Sunday, November 11, 2007

Free Range Writer

I've been traveling between two worlds the last few days; keeping up with my life in Houston while also creating an imaginary world in Central California, as part of my National Novel Writing Month's noveling.
I'm so far behind in my word count it isn't funny, but as Sue Grafton assured me in an email this morning, I can do this!
(Yes, that Sue Grafton, the A is for Alibi author. Us Nano people hang with the best.)
This year is my second year at Nano writing; and boy is it nice to be able to write anywhere I feel like it.

Free Range Writer: Me!
Lap tops: They are a wonderful thing.

Before I got a lap top computer, all my writing was done in the room pictured below.
Emails, photo editing, writing, web surfing...all of it was done only in here using a desk top computer.
The room is to the left as one enters our home. The french doors to the room have a matching pair across the foyer, the second set leads to our breakfast area and kitchen.

I had my computer monitor in the cubbie to the left, next to the chair, and a pull out keyboard tray is still just under that space.

If I sat at the desk as the chair now faces, I could see out the windows to our front yard, and a painting of the breast plate (urim and thrurim I think are the correct term) of the priests of Israel. Each of the twelve tribes had a specific stone; the painting is of those stones.

The entire room was already "done" when we bought the place. The wall covering and window treatments really appealed to me at the time. A serious mahogany library/study type area, perfect for both of us to use!

We shopped for a partner's desk, and felt very something or 'nother...
Like we should serve brandy in a sniffer or play only classical music while wearing blazers and cravats.

In the corner by the french doors is a chair and foot stool. Occasionally one of us humans still sit there, most often to read the morning paper with a cup of coffee in winter.
The beach painting was done by Bernie's grandmother, the other picture is a collage of our kids in their first years of life.
The cats usually include this chair as one location in their circuit of daily naps.
Convenient for them, their litter box is discreetly tucked behind the chair almost out of sight.
Not always out of smell...if I am neglectful of my daily dipping duties.
The little side table is my grandmother's sewing table. The table top pieces were gifts to Bernie from his mom and dad.

Behind the desk hang Laura's diploma from nursing school, and my diploma from library school. I make a tsk sound every time I look at them; her BS degree diploma looks so much more impressive than my Master's degree diploma from Texas Womans University.
Stupid ol' TWU...I hated that school.
My bike gets wheeled into the room as it is just inside the front door. Usually I leave my bike in the foyer. It is easier than maneuvering it around parked cars in the garage. Texas houses may be over sized, but their two car garages are built just for two cars. Anything else is a tight fit.
Bernie used the room when he first was officed at home, then he was moved back to a company office.
At the same time that happened, I was officed at home, my company being based in Washington DC at the time, and my job required me to fly around the gulf coast area to teach attorneys research skills.
I worked using a company lap top on the main desk, and still used our desk top computer for personal work. I still feel comfortable using two computers at once, with waaaayyyyy too many windows open for most people's comfort.
After I quit that job the office was only used for when we had to use our own desk top computer.
Since I got a lap top last January, neither of us go in there much at all, except to scoop the litter box, and drop stuff into our files.
Funny how something as simple as the machine that is currently resting on my knees as I type can make an entire room unnecessary.
(The cats don't see it that way at all. They function nicely as both desk top and lap top models as they see fit. They feel that this space is perfect for show casing them, and should be maintained for their personal relaxation needs.)
While they are napping, I'm going to get back to noveling.


Becky said...

Jill, thanks for sharing a wee bit of your habitat. Oh, what a lovely office! I could sit there and be thoroughly distracted by the window and guests! Keep on writing, you have a gift with words!

running wildly said...

It was nice to get a little glimmer into your life. Makes you seem within reach and not so far away.
I don't think I'll take you up on your novel challenge since the thought of writing a novel in 30 days while in school full-time writing exams, well, makes me a tad bit nauseous. So I'll leave you, the expert to do the novel writing. Thanks for the compliment anyhow.

Sara said...

Yes, I also was quite encouraged to read that email from Sue Grafton, because after returning from the retreat today, I felt as though I had lost my writing momentum and was even entertaining thoughts of quitting. But I think I'll get back on track tomorrow. Glad you found it encouraging too....

Oh, and I love that painting of the Urim and the Thummim, as maybe you already imagined...and what a lovely home you have too! My own "office" is a little corner of the kitchen...perhaps a bit too close to the refrigerator for safety, if you know what I mean!

Lovella said...

Jill, I was impressed by the office. It looks quite formal and befitting an author. I do suspect though like you, most serious authors enjoy a comfy corner where they can pound out their thoughts.

I'm glad that Tiggie and Hart have found their spot, I love their propensity (Is that a right word to use here?) for posing.
I could use their cooperation at my house now and then.

Keep writing, your doing so so good.
Keep sending those chapters.