Friday, April 15, 2011

A Special Place To Write

Pat Gulley

A Writing Room—Office—Computer Room?

 Where do you write? Do you have your own room to do it in? Is it exclusively yours? Do you have to call it something else, like The Sewing Room, Den, Library, Storage Room or Junk Room as well as your writing place?

            While sitting contemplating my naval and wondering what to blog about, I lifted my eyes to the ceiling in the hopes that the great ceiling writer in the sky would have something all written out for me. But GCWITS must have been busy because all I saw was a dirty light fixture and on the lower edge of my vision, pictures on the wall. So I scanned the rest of the room and decided I had a real, no diversions WRITING room. Computer and related equipment, files, file cabinets, document shelves and holders, tons of pens and pencils, a printer and supplies, a ton of friends and favorite author bookmarks and postcards scattered all over, a bookshelf full of how-tos, favorite books, convention program books and collectibles that make me happy and put me in the mood....TO WRITE. Oh, and most of the walls are covered in art, all SF and Fantasy, but that’s inspiring for me. They may be weird and unusual on first sight, but they can provide some great personality traits for characters. Did I mention collectible oddities? Lots of dragons, perfect for the good the bad and the weird.

            So, yes, I do have a special room. I don’t have to use that dust-collecting, huge old laptop and float around the house looking for inspiration; I do have a place dedicated strictly to my writing. Everything is very familiar, I can sit and stare at each and every piece and have memories that will lead to an idea, good or bad, that I can try out in my present WIP or a half-dozen other partially started stories sitting in my documents. Even start another document if something really interesting formulates in the old brain pan. As an example, what if I wanted to write a story about a woman and her dog. Just to the left of my computer is a print of one of the original ideas of what a Klingon (pre three breasts) and her dog should look like. Okay, it could be a cat, who cares—it’s her pet. Fierce looking, both of them, so to be sure any story I’m ever going to write about a woman and her pet is never going to take on anything soothing and sweet. And to Ms. Klingon’s left is a small print of Menolly and her nine fire-lizards. So nothing ordinary in the pet department for me.

            But if I look elsewhere, I loose all interest in pets, and my mind can wander around and find things to write about. And even if I don’t come up with something, everything causes a pause to contemplate some idea and can switch quickly to something I’m writing and send me on to several pages of new stuff for my protagonists to deal with. And I can thank my own private space for the ideas.

            But being a woman, I will admit to being practical and storing other stuff in the closet. Non-Christmas decorations, pieces of costumes, DirtDevil, etc, etc and some sewing stuff. That sewing machine tries to stick its nose out every so once in a while, but rarely gets any attention unless grandkids’ clothes and stuffed toys get damaged. This room is for writing; I spend more time here than I do in the kitchen, and it gives the TV room and bedroom a run for their money. It is my favorite room, I do love it.

            Since one of the blogs this week was about first lines, please repair back there for the questions.


Annette said...

What fun to hear about your writing space, Pat.

Several years back, I converted my "junk room" into my office AKA My Cave. It's mine, all mine, although not strictly for writing. I've planned yoga classes in here. And I package my Avon orders here. But mostly it's my writing space. Books on crime scenes, forensics, and police procedure line the shelves. My Citizens' Police Academy cerficates and a framed writing award decorate the wall above my desk. Colorful sticky notes with my wip's outline on them dot the cupboard doors.

And I definitely spend more time in here than in any other room in the house. Someday I want to put a comfy reading chair in the one corner. Then I'd just about NEVER have to leave.

Ramona said...

I have a proper office full of proper office stuff.

Right now, I'm writing at my dining room table. In a little while, when it gets warmer, I'll move to my deck. If there are other people home, I go to the library, or a coffee shop, or a park bench, or a hotel.

I can, and do, write anywhere--except in my office.

Joyce Tremel said...

We have a room we call "The Library" which is really just a corridor between the family room and the laundry room. It has a huge oak desk and hutch that hubby made, and lots of bookshelves, some of which--sad to say--are still empty.

I don't write there, though. I don't like writing on the desktop computer. We use it for other stuff. I have a laptop I used for writing. I can write wherever I want, and I do move around quite a bit.

Pat, you should post some pictures!

Joyce Tremel said...

Typo. That should be "use" not "used." I gotta learn to proofread before I hit publish comment.

Jenna said...

Closet. Seriously. Husband has an office, I have my desk in the walk-in closet attached. It's 6x14, maybe. 6x8 of it is taken up by my clothes, the sewing machine, an old computer and printer, fifteen pairs of shoes, a vacuum, and some other junk. The 6x6 that include the window has my tiny desk, a file cabinet, a file box, and a trash can. And more junk. I've written a half dozen books here, though, so I'm not complaining. And the view is nice. Although it's raining at the moment.

Jenna said...

Hey, it worked! I can comment today!

C.L. Phillips said...

I have an office with a window where I watch Ricky the Squirrel stuff his little round cheeks full of acorns.

And it's where I eat breakfast tacos.

And write in the dark.

Patg said...

Annette, doesn't that 'possession' feel great. And, yes, I guess I do pay bills in my room too.
Ramona--that sounds like task rejection. I love it.
Joyce--that's why the 'family' gave me that old lap top. Two Ton Tony, I call it. But I never use it. I wanted to post a picture, but no camera. Oh well.
Jenny, somehow the discription suggested to me why you are so prolific. View? From a closet? Well you do write about fixing up houses. My walk in only has a sky light.
C.L. are we ever REALLY in the dark with a computer?????

Don said...


I can identify with this. Killing off a character is especially difficult if you are writing a fictionalized version of your life. Characters loosely based upon family members present a real challenge.

It is impossible to not be protective of them, but if a character no longer works for the story, then adios amigo.

Why you are doing it is clear, but when and how to do it is another matter. Strange emotions come to the surface if you finally decide to do it in a violent way. I know from experience that it takes real will power to stay at the keyboard spelling out the fate of a character near and dear to the heart.

Oh well, it is just fiction.