Writers write everywhere of course. Yesterday I sat in a waiting room at a car agency for two and one half hours while my car got a new shock absorber. Expecting the long wait, I took a pad with me, found a comfortable chair, poured free coffee, and sketched out an outline for a new idea I had for a preK science picture book plus a draft of a silly poem.
Today I thought I was going out of town but that got canceled so I get to spend the day here in my office surrounded by my favorite writing prompts and memories. I shouldn’t show you pictures because my office is such a mess at the moment. Soon now I must take a break and put things back in order. Maybe if I stand far enough back it won’t be quite as embarrassing.
Hanging on the walls around me are paintings by Dan Burr from PIRATES, Betsy Lewin from A THOUSAND COUSINS, and Chris Demarest from WHEN COWS COME HOME. Waiting to be framed is one by Giles Laroche from NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. In smaller frames on my desk are two delightful drawings by Rob Shepperson. There is also a page from THE BOY WITH A DRUM, beautifully illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, decoupaged onto a wooden frame years ago as a gift, which I also love.
Two coffee mugs stuffed with pens and pencils rest by my laptop. On one is printed, “Lakes Country Council, A Council of the International Reading Association” and the other, a gift from my pal Ruth Culham, reads “I see book plots . . . they’re everywhere.” Immediately to my right is a large Sony TV screen for when I need to see something larger. At the moment it’s displaying a picture of fall flowers on our patio. A few feet further away set two replica skulls, one of a saber tooth cat, the other of a short faced cave bear, treasured gifts from my son and wife.
And books of course. Above my head is shelf nine feet long that holds most of my books plus a few of the anthologies that include something of mine. On either side of me are cases, the one on the left filled with favorite books of adult literature, the one on the right overflowing with books for young people, many of them signed by friends. Another case, against the wall behind me, is filled with five shelves of reference books left over from various writing projects over the years. I refer to many of them frequently.
I have a desk immediately behind me. At the moment it’s buried under papers and oddments that need attention soon. I sit here sandwiched between this work counter and the desk, content in my confinement, comfortable among my clutter and beloved artifacts, and I do my work.
A writer’s nest is a productive place. Whatever it is, wherever, it is home base for our muse who somehow locates us, moves in, and shows up for work when we do.