A peek into Deb Joanne’s Office, where sharp eyes will be rewarded.

Deb Joanne's writing spot

Let’s get this out in the open first thing: I’m a bit of a slob.  (I’m sorry, Mom, but it’s true.  I’ve always been a slob, as you’ll remember from my teen days when you would walk by my bedroom, sigh and close the door.  Not much has changed, but you’ll be pleased to know that I did tidy up my desk a bit before I took the picture above.  Not too much, because I wanted this to be an accurate post of what my writing space looks like, but I did remove some of the extraneous clutter.)

So.  This is my little desk.  I used to write in the basement in a large closet, but it was too cold, so I cleared the bed out of our spare bedroom and made it my office.  I share it with Zoe, whose crate is also in there.  She’s very kind in letting me have half the space, although as you can see, she often insists on overseeing my work.  To the right is a nice big window that looks out onto my back yard where there are bird feeders and a couple of bird baths, which provide welcome distractions when I need a few moments to collect my thoughts.

So here is the picture again, this time with all my essential stuff itemized, which I will explain below.

Joanne's office

  1. This is my main bookshelf.  It used to be a closet, but I have more books than I do clothes, so at the suggestion of my very wise husband, we took the door off and TADAA!  Bookshelf!  The top two shelves contain my small but always growing ‘personalized and signed-by-author’ collection.  Most of these books are by friends of mine, so they mean a lot to me.
  2. As you can see, I buy a lot of books.  Especially books by my friends, and sometimes-as I have discovered after taking this photo-I end up with a few copies of the same book.  I will give away one of my duplicates (or triplicates, as is the case in one instance) to the first commenter who can name by title and author any one of the several books that occur on this shelf more than once.***
  3. This is my husband’s picture.  It’s kind of weird and I’m not sure why it’s in my office, but it came with him as a package deal, so there it is.
  4. This is one of Barry Lyga’s minimates – swag from his GOTH GIRL RISING release.  The book rocked and Barry’s a good guy, so this was a much-coveted piece of promo material.  He didn’t give me this, though, I stole it from Lisa McMann.  (Okay, I didn’t really steal it; she gave it to me, but I think it’s so much cooler to say I swiped it from a famous author when she wasn’t looking, don’t you?)
  5. This is a classic Magic 8 Ball, given to me by the very awesome former Deb Eileen Cook.  I use it all the time. It is wrong all the time.
  6. This is a model canoe that husband and I bought at a gift store in Algonquin Park.  There’s even a paddle inside. Sometimes, when editing gets really tough, I imagine myself shrinking down and paddling away in it.  Upstream, and then I lose the paddle.  (See what I’m doing here? Up the creek?  Never mind.)
  7. Yes, this is a fax machine.  It’s not actually hooked up to anything, since we no longer have a land line, so I’m not sure why we still have it.  True story: last night when there was a thunderstorm, it started freaking out and ringing, surely calling the mother ship or Satan or Anthony Hopkins.  Hey – anyone need a semi-possessed fax machine?
  8. This post-it note says “I ROCK” and was given to me by A.S. King who very much rocks, herself.  Sometimes, I put it on my person and look at myself wearing it in the mirror, because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.
  9. I like Post-its.  A lot.
  10. The Elements of Style – Strunk and White
  11. Stress ball – I’m a writer, ‘nuff said.
  12. A model of the Star Princess.  Because I really like cruising.  It’s my happy place and sometimes the stress ball just isn’t enough.
  13. This is Hermano, the donkey that we got on our last cruise when we had a port day in Bonaire.  It was a very lovely little island that had a donkey sanctuary.  We never went to the donkey sanctuary, but the key chain was cute and I like donkeys. I can’t remember exactly why we named him Hermano, but we are big fans of Arrested Development. If you aren’t, you won’ t get why that’s funny, so you can just move on.
  14. This is my mini Office Voodoo Kit.  Also given to me by A. S. King.
  15. I like Post-its.  A lot.  In case you can’t tell, I have star ones, mini rectangular ones, regular square ones and even a special holder that contains four different kinds.  I’m a Post-it nerd.
  16. Mini Slinky.  I don’t know where this came from.  I would play with it more, because it’s kind of meditative, but it makes my hands smell weird.
  17. Hey!  Where are the rest of my J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood books?  Wait, I think my friend Lisa S. has them.  If you are reading this, Lisa S., I want them back! (and I also want to discuss them with you over a hot beverage, so give me a call).
  18. My office roommate, Zoe.

So there is the little tour of my desk.  It’s not overly exciting, but it’s where I get most of my work done and write my books and these little posts that hopefully entertain you.  Now lean in close and suss out those duplicate books.  While you do, I’ll just have a seat and get some writing done, if you don’t mind.

***I will announce the winner and provide a list of the duplicate books in this weekend’s NewsFlash.

46 thoughts on “A peek into Deb Joanne’s Office, where sharp eyes will be rewarded.

