Friday, January 8, 2010

Where Imagination takes Flight


I chose earthy colors for my writing space (to calm), and have decorated it with several items indicative of my genre: an antique bottle of actual Victorian smelling salts, a teacup and a little clay English cottage, to name a few. On my wall are several John William Waterhouse prints, as well as an actual leaf I filched from Hyde Park when I was in London two years ago (what customs doesn't know ... heh, heh). I have a candle on my desk that when lit, triggers my creativity (and makes me hungry), and I find I'm most productive when my space is organized. In that light, I take about 5 minutes to straighten up before I ever plant my tush in the chair.

The embarrassing detail I'll share with you is something I made. It's a picture of me holding a Rita award (read: my eventual Rita award). I've pasted it right at eye level on the window in front of my desk.

...because visualizing the mountaintop is half the climb, no?

I’ll Tell You What You Don’t Need to Know

Nicki Salcedo

I never listen to the radio when I drive, but I always wave to say thanks when another driver is courteous to me. I believe that controlling your own fate is your destiny. I try to remember to smile when no one else is around. I love seeing people read even if it is something I would never read. Cutting the grass is relaxing for me. I want to learn how to play the piano. I try to take the stairs when I can. I don’t watch TV. Part of enjoying life is observing real life. For me, writing is like telling secrets that belong to imaginary people.

"My Office" Susan May

My writing/office space is in the basement of my home. There are no windows but that may be a good thing because I don’t have to worry about staring out a window. I have pictures of flowers to posters from James Bond movies hanging on the walls. My newest item is a framed grouping of Harlequin romance bookmarks. Inspiration. Maybe one day I will have framed bookmarkers of my own. I have a large book shelf stocked with my keeper books. Close to my straight back chair and under the large winged table that I use as a desk is a dictionary and thesaurus. I’m big on organization so there are numerous file folders, along with different colored binders containing my manuscripts. My sewing machine also has a spot in my office. An antique sofa that belonged to my grandmother is used by my children when they come down to talk.

My Workspace: CiCi Barnes

I write in my study at a large desk with multiple draws, shelves and filing cabinets since I’m a bit of an organization freak. Over the computer are shelves with reference and research books. A large Thomas Kincaid lighthouse (the love of my life after my hubby, children, grandchildren and granddogs) picture graces the wall above the desk.
One floor-ceiling-window lets in the sun and gives me a great view of the pasture land in front of my house when I have the need to gaze out and think about my next scene or figure out what my character will do or say next.
There are multiple bookcases with all my keeper books. My non-keeper books have been relegated to the basement in seven huge containers. A rocking chair sits by the window along with an old elementary school desk my daddy acquired for me years ago from my old grammar school before they tore it down.
It’s quite a cozy abode for writing, thinking and playing on the computer. I use a candle for scent and always have a warm cup of green tea nearby. I’m not one to play music while I write, as a rule, especially music with lyrics. I tend to start singing along. But occasionally, for a super intense or romantic scene, I’ll put on “Robin Hood, Prince of Theives” or “Somewhere in Time” CD.
I also have a “Keep Out, Writing” sign on my door to keep hubby at bay. I would hate for him to lose an arm or a leg by interrupting at a crucial moment.


Darcy Crowder said...

Ooh, I get to be first this time! LOL. Guess staying up to 2 am paid off after all. :)

JP, I love that you have all those neat momentoes (like the antique bottle of smelling salts, too cool) that tie into what you write. And I know what you mean about a neat desk, clutter distracts me terribly.

Nicki, I love how creative you are with your posts. Your personality always comes shining through.

Susan, I'm glad you have such a special spot that you can get away from everything and work.

Cici, it's great to hear from you again. I'm so glad Mercer is on the road to recovery. Your floor to ceiling window sounds heavenly. I love gazing out the window for inspiration too.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Darn it, Darcy! I think being awakened to deal with throw up laundry at 2am should have gotten me in the number one spot, LOL! Yeah, okay, I've been #1 a lot, so, I'm over it!

Ladies, what variety. This is so much fun to see everyone's spaces!

Maxine Davis said...

I agree Debbie. It is so much fun seeing and hearing about everyone's space!

JP, I love the story about the leaf! How original - just like you!

Nicki, NO TV??? Wow. I guess I don't feel too-o-o-o guilty about my dose of Mark Harmon in NCIS every day.

Susan, I'm jealous. Sounds like a fabulous space.

Cici, Sounds just great! I knew it would be neat!

Have a wonderful day, ladies!!

Tami Brothers said...

