I found this collection about writers’ rooms a while back and for some reason didn’t post it. It’s a great collection of photos and descriptions of the places where writers write. Most are UK authors, but there are a few Americans present. My favorites are JG Ballard’s and Martin Amis’s. I also liked Geoff Dyer’s.
In the spirit of this great collection (thank you to The Guardian), here is where I write:
My office is on the second floor of our house across the hall from the baby’s room. This makes writing anything during the day problematic, but that’s okay because Sean goes to bed around six PM, which allows Danielle and me to work.
The office is not just my writing room; it is also where we store various things, like my old comic book collection, seminary books, and miscellaneous papers. You can see some of them on the book case to the left. Funny story about that bookcase: Like the desk and chair, it came from Ikea and, thus, had to be assembled. Unfortunately, I had mismeasured the room, so that when I started assembling it, I realized it wouldn’t fit flush with the wall. Since going to Ikea is pretty much a full day’s effort, we decided just to angle it into the room and be done with it.
The desk is just right for me. Being under thirty, I’m part of the generation that grew up with personal computers, so I do almost all my work on the machine. I type my first drafts and usually edit right on screen. Sometimes I print my work and edit by hand. I can’t decide which works better. In any case, that’s why I like this small simple desk.
To the right of the computer monitor are the few books I need for the current writing project. They are bookended by two clay sculptures of obese nude women that I bought in Ocracoke, North Carolina. The Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Garner’s Modern American Usage, Stephen Glazier’s Word Menu, and other general reference books are on the shelf to the left.
The white boxes on the floor beside my computer tower are five manuscript boxes. They represent a goal, of sorts. One is full. Next to that is an antique wooden publisher’s crate once used by the MacMillan Company. It was a gift from my wife’s mother.
The print on the wall to the right of the window is one I bought on a whim at the Borders bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s a print of a painting by Quint Buchholz, a German artist and illustrator of children’s books. A bicycle stands next to a giant book beside a river that looks, at first glance, like a sidewalk. Telephone poles march off into the distance. It’s a great metaphor for what a book is capable of doing.
Hanging above the window is an ebony cross from Tanzania. A friend gave it to me when I moved away from Virginia in 2006. Overlapping hands are carved into the cross, four of them reaching up toward the crossbar, one reaching down from the top, and two more stretched out on the crossbar. At the center of the cross is the dove, flying down toward earth.
Finally, the items hanging in the window are gifts from Danielle. There is a cardinal, a mallard, and an angel. She painted the angel for me for our first Christmas together.