What’s On Your Desk?

This week three of the Desirabelles share a peek into their writing dens as they answer the question, “What’s on Your Desk?”

Bronwyn: Between books I do a big clean of my office space and this is how it looks for, oh, about a week. Then all the neatly filed notes and cuttings, research books and word-finders, coffee cups and water glasses, spread to cover the desktop. My favourite things: a collage of the book in progress, magazines for more visual stimulus, award plaques to remind me I can do this, keepsakes from the places my writing has taken me and gifts from my writing friends.

Each has a special significance, each its own memory, each makes me smile. When I’m working you’ll find coffee/water at my elbow–I love my “Princes of the Outback” mug–along with at least one of my word books. My current favourite is the fat red Synonym Finder in the bookshelf.

Yvonne: Disclaimer: *Usually* I tidy my office between books and *usually* this means that my office, and my desk, are in a state of relative tidiness during the process of each book. The past few months, however, I’ve been more chaotic than ever with a trilogy and an online all being written back to back. Hence this state of total *insert word of choice*. Might I add that I’m so glad Bron asked about my writing desk and not the floor or any other surfaces because I’d really hate to have to show you all mine πŸ˜‰ .

Seriously though, my workspace might be a disaster zone but my treasures–being my collection of heart shaped boxes and puffy heart semi precious gemstones on top of my computer tower (the dust doesn’t show in the photo, does it?) and the articles along the top shelf of my computer desk–somehow manage to remain uncluttered.

Paula: Even though I tidy my desk, oh, about once every two weeks, it always seems to attract everything right back – from water bottles, to books, to 6 year-old Christmas decorations, drawings and scraps of paper. A tidy desk is the sign of a sick mind, I always say ! πŸ˜€ At the moment, I have a bunch of papers to file, my diary, a packet of light bulbs, my son’s ‘rasta sun’ change purse, the spreadsheet for a contest I’m co-ordinating, The Procrastinator’s Handbook, receipts, my two writing muses Meg (from Hercules) and Mike (from Monsters Inc), pens and a writing course proposal for my local community college. I managed to remove the coffee mugs and empty Subway wrappers for this photo πŸ™‚

Anyone else like to share, what’s on YOUR desk? Enquiring minds would like to know…

This week’s draw is for a signed copy of Bronwyn Jameson’s first two books, In Bed With the Boss’s Daughter and Addicted To Nick, reissued in a Bestsellers Collection by Harlequin Australia in November 08. (Prize drawn Oct 4.)Β ETA: prize will also include a French translation duo by Bronwyn Jameson and Yvonne Lindsay.


58 Responses to “What’s On Your Desk?”

  1. September 28, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Hey, Bron, my synonym finder is on the left hand side of my desk. You can probably just make it out under the cordless phone and my iPod Nano and some paper…maybe πŸ˜€

  2. September 28, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Y’know, I was just taking a closer look at the pics and I noticed that familiar looking fat red treasure. Isn’t it the best?

  3. 3 Avi J
    September 28, 2008 at 11:12 am

    My desk contains mostly pens, cook books and note pads. l am always research and experimenting with different recipes. l write by hand then transfering everthing to the computer.

  4. 4 LJ
    September 28, 2008 at 11:21 am

    The one thing my desk has alot of is post it notes in all shapes and sizes. What ever l am studying or working on l always make notes to help point out the important things.

  5. 5 Lisa lee
    September 28, 2008 at 11:41 am

    I have my computer and text books on my desk

  6. September 28, 2008 at 11:42 am

    hey LJ – you know you can get a virtual version of Post its? They stick on your desktop and you can change the colors.

    Forgot to mention my lucky wooden Bali buddha – he’s cross-legged and scrunched up, as if he’s suffering from simultaneous period pain, headache and writer’s block . I love that guy, he looks about as stressed as I feel sometimes πŸ˜€

    Bron, Yvonne – you guys have such neat desks, even when they’re supposed to be messy! If you took a step back from mine, you’d see the larger Ikea shelves surrounding the desk, with printers, CDs, files, books, noteboards with the wip and inspirational quotes displayed prominently.

