I first became interested in writers’ workspaces when I browsed Jill Krementz’s book of photographs entitled, The Writer’s Desk. In it, she shows us the workspaces of 57 writers from Stephen King to Archibald MacLeish as well as a description by each author about their routines for creating and what they like to wear. This is a very good idea for an Open Call and I am eager to see the spaces where others work.
My own desk is a discard I bought at a garage sale for forty dollars but it served me well for over twenty-five years as a busy English teacher. It is situated in the front room of my house that also serves as an old-fashioned parlor. You cannot see them from this view but there are two built-in cabinets that house some of my library of over one thousand books. It really is a writer’s library that I am quite proud of because it has everything from Nancy Drew to David Foster Wallace. Yes, I have read most of them.
I need solitude for writing so the parlor is fine for that. Music is essential to me when I am writing and the genres vary according to my mood or possibly even subject matter. There’s my zune that contains all my favorite songs and artists—over three thousand! I love beautiful things and so I have some of them around me. There are the three Roseville vases also found at several garage sales, the holy grails of my collecting.
My 1980 GOP pencil cup, filled with multi colors of Parker Big Red pens, was made by Frankoma pottery. The fabulous crystal inkwell I found in an old shop in New York last year. I have a Navajo storyteller figurine that my BFF, a professor of Native studies, gave me for inspiration as well as an Edgar Allen Poe bobble-head that my daughter found one Christmas. If you were to open the door in the center you would find a glass candy jar with the presidential seal of Ronald Reagan. It was once filled with Jelly Bellies, a party favor when I worked at the RNC, but now it is filled with an old embroidery sampler that I made long ago and a large plastic fly.
I am a dedicated drinker of tea—black tea—all day long. Red Rose is the brand and I drink it as stout as others like coffee. Eating is not something I like to do while writing; also I have found that drinking alcohol doesn’t help at all. Overlooking me as I work is a framed print by Alphonse Mucha of Calliope, the muse of poetry.
As far as a regimen, I haven’t one. I am not only a writer but also a fine artist so I do whatever I feel like when I feel like it. That is a big change for me in the past year because I had been a teacher most of my life and my own projects were put on hold. Open Salon has been a good place to test the waters and I thank every single one of you who has read my work. I have learned so much from all of you.