Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A neat freak's domain

This is my writing space. It's calming, packed with antiques and comfortable. I've always loved sitting here, knowing that every inch of this little nook will inspire internal thought.

The problem of course is that my internal thought, while reclining on my lovely hand carved chair, is more often centered on what decorator item I might add to the spot and my home in general instead of imagining romantic plots.

So what's wrong with this picture?

Basically this is an image of what your work space should NOT look like.

There are no colorful POST ITS tacked to the wall, scrawled with story ideas, character bio's or Editor emails. There are no easily accessible book shelves boasting a dictionary, thesaurus or any writer's help manuals.(The cute leopard print container, by the way, holds decorating magazines) There are no story boards or beneficial character collages any where in sight.

There's just a nicely decorated 1950's desk positioned beneath a collection of antique clocks, a 30's fan and some delicate French porcelain.

So I might be a contender for a spread in HOUSE BEAUTIFUL magazine, but I have yet to be recruited by HARLEQUIN or AVON books.

And isn't that the whole point for a writer's work space after all?

After a first hand look at my blog sister's work spaces I have decided to add a new goal to my 2010 list.

Get my office on track.

My writing track that is.

And then next year I can reveal a different nook, one that's carefully cluttered with the implements of my trade, filled with the inspiration I need to create readable works of romance.

I'd like to believe that romance reader's might benefit from my love of story telling far more than my compulsively neat and carefully decorated house.

Have a brilliant day and keep writing!!



Anonymous said...

LOL, Tamara, at being a rogue neat freak among writers :-) But remember that writing is very individual--the techniques that work for me might be different than the ones that work for you. So you might find trying to work in a room as cluttered as mine so distracting that you can't focus enough on your wonderful characters!

Sally Kilpatrick said...


You're too hard on yourself. I think the space is lovely and simply screams "Tamara" The only problem I saw was the printer under the desk--mine would end up with scuff marks from my feet!

Tanya's right. We're all different, and there are plenty of neat freaks among us. Oh, and I don't have editors knocking down my door either. Even if I did, I would have to take them out to dinner because I would be way too embarassed to have them see where I work.

You just keep working, revising and submitting. Where's Sophie White now?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Tamara: The whole point is that the space must be us! Your space is great and I've seen some of your work, girl, so I know it's doing the job for you. Just keep typing!

Michelle said...

I'm a complete neat freak, Tamara. And a design whore to boot so I totally feel you. What you should probably do is create some kind of huge movable piece above your desk that you can use as a bulletin board - antique mirror frames with corkboard inserted instead of mirror work really well for this. I just can't work in an area that is not "designed." I do not hve post its all over the place. :)

Marilyn Baron said...


Your space is beautiful. I love it, but I could never keep a space like that. It would be cluttered up in a minute. Or maybe if I kept this "faux" office in another part of the house and then had another "real" office, I could pull it off.

I loved your post.


Cyrano said...

You might be right Tanya. Clutter gets my blood preasure my house. My sister is not a neat freak. She's not a slob either, but she's not compulsive like me. But when I walk into her house I feel comforted. Her slightly disheveled dwelling is more home than house. I always feel relaxed there. So maybe, I should try a little clutter.
Thanks so much for visiting.
Have a brilliant day,

Cyrano said...

You're right about the printer. We just got this huge laser/copier contraption and I'm not sure where to put the blasted thing. That was the only spot I could think of that was close to my laptop but basically out of sight. But...its in the damn way of my feet. They need to come up with an invisible printer. I'd buy that one in a heartbeat.
Oh and I forgot about Sophie White.
Can I still send it to you?

Have a great morning!

Anna Steffl said...

I think we should have had a match the space to the writer contest. Lovely -- just like you.

I wouldn't worry about not covering yourself in post-it notes. There are as many ways to write as there are writers. The only mistake is to think there is one magical way.

Cyrano said...

You're very sweet and you're right, my space really does reflect me. I was born in the wrong era I think. I love classical music, big band and swing (hate bass and and rap and overly loud music) I love antiques, especially circa 1940 and 50's, I love vintage fashion and anytime I see something that conjures a simpler time I get all warm inside.
I just wish those time periods were a little more sellable in the romance market. I'd love to write about a night club singer during WW2. Or a 50's housewife with a double life.
Thanks so much for visiting.
Have a beautiful morning!

Maxine Davis said...


Here I sit in my clutter in a robe, warm bedroom shoes, & a cup of lukewarm tea looking at your beautiful office - knowing I'd be barred until I cleaned myself up.

I really enjoyed your post! And I do love the space. I love that fan!!

The point is for you to be comfortable there and I can see you fit in perfectly!

Have a great day.

Cyrano said...

