Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tidy, tidy, tidy

Current work: Venice book (well, sort of - Tuesday is a non work day)
Listening to: Def Leppard
Reading: Lindsey Davis, Alexandria (still enjoying)

I admit, this picture is actually from March, but it did look pretty much like yesterday, too. Why March? Well, I’m in Writing Magazine, this month, talking about my working day; the interview was done back in Feb, and in March lovely Lynne Hackles asked for a pic of me at my desk to go with it. So I talked my official photographer (i.e. son) into doing the business.

So this is my desk. (Now I have mobile computing, my desk might turn out to be the garden, the conservatory, the kitchen or even my bed - if I ever get wireless to work - but this is my nice quiet space. Also the spare room, as it has a sofa bed. My guitar and music stand live here, too.)

Walls first: the two beautiful framed photographs are by my very talented photographer friend Steve Denby. (Left is Cromer; right is near here but sadly the tree blew down in a gale.) The map on the wall is Norwich in the middle ages. The clock speaks for itself, as does the calendar (it’s the ‘Little Dog Laughed’ one – their artwork always makes me smile for the right reasons). And the piece of paper you can see behind my monitor is my to-do list.

Desk: on the left, you have my printer, and between that and my monitor is the phone. On the right of the monitor are ex-Radley accessory boxes for stationery (bulldog clips, highlighter pens and stuff) and on top of that is a desk tidy which contains bits of stationery plus business cards (other people’s) and things I don’t want to lose but also don’t want to carry round with me. In front of that is a pile of sticky notepads, a stapler and a paperclip holder. (The scissors are hidden because the two youngest members of the house keep borrowing them and forgetting to return them, and I am very tired of having to buy new scissors!)

Next to the desk tidy is my handbag (that day, it was the Radley signature bag with the racing car – my first one and still my absolute favourite, though the iPad doesn’t fit into it). In front of that are a reel of sellotape, a reel of parcel tape and my desk calendar (which has daily puzzles and is very cool – Christmas pressie from my mate Sarah); and in front of them are some of the research books I was using that day plus a reporter’s pad and pen for notes. (At the time I was trying to break myself of the ‘back of the envelope’ habit because I always end up losing them. But now I have a sticky notes app on the iPad.)

On the monitor are two sticky notes – one was some research info I wanted to feed into the novel I was working on at the time, and the other says ‘Who cares?’ (tip from the Stuart MacBride interview I mentioned on my blog a while back, reminding me not to get sidetracked with minutiae). In front of the monitor is my cup of tea (Earl Grey, weak and milky – and the mug is the original Penguin cover of Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’, 40th birthday pressie from my best friend), wallet-sized photographs of my children in a frame, a kitchen timer (used when I’m on the internet because otherwise I am a Very Bad Puppy), the remote control for my CD system, and the case for my glasses (only needed for working at a screen – they’re practically plain glass, but they contain prisms to deflect light and stop me getting headaches). Oh, and on the lamp base is a cast-iron frog we bought in Ironbridge a few years back (because I liked it) and a tuning fork for my guitar. Monitor, mouse and mouse mat speak for themselves.

That’s really, really tidy for me. And yet it looks a mess. Sigh. I guess it reflects my mind and my schedule – lots of things crammed in there. (And it’s since become untidy as I have a wireless router on there now… and can’t get the wretched thing to connect to the iPad, the iPod, daughter’s DS Lite or my phone. BT helplines are, um, very polite, but they’ve told me that no Apple products can connect. Interesting, because that’s not what their website says. Will have to try again today – and this time, if I get someone who’s polite but hopeless, ask if I can talk to someone who understands WPA settings.)

So what’s your desk like? (Nosey minds want to know – if you can post a link to a pic on your blog, excellent; but describing it below would be just as fun!)


Rachel said...

Hi Kate,

I owe you one!
Not only did I pick up tips reading your interview in Writing Magazine that have got me back into a daily writing habit. I also wrote a letter to WM about my experience; it was chosen as the 'Star Letter' this month and bagged me a prize. Much delight!

Love your 'blog, check it every day. Envious of your iPad :-D .

Will dig out a pic of my desk and post it on my 'blog later today. I LOVE looking at other people's writing spaces!

Best wishes
Rachel M-A

Anonymous said...

So what’s your desk like?

