Friday, October 28, 2011

The Scene of the Crime

By Peg Brantley, Writer at Work, Stumbling Toward Publication

Tom Adair's post this week inspired me.

I'm forever curious about the spaces in which people live and work. Do they surround themselves with memories, or are they more utilitarian?

Both C.J. West and Tom wrote recently about things people leave behind, and what those things say about them. Well, I'm here. This is where I spend most of my days, and much of my nights.

What you see above is my trash can, and my Buzzy Slippers (they have a buzzing mechanism triggered by pressing down just a little) which I haven't used all summer, but will be perfect for this winter.

This is where I imagine crimes and research them. Where I pit people against their own demons and try and give them the worst possible obstacles to overcome. Or not. This is my scene of the crime.

The candle is important. Not sure why, but it is. There's a fireplace near me too, and it's loaded with wood and ready to light.

The photograph is my mom. She believes in me and tells me constantly that I can do this. She was a very smart lady, and there's no reason for me to quit paying attention to her now.

The bookends are special. The one nearest the photograph says, "Do read to someone. When words are infused by the human voice, they come alive." ~Maya Angelou

Different encouragers include more family photos, and four shelves of books—either research-based or craft based.

I've come to learn that simply surrounding myself with this much knowledge doesn't get the trick done.  So, I've read bits and pieces of almost all of them.

This photograph is the most important encourager of them all—the Love of My Life. I call him George.

I like my pens, too. They're cheerful.

And that little round disc? That's a remote for the fan. With the candles and the fireplace and the western exposure and certain flashes of the hot variety, it comes in handy.

And finally, my little code words that have nothing to do with a car manufacturer.

I love the feeling I get when the ideas are flying and I'm pretty much in a trance while I write. Way better than drugs.

Now that you've seen bits and pieces of my space, there's something else I should share: I can imagine a critic one day saying that the only crime committed here was Peg Brantley trying to write. But that's another story.


  1. Loved the photos! Thanks so much for letting us peek inside your writing room and get to know you a little better. Zoom-zoom!


  2. Great post! I covet your desk/table.

  3. Love it! So many cherished things to encourage you - and elegant, too! I won't show you my clutter!

    Thanks for sharing, Peg. I'm inspired!

  4. Great post Peg. I can't tell you how flattered I am that I finally inspired someone to do something other than fall asleep! I like the candle (symbolic of knowledge) and will be looking for my own pair of slippers for the Winter. Thanks for sharing your space and I promise not to profile you based on what I see :)

  5. My writing space is sacred to me as well, and it's my favorite room in the house. Pictures on the walls of all my labs, past and present, along with lots and lots of little bits and pieces of me. It doesn't make me a better writer, but I think it creates a good atmosphere for achieving that goal.

    Thanks for sharing your space and a part of you.

    And Peg, the crime wouldn't be that you tried to write--the crime would be if you never tried ;)

  6. L.J., I picture the photo of you with your legs up while you're working. You look like a woman in her woman-cave in full control of the remote. In other words, just exactly right.

    Marlyn, I love my desk. It's inlaid granite, and was something I was allowed to purchase when I left my job in Corporate America. It was important to me, probably not so much to anyone who would come after me.

    From time to time, my work area gets cluttered, Jodie. But I can't work that way. I think it's because I can't focus as well as other people can, and the clutter just crawls all over my brain. I get stopped up. I've learned to live with the need to be neat. It's almost a sickness.

    Sheesh. Having you around Tom, is almost as bad as having a shrink looking at everything we say. Since we're in the same area, one of these days we're gonna have to meet for coffee or a glass of wine. As long as you promise to turn off the profiler part of you. Or at least tone it down a bit.

    My brother, Drew. Somehow I knew you would have all of the things that are special to you surrounding you when you write. And thanks . . . I am trying. Moving forward one word at a time.

  7. Peg, your writing space has a wonderful energy! And that should be ideal for the flow of creativity!

  8. Linda, thanks. Some days the flow is better than others, but I do love my space.


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