Anyone else feel like a peeping Tom? I love looking into the lives of other people and I especially like to see the different way people write. I’ve already found tons of little gold nuggets I can use in the future!!!

JP, how is it that I can totally see you bootlegging a leaf from Hyde Park…grin…. I LOVE the idea of visualizing your goal with the Rita. I think I’m going to grab that idea and use it with the one I’m stealing from Darcy with the book cover. You guys are sooooo creative!

Hey Nicki!!! Love the visual. I can’t really agree on the grass thing... darn allergies… but I’m with you on wanting to learn the piano. My grandmother used to teach piano and I was fortunate enough to get to work with her when I was younger. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the zone then, something I regret now. She recently passed away, so this was a really good reminder of those cherished times. Thank you…

Susan, I can totally see you in this room. It has your personality written all over it. I’m going to steal that James Bond poster, though, so don’t let me down there…grin… Another great (stealable) idea are those framed bookmarks. You guys are inspiring.

Hi Cici!!! Great to see ya, girl. I love that desk set-up. I can totally see myself filling those cupboards full of neat stuff. We bought one of those old desks for my son when he was little. It’s been relegated to the attic now that he’s too big for it, but I love the idea of using it as a side piece.

Thanks to all of you for letting us into your writing spaces!!!

Cyrano said...

Ladies, JPerry, Nicki, Susan and Cici, thanks so much for letting us see and hear about your writing spaces and the things that inspire you.
I'm inspired simply by reading this post.
Have a brisk, productive day!

J Perry Stone said...

Darcy, yes. I did say that about the clutter, but when I look at the picture, I'm horrified!

Oh. I know. I took that after a day of writing and then I was rushing out of town for the holidays.

Maxine and Tami, since nobody actually *owned* the leaf ... I don't feel so guilty.

Debbie, I hope for your sake as well, that baby gets better soon.

Tamara, love to you, muffin.

Susan May said...

Thanks for all the nice responces. If you're ever at my house please ask to see my office. It isn't as bad as the picture makes out. I was impressed that Nicki didn't watch TV. I even have one in my office. I do turn it off when I'm doing serious editing. Should do it more often on principle.

Barbara Monajem said...

Wow. You all have real writing spaces. Mine's at the kitchen table, on the couch, in the car, in a random hotel room...

J Perry, I have a map of 19th C. London which I refuse to frame unless I sell something else to Harlequin. Or unless I become rich and idle and have nothing else to do.

Nicki, I don't watch TV, either! It sucks my attention away from more interesting stuff, and I get REALLY irritable.

Susan, I'm terribly disorganized, so my Harlequin bookmarks are in a pile somewhere. But they're gorgeous, so what you did with them was much more fitting!

CiCi - another organized person. Groan. I'll never make it in the organization department, but I do have a nice view, like you. Our back yard is something of a wildlife preserve (to put it politely) and we get a lot of birds at the feeder this time of year. Very distracting!

Marilyn Baron said...

It was great learning about all of your writing spaces.

JP and Susan, I love the idea of visualizing the Rita and the Harlequin bookmarks. I think that's great.


No TV? No radio in the car? Cutting the grass? Taking the stairs? Yikes! Like Maxine, I watch NCIS and a lot of other TV.
So I couldn't turn off the TV. But I do like the idea of thanking courteous drivers (what few of them there are) and I love to see others read, too.

Cici, I also love Thomas Kincaid. I don't own one of his pictures but have always admired them.

I love looking out the window, especially today with such a beautiful blanket of snow covering my yard. Hope everyone is safe inside their houses.

Marilyn Baron

Sally Kilpatrick said...

I think the coolest thing about this post is that we can really see the different personalities shining through in each picture. It's a really interesting juxtaposition of styles.

J--I'm afraid to ask where you put that leaf. I do like the idea of smelling salts.

So enigmatic, Ms. Salcedo. I like that you are all business. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who waves to drivers who are nice.

Susan--you are a lady after my own heart--I could almost sink into your space and write. It's cozy and full of books!

Cici--I love that piece of furniture you have. I aspire to that some day. I love to write to instrumental music, too. If you like the Robin Hood soundtrack, you might want to try Last of the Mohicans, too.

Thanks, ladies!

Carol Burnside said...

I just love these little glimpses into everyone's life. How fun. Thanks for sharing, ladies.

JP: Love the special things around you!

Nicki, you look busy in that picture. How appropriate, because you do so much.

Susan, having no window would drive me crazy. I'd have to find somewhere else to write, but I'm glad it works for you. I want to see those framed vintage bookmarks one of these days.

