Monday, September 29, 2014

Scenes from a SFR Writer's Space

Donna's post about her recent move and her personnel writing office inspired me to talk a bit about my own 'creative spot.' I'm always fascinated to hear what sort of things other writers use to populate their work areas. Even when some of us end up writing at the kitchen table or in the family room, there's usually something special we add to the environs. Inspiration comes in many forms.

My husband and I own a home with three bedrooms and no kids (at least, not the two-legged variety) so we are fortunate to each have a home office. Of course, those offices do share a double-duty. His is an office-slash-guest room. Mine is an office-slash-seasonal storage. His is full of military and law enforcement memorabilia and Rance Hood prints (some gifted by the artist).

Mine? You guessed it. Bigtime Sci-Fi themes. But also shells, dragons and Thunderbirds, so a wee bit eclectic.

Welcome to my space.

When you walk in, the first thing you'd likely notice is the big poster hanging on the wall over an L-shaped desk that says "All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from STAR WARS." It features most of the characters from the original trilogy and captures some of the gems of philosophy from the movies, such as:

Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

And also:

The possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720 to 1.

I love the first as a not-so-subtle motivator. And the second? Well, did you know the odds of successfully publishing a novel used to be much longer than successfully navigating an asteroid field? Yup, about 10,000 to 1.  Thank goodness the times, and the publishing industry, have changed. :)

In front of the Star Wars poster is a funky/campy bendable five-armed aluminum lamp with multi-color shades. It kind of suggests something robotic or early 60s Nerdy, the whimsical spirit of the so-called Sci-Fi Golden Age. It also helps cast a little light on my otherwise shady work space with it's three-way settings--two lamps, three lamps, or all lamps lit.

Like Donna, I do have a dragon overseer and a model of the Enterprise. Birds of a feather, ya know.

But from there our office styles part company.

Mine doesn't follow any of the feng shui rules--at least not intentionally. It's more a random jumble of "fun stuff I love."

The desk has bookshelves populated with various references like a Thesaurus, Dictionary, a style guide, and also:
  • a volume of The Art of Star Wars
  • a Star Trek bookmark with "To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before"
  • A shell necklace from a long-ago trip to Hawaii (ahhhhh!)
  • a mug that reads "One Day When We're Both Rich and Famous, We'll Look Back on All This & Laugh" (for the record, that day hasn't arrived yet...heh heh).
  • a diminutive action figure of Luke Skywalker in dark Tatooine garb
  • An engraved gold star paperweight from the Spacecoast Authors of Romance Launching A Star Contest
  • A mousepad with the Andromeda Galaxy
  • Two more mugs--one with the SFR Brigade logo and one from Kit Peak Observatory with the Milky Way Galaxy
On the walls are various photographs of shells and an actual collection sits on the bookcase.

I love shells in all their infinite variety--so many shapes, textures and patterns. They represent the depth and mystery of the oceans, and how the sea eventually gives up its secrets--one treasure at a time.

Much like a good story, yes?

The walls also sport posters of popular sayings (Desiderata, et al), and this collection (pictured below right) which carries some personnel bits of inspiration and nostalgia.

"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
--Winston Churchill

"Creation is an act of sheer will." - from Jurassic Park

"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."
-- T. S. Eliot

...and the Writer's Creed, which I'm sure you've probably seen.

A collection of past RWA badges hang from a wall hook--Washington, Orlando, New York, and Anaheim. Ah, lots of good memories looped over that hook!

There's the usual collection of electronic equipment--monitor, printers, speakers--but no stereo, radio or TV. I can't work with music playing or background noise. I need quiet. Shhhhhh.

So there's my impromptu, illustrated dollar tour.

What is your writing space like? Do you have special items that inspire or influence you? What's your favorite thing to keep in your work space?

~~~ * ~~~


  1. Love your office space, Laurie. I used to have that Star Wars poster. My fav quote is still "Try not. Do or do not." Yoda rules! Alas, the poster disappeared. I think the aliens took it. My space is yet to be determined. I have an office in our new house. It's filled with boxes I have yet to open. Hubs finished our basement in July, we had a wedding in August, & I've been working on edits so my "office" is in a recliner with my laptop.

  2. Congrats on the new house, Diane, but sorry to hear your Star Wars poster disappeared. Oh no!

    There have been times I've been booted from my office and then the living room couch and coffee table become my office. We writers can be resilient when we need to be. :)


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Hosted by 5 Science Fiction Romance authors with 8 RWA Golden Heart finals and a RITA final between them. We aim to entertain with spirited commentary on the past, present, and future of SFR, hot topics, and our take on Science Fiction and SFR books, television, movies and culture.