This is my office. It is currently a mess because I am writing one book to deadline, just finished the copy-edits of another, there is a sick toddler/preschooler in the house, HRH is away at rehearsals or performances most evenings, and I am trying to whack away at Gounod and Faure whenever I have a spare moment. Oh yes, and I am fighting that fibro/chronic fatigue thing that makes me choose between tidying up or writing.
For some reason, I thought a photo essay about the place where I spend a lot of my time might amuse you.
This is the north-east wall, the one that’s on the left as you walk in. Seen here is the mishmash of stuff that collects on my office shelves and on top of the books when I need them out of the way of wherever they were originally put. There are still things I took off the old vertical corner shelf that used to be where my corner desk now stands, from a couple of months ago. Candles, empty picture frames, that sort of thing. As I’m in the middle of writing a book, there are books piled on the front of the shelves that I’ve borrowed from people. Closer to the window you can see my two-tier office altar, where I’m drying rose petals at the moment. The shelf under it holds all the reference books for the book I’m currently working on. Well, most. Some, anyway. I do try to keep them all in one place. The window faces east. There’s another bookcase that size between the door and the one in the picture; this only shows the front half of the room.
Next we have my new-to-me corner desk. It’s not developed a lot of personality yet, as I’m trying to keep it neutral for the moment, and keep it relatively clear to spread books and papers out while I work. At the left are more reference books I’m using immediately for the current project. The walls above it are still bare from having had that vertical shelf there for so long. I still don’t know what to put up. There is a cluster of witch balls hanging from the ceiling at the moment. It’s hard to figure out what to hang in a corner, as the two walls meet and the display space is awfully close. Besides, to my right is…
… the collage wall, where I have hung a collection of various things including a print of the alternate Promethea #1 cover, an original photo of the moon taken by a student, fine art postcards, an original oil painting of a deer by my husband, an original charcoal sketch of a raven woman (also by HRH), a hand-painted Pictish banner, and so forth. You can only see the lower half of it. This collage is fluid, and shifts slowly as I phase things out and include new ones. In the upper left of this photo (and the right of the previous one) is a small creativity shrine that was made to be a salt box/cellar thing. (It currently has a lot of swan representations on it for serenity and insight, and usually a votive candle.) Behold also my pencil cup, various writing notebooks, the external hard drive (love!), a statue of Freyja, various foxy things, various small stuffed talismanic animals (the original Montreal NaNo psychic ferret among them!), my laptop (which doesn’t usually live here, but on the bedroom bookcase), the Chicago Manual of Style and a Webster’s among other reference books. What you can’t see underneath it is a mess of cables, a shredder, and two fourteen-inch piles of books that I have not yet read.
Turning again, we see the closet door swathed in a white sheer curtain (the door is mirrored — shudder), the cello on the floor, the case tossed over the cello stand in the corner, and the music stand bearing the Gounod and Faure. To the right you see my filing cabinet, more books (Is it a flat surface? It’s got books.), my red toolbox, a tote bag, and the carton the hard drive came in. Right at the bottom right-hand corner you can see the edge of the child gate that renders this room the only boy-free zone for the cats, as well as the little cat door we cut in it. That’s the viola case leaning against the wall and the music stand.
And finally, we have the often-present black kitten giving you the “What? I’m allowed to be here” look.
I’m never quite satisfied with my office; I always feel that it’s missing something, or not quite right. It never matches what I visualise it could become. Part of that is the fact that I live in it so much that it never has the chance to rest and become something; I’m always moving things around and reorganizing. It looks and feels quite different at night as well, and when the sun is shining. I would love a comfy chair in which to curl up and read, or even better, a chaise longue! But there’s no room for it.
Well, there you have it: a brief snapshot of my life. It will be different tomorrow, of course, and once the hearthcraft book is done I’ll be changing pictures and books to focus on something different again. And come spring, there will be flowers and boughs of buds, too.