A Peek At My Office

Hi, Sherry here — trying to stay warm in Virginia

I was sitting in my office staring out the window yesterday and trying to think of something to write about for the blog today — yes, I procrastinated. I looked around and decided to share some of the things that surround me as I write — the things that make me happy — minus the messy bits. And anyone who’s visited my house knows there are messy bits.

The first thing I see when I walk in my office is a present from my mom. A great review of Tagged for Death in Mystery Scene magazine came out just as the Agatha Award nominations were announced. Mom had the articles clipped and framed.

Right below it is a TV tray that my parents got as a wedding gift.

When I’m sitting at my desk and look straight ahead I see the painting below. It’s between  the two windows in my office. I love it because of the message and because I found it at a craft show I attended with two dear friends.

This is the window on the right side of the office. My mom made the valance for me out of a piece of vintage fabric I found in an antique store in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. This was long before I thought about writing a series set there. The curtain is a set a friend gave to me. And the view — well thanks Mother Nature. I confess the view out the other window is of my neighbor’s house. If I look to my right I see the target from graduation at the Fairfax County Citizens Police Academy. When my husband saw the target he thought I hadn’t done well because the other participant’s targets were full of holes. However, when I told him I’d only shot twice he was impressed. It was the first (and probably last) time I’ve ever shot a gun. It’s hard to see in the photo, but one shot is in the shoulder under the gun and the other is in the chest in the middle box. Also to the right is a painting my daughter painted in fifth grade of our family. I love it and still have that red jacket!

This is the sign on my doorknob — not that anyone pays attention to it.

Behind my desk is a big poster of Tagged for Death — my first book.

To the left of my desk is a bulletin board of things I love. I’m not sure I can fit one more thing on it.

Also to the left are some favorite pictures and a bookcase I bought at a thrift shop for thirty dollars. The white stuffed seal is the “official” seal of Sisters in Crime. It’s passed from president to president.

And last is the upper right corner of my desk. Just little things people have given me or that I’ve collected. They all make me happy. Readers: Do you have a room where you are surrounded by things that make you happy? What’s your favorite thing in that room?






29 Thoughts

  1. Between the 15,966 emails and the 45+ past-due ARCs, I am surrounded by messy bits. It is difficult to be a reader, a quilter, and a knitter in a 14’x48′ trailer and squeeze in the necessary stashes. Thank G!d for ebooks.

  2. I love your office!
    Right now, I have most of my things, desk, computer, crafting items, etc. stuffed in my bedroom. Once my daughter moves out, I am taking her bedroom as mine and turing the room I am in into my office/craft room. It has a huge walk in closet, so things can finally get organized, which means I can shut the door on my mess!
    I have always surrounded myself with things that are important to me: things my favourite aunt gave me as a child, seashells from the beach in Holland, things my 5 girls have made me over the years, pictures my grandkids have drawn, pictures of my family, etc.
    I have a small vat board that has a cork bottom piece. I have little keychains pinned to it, a small dream catcher and a paper snowflake my youngest girl made me when she was small. On the vat board top the same girl wrote a one-sentence story about a fish when she was 5. That is my favourite thing by my desk. It has survived 15 years without being erased!
    I also have a huge collection of bookmarks, some purchased, many from all of the authors I love reading! On my wall I have book covers sent to me from authors. I also have words of wisdom or inspirational sayings that I have written on colourful paper taped up around my desk. I have my jar of thankfulness on my desk, a picture of my youngest daughter from when she was a fairie for Halloween.
    On my walls I have different photos of the beach, which is my calm place to go to. Seashells in different jars and just sitting on top of things.
    On the wall opposite my bed is a portrait of my dad. It was his high school graduation picture that my grandparents had enlarged. It is the very last thing I look at before turning out my light at night.
    Books, of course, are everywhere!

  3. The things that make me happy are all around the house, Almost every room has a bookcase full of books that my husband and I have collected. The refrigerator in the kitchen is full of photos of family – mostly the grandkids! My cross stitch is by my favorite chair, and my sewing is in the family room in the basement. And I am lucky to have lots of photos of extended family back to my great-grandparents that are on the walls in each room.

  4. I like my reading corner. My favorite thing in it is a sculpture of Mickey Mouse dressed as a vampire that my boyfriend got me for my birthday

  5. As you know, I don’t have an official office, so I’m envious of your space. I love seeing the bits and pieces. Such a great glimpse.

  6. I’ve written here before describing my office/museum. I covered one wall with cork so I could easily pin up maps, posters, paintings, bookmarks, and various memorabilia. There are 3 bookcases crammed with books and souvenirs/memorabilia from many trips mostly to South America. All of the walls are covered with wall hangings, ceramics, photos, masks, etc. I have two desks that are both usable as desks, but are also great for displaying a lot of my favorite things. And it isn’t a mess, just very full. I love sitting in here and just absorbing all the good vibes that come from so many friends who all of these things remind me of. Favorite thing? No way could I decide!

