I’d love to say that my writing space is luxurious, like the photos I’ve seen of Lisa Kleypas’ office, or scenic, like the views of Lake Tahoe Jill Shalvis posts on her Facebook page almost daily. And yes, I am fiendishly jealous. Cherry Adair is an interior designer. HER office looks exactly like one would believe a romance author’s should. She’s surrounded by her favorite romance novels. There’s a fireplace, for Pete’s sake. (Who is Pete, anyway? Has this ever been determined by anyone?)
There’s a thirty step commute to my office. It’s a spare bedroom in our house. The walls are the same color they have been for the past fourteen years, despite the fact I look at my husband at least once a week and say, “We really should paint my office.” The problem: I can’t decide which color. Right now, it’s something called Vanillin, which is nice. I saw some tangerine-y gold paint color I thought was gorgeous, and I was all for that. We live outside of Seattle; a burst of color might be good on those rainy days. Then I read an article stating that blue is a great paint color for those wanting a creative space. I definitely want a “creative space”, so I promptly fell in love with a paint color named Danube. Blue = cold, however, and I spend three months a year wrapped in a blanket so I won’t freeze now. WHAT is an author to do?
My husband used to hang out sometimes in my office, too, until we decided we got married for better, for worse, and he needed to spend time somewhere quieter. I listen to a lot of classical music while I work. And a lot of hair bands, C-89, (KNHC-FM, streamed worldwide – it’s a dance music station run by local high school students) space music on Pandora, whatever suits me and my work for that day. I can’t find my Hildegard von Bingen CD’s right now, or he’d be subjected to that, too. Maybe the cats hid them.
Back to the office. My desk is about six feet long. It is piled with stuff. I wish I was one of those authors whose space is pristine and I could take a photo to show this off, but it’s not going to happen. My husband got my desk chair for $10 when his former office decided to sell them. There are two lamps in here. There’s a bulletin board next to my desk with a 2007 Seattle Seahawks team picture and the NaNoWriMo certificate from 2005 stating I finished my first novel. My two assistants are the uncivilized Maine Coons that live in our house, Mojo and Oscar. They spend most of the day sleeping, unless their food bowl has a hole in the bottom invisible to the naked eye. I am subjected to random kamikaze kitty assaults until I remedy the situation.
Mostly, I need solitude when I write. I need to be in a place I can concentrate on the story and my characters, which are always doing things that shock and surprise me. I can’t believe I get to spend my days doing something I love so much. Messy office or not, I am a working author, and it’s time to get back to work.
Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.
When Julie’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of five contemporary sports romances.
There’s more information about Julie at her website, http://www.juliebrannagh.com. Her author page on Facebook is at https://www.facebook.com/