CiCi, you me and Darcy are kindred spirits with that ever-present cup of tea. Speaking of, I need to go refill mine.

Linsey Lanier said...

I'm loving this workspace idea. I don’t feel so much like a peeping Tom as a virtual visitor. Thanks for coming up with the idea, Tami. You're pretty creative yourself.

J Perry, your workspace makes me want to write a historical. It's lovely. And so enviously neat. What clutter? Can't wait till your Rita dream becomes reality.

Nicki, "telling secrets that belong to imaginary people." I love that. You must be doing edits in your picture. You look intense.

Susan, I love your office. It's the one that reminds me most of my own (though, of course, it's neater). If you can't be looking out a window, the next best thing is to be looking at a bookshelf.

CiCi, I love the place to put your hardcopy pages! And I see Dwight Swain's book on your shelf. One of my favorites. I like the "Writing, Keep Out" sign, LOL. (I'm glad Mercer is better, too.)

And Barbara, thanks for stopping by today. Don't worry, some of us PF&HTs are not so neat as these ladies… stay tuned next week.


Michelle said...

This has been such fun to see everyone's spaces! Maybe we should do kitchens next. LOL

Susan May said...

THe kitchen idea is funny. Barbara thanks for visiting with us today. I'm in my office trying to get some work done today. The weather has helped me out in that area.

J Perry Stone said...

Barbara, guess what I'm reading?????

Michelle, fabulous idea! I'm all for anything having to do with food, besides, you know, food tells a lot about people.

Ana Aragón said...

Hi, ladies...loved seeing your pictures and Nicki, you look so into your writing! I also wave at nice drivers and especially when they let me cut in because I was so out of it I didn't notice I was supposed to merge into traffic two miles down the road! Oh, and I mow my own lawn, too (the boys and Mike never cut it like I want it done!) Plus, it is so relaxing!

Cici, I spent a little time at your desk when we wrote that weekend and it is very inspiring, ladies. She's not kidding about the pasture and view out the window, either!

Susan, you are one focused lady! I couldn't write without a window!

JP--your space is really "you". Promise me I can come to your room to celebrate after you win that Rita!

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi ladies,

I've come to realize that our writing spaces really do reflect our personalities.

I only watch about 1-2 hours of TV a week, so Nicki, I totally agree with you. (However I watch movies occasionally...guess I just hate commercials and all the garbage on TV now)

Can't imagine writing without a window to the world, but whatever works.

Thanks for sharing and I happen to love the kitchen idea. Along with a recipe.


Nicki Salcedo said...

Darcy, you are the early bird winner. Debbie, we should do a post on how writers sleep (or don't sleep!).

Maxine, Marilyn, and Susan: I'm with Sandy. I do enjoy a movie now and then. Or TV but from 2 or 3 seasons ago! Maybe there are so many voices in my head I don't like the sound of other things talking :)

Tami, what a nice memory. A lot of what I think about writing has nothing to do with writing.

Nicki Salcedo said...

Barbara, we are twins!

Sally, my dream is just to drive around waving at people all day. That's what train conductors do. :)

Carol, busy? Nah.

Linsey, did I write that. I think one of my monsters took this picture.

Michelle, my kitchen is one big microwave.

Ana, I swear I'm writing when I drive and my car gets me where I'm going on auto pilot.

Sandy, we are secretly twins. I'm just waiting for your to realize it! :)

Nicki Salcedo said...

JP, your space is beautiful and feminine.

Nicki, did you read the assignment? (Yes, but I don't follow directions well and answered the wrong question.) My writing space isn't really that picture. That is my editing space. I write in bed, car pool, waiting rooms. I try not ot write at a desk anymore.

Susan, not basement. Cave. I love it.

Cici, wow. This is what I aspire to. Warm tea, rocking chair, candle. Heaven.

J Perry Stone said...

Hitting the hooch again, Nicki?

I'm so with you.

JP--don't take pictures of your underwear prior to laundry day.

Nicki--if I didn't like you so much, I boil you in a vat of my own jealousy. Originality is my drug of choice.

Susan--straight backed chairs and organization mean get it done. You get it done. Bottle that and give me some.

CiCi--why head for the beach when your office is all the paradise you need? Sheesh.

Cinthia Hamer said...

Thank you, ladies, for a glimpse inside your sacred spaces.

Julianne, we've discussed the underwear thing...don't make me come over there.

Michelle, bite your tongue! You all will NEVER see my kitchen. I'd have to change my name, leave the country, give up my claim as a cook.

CiCi, so glad Mercer is on the mend. Please give him gentle hugs tell him not to scare us like that ever again.