Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

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vade mecum
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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby vade mecum » Tue Sep 19, 2006 5:59 pm

The realtor described it as a library, but to me it's just a short, blue hallway between my bedroom and my son's. My computer desk sits under the only window, which has an excellent view of the sky and treetops.

My desktop is cluttered with business papers, as this is actually my home office. I pay bills, write letters, and review invoices here. My writing life is hidden away in the green file box on the floor. At night I drag it out and work on the things that really matter--my essays and novel.

A tall, black floor lamp in the corner supplements the recessed lighting. It has shelves decorated with lighthouses to complement the framed lighthouse poster my son gave me when he was in ninth grade.

To my right is a large Thomas Kincaid calendar that I bought for a dollar after Christmas. Even though it was a bargain, I can't stand to mark it up with appointments, so I have a small cat calendar nailed to the wall next to the window. It holds all the useful tidbits of information I need to remember.

The printer to the left of my desk doubles as a table when I work on my writing. I pile all the business stuff on top of it to make room on the desk for my cat. She likes to tan under the desk lamp while I work, but chews the papers if I don't move them.

My chair doesn't rock. I wish it would, but the oak railing along the top of the staircase is too close to the desk. I can barely move the chair back far enough to sit down, so I have to be content with propping my feet on top of that computer thing under my desk. I have no idea what it is; my son says I need it. The processor is to the left, and doubles as a cd holder.

Overall, it's a nice looking spot if you glance at it while climbing the stairs. Sitting here for hours at a time, with the noise from the rest of the house rising up to drown my thoughts gets annoying, though. I don't love it, but it will do for now.



RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby castle3906 » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:47 pm

Writer’s block! It comes upon me several times a day. I search my surroundings for something to trigger a thought.

Will it be something on my gleaming walnut desk? Smiling, I recall the day I bought it at an auction for fifteen dollars. A plastic pad under the ergonomic wireless keyboard prevents scratching. An etched glass nameplate tells my wife who I am, just in case she’s forgotten since she saw me last. Behind it are tape dispenser, stapler, empty coffee cup caddy, and golf calendar. Today’s score tells me I don’t remember any of its daily tips. On the lower desk table, by my right hand, is a wireless mouse and beyond a miniature Marilyn Monroe doll in her famous Playboy pose. The net nightie leaves nothing to the imagination. My mother-in-law gave it to me just before her passing, so my wife lets me keep it. Finally there’s the do-it-all office center that, on occasion, has a mind of its own. I find nothing stimulating there.

My gaze starts scanning the walls, starting above the desk and working counter-clockwise around the room. Plaques, certificates, and military decorations cover hunters and their dogs wallpaper on the first one. I study each citation. Bronze Stars, Air Medals, Army Commendation Medals, and flying safety awards mix lesser, but no less important honors. At the far end is my favorite, a portrait of my wife as a teenager. After almost forty years of marriage, she is my greatest prize.

Light peeks from behind the closet doors on the next wall. The closet light is on the same circuit as the room’s track lighting. Above the doors is a picture of an airfield I flew into many times, next to it a photograph of my flight class. I can’t see their faces at this distance, but I fondly remember them all. Several lost their lives in Vietnam, so I move on before I become sentimental.

The third wall is my treasure cove, my books – interspersed with a few model cars. There’s novels, biographies, reference and text books. They are all my friends. On the counter of the bookshelf sits two die-cast NASCAR models. One is number 24, Jeff Gordon. The other is number 29, Kevin Harvick. We turn the models around so whichever won last week’s race is in front. In the corner is a statue of an Indian warrior. My wife gave it to me as a Christmas gift. It carries a nameplate of the main character in my completed but - as of yet – unpublished novel.

I swing my chair toward sliding-glass doors. Maybe my inspiration lies below. The lights of the valley alternately twinkle and glare as a sliver of moonlight peeks from high cirrus clouds and then ducks behind them again. Sliver of moonlight! I turn to the keyboard and keys start clicking.

Pat Pechon
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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby Pat Pechon » Tue Sep 19, 2006 7:01 pm

Pc sits in the center of a large desktop, to the right a lamp, the left a pencil holder, notepad holder, two dictionaries, a descriptionary, a Thesaurus and a copy of "The Elements of Style."  An incense holder and a large collection of various incense sticks, stay on the very back corner of the desk. Yellow legal pads float around, filled with notes, oh yeah and the grocery list. A Ledger for the ever present bills rounds out the clutter.

A window is in front and slightly to the right of the flat screen. It allows me a veiw  400 feet down the gravel drive to the main road, so I can see anyone who may approach. Also lets me see the neighbors horses, across the road.