  7. What a fun way to share a peek into your writing world. I have to confess that my office is my happy place in the house as well. It’s the smallest room, so nice and cozy, and it overlooks the new (work-in-progress) front garden. On the walls are research photos for Kerrian’s Notebook, as well as a couple of photos that won awards. I do have a framed qualification target from one of the Wisconsin WPA events when I used an AR-15 for the first and only time ever. The framer got a kick out of doing the project and put red paper behind the target holes for dramatic effect. Perfect! LOL

    To the right of my desk is the ‘murder board,’ where I hang the 3×5 cards for each scene in my #wip novel. I have old golf scores on the wall to keep me humble, inspirational quotes to keep me grounded, and a photo of my son to make me smile. It’s a lovely place to work.

      1. Steal away! It’s deliciously wicked. 😉
        And, thanks about the #wip. 🙂

  8. What a lovely space!

    I don’t have an office, but I do have a corner of the sunroom. The desk is custom, built by a friend. The lamp is my mother’s old piano lamp. I’m keeping my pens in my favorite Marvin the Martian mug, which I broke a while ago (after it lasting 18 years) and didn’t know what I’d do with it. Marvin looks a little grumpy, because he hasn’t had his coffee yet.

    On the other corner, since it’s Christmas, I have a ceramic singing mouse in his nightclothes. He lights up and is studded with little colored balls. My grandfather made him.

    And of course the big windows give me a great view of my backyard and the surrounding nature!

  9. As I was taking out Christmas ornaments from family vacations this year, I realized just how happy they make me. Trying to fit all my ornaments into my condo? Not so much.

  10. Hi Sherry,

    Thanks so much for the peek into your office and your writing life. I did notice that there were no desk photos. I suspect that photos of my desk would be un-distinguishable from yours.

    Which is rather ironic since I keep the rest of my house very neat with everything in order. (Apart from the one upstairs bedroom which is the residence of the Ghost of Rubbish Past.)

    I have my office space in the middle of my family room so, while I don’t have any wall decorations with any work-related mementos, the room is full of objects that are the heart of my fondest memories, especially right now when everything is all decked out for Christmas.

    There’s the Russian nesting doll in the shape of a Christmas Tree on the mantle that we bought in Sitka on a cruise to Alaska and the very atypical nutcracker we got in a wood shop in Heidelberg. The nutcracker (who stays out all year and doesn’t just emerge at Christmas) isn’t a bit Christmassy. It’s brown and black and is a Russian Cossack and is incredibly fierce. Every time I look at it, I remember that day in Heidelberg, and especially our taxi ride from Neckargemund where we were staying into the city. Our taxi driver spoke no English or French (in which I was then reasonably fluent) and I hadn’t spoken any German since high school more than 20 years before. Nevertheless we managed to have a rich conversation which was, at times, at a very abstract level, and that drive is one of my favorite memories ever.

    If I turn my head slightly to the right, I can see my Christmas tree with it’s hundreds of lights blazing, just enough too tall that I can’t fit a topper on it. And of course, each and every ornament on the tree is its own memory. Some entered our family long before I was born, some were gifts from friends and relatives, and some I chose myself over the years.

    And to the side of the tree is the snow village, built up gradually over many years. Originally, there was a single building, a theater filled with tiny fiber-optic lights my mother gave me as a birthday present one year. At that time we had a tradition of taking a family cruise every Christmas. We loved being on a cruise ship at Christmas time. There were trees and decorations everywhere and every night there was caroling or a tree-lighting or an eggnog party or some other holiday celebration.

    Despite my protests, my mother insisted we take the Theater with us on the cruise. I protested. We were already up to 10 suitcases (one of which had nothing but books in those pre-Kindle days), and that illuminated theater wasn’t tiny. She insisted it would make a wonderful night light and would keep us in the holiday spirit. I was overruled and we toted that huge (and heavy) thing with us across the country to our embarkation port and onto the ship.

    I had to spend the cruise eating crow because she was absolutely right. It made a wonderful night light and gave me a wonderful warm feeling every night as I drifted off to sleep.

    So we ended up taking it with us every year on our Christmas cruises. And now, as I look at it in the center of all the buildings in our snow village, it carries with it all the happy times we had over those years.

    I could go on for another 20 paragraphs. In fact I could do 20 paragraphs just about the mess on my desk. Now THERE’S a treasure trove of tales.

    Happy Holidays to you Sherry and to your Office too!

  11. I love your stories, Lee! It is good to be surrounded by treasures. We went on a Christmas cruise one year and it was the best! I would do it every year if I could!

  12. Awesome tour! I think my favorite room is my bedroom because I get to make it my own, and my favorite part of it is my reading chair.

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