|The Author's Office|
Julia Buckley is a Chicago area writer. She is going into her 28th year of teaching high school English and journalism, and she lives at home with her husband, two sons, three cats and a Lab puppy who is now as big as a small horse. Learn more about Julia and her books at her website.
My Favorite Things in My Office
A couple of years ago my office had become a junk land, where everyone put piles of stuff that had no home. It looked horrible, so I made it my summer project to de-junk, re-paint, and re-imagine the office. It required a lot of work and some money to replace some elderly furniture, but today the office is so nice I have to fight the rest of my family for the right to sit in there. (see photo above)
At least, this is what two walls of it look like. On the computer you can see an image of a deceased but still-beloved cat, Rose. There are two desks—one for paying bills and doing correspondence, and one for creativity and video watching.
Instead of junk, the office is now filled with many things that are meaningful to me (or are enjoyably decorative).
First, there’s the knight. I got him on one of my birthdays, and I decided that he would become the guardian of my writing life: he would remind me with his presence that I should write each day, but he would also champion my writing when no one else believed in it. Naturally, he lives in the center of the desk.
Second, there is a globe paperweight of the world, given to me by my nephew. It’s lovely, heavy and smooth, and I like to hold it when I’m contemplating an idea (or deciding which bill to pay first).
Next comes my little typewriter coin bank. A bit dusty, but always a reminder of what I love to do so well.
And while we’re on the subject of typewriters, I got this vintage Smith Corona on E-bay, and it adds style to my office.
Also on the desk is this antique Hungarian alphabet book, on loan from my father, so that I can try to master the very difficult pronunciations. I am writing a book with Hungarian characters, and my dad thought this would help.
This awesome red octopus was a birthday present for my husband one year, but we didn’t want to leave it around for the animals to chew, so it lives on the computer tower.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my sons, Ian and Graham. It was taken at a Christmas gathering at my parents’ house before my mom went into assisted living.
My William Shakespeare beanie baby guards some copies of my last book, The Big Chili.
If my husband had his way, our house would be filled with guitars. This one, a 50th birthday present to him, hangs above the desk.
This is one of my favorites; some artisan took old Nancy Drew books and turned them into journals. I keep some notes in here.
Pictures of my mom and dad are tucked into one shelf.
I always loved the TOOT and PUDDLE books that I read to my sons. One came with little felt character dolls, and I never had the heart to get rid of them, so these little piggies are tucked on top of my books. (Great books to read to little ones!)
On another shelf is a treasure chest I bought for one of my sons, but it turned out he didn’t love treasure chests as much as I did. Now I keep stationery in it.
On the top of the bookcase I stack hardbacks that I want to save. I’m doing a lot of book stacking in my new attempt at order.
On another wall is a second guitar and a big canvas replica of my new cover—A Dark and Stormy Murder. I loved the cover so much, I found one of those canvas photo deals and preserved it forever. I thought it was appropriate to hang it where I do my writing.
Thanks for letting me share my favorites with you!
Virginia Woolf said that every person needed “A Room of One’s Own.” I love my office because it preserves all that is special to me and is filled with talismans for my writing life.
A Dark and Stormy Murder
Lena London's literary dreams are coming true—as long as she can avoid any real-life villains...
Camilla Graham’s bestselling suspense novels inspired Lena London to become a writer, so when she lands a job as Camilla’s new assistant, she can’t believe her luck. Not only will she help her idol craft an enchanting new mystery, she’ll get to live rent-free in Camilla’s gorgeous Victorian home in the quaint town of Blue Lake, Indiana.
But Lena’s fortune soon changes for the worse. First, she lands in the center of small town gossip for befriending the local recluse. Then, she stumbles across one thing that a Camilla Graham novel is never without—a dead body, found on her new boss’s lakefront property.
Now Lena must take a page out of one of Camilla’s books to hunt down clues in a real crime that seems to be connected to the novelist’s mysterious estate—before the killer writes them both out of the story for good...