  1. I love this! Especially how you have The Debutante Ball on your computer screen.

    I’m totally giggling about your possessed fax machine. And the canoe thing — imagining yourself shrinking down and paddling upstream — ha! Too funny. I can see how a river of creativity could easily flow from your writing space. 🙂

    Thanks for the peek!

  2. I love this! I absolutely love seeing other writers work areas and I especially enjoyed the itemized callouts. My favorites are Zoe, the magic 8 ball, and of course the fax machine! 🙂

  3. I see two duplicates I recognize, but I’m not saying nothing!

    It’s funny, the first thing I noticed was the fax machine, as I have been dealing with a lot of doctor’s offices lately, who always want me to fax things, as though it is 1991 and we are all faxing like crazy with our thermal paper rolls just spooling out all over the floor. I had a moment of envy when I saw yours, but think I will pass on the whole possessed fax machine for now.

    I love this peek into your space!

  4. Oh boy I can not see those books at all but I love your desk. Looks like a productive, lively space to me! Thanks for sharing. I like Hermano 🙂

  5. Am I allowed to win?? I see two ‘Fade’s by the lovely Lisa… And recently lent mine out and it hasn’t been returned… 🙁

    • Sure, you can win, Tania, but since your win won’t actually cost me postage, I’ll keep the draw open if any other poster can find another duplicate.

      (also, there are actually three copies of FADE on the shelf). Thanks for playing along!

  6. I enjoy seeing where and how writers do their craft. I wish I could see the titles. I’ve tried every imaginable way to zoom in and still have enough clarity to read, but I guess this old granny isn’t savvy enough.
    Interesting post!

  7. Well finally I get to see my daughters writing space CLEANED UP WOW (well still could use some more help) Not bad Joanne.

    I like the possessed fax machine (which would be good for your Mother since I am technically challenged) and of course Zoe. I cannot see the titles and do not know how to make this new high tech computer do it for me. Oh Well good luck everyone can’t wait to see who wins.

    Great post
    Mom

  8. I love this, A) because I don’t feel as alone in the slob department (my office makes yours look pristine, I promise), and B) because I want to hang out with Zoe, big time. How old is she? Black Lab, or mixed breed? Sir Riley of Adorableshire shares my office with me, and often gives me his two cents with a well placed yawn.

    • Elise, Zoe is a wonderful roommate, as long as there are no cats around for her to maul. She’s a purebred (we think – no papers) black lab and is about 9 months old now. I believe every writer should have a fur-covered roommate for those moments when only delivering a belly rub will get you unstuck.

  9. Wow, Joanne–that is one great office post. And one great office. But like I am fond of saying to my dear friends who always ask guests to “shield their eyes” when they come into their house because of the “mess”, um, what mess??!!! I hate to be the one to break it to you and Mom, but this, my dear, is not the mark of a slob. This all looks pretty darn well-organized to me.

    And clearly, Zoe is the taskmaster. If that isn’t a look that says “Water, schmater–get back to work!” I don’t know what is. 😉

    • Thank you for the nice words about my seemingly well-organized office, Erika. If you saw what is behind where I stood to take the picture, or at least what the desk looked like before the picture was taken, you might not have been so complimentary. I knew my mom would read this, so it was imperative that I tidy up some. 🙂

  10. I figured one out! Trance by Linda Gerber! Also Zoe is very cute, great name choice 😉
    I see at least one more (besides Fade) but I can’t figure out what it is… I may keep trying, it is a holiday afterall!

  11. If only there were duplicates of #18! I’d take one! 🙂 My dog Zia occasionally consents to helping me write, but it’s only with much eye-rolling and sighing on her part. She’s basically a teenaged girl. When she gets too angsty I tell her to go back into her room, put on more eyeliner, and listen to the Cure.

  12. Also, I see that Robin Brande’s FAT CAT is on your special top shelf… does this mean you’re besties with her?

    • Oh yes, Robin and I are friends, although I’m not sure we’d exactly be considered besties. Also, her first book, EVOLUTION, ME & OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE is on my second shelf – also autographed from when I first met her a few years back at the Tucson Festival of Books.

    • Thanks for visiting, Sarv! I’m not sure I’d get a lot done in the living room with the tv being on pretty much all the time. I know I’m fortunate to have my own room, although it means we can never have company. But since I’m a slob, that pretty much never happens anyway.

  13. Love this annotated list — especially that you were able to include talk bubbles. Fancy! I was so excited about this topic because I love seeing the physical spaces where people make the magic happen. It’s similar to the whole “what’s in the purse thing”… the inanimate objects we surround ourselves with tell so much about who we are, don’t they.

    I too am usually a slob, though I spent the whole weekend cleaning and trying to turn over a new leaf. I’m hoping to turn into one of those neat people. Or, so my husband is hoping…

    • Thanks, Rachel. I love seeing writer’s places, too. Now you’ve got me scared about what my inanimate objects are saying about me! Good luck with the leaf-turning – my desk is already a mess again.

  14. You’ve got FADE by Lisa McMann multiple times (three?), once with the rest of the series, and I think I see it at least two other places.

    I love seeing people’s desks, and I always feel better when they are just as messy as mine.

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