My Writing Space

I began the series on Writers’ Desks with my desk and am ending it (for now) by sharing with you my writing spaces.

First, I want to give a warm recognition to Eamonn McCabe for allowing me to use his photos of famous writers’ desks. Without his photos I never would have had this series. So, thank you Mr. McCabe.

I wish I still had the stories i wrote on my first typewriter.

Vintage Toy Typewriter (1950's)

I then graduated to my father’s Smith-Corona in my own Waldon’s Pond  cabinOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I keep this photo on the wall of my office as a reminder that I have come a long way.

A poster of Virginia Woolf from a summer doing research in the Bloomsbury district of London, Virginia’s stomping ground.

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To remain open, a quote from E.M. Forster on my wall.

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My bulletin board has motivational thoughts pinned unto it.  “A good story is one that has changed you.”  “I am organized in my writing.” (Where did that come from?).

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From  Steven James’ Story Trumps Structure:

You do not have a story until something goes wrong.

Usually, around four o’clock I end up sitting here, reading books to inspire me, books that i study for their beautiful sentences such as:

“…time stretches out here and writing is one way of filing up the hours.”

Maya’s Notebook-Isabel Allende

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The stained glass window was made by my sister, Diana, and is on the cover of my memoir Mourning Has Broken.

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This is a postcard of a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec that is on my bookcase. It was inspiration for my character, Annie, in my WIP novel The Protectors.

My writing day usually begins and ends in bed.

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To all who have read, commented and stopped by the series on Writers’ Desks

 THANK YOU.

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 What does your writing space look like?

61 thoughts on “My Writing Space

  1. souvenirs, souvenirs… you haven’t changed much, Miss Carol… 🙂
    Forster’s quote is excellent and realistic… 🙂 I love your cosy environment, but I never write in bed – I just can’t! 🙂 Glad to know you appreciate Toulouse-Lautrec: his family came from a village called Lautrec(famous for its violet garlic!), 45′-drive from Toulouse, my city… I also liked Isabel Allende’s “Le Cahier de Maya”(El cuaderno de Maya) who’s been very popular in France, but she’s been accused of “copying” Gabriel García Márquez… Have you read “Paula” – dedicated to her lost(dead) daughter?…
    * * *
    P.S. my writing space is quite banal… 🙂

    • I have chosen Maya’s Notebook for our next book club to compare it to Roxana Robinson’s Cost.I did read Paula, awhile back. I liked it but then I tend to like everything Allende writes. She’s an excellent writer. I wonder in which way she’s copied Garcia Marquez.

      You probably noticed how faded the Lautrec postcard is. My character has been in my head a long time. How interesting that there are two cities, one called Lautrec (one of the most beautiful cities in France) and the other Toulouse and that the famous artist is named after them.
      Your writing space might be banal, as you say, but your writing is far from that. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting and enjoy your weekend, wherever you are. 🙂

  2. Great blog post, Carol! 🙂
    My writing space is rather cramped between all the boxes. Switching rooms has started. I currently feel like writing at a construction site. 😉

    • So funny about writing at a construction site. But maybe that’s what you’re doing. Constructing a new beginning. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting, Karen. Good luck with your move. 🙂

  3. Carol – Thanks for sharing your writing space with us. I really like that it reflects your past as well as who you are now. PS I learned to type on a Smith Corona too.

    • Remember the liquid paper and the yellow strip to correct mistakes? How tedious it all was. I can’t imagine going back to such a typewriter and yet great writers wrote their entire works’ collection on typewriters.
      Hope you’re not too jet lagged and enjoying Europe. 🙂

  4. Love the pictures of the typewriters! My parents gave me one for my ninth birthday. I wished I’d kept it since it was an old classic. I then got an electric typewriter which wasn’t as much fun, although it was easier on my fingers. 🙂

    My main writing space is me propped up with pillows in bed and a lap desk with my computer. I also have a lovely desk in the office I share with my husband. There’s a writing process flowchart and a frame painting of a vineyard in Florence hanging on the wall to mind me where I’d like to spend part of my retirement years writing. Two layers of shelving are above the desk (I’m tall) with writing craft books and other stuff.

    • In bed propped up with pillows. What a luxury. This is one of the advantages of being a writer. One can write anywhere but Florence sounds like a perfect place to write.
      Thanks for sharing your writing space. 🙂
      PS. Another advantage of writing in bed is one doesn’t have to make the bed. Don’t touch, it’s my office! 🙂

  5. I think this is my favorite post of your whole series. Wow–talk about personal sanctuary-and how so many items you’ve chosen to keep in your room has meaning. Really inspired by your writing space and I’m so glad you included it, Carol.

    • Thanks, Diahann. Very kind and sweet of you to say. I tend to be a rather private person so this was kind of letting my guard down, allowing people to grasp another part of me – a more personal one. It’s always risky and scary but I’m glad you liked it.:)
      Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  6. Thanks for the beautiful tour of a writer’s life here Carol. I particularly love the quote by E.M. Forster and seeing the stained glass window which I read about in your wonderful book. xo

  7. Hi Carol and other writers out there. I love to write in my bed. I can shut the door and say, do not disturb when I am not babysitting. During the day, (when alone) I usually just sit wherever comfortable although I have a lovely desk. But the children are at the age where everything gets lost or used for paper airplanes, fans, boats or gets scribbled on. That is why my writing is off focus for the time being. Would I be snoopy in asking what your next venture would be on this site, or must I wait and twiddle my thumbs like my Grandma used to do? lol

    • I’m now focused, Drew, on the Femme Fatale series and I’ll continue to post women Nobel Prize Laureates and other things that come up.
      I like the idea of a poetic paper plane. 🙂

      • My summer is filled up to the brim and writing is not one of my fillers, sorry to say. But I love my grandkids, and of course, being with my family in whatever they are in need of the moment. Femme Fatale sounds intriguing. I listen to audio books at night but not for long so it will take some time to get through The Goldenfinch. I want to download some pictures that I took today and post a couple. Hugs. And yes, my poetic flies in more ways than one. Ha, ha!

