I have a little office in my home. It’s an upstairs room overlooking the street, too small for a bedroom (no closet) but just right for a writing office. Behind my chair, three south-facing windows feed me lots of pretty light, even on gray days. Big blossoming plants grow in the bay windows. Green plants nourish the soul, I find.
Here’s my desk. More plants, some artwork (woodcuts by my sister, a landscape by a friend), research books, office supplies, binder clips (use lots of those), and a bulletin board full of kid pictures, quotes, poem snippets, and miscellany. Notice the strip of purplish color on the wall under the bulletin board—I started painting my office but never finished. The color name felt writerly: “Foreshadow.”
Here’s a closer look at my desk setup. I plug my laptop into a larger monitor and use a dual-monitor setting, so I can spread my manuscript wide on the big screen, and keep my email visible on the lower monitor. Wider screens with multi-page views are essential for chapter revision—they help me spot redundancy, wordiness, and draggy spots. Sometimes I travel to college libraries where I can access huge monitors for a 4 or 6-page view when I need to see my work panoramically.
Here’s a closer look at one corner of my desk. Offices can be dusty, boxy, techno-dreary places, a far cry from the fictional worlds writers hope to create. Color, plants, art, friends—I try to keep them close. Couldn’t get them to pose, but my cats insert themselves here constantly. This woodcut (also by my sister Beth) is Saint Augustine. I like having a saint watch over my notebooks.