You're a girl after my own heart. And I love the mirror frame with corkboard idea. I did that upstairs in my master bedroom. We have an alcove that doubles as my husbands office and I refused to let him tack shit 2 the walls. So an antique picture frame (with a truly heinous painting in it) got a makeover...cork board. It's lovely.
Thanks for the commet.
Have a neat, decorative day!

Michelle said...

Tamara - I think it's only a matter of time before WWII becomes sellable as a setting. I think the people who lived it and remember it have to sort of pass on first - then the rest of us can romanticize it in that totally unrealistic way that makes a horrible time seem so appealing.

Dianna Love said...

Tamara -

It's so pretty! But I think it's great that you are questioning if your surroundings are "not helping" even thought it's a really cool place. You should come back months later and tell use what you found that works better for you.

Sandy Elzie said...

It's YOU! It's perfect for you, so don't apologize for a moment. Clutter works for some of us, but if not for you, then embrace your difference and write the next great story.

I also love antiques, although I didn't bring them all from California. Thanks for sharing.


Cyrano said...

Thanks for the compliment.
Like everyone has said so far, our spaces are what work for each of us individually. I told Tanya that my sister is cluttered, but I always feel so relaxed at her house.
Do you feel relaxed in your space? I feel relaxed in mine and ultimately thats all that matters. (I just wish I could get myself to clutter up a little. I think I'd feel even better)

Thanks for the comment.
Have a lovley day!

Cyrano said...

I loved this statement, "There are as many ways to write as there are writers. The only mistake is to think there is one magical way."
Excellent way to look at it!
And thanks soooo much for your compliment too. You're very sweet.

Thanks for visiting.
Have a gorgeous morning!

Cyrano said...

You would never, ever be barred from my office. In fact I'd feel honored to have you there, bathrobe and all. Besides, a home is only as special as the good friends who visit it. And though I'm compulsive, I'm also blessed to have such amazing blog sisters.
Thanks so much for the compliment.
Have a wonderful day!

Cyrano said...

I agree Michelle. And duh, did you see how I wrote WWII...WW2? Was I on crack when I typed that?
One day maybe I'll tell my vintage 40s and 50s tales...until then, vampires, demons and contemporary romances are my cup of tea.

Keep writing!

Cyrano said...

That's a great idea! I'll certainly take all of the wisdom I've gained over this last year with my blog sisters and the wonderful PFHT visitors we get daily and put them to good use.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a glorious morning!

Cyrano said...

I bet you had some great peices from California Sandy. When we were in San Francisco for nationals, I visited a great vintage furniture shop and salavated over everything. I wanted this art deco desk I saw there, but alas, my husband wouldn't let me spend 12,000 dollars for it. He said he'd rather pay off our house. Go figure.
Thanks so much for commenting.
Have a great day!

Susan May said...

What a neat, womenly spot. It looks like a place out of House Beautiful. Without a lot around you I bet you don't get distracted as much as I do.

Sally Kilpatrick said...

Tamara--yes, please. Please send me Sophie White. Then you can start on the WWII one since I'm still suffering from Homefront withdrawal. And I LOVE big band, too. Along with my rap. I'm weird.

Ana Aragón said...

So nice! I know I could write problem would be that I'd have it cluttered within a week.

But when I decide to get my little space looking good, I'm going to look up this picture again!

Have a great day!


Cyrano said...

I actually get very distracted. My crazy mind is always spinning, always clammering for more ideas. I bet that's how most authors are.

Thanks for the comment.
Have a great evening,

there's nothing weird about loving a broad spectrum of music. Music makes the heart sing, no matter what the style. Don't you think?
I'll send Sophie to you later this evening.
You're so sweet for being a beta. I owe you one.


Thanks so much for the compliment. Those few words mean more than you know. I work hard to get my house looking good and a little encouragement goes a long way.
Thanks for the comment.
Have a lovely evening,

Tami Brothers said...

I LOVE it, Tamara! I can definitely see you here with your sexy shoes...grin...

If we had done the matching thing, I would have been so wrong about a lot of them. I love being able to look behind the doors of our writers and see how everyone writes. Not only does it inspire me, but it makes me feel like I'm truly a part of something!

Thanks for sharing this with us, Tamara. I know you'll find your mojo...


Linsey Lanier said...

Tamara, your workspace looks like it belongs to a princess...and so you are. :)

Some of us are packrats, some of us are neatfreaks. To each her own.

An invisible printer? Who says you don't have a writer's imagination? Plus, that would make you a millionaire, my dear! Fun post.


Carol Burnside said...

Tamara, I love it. I could never work there, but it's beautiful. I'd trash it in about 30 seconds. LOL

J Perry Stone said...

Okay, but the space is truly breathtaking!