      • You may not be writing but you’re creativity is showing through your amazing photography, Drew.
        You’re lucky to have grandkids. Enjoy them as much as you can. 🙂
        I like audio books. They’re less effort than reading, I find.
        Have a Happy Sunday.

      • Thank you Carol. I do enjoy the grandchildren so much. They are very active and do play me out, but that is not a bad thing.
        I like audio books too. I listen at night when I go to bed. It helps me fall asleep. Takes my mind off of worries which I can’t do anything about anyway.
        I have two kinds of cataracts. As time goes on, I will need surgery to remove them, however, in the mean time I don’t see as well as I would like. But I can read still though listening is comforting and less stress on my eyes. It’s a gene thing. All my family has had these eye issues, but none went blind. You have a happy day tomorrow as well. Hugs, my friend.

  8. Albert Einstein said: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” 😀 We do not need to take him literally because for example my writing space is so cluttered with books, journals, post-it notes, iPad, sheets of paper, dozens of Word or pdf files on my computer desktop, high-lighters and dozens of pens … but still – my mind ain’t cluttered 😀

  9. I really liked all that you put into this post, your favorite writers, quotes, beauty in your sister’s artistic stained glass, and so much more. I will miss The Writers’ Desks series… but we will stay connected. Looking forward to your next projects! I liked your photo of the old typewriter, too! Carol, you are an inspiration to me and so many others… Take care, Robin

    • Thanks, Robin, for your thoughtful and encouraging words. I might go back to writers’ desks in the future but right now I have other projects I want to do. I look forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂 We will definitely stay connected. This is the magic of blogging. Connecting with interesting writers I would not have otherwise. 🙂

  10. Carol, thanks for your beautiful series on “writing spaces” and sharing your own. I find it heartening that so many writers create a special space for themselves and honour it as you have, with meaningful and inspiring objects such as the beautiful stained glass window. Giving ourselves this sacred space also gives us permission to write what’s in our hearts!

    I give my writing its own room, complete with custom-built bookshelves, a solid desk and computer table. The brick wall I look out at is perfect for writing … and the room gets lots of natural light which is great for the tropical plants near the window.

    Bravo for all your hard work and providing a place where others can share their views on your posts.

    • Thelma, thank you for your thoughtful comments. I like that you used sacred spaces in reference to writers’ desks. And that in honoring that sacred space we ought to write what’s in our hearts. That is when writing is most interesting.
      Your writing space seems so functional and peaceful with the plants and window facing a brick wall – no distractions.
      I liked doing this series. It was a great learning experience for me but what I mostly liked was the feedback I got from readers. One writes in order to be read. Thanks for reading, Thelma. 🙂

  11. Thank you Carol Ann. I have read your Writing spaces with delight and I now finally acknowledge it. I hope we run in to one another this summer and celebrate.
    Grosse bise,
    R

  12. I love the ‘then’ and ‘now’ photos. You have indeed come a long way. I am not a crime writer reader, but I have finally ordered your Mourning has Broken direct to my new iPad. I can’t believe how easy this is. Look forward to reading it (though I have a fearsome reading queue, so it will be a while).

  13. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    MY SPACE…? EITHER A SECURITY DESK AT AN UNKNOWN LOCATION, AT MY BEDSIDE FACING AN N-SCALE TRAIN LAYOUT THAT STILL DOESN’T RUN….OR…IN EXTREME WRITING NEED….ON THE TOILET ( ! ) USING A PAGE OF MY WIFE’S WORD PUZZLE NOTE BOOK TO WRITE A SUDDEN IDEA!!!!!

  14. What a lovely post. Thank you for sharing your space/home with us. Most of my writing is done in bed, the shower, while walking the pooch and driving. Strange but true:) I write scribbly things – not stories. My favorite place is in the shower;)

  15. What a Great space, Carol…. I bet You find tons of inspiration in that Room… I love It. Really special 😉
    Best wishes and Happy weekend, Aquileana 😀

    • Thank! 🙂
      I notice that on your blog it’s not possible to comment or like on individual posts. Just to let you know that I really enjoyed the post on Atlanta. I would have liked to post a like for it. 🙂

  16. I LOVE that quote about life. My writing space isn’t near as centralized yours. I have small note books and candles everywhere. I gather them together at the end of the day though, and spend time reviewing them in the morning over coffee…we all have our “way”.

    • Candles adds such a special touch. For me, having candles around means slow down and they also signal inspiration. I should light them more often.
      I really like that quote. It’s been on the wall of my office for years; a reminder to go with the flow, to be open to surprises.
      Thanks, willowmarie, for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  17. Wonderful post here, Carol! I am only just reading it now. I enjoyed seeing the photos, quotes and more. The quote from E.M. Forster is a good one as sometimes we plan so much that we totally miss the boat on the best things in life! 🙂

    • I love the Forster quote. I hope you have a chance and time (I realize how many other blogs we want to read) to have a look at some of the famous writers’s desks. I had a lot of fun researching and writing this series. Thanks a lot, Christy for being here. Your comments are always gratefully appreciated.

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