Snowed under -- must-do's of various kinds (it's the only safe place to keep them), stuff dumped by my partner (because "you've always got space here" -- yes, darling, because I'm tidy and organised unlike some people), odds and ends relating to whichever family member dropped by at the time, a few ornaments.

But in my imagination, I have a large polished mahogany desk in a plush carpeted office with huge windows overlooking the ocean. Not a speck of dust, and nothing on the desk but my computer, a couple of research books, and a scene breakdown of the novel in progress.

It's a great place to work. :-)


Michela said...

My desk (a chestnut one) may be seen as a “chaos” but I prefer to consider it as “an artistic order” – because there are several things on it, not necessarily in harmony among them!

1)My Washington lamp on the left and my sparkling, grey notebook next to it (the two things are not related, since I use the notebook everywhere in the house!).
2)My printer on the right (a big, black “monster” which occupies part of the desk and can be used as a fax or a photocopier as well).
3)My cordless in the middle (a very simple one – but most of the time it’s next to me on the bedside table…) and my Roberto Cavalli bag.
4)Then several things as: a flower-pot (fresh roses are there every morning), another pot with my endless collection of pens (collection of pens? Ok, that’s weird…), highlighters, post-it (I love coloured ones, the last one I used to write something was of a glorious shocking pink);
5)In a corner there are the latest books I’m reading (yes, I often read several books at the same time): Stephen King’s “The Shining”, (Scary!) Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” (Frantic! I’m reading this one for the second time), Fedor Dostoevskij’s “Notes From The Underground” (Gloomy…) and Kate Hardy’s “The Italian GP’s Bride (Lovely!).
6)On the opposite wall (can it be included with desk stuff?) my cork board where there are my souvenirs, friends postcards, notes, lucky charms and many, many photos (including those of my hometown, Napoli).
7)Finishing, one of the pictures I’ve personally painted: a green heart bleeding only a red trickle of blood – it was inspired by the cover of Ethan Hawke’s book “The Hottest State”.

This is my desk! xx

Brigitte said...

What does my desk look like? Photo? No can do, as I am "orphaned", desk-orphaned to be precise; I don't have one specifically alotted to me.
I have several "desks" throughout the house.
One is on my bed where I do my accounts and sometimes surf the web and consult my e-mails via my netbook.
One is the upper right corner of the dining room table where I have my agenda/organiser (close to phone) where I also stack my shopping coupons, announcements of soon to be held sales and reminders of stuff that need to be done during the day or next. I agree, sometimes a bit on the messy side. And then DH rants.
The dining room table is a dilemma, especially when we have dinner guests as I need to clear everything away.
One is on the dryer in the kitchen where I tend to leave a folder with new recipes I'd like to try out.
One is in my wardrobe where I keep pens, stationary and other stuff. That is also the place I keep my TBR pile, which consists of over 30books. Haven't counted them though...might turn out to be more!!! I hope my shelf doesn't break through the weight :)
Last one is the computer table. But there is no space other than for the computer and the broadband box.
I miss having an organized work space (Kate, I envy you) - everything in one space - as I used to when I went to university.
But son will move out sometime soon and he has a HUGE desk....have my eye on that already.
Oh, and calender is in the kitchen.


Shirley Wells said...

What's my desk like? You don't want to know. You really don't want to know. I must have a tidying session. Soon. ;o)

Kate Hardy said...

Rach - congrats on your prize and thanks for the compliment! Glad the interview was useful to you.

And I think I have desk envy :o)

Kate Hardy said...

mpe - love your virtual desk (though I think I'd find the ocean view too distracting and I'd need to take the dog for a paddle). And no dust??? That's a definite virtual around here :o)

Kate Hardy said...

Michela - your desk sounds lovely. (And now I'm curious - do you have your pics on a website or a blog? I'd love to see them!)

Kate Hardy said...

Brigitte - sounds like hot-desking to me :o) And a hidden TBR pile? Love it!

I have a real in-your-face one, i.e. a bookcase in the bedroom. DH doesn't know which ones I've read and he doesn't notice me moving things around, so I get away with buying more than I admit to...

Kate Hardy said...

Shirley - is that a "post-book" tidy? I've avoided that for the last three by writing back-to-back. So it wasn't good this time round. And the dust bunnies under my desk...!