  7. 7 Dina
    September 28, 2008 at 11:47 am

    l have books and disney stationery. l am in uni but l love the designs. l write exams with a beauty and the beast pen πŸ˜€

  8. 8 Mia
    September 28, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    My desk has a laptop and Simba from the lion king amoung my calculator and files.

  9. 9 Lizzy
    September 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    l have practice exam papers, text books, note books and a computer. Well most of the time it is so messy only the computer distinctly stands out πŸ˜€

  10. 10 limecello
    September 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Desk? What desk? I suppose I have one – it’s where the dinosaur (the desktop I got in… 98?) lives, as well as :X junk. In fact, my entire room – rooms (yes I’ve taken over more of the house) – looks like a mess.
    My room seriously looks like a thief went through it. Shameful and awful. :X I need to get on that soon. But with 16 hrs of school and work I generally get home, relax some, eat, and collapse with a book. (yeah a lot of excuses) *embarrassed*

  11. 11 RobynL
    September 28, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    My desk is on overload, lol. There are…. on my desk:
    pens in a cup
    rubber duckies
    dog frame with pic of our dog
    2 white teddy bears
    a wooden box with sticky notes
    a candle
    an electric pencil sharpener
    note books
    a coaster

  12. September 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Right now my desk has 2 computers – one dinosaur and one new…. So I’m going through the process of transferring information. In the meantime, there’s not much room to move around in…..
    I did do a little…make that big…. *g* clean up of my study area – by no means perfect but now I can see the carpet in the room!! I’m so impressed with your desks ladies. One day, I hope to be that organised.

    E πŸ™‚

  13. September 28, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    organized, Eleni? 😯 You should see the rest of the room!

    Love the Beauty and the Beast pen, Dina! Disney makes such fabbo figures πŸ™‚ Mia, when I worked in the city, my computer monitor was a magnet for all things Disney – Simba, Jasmine, a dalmation or two… Lizzy, I know what you mean. Most of the time, I just see the monitor. It’s a good thing the keyboard has it’s own separate pull-out drawer!

  14. September 28, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    I love these pics… and it’s so good to know that others work brilliantly in clutter. I have loads of trolls on my desk – I just love the things, especially my bride and groom troll which are particularly inspiring while trying to write romance!!


  15. 15 christa
    September 28, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    right now on my desk I have the book Under Suspicion with Elizabeth Bevarly’s The Secret Life of Connor Mohanan and Bronwyn Jameson’s Addicted to Nick(Nick and T.C are great and Joe sounds like a sweetheart). Then I have a book where I write down the reads for the 100,000 challenge, I have a folder with a TBR book list, I have a folder with read books listed, I have another book to jot note down on and also to write down wants, list of buddy’s in challenge(try to go through it every two weeks and visit)list of Diana palmer books I still need, grocery list (I just realized I have way too many lists) then on shelves on either side of computer have dictionary, address book, printer, eharlequin Bonus Bucks. I posted a picture on eharlequin of it a while ago http://community.eharlequin.com/content/couch-desk-computer-bookcases (BTW Bron I have both Addicted to Nick and In bed With the Boss’s Daughter)

  16. 16 azteclady
    September 29, 2008 at 2:55 am

    Lemme see… Computer, printer/scanner/fax combo. Teetering pile of stuff to file on the right. Books on the left. Cross stitch in progress. Bills to pay under monitor. Sticky notes with reminders. Pens in all colors of the rainbow in cups and coffee mugs and just rolling around. Chargers for phone and laptop. Earphones. Scissors, erasers, mechanical pencils…

    Okay, I’ll stop now. My desk is an unholy mess πŸ˜€

  17. 17 Aviella
    September 29, 2008 at 3:24 am

    I am a little different I have everything organized with trays, and holders. l even have a side to store papers and books things and other stationery and equipment.

  18. 18 Mau J
    September 29, 2008 at 3:30 am

    In addition to my computer and books l have many pictures of my nine dogs on my desk.