Two large bookcases, one to my immediate left, and the other on the wall on the far side of the window. The bookcases are filled with books on Art, Calligrapy, Medical encylopedias, and Microbiology texts. On the edge of the shelves and on top of the books are perched Lions, stuffed, made of satin, glass, real fur, clay, carved wood, ceramic, even a Lion Nutcracker sits on the very top shelf, along with a double exposed portrait of my sons as babies. (one childs picture is looking up and to the side, the other is looking straight ahead)

The walls are filled with my drawings, a unicorn in particular, and a large Chicago Cubs logo.

A daybed takes up the last corner and wall opposite the desk. We try not to open the closet in this room, for fear of everything thats crammed in there will shoot out at high velocity.

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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby jchambers » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:25 pm

My workspace is neat and orderly. There is nothing out of place. The trash can beside it seldom has anything in it because I never make mistakes. Well, it had a sheet of paper in it once forty years ago. I had thought I made a mistake but on closer examination, a flyspeck made a period look like a comma. So, I was wrong about having made a mistake.

It was also the only fly that has gained entry to the house since 1967. That was the years I helped Dr. Christian Barnard perform the first heart transplant and I think it came in while we were carrying some equipment in while preparing for the operation.

It wouldn't have happened had I not been very tired from having returned from the Middle East the week before, after negotiating a cease-fire to the Six-Day war. Normally I only get involved in big wars. It's a matter of principle. But the idea Johnson and McNamara presented to me at the time was a war setting precedent. In effect, the proposition was any war that lasted more than six days simply wasn't worth having in the first place.

We thought it was potentially the smallest thing to happen to warfare since the invention of the radial-cyclops. The RCP was a curious weapon that few have heard of because it was rejected by the Navy outright, based solely on the observation that it killed more people trying to use it than bad guys. It did see service in the early days of the Viet Nam police action. But it was soon replaced by early versions of the M16A1, which proved just as ineffective. As far as I know, those two weapons were more useful to our overall plan as any to date. Well, we also had a couple things going to countermeasure the Soviet progress in an obscure program that involved mind over matter. Their idea was to get a whole lot of people together and have them think the same thing thereby bringing about whatever was thunk. We had a few guys who proved adept at discerning the future, and specifically what was going to be thunk before it was actually thunk. He would inform us and we would get our analogus people to unthink the thing at the same time the Soviets were having their guys think it. They didn't know it and the end result was no result at all, which was better than any result would have been, which made it an astounding success. The program had overall costs of less that a hundred million dollars which was a good investment for such an ineffective program.

It's unfortunate there was a political demand for more action so the small war plan was eventually abandoned.

I also have that bust of Pallas just above my chamber door. When Edgar came over he was so depressed over having lost Lenore, I encouraged him to try putting his thoughts in words on paper...

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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby jchambers » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:11 pm

Captains log: Supplemental

The thing was, I didn't have a computer at the time -- just an old mechanical Royal typewriter. It had two anomalies that I recall. First, it only worked in the first 40 columns so you had to use short lines. The other was when you moved the carriage return lever it often times inserted the letters "ore." So what Edgar had to do was anticipate beforehand when this would happen and end affected lines in a way that would look okay when "ore" was inserted...

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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby kenaipi » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:33 pm




RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby ihr » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:59 am

My workspace is one end of my couch. This suits me perfectly, since I am essentially a couch potato. I can work in my favorite position.

My desk is a 2-foot by 2 1/2-foot granite end table. This suits me because it is indestructible and virtually maintenance free. At this moment, it contains a decorative lamp, a daylight-reading lamp, a portable telephone, and a black, metal-mesh pencil cup stuffed with various pencils, pens, and highlighters. In front of this, there is a small, clear plastic box containing a spiral notepad, an electronic organizer, a calculator, a cell phone, a sticky note pad, and an address book filled with passwords, all standing on end for easy access.

Transient objects include a yellow Fiesta coffee mug half-full with the remains of my morning coffee, a black plastic ashtray with several butts, a pack of Viceroys with a lighter, and a Chap Stick.

There is a permanent space carved out in the back corner between the decorative lamp and the reading lamp where my laptop resides when not in use.

My trashcan is a 6-inch by 6-inch clear plastic box. The beauty of this is that I don't have to move to reach it. It gets emptied occasionally.

Directly in front of my workspace is a large, granite coffee table suitable for reading stacks. It, too, is indestructible, and is the perfect distance from the couch for my feet.

Routine maintenance of my workspace consists of weekly or bi-weekly--actually sometimes monthly--dusting and purging.

I love my workspace and spend a lot of time here.

