poetry and prose about place

places for writers … writing desks

with 4 comments

‘writer’ and ‘desk’ … a likely pairing of words …  a writer may have many desks, but does the desk have a writer?


In our home are five desks, four for me.



the writing desk in my guest room

The desk in my guest room is the neatest, used only for addressing Christmas cards in December. A little desk, it has a lamp, a box of stamps for personalizing cards and envelopes, a ceramic dog that once sat on my desk at work, a tiny gecko bought for me in Milan by my oldest brother, a cloisonné sea-shell from my sister, and a hand-blown glass purchased with my husband in Ontario. Quite by accident, these items are all orange and green. I sit at this desk every morning, to look at the eastern sky and plan my day. I never write fiction or poetry at this desk.



my desk in the loft

The desk in the loft is my official desk. This desk is oval and was given to me by my youngest brother – it originally belonged to my aunt. It has a lamp, a small fountain and a jar of simulated fireflies from my son.  I keep a few ongoing projects here, including a stack of pages where I store tidbits of information remembered from my life. If I come across a vacation memento or a scrap of paper kept from some event, I record it here. One page per year … 61 so far.   This desk is equipped for writing. Nearby is a dictionary, a thesaurus and a keyboard for my iPad. No poems or fiction, however, are written at this desk. This is the desk I clean when I haven’t written for a while.



my messy desk in the library

My third writing desk is oak, very old, and has a leather top. This desk holds a lamp, my computer and printer, the modem, and a USB dock for e-books, iPad, camera, Bamboo drawing surface, and a small USB-driven fan for warm days. Add a wonky stack of paperwork, sorted at tax time, and a mouse with 2 square inches of space to manoeuvre. This desk is always a mess, has no space for pen and paper, and somewhere in the desk drawer is a Tamagotchi that hasn’t been shaken in fifteen years! Lots of poems and thousands of words of fiction are written at this desk … not so much written as pecked out, in three finger combinations.



my lap desk

My fourth desk wouldn’t get a mention in a furniture inventory. It is a beaten-up plastic lap desk, scavenged from my son and re-covered (it used to have a dinosaur pattern) in a fern-patterned fabric. This is where my pen and paper writing gets done, usually in my living room chair, sometimes at our camp and occasionally outside in our yard. It has room for my rough book and a small ledge to hold a pen. It never needs tidying and slips neatly into my writing bag. It has supported the writing of poems, books, blog posts and letters. I love my lap desk.


Do you have a writing desk or desks?  Where do you prefer to write?


Copyright 2015 Jane Tims


Written by jane tims

May 20, 2015 at 7:10 am

4 Responses

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  1. I enjoyed taking a tour of all your desks. I have always wanted a lap desk because I keep a notebook on the porch and in the living room, and it would be nice to have a lap desk when I go to write something down. Instead, I balance the notebook as best I can on my lap or on the arm of a chair.

    I have a desk in the “office” (a spare bedroom) where my computer is located. This is where I do most of my blog writing although the ideas for some posts come from things I write in the notebooks I keep lying around the house. I do my journal writing, by hand, at the kitchen table in the morning because I love the light in there.

    Liked by 1 person


    May 23, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    • Went to a writing workshop today and everyone around the table used different spaces for writing … Very person-specific. Jane


      jane tims

      May 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

  2. Jane, what a nice surprise to see the box of owl Christmas cards on your desk – the same ones I sent out last year! I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your writing spots, each with its own unique purpose.

    Since I ruptured a tendon in my middle finger many years ago, writing by hand is too painful for me because the injury never healed properly. So my desk is my laptop which I take with me almost everywhere. My favorite spot though is at the dining room table looking out our sliding glass doors into the evergreens growing next to our little balcony. I love watching the birds and the sun rise through the branches and the cat sunbathing in the morning light…

    Liked by 1 person

    Barbara Rodgers

    May 20, 2015 at 9:38 am

    • You have excellent taste in Christmas cards! I think the key ingredient in a writing desk space is comfort so the dining table sounds right to me. Jane


      jane tims

      May 20, 2015 at 11:59 am

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