Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Nice Neat Orderly Desk

(Images removed for legal reasons)
Over the weekend, I was poking around Facebook and came across a link from Heroes & Heartbreakers that led me to Jennifer Cruise's blog in which she laments the perfection of Susan Elizabeth Phillips's office. Go ahead and look--it's a very pretty office.

But, I have to admit, I thought the post itself was funny. Cruise talks about how everything is put away and Phillips will never find random stuff because it's so neat and tidy.

I swear I had a picture of my desk. In the picture it looks all nice and organized and pretty too. You know why? Because I took the picture before I ever used the desk. When I clean it, it looks almost that good again (sadly, I cannot find said picture--boo--so we'll use the one to the right instead since it looks a lot like my old desk...when we first set it up.). The reason I'm not just going to grab a snapshot of my desk now is I would never ever post a picture of what it looks like on a normal day.

You see, for me, an author's desk is a little like an author's mind. Somedays it's all nice and neat and orderly, kind of like our books are when they're released. The books have been through a thorough cleaning and all the extra junk (empty pop bottles, scrap papers, random bits of what-the-hell-it-this) removed or at least made shiny (you know, if the random bits of what-the-hell-is-this are actually important.
The rest of the time an author's desk is in creation-mode. It's ideas spread everywhere fueled by the power of the imagination and the gods of caffeine. It's indecipherable book notes and papers from the kids' school, and a half-eaten lunch because in the middle of chewing the author had an epiphany about how to fix a plot issue. In short, it's nothing a normal person would recognize as order. It's not pretty, but it's real.

If the time comes that I'm ever interviewed for some big magazine, I will clean the hell out of my office (and probably move the exercise equipment out so it doesn't look so crowded in here) because no one wants to see what it looks like normally. And they certainly don't want to read an interview where I let my brain go into creation-mode. (If you ever want to see a group of authors in that state, you should check out my tweets about our virtual write-ins at the Rebel Outpost. The conversations we have in there are a perfect scrapbook about why so many authors are not normally suitable for public consumption--and I totally include myself in that.)

So yes, if you ever see my office in photographs, it's going to look all neat and tidy and pretty. That's even the picture I'd send my author friends. In the case of the public perception, it's so people don't think things along the lines of "Oh my God! How can she live like that? Someone call the health department and make sure their aren't dead bodies under the desk!" For my author friends it would just be to prove that I can pretend at falling in line and being normal--I just don't like to stay there.


  1. lol. If we don't hear from you in 24 hours we will send a search squad. ;D Lol.

    My husband threatens to put doors on my den so no one can see into it. LOL! The desk looks like a bomb went off. And strange thing about it...I'm kind of proud of it. I've even told my mom I need more desk. ;D (don't tell my husband, please.)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha give me longer than 24. My brain might have just shut down so hard that I decided to cozy up with the decomposing bodies under the desk and take a nap. 48 might be an issue though :P

      Fortunately, my husband just stopped looking at my desk. He might not like it, but at least we've reached an understanding :)


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