  19. 19 Aideen
    September 29, 2008 at 3:46 am

    On my desk, when l can find it is my laptop, printer, planner and a box of minature m&m’s and peanut buttercups. The chocolate is essential so it is always kept neat. πŸ˜€

  20. 20 Jane
    September 29, 2008 at 5:23 am

    I have my laptop, lamp, little drawer chest, mail, magazines, wallet, keys, receipts, coaster, my tbr pile, and a couple of photos.

  21. September 29, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Neat? Paula, you think my desk is neat??? I think you need glasses dear girl 😎

    I have to say, though, that I’m heartened by everyone’s posts and their disclosures about what they have on their desks. I had to shift a ton of paper this am to find a phone number for one of my kids so the sprawl of papers toward the back of my desk is now more of a stack…for a wee while at least. Sitting here now I’m beginning to get critical of my discoveries and I’m spying the pair of gold earrings (that hurt my ears when I use my headphones to dull noise) and thinking they should be back in my jewellery case, and I’m eyeing up the little perfume bottles and wondering which one I should wear today (probably Dolce Vita because I seem to write this particular book better when I’m wearing it,) and then there’s…oh dear, there’s just too much. Had better get into finishing this darned book so I can have a tidy up!

  22. 22 Beth
    September 29, 2008 at 7:18 am

    I have a Tom and Jerry stuff toy, computer, and a radio, that are neatly placed on my desk. The books and papers are well, just all over the desk

  23. 23 Genny
    September 29, 2008 at 7:24 am

    My desk has a phone, laptop and a pencil and pen holder. There is also a stuff toy of Nemo from ‘Finding Nemo’ and a lot of multi coloured note pads.

  24. September 29, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Hey! Where did that mess creep up on me? I’m sure I tidied just a few days ago. Now I have (left to right) copy of The Passionate Pen (Rachel Mcalpine) Slave to Sensation (our Naline) pic of Yasmin le Bon (latest heroine) envelope containing some earrings, a cute card and several postcards of Cyprus (from a gorgeous fan, Marina), to the right, stuffed Moose from friends in Canada (my Muse – Moose – get it?) the cube, two phones, lip balm (that ALWAYS gets lost) a ton of printed pages from latest wip, thesaurus, wine bottle labelled Writers Block Grenache (empty) with a fan stuck in the top and a photo of dh and me dressed in 70s stuff – he was Leo Sayer and he danced so hard, his afro wig flew off and landed in the fondue!!!! And copy of A Piece of Heaven (Barbara Samuel). Oh and two boxes of tissues cos Kleenex is running the Win a Suzuki Swift competition and this month, I’m gonna get me a car..

    As for the floor, we’ll leave that for another day…

  25. September 29, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Hey, I have that synonym finder on my desk, too!! I bought it in New York, carried it to New Zealand, then took it with me to Japan and back, that’s how much I love it!

  26. September 29, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Avi, no ingredients and/or samples also on your desk, y’know, for testing as you reserach and work? πŸ˜‰

    LJ, I am a post-it fan. Post-its and coloured notepads and index cards. They’re pinned to my pinboard but also end up littered all over my desk by the time I’m a few chapters into the book. Paula, I have tried the computer ones but for some reason it just isn’t the same; perhaps because there’s some magic in the handwriting?

    Paula, I noticed your Buddha. Love your description, so apt. Have you considered being a writer? πŸ˜‰

    Re the neatness of my desk: have just done a HUGE spring-clean. There was smoke coming out of my shredder! There are no BEFORE photos.


  27. September 29, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Limecello, I’m sure you’re not alone in not working from a desk. With laptops and ipods and smart phones, the portable office is more this century. I do like to grab my laptop and get away from the desk sometimes; when I’m restless or sick of my own company. Have probably mentioned before that I had this romantic dream of being a coffeehouse writer. Sitting there with my laptop, earbuds in, tapping away. In reality I’m too distracted by everything going on. I spend all my time people watching, not writing.

    Probably should also mention that the pics are my writing den. The internet computer is in the house/farm office which is where we all congregate at smoko (coffee time) and when we need some company.


