A writer’s desk reveals secrets about the writer.
This is my office, me, GAYLE LYNDS. I’m not a messy person. Really. Our house is darn neat, but when I work, I go into another world that’s informed by past novels and those I hope to write. I let my creative side roam. On floor-to-ceiling shelves sit old cardboard boxes stuffed with ideas and clippings. The three shelves of paperbacks next to it are by other authors, and I read bits of them for inspiration. My other walls spill over with research books. A Cold War map of Europe is tacked to my bulletin board. My desk is cherrywood, built by my dad when I was in high school. Oh, the decades of writing memories it has!
Tell us, Rogues, about your offices: What do they reveal about you?
I love this space because it’s got so much room for my books, it’s quiet and removed from the rest of the house, and I can watch the cat stalking her prey beneath the spruce trees from my window. Also, my husband has a built in live edge desk in one of the nooks and we can work upstairs together.
This is my ‘office’ at home—I mounted a shelf on my lightweight, foldable treadmill so I can walk during long writing sessions, and put it out of the way for short ones. The desk was bought at a scratch and dent sale with my first book advance—it’s very big and very heavy! But truthfully, I can write anywhere when necessary, in the car, in restaurants, in front of the television (not my preference). Once I even wrote while sitting on an overturned bucket waiting for a crime scene video to download.
When we built our home here on Naples Bay many years ago, I told our architect I wanted an office all to myself with a water view (my husband has his own enclave at the other end of the house), and this is where I write my books, plan book tours, write speeches and also keep up with our Rogue activities, blogs, Rogue Reads and all the rest. Friends sometimes ask, “Don’t you get distracted just gazing out the windows all the time?” My answer, “Not really.” The thing is, watching birds flying over the patio, dolphins diving in the water, and seeing the occasional boating party glide by gives me an incentive to write. I say to myself, “Now, finish one more chapter and you can join them all outside and swim your laps.”
Here are the 5 things I must have in my work space:
✒ Laptop (of course)
✒ Place to tuck my sprouting hairball of notes away till I need them
✒ Desk and chair
✒ Ceramic tile and wooden loop my daughter and son made for me
✒ Miniature from whichever book I’m writing at the time, for example, a lobster boat when I wrote The Second Mother, set on an island in Maine
And here is the one thing I cannot write with as you can tell from the photo: clutter!!!
The best part of my writing desk are all the little knicky-knaky things all over it. You’d think my bobblehead Holstein and my two Maltese Falcons (take that Sam Spade), would distract me, but they don’t. When I’m in the zone, I see nothing but words. My bobblehead Carol, my favorite character from “The Walking Dead” is up there too. She’s holding a pie, but she’s hiding a knife behind her back. Knowing the knife’s there reminds me to add the creepy to my pages. You’ll also notice the Chicago Police Department diecast squad car. I write crime fiction set in the Windy City. The squad puts me in the right frame of mind. Some days I write like the wind at this little desk. Some days I can’t write my name without needing an eraser. Them’s the breaks. That’s the writer’s life. The view out my window looks pretty desolate in winter, but when the weather’s nice, my neighbor’s cat will sit in the middle of the lawn and stare at me … like I need the pressure from a cat.
Dear Rogue Readers … What’s in your house or workspace that means a lot to you? Leave a comment and tell us. We’d love to know!