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Tatjana Soli’s Writing Space

Earlier today, I reviewed The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli (check her out on Twitter), and the author was gracious enough to share a sneak peek into her writing space.  Please give her a warm welcome.

Years ago when I first decided to start writing I bought a large, rolltop style desk. It was a big purchase for me, fresh out of college, but I needed to have something that made me feel like a writer. I bought it on layaway, payments that took a year to finish. But I needed to create a physical place that I would occupy hours a day, as a writer. For me, temporary writing places — a couch, or dining room table — made it too easy to ignore writing when life got in the way.

Ten years ago when we moved into our current home, it had a perfect writing room on the second story, with large windows that looked out over the treetops to the faraway hills. A perfect writing space… except for the narrow hallway leading to it, too narrow to get my big desk through. I was heartbroken. My mom gave me two tables that she no longer wanted, and I installed these in my writing room instead — one for my computer, one for handling correspondence, bill paying, all the other stuff.

My theory is to make the room as welcoming and comfortable as possible, to trick myself into working longer hours! Above one desk, I have a painting by my husband that I love, “Tree of Life,” all greens and golds. That big mound of paper on the corner of the desk is a draft of my second novel. I feel guilty looking at it every day that I don’t get back to it. My computer desk has a stand for my handwritten first drafts. I learned long ago that buying expensive moleskin notebooks made me feel like I couldn’t make mistakes, so I have a closet of cheap notepads to write on. The shades are usually half drawn since the light is bright in this room, but I love to look out while I’m thinking. There’s a big sour cherry tree outside, and this time of year wild parrots, green with a single big red spot on their heads, descend on it, bouncing on the branches and squawking as they eat the fruit.

The desk that I imagined I needed in order to write sits dusty at the end of the hallway. I realize that one doesn’t need the perfect room, paper, or pen to be a writer, one only needs to show up and do the work. For the years it takes. But if possible, why not surround oneself with things that remind one of the important things in life, the things, hopefully, that are leading one to write in the first place?

Thanks, Tatjana, for sharing your space with us.

I know I’ve always thought about writing at a rolltop desk, but then I smartened up and realized I love to move around too much.  What do you think about Tatjana’s writing space?

Giveaway information for 1 copy (US/Canada, No P.O. Boxes):

1.  Comment on guest post about what you think about Tatjana’s writing space.

2.  Leave a comment on my review of The Lotus Eaters.

3.  Tweet, Facebook, or blog about the giveaway and leave me a link.

Deadline April 20, 2010 at 11:59PM EST

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Please also remember to check out the next stops on the National Poetry Month Blog Tour at Monniblog and Ernie Wormwood.

  • Margie

    I like that she can look over the treetops when she looks out her window. The area is very neat and personal.

  • Kim

    I love your writing space series, they provide a fun peek at the author, some give me comfort, this one is motivating me to straighten up my desk!

  • Pam R

    commented on your review too.

  • Pam R

    I love her writing space! It looks so peaceful and serene and the type of place I’d love to spend loads of time in (even to pay bills – LOL). I think I’d love to have a big overstuffed chair in it too for reading but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of a distraction-free space, wouldn’t it?

  • Susan Helene Gottfried

    No need to enter me, ladies. I’m dropping in to say thanks to Serena for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book for you.

    I’m digging the work space, btw. I tried two desks, but it didn’t work well.
    .-= Susan Helene Gottfried´s last blog ..Guest Author: Tatjana Soli =-.

    • I hate desks, but that could be because I’m at work at a desk for the day job! I prefer other venues when writing for myself.

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  • Thanks for the story–I loved The Lotus Eaters and I’m happy to be able to think about where Soli is as she works on her next book. Love the painting by her husband!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog .. =-.

  • I love that painting! No need to enter me, as I’ve already read and LOVED the book, but I added the giveaway to my sidebar for you.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Mailbox Monday — April 12 =-.

  • I think the key to a writing space is a window. I’m convinced! I also LOVE that Tree of Life painting, and because it has personal meaning, even makes it more significant for that space!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..24 Hour Read-a-thon: Hour 4 and Mini Challenge =-.

  • That must be amazing to have parrots outside the window! I have a giant rolltop desk and my husband had to partially dismantle it to get into its current location. The problem is my tendency to just close the top when it gets messy, instead of cleaning. 🙂
    .-= Janel´s last blog ..Estrella’s Poem =-.

  • Lindymc

    I love the bright writing space, but figure it would be hard to give up the roll-top desk. I especially identify with her remark about “temporary writing places — a couch, or dining room table — made it too easy to ignore writing when life got in the way”

    Thanks for the giveaway. I’m anxious to read this book. I read and commented on your great review.

  • I think it looks tranquil, and I love the picture.

    What a fantastic giveaway!

    bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com
    .-= Julie P.´s last blog ..Review: Elise’s Adventure on Noah’s Ark & Giveaway =-.

  • Wow, I’m amazed at how neat her writing space is and all that light is terrific! No need to enter me.

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  • Hi Serena! Hi Tatjana! I really love the Tree of Life painting that your husband did.. something personal and unique. And the wild parrots out the window in the sour cherry tree.. how cool is that???!!