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Guest Post: Author Laura Fitzgerald’s Writing Space of Her Own

Today, I’d like to welcome Dreaming in English, which hits stores on Feb. 1, author Laura Fitzgerald.

In the sequel to Veil of Roses, “Iranian-born Tami Soroush and her American husband, Ike, face the joys and challenges of cross-cultural married love.  While Tami and Ike may be eager to begin their new life together, their families and U.S. Immigration Services challenge them at every turn.  Tami discovers that freedom is not for the meek and she will have to stand up and fight for her American dream.” (from Penguin)

Laura has agreed to share her writing space with us today, so let’s take a look inside her inspirational muse.

I have a room of my own in which to do my writing.

Let me repeat: I have a room of my own in which to do my writing!

And it’s not just a room of my own. It’s a room of my own outside my home. It’s an office — an executive suite that I rent on a month-to-month basis. My office neighbors are lawyers, union representatives, non-profit directors, and the like.

And then there’s me:  The writer. Coming to my office to write.

Tucson is hugged by mountain ranges on all sides, and my sixth-floor office has a great view of the Catalina Mountains to the north. You’d think the mountains were static and that the view would be the same day after day, but in fact, shadows play on them throughout the day. They frame crisp sunrises and watercolor sunsets and everything in between, so they change, minute by minute. I love that about them.

I haven’t always had this office, only two years. Previously, I worked from home, which meant there were innumerable ways for me to procrastinate:  I should really get a load of laundry going before I start writing. How can I write facing those dishes? Shoot, if I don’t get that movie back in the mail, we won’t have a new one to watch for this weekend. Ooh, I finally have a moment to read that book! Maybe just for fifteen minutes. . .

And don’t get me started on the Internet.

Seriously, don’t.

I got my office after being a stay-at-home mom for five-ish years, once both my kids were in school and I’d sold my first novel, Veil of Roses. That is, once writing became a career for me rather than just a hobby. It was only then that I could justify it to myself. Before that, I’d write in coffee shops or the university library, or at home before anybody else woke up. Having been a newspaper reporter for a few years, I could write just about anywhere, with any sort of distraction – except my kids. And the laundry they create. And the dishes they dirty.

And the Internet.

Once all those things came along, my ability to concentrate took a serious nosedive.

I specifically looked for an office that had no Internet connection. I have no phone in my office, either, and I often leave my cell phone in my car or at the receptionist’s desk (this because I was stupid enough to get a smart phone with . . . you guessed it . . . Internet access). At my office, my powers of concentration are about a million-fold better than anywhere else. I sit, I think, I write. There’s really not much else to do, and that’s the point.

Here’s my routine: To get to my office, I drive or bike about two miles. I take an elevator to the sixth floor, say hello to Blanca at the front desk, and then head down the hallway to my office, Suite L.

I slip my key in the lock, the door opens, and my heart calms instantly as I leave the real world behind me and step into my hundred-square-feet of writer’s heaven, which I also lovingly think of as my pretty little prison cell. I keep my desk largely clear, except for a few non-killable faux cacti and a few candles. I have a nice blue reading chair in a corner, and I face my desk so there’s nothing in front of me except for the mountains.

On the wall to my right, I have artistic prints of two things I love – a book and a cup of coffee. On my left wall, there is a print of Mark Twain with a quote by him that reads, I find that it usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech, which I like because I’m a firm believer in the power of revision.

When I walk into my office, nowhere is there evidence of technology. (My laptop is either with me in my backpack or stored inside my desk.) It’s stunning to realize the difference that makes to me. I’m alone with only my thoughts; it’s my job to draw them out and make sense of them, and then put them together in a way that I alone can — all the while feeling like I’m getting away with something pretty grand.

Please check out the slide show below for more photos of this gorgeous, serene writing space:

Thanks, Laura, for showing us such a unique writing space.  Wow, breathtaking isn’t it?

Copyright Eileen Connel

About the Author:

Laura Fitzgerald, a native of Wisconsin, lives in Arizona with her husband, who is of Iranian descent, and their two children.  Her Website, Facebook Fan page, GoodReads page, and LibraryThing page.

  • Kim

    I’m very jealous. Maybe I could start by getting the Mac program that shuts off all Internet access for a set amount of time, but then again, there’s always the Blackberry.

  • I think I’d have to do the same – get an office. Even trying to do my bookbinding at home I can get so distracted by other things around. Very smart and I love the view.
    iliana´s last blog post ..Winner &amp Etc

  • Wow! sounds like a dream place to work.

  • Jenners

    This was so interesting. I love the idea of going to an office to write — away from everything that keeps you from your thoughts. I read an interview with Jonathan Franzen that said he only writes on a really old computer that doesn’t have an Internet connection so he doesn’t get distracted.

    thanks for sharing!
    Jenners´s last blog post ..Review- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

    • I think the idea of shutting out the Internet is a good one. There are too many distractions in this technology age.

  • Stephanie

    Great guest post! I can’t imagine all the stuff I would be able to accomplish without the constant draw of the internet.
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Mr Darcy Takes a Wife

    • I feel the same way. I’d like shut off the Internet sometimes as well.

  • Wow, that’s a writer’s dream come true!!

    • I love the views! Those are spectacular!

  • That’s so cool to be able to rent an office for the sole purpose of writing. I’d have to ditch the technology, too, especially since the Internet is a tool that helps me procrastinate! Thanks for sharing the photos.
    Anna´s last blog post ..Review- The Perfect Bride for Mr Darcy by Mary Lydon Simonsen

    • Can you imagine how much writing you would get done without Frontierville as a distraction?