AT MY DESK: NORA JAMES
I hate being confined to small spaces all day long so I was thrilled when we moved into a home with two large living areas. I quickly claimed the formal lounge room as my own and now only the cat and dogs may enter without permission. My husband and daughter know to stay away from the crazy writer’s den unless they come bearing gifts: a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit are minimum entry requirements.
I’m a bit of a neat freak at home, or so I’m told, except when it comes to my desk. No one’s perfect, right? At the beginning of a new project my work space is tidy and organised. On my desk I keep my computer, a notebook my gorgeous daughter made for me, a clipboard to which I attach very important documents (in other words I can’t remember what’s on it), pens, business cards and a couple of empty filing trays.
As work progresses the trays fill up with research, newsletters and meaningless notes. The piles eventually migrate to the desk itself. It’s all part of the creative process – the more invested in a project I become, the less I notice what’s immediately around me. Except for chocolate. I always see chocolate.
I have a noticeboard on the wall next to me and I’ve pinned a few indispensable bits and pieces to it. One note that never leaves my board is a line from the movie The Help that really struck a chord with me: you is kind, you is smart, you is important. I read it every morning and it gives me strength and confidence. Shame it ain’t all real good for my grammar, though.
Predictably, I have bookcases full of books in my room – an author cannot breathe without books. They also hold a few Salvador Dalí melting clocks, and beloved artworks and statues that inspire me.
From my desk I have a lovely view of the side garden: a pond surrounded by ferns and beds of rosebushes. When I need a change of position I leave the desk and lie on the couch and either type on my laptop or think about my project. Being in the living room definitely has its advantages!
I have a fabulously comfortable printer, too. Just ask my cat, Storm, who likes to sleep on it, especially when I need to print in a hurry. She was there when I wanted to print out the blurb for my book Dark Oil, available from Escape Publishing
I’m sure Storm will take over the printer again soon – probably when I desperately need it to promote my next book, Paris by Heart, out in December and can be pre-ordered in November.
About the Author:
Nora James started her working life at age 14 in a bakery in Paris. She held a number of other jobs before studying law at the University of Western Australia and becoming an international resources lawyer and translator. She has travelled extensively, both as a child and adult, for family reasons, work and pleasure. She now writes novels and screenplays from her home in coastal Western Australia, where she lives with her husband and daughter and a menagerie of furry friends.