  28. 28 Kirsty C
    September 29, 2008 at 10:07 am

    Our desk has a stack of romance writing things (I keep it in a pile and rummage through it when I need something) and a stack of ‘home admin’ things (bills, notices, daycare flyers, etc).

    There is always an empty coffee/tea mug and usually a full one too, and an empty plate covered in toast crumbs. The desk used to look a lot worse until I bought a craft table for the study, so I could transfer all that junk onto another surface. So the computer desk looks pretty good -just don’t turn around…

  29. 29 Nathalie
    September 29, 2008 at 10:39 am

    French translation… I read a lot of French Harlequin!

    Anyway, that desk is very tidy πŸ™‚ Mine has a few textbooks on it, my laptop and a lamp.

  30. September 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Christa, what a fine book to have on your desk. πŸ˜€ And everything else points out what a dedicated and organised reader you are. Wish I could be half as organised with my reading!

    Azteclady, I’m LMAO (with you, not at you) because that sounds pretty much like the desk I’m sitting at right now. Course I can blame everyone else for dumping EVERYTHING here. It’s like the repository of our lives. And somewhere under here are the bills I have to pay today!

    Jane, all the necessities, right?

    Yvonne, did you go with the Dolce Vito?


  31. September 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Jan, I’m grinning so hard my cheeks hurt. I want to ask so many questions about your treasures but especially about that 70s night. Mostly I want to ask if you’ve consideredf writing romcom. Good luck with the car.

    Nalini, your SF is very well travelled. Has it picked up more words along the way? πŸ™‚

    Kirsty, having 2 stacks of segregated paperwork shows you have organisation in place. I am so nodding in agreement about spreading the junk. As well as our two office desks, there’s another table which is usually littered with the project of the moment. Currently there is no project so the table is relatively tidy. Couple of weeks back, it was littered with photos and scrapbooking miscellanea.

    Nathalie, I love that you can get some French translations in Canada. Do they translate a lot of titles/lines or is your choice limited?


  32. September 29, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    heh heh Bron, you’ve met my beloved, can’t you just imagine him in a massive black afro? He’s very cute but his follicles are not just challenged, they’re petrified!! He did get man of the match, though not sure if that was his dancing or his costume.

    Back to desks, I thought that dh made most of the mess but now I have my own office with a nice big new desk, and he has old computer table downstairs in an alcove. And his desk is always tidy if you discount the odd screwdriver. Do bookcases count? The tops of mine are covered in junk, reams of copy paper, boxes of toner, magazines…

  33. 33 limecello
    September 30, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Bron – For sure. I usually have my laptop on well, my lap – or on some surface it’s not supposed to be on with me sprawled out on my stomach. Every so often when I *really* need to get work done I’ll sit at a table and read and take notes. Of course I also sit at a table and take proper notes in class. However, my actual desk is more for storage, really.
    I think now I’d feel too chained down to stay in one space. While I generally have a few spots at home I’m always in currently, it’s not a set area or confined to an immovable desk. And I recently ordered a laptop cooling unit so likely I’ll be sprawling in the middle of the room/a lot more places now. πŸ˜›

  34. 34 Nathalie
    September 30, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Actually Harlequin France translates so many books, it is unbelievable. I believe they have mostly all lines, but we get our books one year after the original release.

    In Canada, bookstores concentrate on 3 lines mostly Desire (Passion in french), Presents (Azur) and Romance/Special Editions (Horizon) as I believe they must be the most successful here. However, our major bookstore – Chapters – has a big selection usually.

  35. 35 Avi J
    September 30, 2008 at 5:14 am

    Bron, no food stuff there strictly. Although in the kitchen there is a small wall desk built in, so l can write after l work with my ingredients. My brother and sister in law, has built apartments to rent to students. There is just about 10 of us on the compound and they all help with the tasting and giving feed back.

