Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guardians of My Lair

Many writers have a lair in which they write. A Fortress of Solitude. A Bat Cave. A secret (maybe they just wish it was secret) place where they can hunker down and get lost in the world of their creation. The crafting of the secret lair usually takes years of collecting the most critical of items so that your writing mojo is not only protected but enhanced by the space in which you work.

Today, I've decided to grant readers a special tour of my secret lair in which I work. But be forewarned: there are things here that may frighten you into turning back before the tour is over. Don't worry. I will protect you ... this time.

First off, to greet any visitors that enter my lair is a white ceramic mask of a shrieking Jack Skellington. This was a Christmas gift from my younger brother several years ago and has always resided by the door to my office. This mask is used to immediately scare away any negative vibes that might be trying to enter the office and attack me from behind as I work. The mask has done an excellent job so far.

Next, we come to my work space itself. I love my large desk, which is a hand-me-down from my parents when they decided they no longer needed such a large area to work at. I was more than happy to take it off their hands as it now houses a large collection of my most important research materials AND can hold two computers comfortably. Yes, there are days when I will find myself working at two different computers at the same time. Those are usually not good days. Directly beside my large monitor are my essential reference guides: dictionary, thesaurus, quotation book, Chicago Manual of Style, and my Character Naming Sourcebook. Despite having two computers at my disposal, I also keep at least one legal pad and pen handy. Sometime, I just need the feel of paper beneath my hand or something easy to capture that quick, random thought before it flutters away.

Directly above my monitor is my second layer of guardians: my gargoyles. This is the gang, with Fred as they leader in the center. They watch over me as I work, protecting me against self-doubt and occasionally writer's block. They also keep the positive mojo flowing as they work in tandem with Jack at the door. As a way of saying "thank you," I am working on a way to fit them into a book as a biker gang of gargoyles, but don't tell them. It's still a surprise.

My third and final guardian is my loving cat Demona, who spends most of her time prowling or just laying on a corner of my desk. She just patrols the are to make sure that everything is proceeding as it should. She is also my keeper, making sure that I am staying on task and not goofing off on the Internet too often. I have a second cat named Harley, who will occasionally patrol the floor and curl up beside the desk, checking for anything that might attack from below.

And finally, one of my favorite little spots is in the far corner of my lair is a picture that I picked up at Disney World a few years ago. The saying below is by Walt Disney and states: "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Accurate statement.

So, what's necessary for your work space? Do you have any guardians of your realm protecting you as you work? Is there anything that you can't live without when you sit at your desk or in your private spot to work?


Terri Garey said...

Now, Jocelynn, do you really expect us to believe that your office is that tidy? :-)

Very nice, particularly the gargoyles (and the cat). I have no idea how I'd function without my office, either - I can't seem to get any writing done unless I'm at my desk. I think my two favorite mojo items are a perfectly carved opal skull (it's tiny, but so detailed!), and my sign that says "Ghouls just wanna have fun!".

Thanks for sharing your space with us!

Tracey O'Hara said...

Great work space - but how can you work in all that neatness. LOL. Seriously great office.

My guaridans are dragons. I have dragon statues and a dragon on a harley and dragon boxes. Not to mention dragon tattoos.

Jocelynn Drake said...

You're right. It's usually not that clean, but I had to clean it for a recent party. I thought I would take the pictures while the office was still tidy.

Sage Ravenwood said...

I would love an office of my own. Alas darling husband has the only room we have filled with guitars and musical equipment - from floor to ceiling. I do however, love to work at my dining room table. It's an old farmhouse table over 6ft long. Makes it ideal to spread out, binders and the like.

If I ever did get office space, I do believe I'd steal the dining room table. (Hugs)Indigo

Tracey O'Hara said...

I did the same for a photo for the local paper :)

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

I LOVE your Jack Skellington mask Jocelynn! My husband and I make our kids watch The Nightmare Before Christmas with us every Halloween and Christmas, we sing all the songs together. LoL
Wow, and that desk is HUGE! Oh, and your kitty is so pretty.
I don't really have a work area but thank you for sharing your work space. It's cool to see where all the 'magic' happens. =)

Buffy said...

Nice Jack! I love him.

I don't have a work space, no desk or anything. Just wherever my laptop is. However, the one thing I need no matter what is music. IPod or from my music server. One day I will have a nice desk for my writing and crafting.

Helene said...

While I would LOVE an office like that, and I do have a home office for my writing/editing day job....I find that my creative writing finds me. Usually in the shower, in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping, when I'm out walking the dog. Annoyingly, it finds me whenever I'm not near a computer and have to replay scenes in my head until I can get to one.

DO love the gargoyles though!!!!

Barbara E. said...

I have a wonderful big office. It's supposed to be the "formal living room" of my house, but with another nice living space with a fireplace, I took over this space as my office. The only thing it doesn't have is a door, so I can't get it too messy. I do have 6 book shelves that are packed full of books but I sure wish I had your desk, that's fabulous.

nymfaux said...

Someday I'd love to have my own office; for now it's just a desk in my bedroom. I keep my big red dictionary and my green paperback thesaurus next to me at all times. And even though I have a Nook...I somehow still manage to attract a pile of real books too. As for protectors...I used to work with music, but now I'm always wearing ear plugs to keep away outside noise. Unfortunately they do not keep out the internet...which technically I do need for research.

I'm really curious what you use for your Character Naming Sourcebook--is that the real title? I love names, and I keep looking, but I haven't found a name book that's the perfect fit for me, yet.

Thanks for a peak into your office!!!

Nicole Murphy said...

Seething with jealousy :) I'm writing in the corner of the dining room at the moment - one day I'll have my own room :)

In the meantime, I prop stuff up on the bookshelves and I do have room to wander and mutter to myself, which is always a good thing.

Agree with the girls on the tidiness - someone did some cleaning, me thinks :)

Sharon S. said...

During the day (when school is in) I have the house to myself. I can sit at the computer and waste time. I want to set up a reading corner in the den. Comfy chair, nice light, side table all facing the window. I like to have a Yin/Yang picture around me.

katsrus said...

First off I have to have my coffee!! My computer area is plastered with sticky notes. So I can remember things. LOL. I don't really have special things at my computer desk. Except sometimes one of my cats. LOL.
Sue B

Helen Lowe said...

Cool! But I'm with the crowd here--my study has a certain 'messy quotient', necessary in order for things to happen. The cat is also a necessity and sometimes helps achieve the required mess quotient. :-)

Judi W. in NJ said...

LOVE that desk! And I really dig the Burning Bunny pin hanging with the gargoyles! A little reminder that KH has your back, too? I finished Pray for Dawn last night & I just wanted to tell you that I thought it was freakin awesome!!!! Can't wait for the 27th. How lucky we are that we get 2 books back to back!! You. Kick. Ass.