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Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby lady_gaudi » Wed Sep 20, 2006 4:49 am

My workspaces are within bricks and mortar preoccupied a set of complete desktop unit and a chair that put ease from pulling out. During the day time, facing a grayish block of partition sided with glass filled of a reasonable sized office table putting with loads of papers piling day after day, neatly in a folder, brushed aside to a corner of worktable, messed up and neat at the end of the day. A top shelf divided into halves stuffed with more folders contained in a paper box as cost reduction tray, covered with a calendar stand and a stress reducer ball. Prettifying the glass panels with posters, a recent give away chocolate sweet in a box printed in classy silverish (edited) wordings, a standing miniature round mirror that could use to flip from and to glare at oneself, an occasion ‘lost & found’ items ‘saved’ pathetically lying around; awaiting for ‘forgetful’ owners, a purple colored plastic water bottle filled with ice water laid its foothold on simple picture hand-sew fabric coaster befriended with an authentic white porcelain mug lined with blue on the top and bottom, painted a picturesque of a mountain covered with few leaves blue always filled with hot coffee or tea roused with sweet aroma especially effective awakening to work from those sleepy mementos.

Stepping onto slabs of marbles cooling off expanded feet, arise onto a portable stool that runs between two office tables, one with only left sided shelf of open slots, filled nail colors, a paper pad, two diskettes and a small plastic container with three drawers below, stationed a note book, paper weight clock, toilet roll, two quantity of hand moisturizers for bad weather, right hand sided an up sized Jergens Ultra Healing moisturizer, an academic paper bags with more papers, a world map toppled onto the paper bags, a clean cloth to keep monitor dust free and accidental spilled over. On the other sturdy carpentry art, a slightly yellowish stained due to prolonged used of treasured desktop, bought with dad’s efforts, pasted on neo prints of a cousin and me & me cuddling a Maltese; compact disk holder bringing music to the ears, dictionaries of two language readily on the desk jet printer; a pair of speakers, wireless mouse, keyboard and CPU (sits of a calendar full of artistes) completed a soho. Stacked on the right, the books ranged from management to autobiography, a computer peripheral tool kit, a few pieces of jots for inspirational moments, an Elizabeth Arden perfume as a birthday gift from mom, stationary holders, bottles of water, file holder and a table sized country flag. A long time pal supporting butt cheeks, made of rosewood with pearls like paints covered of a cushion. Behind the table, sticks on about news events post cards and a picture of myself, blocked by a bookshelves.

Plus an safety environmental chute that a calculator may find itself there at times when I flipped harshly through stacks of papers. .

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RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby DeborahB » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:39 am

love the archeologically filed bit. Sometimes you read something you really wish you'd come up with first. This was one of those times for me. Great piece.


RE: Your Workspace 9/19-9/25

Postby perunest » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:01 am

My workspace consists of a tidy-looking wall unit which houses my laptop, two printers, current research materials and dozens – hundreds? – of loose papers containing tidbits of wisdom (my own and others') and receipts for writing-related materials. Spare ink cartridges, pens, and CDs are also arrayed haphazardly within. This setup sits between the dining room and the family room, perched right next to my African Gray parrot's own perch. ("Ghosty" constantly inquires as to my health – "How are you?" - and reminds me she is gorgeous and a "hot chick" (in her own words)).
Occasionally, I am greeted by an avalanche of paper products when I open my literary cupboard, but more often, things remain precariously balanced in unlikely mounds of mismatched miscellany; however, I always know where everything is . . . well, almost always.
I like to keep my Flip Dictionary at my fingertips, as well as a handbook of American life in the 1800's, to which I refer regularly, as my novels are grounded in that place and timeframe. A book of names to help me designate my characters, a Spanish-English dictionary, and a stack of various types of paper and notebooks have all found niches in this splendid place.
Behind me, a few feet away, on a short cabinet against a wall, sit my Deluxe Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, as well as a Dictionary of Etymology, two reference sources that are, of course, indispensable.
Atop my creative cabinet sit framed photos of the source of my everyday inspiration and delight – my almost-two-year-old twin granddaughters. Every writer should start every writing session with a smile on her face and I guarantee you, these photos put joy in my heart as well.
The main body of my research materials sits in a 5-shelf bookcase at the other end of the room – about 35 feet away. It's a long walk to look up which wildflowers grow in central Texas, but just what I need to get the blood flowing back into legs that have gone rubbery after two hours in a hard chair without much movement – except for my fingers which fly . . . OK, stumble, across the keys of my computer.
At the end of the day, I can push the roll-out shelves back into their neatly designed spaces – after clearing off all books and materials which would prohibit this movement – and close the cabinet doors to instantly "neaten up" the room. Most days I don't bother doing this; somehow, seeing the conglomeration and uproar of my previous writing session is an inspiration to jump "write" in again.
At the end of each satisfying writing binge (and some not so satisfying), I can count on Ghosty asking, "Can I come out now?" She knows when we're both ready for a break.


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