My office is–Everywhere, by Deb Meredith

Meredith's desk--complete with cat
Meredith's desk--complete with Cat

I had to wait until I had unburied my desk to take this photo. It gets really cluttered—especially when I’m in the middle of a book. On my desk is the only TV in our home. My son watches PBS shows on it, and I watch videos on it for work. I also have the family desktop computer sitting in the middle of my desk, but the computer I use for writing is my laptop.

I live in an apartment in New York, so no space is reserved for one thing only. My office is also my husband’s office and is also my son’s playroom. In fact, the whole apartment seems to be my son’s playroom. In order to get through the living room to the kitchen, I routinely have to step over cars, helicopters and transformers.

I rarely write at my desk. No, I occasionally write at my desk. I do better when I move to the kitchen table or sit on the couch or go to a café. I need a change of scene, and to get away from things like the checkbook (which usually needs balancing) and the piles of other stuff I need to deal with. I wrote Posed for Murder almost entirely in neighborhood cafes, which did help my descriptions enormously.

I have four file drawers filled with old scripts, files from movies I worked on, and ideas for stories. I occasionally try to clean these out, but I find it difficult to throw away stuff I’ve worked on. It’s like admitting that all those months of work were for nothing. I know intellectually that I’ve learned from everything I wrote, but I hate to admit that was all it was. I like to think that those scripts and stories will someday see the light again.

So my desk is really used as an entertainment center and for storage. I wish sometimes I had an office door I could close and a desk that felt inspiring. But for now I’ll just have to deal with the hardship of working at a table in the local café, and reward myself with a cappuccino.

We’re excited to announce the winner of last week’s contest. Meredith couldn’t stand to give just one signed copy of POSED FOR MURDER away, so she grabbed two names out of the hat–Helen K and Rhonda Lane. Please send your address to so we can send you your books.

13 Replies to “My office is–Everywhere, by Deb Meredith”

  1. Hurray for our contest winners!

    I think you writers who write in public must have an incredible ability to focus. I would get absolutely nothing done, ever! But I do love the romantic scene of setting up in a little cafe–especially in New York! So picturesque.

  2. I did some writing of LIARS at a cafe, too, when my littlest one was REALLY little, and I HAD. TO. GET. OUT.

    Meredith, I have a four-bedroom house in the ‘burbs and my whole house is still a playroom. Kids expand to fill the space available, don’t they?

  3. I love writing in a cafe–especially when I can splurge on a cappucino. My son talks wistfully about having a house (mostly because we tell him there’s no way he can have certain toys–a car he can ride in??–because there’s not enough space in our apartment), so I know he would gladly fill up a larger space, too.

    Notice I wasn’t so brave as to show you all around my apartment… And my desk is a disaster again.

  4. Like Katie, I’m totally impressed with your ability to focus, Meredith. And maybe that has something to do with the filmmaker/director in you…your mind’s eye can block things out? Whatever, however, it’s all good and fascinating.

  5. Thanks Larramie! I don’t know why I can write easily when surrounded by the voices of strangers, but I’m completely unable to block out my husband and son’s conversations and concentrate… The mind is very perplexing!

  6. That sounds cozy Marsha! My cats are always trying to tempt me into taking a nap with them–a very bad influence. And I’m about to move to the couch myself since my son’s taking over my desk again.

  7. Never throw away what you write…I have most of the stuff my kids wrote in school, and all of my papers from college, but alas, no more “fridge art”.

  8. My whole house is the playroom, too, even though it makes me NUTS! And with three kids, you can imagine. My desk is tidy, though, Meredith! But the floor around it? Umm…well, that’s a different story.

  9. Wow, what a nice, neat looking work area! Makes me want to dig in and get organized–if I could move my writing partner Daisy out of the way! She’s a Jack Russell and thinks she owns everything in the house. Thanks for the look!

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