    I have some great news to share, l plan on writing my own cook book πŸ˜€

  36. September 30, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Avi, good for you on writing your own cook book! πŸ™‚

    Jan, gosh I loved your description of your desk and LOL on your guy as Leo Sayer! hmmm, I have a fondue set somewhere with forks and everything. Was a wedding present a gazillion years ago and is still in its box.

    Bron, I did wear the Dolce Vita and scraped 10 pages out of my brain yesterday. Still 67 pages to go in current ms and an awful lot of synopsis left. I’ve a feeling this one could go over word count and I’ll have to do a slash and burn of monumental proportions, not to mention much tweaking, before I send it to my editor on the 6th! Erk! On the 6th? That’s like…next Monday! I’m so not here 😎

  37. 37 Sandra
    September 30, 2008 at 6:58 am

    When I’ve cleaned my desk it has on it my PC and a peace lily. Sadly, I can’t remember when it last looked like that. Right now I can see: a sweatshirt, an empty coffee cup, a pair of sunglasses, two pens and a colouring pencil, my checkbook (must pay that bill), a hole punch and a packet of needles. And I’m so not going to talk about what’s on the bed behind me or on the floor!

  38. September 30, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Very impressive rooms ladies! Makes my heart sing with joy to know that my room is just like yours. My desk sports unopened bills, thesaurus, lavender water, papers, staplers and the phone of course, and along side me are 5 book cases filled to overloading.

    Jane Beckenham

  39. September 30, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Jan, still grinning at the affroed dh. And the fact that you can no longer assign him blame for the desk. Junk? No, that all sounds like necessary provisions. πŸ™‚

    Limecello, ooh the cooling unit will be excellent…for you and the laptop.

    Nathalie, wonderful that there is a selection of French translations from the most popular lines. Do you read all your romance in French or in English as well?

    Avi, applause for the cookbook plans. What fun!

    Yvonne, you are so close to the end of your book…and I am just starting on one. Despite all the work still to be done, I’m in envy. May there be many more Dolce Vita days.


  40. September 30, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I cleaned up my desk tonight and it’s still a mess! My fave twenty year old ‘teddy bears picnic’ cup, so many books I’m yearning to read, an inflatable parrot, a paper weight Holly dd made in grade six, dog registration forms, Jan, I can see your Billionaire’s Favourite Fantasy on my left…oh, and a big fat black cat on my right, who licks the photos in my ‘shoe photo holder thingo’ when she’s hungry, which is most the time. (Paula, you have a black kitty too?)

    Yvonne, WTG on almost finishing! Bron, I’m only *thinking* about starting mine, lol.

    Robbie, waving to all!

  41. September 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Jane (or anyone) what do you do with lavender water?
    AviJ – I’ll buy it!!! It’s a date!
    Yvonne, I’m with you only my deadline is Oct 15. Doesn’t help that I only JUST got the go ahead for the multi-revised synop at 3.30 this morning, grrr. Best of luck with yours, mate.
    Robbie, my cat likes to sit behind me, not bad as a back bolster but he gets so HOT – or is that just my time of life???
    Yum, got a bag of lollies here tonight. LOLLY SCRAMBLE!!!!
    Too slow. More for me…

  42. 42 Avi J
    October 1, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Hi Jan, thank you for my first pre-order πŸ˜€ Thanks you all for the encouragement.

  43. 43 Maureen
    October 1, 2008 at 7:51 am

    My desk has a computer, pictures of my kids, a phone, an appointment book, tissues, blank CDs and a whole pile of files and papers to go through.

  44. October 1, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Hey Robbie, your desk sounds like a very interesting place. No doubt your cat finds the best/most prominent vantage point. Hope you find some time to catch up on your reading as you contemplate starting the next one.

    Jan, am I too late to join in the lolly scramble??? (Speaking of lollies, would it be bad form to mention that black cats are one of my favourite lollies? ;-))

    Maureen, pics of your kids. Oh, dear. I don’t think I have any on my desk…although plenty on the mantle in this office. Which kinda sorta makes up for it.


