My Writing Studio is a Castle

My writing space is in a castle. High ceilings, yet cozy proportions.  Floor to ceiling windows with a stunning view of a shimmering moat. Dark wood paneling.  Several walls covered with bookshelves. Leather-bound classics crowding those shelves. And a creaky ladder allowing access to the highest shelves.  Overstuffed chairs and divans offer numerous locations where I can sit and compose. And then there’s the all important window seat, where I most-often sit, feet tucked beneath me, scribbling in a beautiful journal, feeling endless inspiration.

Okay, so that was in a castle I saw in England.

Here’s my real writing studio: The extra bedroom we didn’t need.  I’ve got a massive desk stacked with papers. A pile of emails from my agent. A folder of registrations for an upcoming workshop I’m doing.  A pile of notes and the first 150 pages of a new novel I’m thinking of continuing. A completed manuscript spread out on top of all this with a highlighter and stickee notes on top. I’m in the throes of editing that one.

On the wall is a bulletin board with a sheet tracking my current submissions.  Another sheet tracks my upcoming appearances. And tacked onto the board are countless notes to myself about characterization, plotting, stuff like that.

Beside my desk are file cabinets stuffed with contracts, correspondence, press stuff, past articles, tax things. I do have a bookshelf, but instead of leather-bound classics, this one is jammed with writing reference books, and, above all (I mean, literally above all) manuscripts. They are piled one on top of another, almost reaching the ceiling. There are several versions of every completed manuscript, since you never know, right? In this mix are entire novels that have never been published, plus one that has. Another novel that is now on submission through my agent. And countless “might be novels.” These are books I began, I loved, and I set aside about 120 pages into them. Projects I still might finish, but just not now.

Okay, so it isn’t a castle room. But it’s quiet. And stuff happens here. But, honestly, thank god for laptops, because I do travel around the house, writing in different spaces. Like right now, I’m sitting in a sunny corner beside my fireplace. Not so bad. Or sometimes I hit the road and visit a café, a museum, a library. It helps.

And in my mind, oh, in my mind, I’m writing in that castle.

(cross-posted on the Liars Club site)

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