Wall To The Left

I love my office.

Wall to the Left of my Desk

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere (“Battling Against Distraction” WW 7-06-11), when I started writing, I vowed to avoid anything that would become a “must have” before I could write.  This included privacy and that much cited “room of one’s own.”

However, a few years ago, I realized that Jim and I were out-growing available workspace in our little house.  When he’s not in the field, Jim usually works at home two days a week.  Although he had a desk, it was buried beneath his research materials and forms, so he tended to flow out of the small spare bedroom we used as an office and take over the living room.  The way our house is laid out, this meant he effectively took over the front of the house.

In turn, this meant that when I wasn’t working I’d feel awkward about doing anything in the kitchen or even moving out into the yard because I didn’t want to distract him.  For years we’d talked about building on a office.  The time had clearly come – it was that or move.

We built on the office.  It’s a large rectangular room with ample windows to let in natural light.  These are carefully placed so that we have room for lots of bookshelves.  We also have wall and shelf space to display pictures and trinkets of our choice.

The wall to the left of my desk is a display area on which a carefully selected array of inspirational items are arrayed.  As you may be able to see from the picture accompanying this, while there are pictures and photos, much of what is on display is three-dimensional.

The pictures – starting from the right – include a colorful piece of Mexican folk art depicting a strange deer/dog creature amid fanciful flora.  This was my father’s, so it’s also a memento of him.  There’s a story in this picture, I’m sure, and I look forward to finding out what it is.

In the middle are two pictures.  I hadn’t noticed until now that both feature pumas.  The one on top is a watercolor featuring a centaurian figure, except that the bottom half is puma rather than horse.  The torso is humanoid, but the head returns to puma.  From his attire, this fellow clearly has Plains Indian leanings.  The backdrop is a lovely eagle’s head.  The title is “Puma Brave of the Eagle Clan” and the artist is Paula Shricker.  I believe I bought this at an SF con when I still lived in Virginia.

Below this is a marvelous photo sent to me by Phyllis White of Flying Coyote Books.  Across the snow a puma chases a coyote. That coyote is running so fast that its hind legs overlap its front.  The puma looks intent, but not too serious, so I figure the coyote made it.  At the base of this picture we attached a lovely mother of pearl and abalone barrette that was a gift from Charles DeLint and MaryAnn Harris.  It features two wolves howling at the moon.

The remaining two pictures are photographs.  One is the same picture of me and Dakota the wolf that’s on my homepage.  I don’t usually like pictures of myself, but this one is so joyful I didn’t hesitate to put it where I’d see it every day.  The other is a black and white picture of Roger Zelazny.

All the rest of my art is three-dimensional.  Returning to the right, there’s a lovely handmade miniature pueblo.  On it I display some of my collection of miniature pottery (see Sky City, WW 10-27-11, for a close-up of a couple).  Beneath this is a leather bag painted with a green and yellow horse.  I beaded the fringe.

Next is a box shelf on top of which stands an iron statue of Artemis, brought back for me from Greece by my friend Bobbi Wolf. Artemis shares her space with an utterly wonderful puma fetish carved from shell.  Lurking in the box is a resin cast figure of Coyote, clad in blanket, moccasins, and hat.  To the left of this is a piece of metal lace that depicts an Asian lady reading a book.  This was a birthday present from my mom and so is also a reminder of her.

Moving up to the left of Puma Brave is another box shelf.  On top of this one is a unique horse from the Painted Pony’s series.  Jim gave me a blank horse to paint.  I decided to do it in black, with minimal paint on mane and face, adorning the rest with tiny faux gems.  In the box below is a wooden carved wolf head – again from Phyllis White.

Beneath this is the head of a tiger with aspirations toward saber teeth.  It wears a red velvet hood and has lovely “live” eyes.  The artist is Jim Humble.  I saw this piece at MileHighCon in Denver and put a bid on it.  Eventually, I was outbid and philosophical.  However, my friends David and Sharon Weber were at the same convention.  While Weber and I were on a panel, Sharon went and bought me the tiger.  Nice people.

Left of the tiger is a lovely Chinese dragon Jim gave me for Christmas one year.  The detail is exquisite, right down to the gold outlines on the scales.

Toward the bottom of the picture, you can see the practical and inspirational mingling.  On top of the apothecary’s chest (absolutely the best place to keep all those small, fussy office supplies) is a pen carved from antler, featuring a wolf and an eagle.  Next to it is one of my many mah-jong sets, fronted by a pair of carved stone leopards (a gift from Jim).  Next to this, seated on top of some storage boxes, is a teddy bear.  This was an surprise gift from my friend Jane “the Mermaid” Campbell.  The bear arrived one day after I had gone through a particularly bad time.  I keep it near to remind me that the world is full of unexpected  kindness.

Finally, on top of my printer sits a box patterned in mah-jong themed fabric and on top of it a very silly tiger cub.  Jim was (again) responsible for the tiger.  It makes me smile.

So there’s a little corner of the world where the writing happens.  The photo couldn’t show the area near the ceiling where a tiny dancer spins and a high relief wood carving of a wolf keeps guard over all, but it’s a sample.

I do love my office…  It’s a good place to write and a good place to dream.

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8 Responses to “Wall To The Left”

  1. heteromeles Says:

    Sounds wonderful. Hope you have many fun and productive years there.

  2. Dominique Says:

    You seem to have a strange affinity to the goddess Artemis, Jane. 🙂

  3. Dominique Says:

    Not strange, wonderful rather!

  4. Tori Says:

    I’m quite jealous of your office! I hope to have a workspace half so lovely when I have my own house. 🙂

  5. Mary Says:

    What a wonderful space! My own office is crammed with books, and papers, photos, small objects, and more books – we need another room just for all the books! Wish you’d add another book to the “Breaking the Wall” series. I’m almost finished re-reading the series – for the fourth time. Love the books. Fascinating. Thanks for enriching our lives. Mary

  6. janelindskold Says:

    Thanks for the nice comments…

    Believe me, there are plenty of books in our office. Six bookcases of varying sizes — including three seven footers.

    There are bookshelves in every room of the house except for the bathrooms — and that’s only because they’re too small.

    And we have a separate library, a large outbuilding (I think it was the former owner’s shop) that we’ve lined with both built in shelves AND freestanding bookshelves. There are many bookstores that have fewer books than we do!

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