  45. October 1, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Loving the desk discussion.

    I write in bed in the mornings – a cup of tea and my laptop are delivered by my adorable, supportive, partner. So I guess that means my desk contains a tri-pillow (for back support) the lovely handmade quilt my mother made for me, the t-shirt I need to wear so I don’t freeze in the mornings and the duvet….

    The cupboard under the stairs (which is my real writing den) contains all manner of conceivable item intended to stimulate the muse into action.

    I feel I need a red synonym finder – where does one locate one of these globe-trotting specimens?


  46. 46 Nathalie
    October 2, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Seeing all those neat desks, I am filling a bit ashamed that mine is now a small chaos (so many unrelated papers on such a small space!)

    Bronwyn, I actually read most of my books in english. I usually buy a french Harlequin when I see a book I have missed or a reissue (as they do a lot of themed anthologies, and books can be a little older). What is great of French Harlequin, is that they have ongoing novels on their site (and not short stories as in the English sites), so that encourages me to buy some books in french.

  47. October 2, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Toni, my brother ordered mine through Fishpond.co.nz for a pretty reasonable price. He gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago and was amazed, even though I’d told him exactly what I wanted and gave him the url for ordering etc, how excited and happy I was to receive it! Ha! 8) Writers…we’re a very easily pleased bunch some of the time.

  48. October 2, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Hey, it’s great hearing all about everyone’s desks. I bought a new desk at the beginning of the year and love it. As for what’s on it, I’m sure the Desirabelle authors who know me won’t be surprised if I say it’s tidy and organised. πŸ™‚ There’s some books, a camera, the latest Romantic Times magazine to read, small writing pads filled with notes of things I have to do, paperwork on the current manuscript. Oh, and one cat sitting on the flatbed scanner. πŸ™‚

  49. October 2, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Toni, I am deeply envious of your writing spaces (that saying about “the grass is greener”:-)). I love writing first thing in the morning, while the mind is free of everyday clutter, but am afraid it happens all too rarely. There is no reason I can’t MAKE it happen, esp at weekends. (Note to self…)

    Nathalie, I did not know that about full-length serialisations on the French website. I do know that it is very successful foreign office which has experienced super sales growth. Love the romantic/atmospheric photos they are using at the moment (see next post.) Very eye-catching and appealing to the female market, I think.

    Yvonne, give us a book (esp the RIGHT book) and we’re happy.

    Maxine, not surprised at all that your desk is tidy and organised. I did not know that you had a cat, however. Hopefully she/he lives in harmony with your dogs.


  50. 50 Elise
    October 3, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Wow, I thought my desk alone looked like a hurricane passed through it. There is a stuffed cow that moos when you press a button, a fax machine, computer printer, and loads of paper, and a few romance novel, to take a break when work becomes too boring.

  51. 51 azteclady
    October 3, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Heh, I read the post title again, and thought, “a better question would be, what *isn’t* on your desk”


  52. October 3, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Indeed, azteclady, indeed.



  53. 53 Ellen
    October 4, 2008 at 4:00 am

    What’s on my desk?? A lot and yet not so much. There are a lot of books piled on it and a bottle of aspirin. My desk is not used for anything important as I have a laptop computer which is in my lap when in use and on a chair when not in use.

  54. October 4, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Ellen, storing all those books has to be important task. πŸ™‚ I shall not ask about the aspirin; I only hope that the headache is not a result of the reading. πŸ™‚


  55. October 4, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    It is that time of the week and I have warmed up the random integer generator ready to make a selection. Would you believe that the first number out is 6, Paula’s comment? And the second is 2, one of mine. Third time is the trick, and lucky for…

    #29 = Nathalie.

    Congratulations, Nathalie. Email me via my website contact with your address and I will get the books in the mail.

    Thanks to everyone who joined the lively discussion this week, sharing a peek of what’s on your desk. It was great fun.


  56. 56 azteclady
    October 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Congrats, Nathalie!

    Thank *you*, Bron and the rest of the desirabelles. It’s always fun.

  57. 57 Nathalie
    October 5, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Thank you very much!

  58. 58 christa
    October 5, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    congrats Nathalie

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