah, Xanadu, the movie that made me realize how much I wanted to be a writer, heart and soul. In September of 1999, I had the pleasure of seeing Olivia Newton-John perform in Boston. She opened with the movie's anthem. I was writing in my seat at the time when she walked onto the stage in a surge of energy and music -- and I didn't sit once for the next two hours. This is an original movie poster from 1980. I own one of the film's props, a tiny button worn by one of the dancers in the finale. Writing in this room feels like being in Xanadu.
Finally, my Waterford lamp, a recent edition -- because you can never have enough decent lighting in your creative space.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of my Writing Room. May it inspire you to create an uplifting writing environment of your own. Back to the Muse and, as always, keep creating!