Wicked Wednesday – What’s in Front of Your Desk?

Here’s our Wicked Wednesday question: When you sit down to write and you look up from your screen, pad of paper, or tablet, what do you see?

IMG_2684Edith: My Tibetan Buddhist Nuns calendar. A list of hooks: Raising a direct question; Surprising situation; Overpowering emtotion; and so on. 2012 Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner menu. Whiteboard with note to self for Book Two copy edits and other lists. Picture of John Greenleaf Whittier. Brochure from my local farm. Comic about Day 10 “without a contrived coincidence to forward the plot.” And my favorite, THE MUSE MOST OF US REALLY NEED. (Click the picture to read what it is I need…)

IMG_3853_2Sherry: I love my office. (Thanks Bob for agreeing — and I use the word agreeing loosely — to take the office in the basement.) If I look out the window on the right I can pretend I live in a forest surrounded my trees. I love the valance in my office because my mom made them for me from a piece of vintage fabric I found in an antique store in Fort Walton Beach, FL. The painting between the two windows says: Follow Your Dreams — a good reminder for me.

SopranosLiz: I’ve recently redone my office (again). It’s a small space so I get to look at a lot of things I love. There’s my bulletin board with pics of animal friends, a couple of pics of recent events, inspirational quotes (My favorite: Whether or not it is clear to you, the universe is unfolding exactly as it should…), first draft prompts and affirmations. There’s a cardboard cutout from an old target practice with lots of bullet holes in it, a bamboo tree, and a few stacks of things I still need to sort through. But my absolute favorite thing to look at is my Sopranos picture.

boothbaychair inspiration-wall-768x1024Barb: Liz, I love your Sopranos picture! Above my writing desk I have an inspiration wall of sorts that keeps me focused on Maine. Of course, in the summer, when I’m actually working in Maine, I don’t have to look far for inspiration!

Julie: OK, I’ll admit it. I am distracted this time of year. Here’s what I see when I look up from my laptop.

Game 3 ALCS


If I were at my desk, I would see the skyline of Boston. It is beautiful, and inspiring. But fall is (happily for New England) post season baseball.


Jessie: 20131015_211952Mounted to the wall opposite my desk I have a large sheet of clear glass. I scrawl across it with dry erase markers plotting stories and organizing my thoughts. Below the glass I have a low bookshelf that holds a collection of stone spheres, stuffed penguins and an antique Underwood typewriter in addition to books, books, books.

On the wall next to my desk I have a framed poster of the cover of Drizzled with Death that my husband ordered for me. There 20131015_212103is also a pair of butterfly prints a dear friend gave me to remind me life is about metamorphosis and a set of photos taken gravestone angels. Finishing off the collection is a drawing one of my kids made for me imagining the sleuth in my first series as Nancy Drew.


Readers: What’s above your desk, or your favorite reading spot? Writers, do you write at the same desk every day, or do you look up and see the Starbucks menu or your fireplace mantel? Tell us!

10 Thoughts

  1. You people! All your spaces are too tidy! I have a 3×5 foot corkboard with most of my life stuck on it–calendar (at eye level), dentist appointments, jury summons, pictures of my daughter the day she was born, at five, and this year, and images that catch my attention and relate to one book or another or are just plain interesting. Maybe once a year I strip it down and start over. There’s a rubbing of one of my ancestor’s tombstones on my left, and between them, a photograph by a local woman, of a beach at dawn–the calmest part of the collection.

    1. Sheila, you only saw what I see when I look up. If we did a picture of the top of our desks it would be a different story. And a view of the whole office would show mail on the floor to be recycled, a very messy bulletin board, and a couple of stacks of books that haven’t made their way to s shelf. That photo is a whole different story!

      1. Exactly. On the desk? Yikes. That stack of papers in each corner that I can never figure out where or how to file. The overflowing in-basket type of container. The bag of chocolates behind the laptop monitor!

  2. My desk faces away from the windows, so my view is of corkboards with notes and to-do lists. Above and to the sides are shelves full of reference books but on the inch or two of shelf in front of the books are perched all sorts of knick-knacks and do-dads, many of them either writing or cat related, but a few nostalgic bits and bobs are there too. And of course, in a place of honor is the Agatha teapot I won for nonfiction.

  3. My desk faces the window where I can see the ocean. Directly in front of my laptop table is the TV, but my favorite spot to read is my recliner where I have access to laptop, telephone and all the remotes needed.

  4. First, I sit on a thin blanket on a hardwood floor. My “desk” is an upside down, empty paper box (Boise Aspen 100% post-consumer recycled, in case you wondered). When I look up from my desk, I see a wide cherry wood floor with almost nothing on it. I have a patch of sunlight which travels across the floor, and there is invariably a cat in the patch of sun. The walls are painted an eggshell white, with black trim around the doors and on the baseboards. The doors are painted cherry red. I have a large window facing south, and I can see the top of a tree out the window; the rest is pure sky. My “office” contains only one bookshelf, filled only with books I’ve read multiple times, and a small memories shelf. The rest of the room is empty because I require quiet, stillness, and order to write most efficiently. Aside from the cats, no one else is permitted in my writing room, which I have named “Haven.”

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