A couple of months ago, I watched a webinar with Tall Poppy Kathryn Craft. I was so intrigued by the office space behind her, I could barely pay attention to the webinar details. So of course I had to ask for more detailed peek. — Orly
For the first ten years that I was writing fiction, no one cared where I did it. Even I didn’t think to photograph the space where I wrote; we all intuitively knew that the subject of a photo should be of actual interest to someone.
Now that I’m published, and realize the important work that was being done there, I wish I had access to a better picture of the space. It was a true writing cave, with exposed stone walls, in the basement of a Revolutionary War-era farmhouse, complete with walk-in fireplace. Two windows let in meager light, as they faced a patio sitting beneath a substantial overhang created by rooms added on above.
Each day as I went to work, I went “down in.” This is a prevalent archetype in ancient tales, where women must dig down and face their deepest selves. This unearthing, done in this dark office, laid the foundation for my first two novels.
Here is the only picture I could find of it, taken when my (partially broken) son Marty was seated at my big old computer. Note the floppy disks to his left!
In 2009 we moved to a town house in Doylestown, PA, and my office is now in a loft on the third floor. Instead of going “down in,” I “rise up” to do my work. I am happy to have earned the distinction, as I love the natural light. I’m watching the season’s first snow fall onto rooftops out the window beyond the spare bed in the next photo.
Here’s an *almost* 360-degree view. All of these same elements were in my old office as well—we’re just a whole lot happier these days, closer to the clouds. I’ll point out some of my favorite elements.
This photo features my favorite two favorite writing partners. The first is my mug warmer, to the left of my planner (still love a paper planner!), so my coffee stays the same temperature all morning. The second is behind the mug, to the right: that wooden zebra. Look how patiently he sits. He is my constant inspiration to sit in my chair and get my writing done. Oh—and there is actual sunshine!
Moving around to the left is my desk. My best friend gave me the Picasso print when I graduated with my master’s degree thirty-seven years ago, and it remains a symbol of her love and belief in me. To the right is a bulletin board chock full of inspiration, and to the left is a photo of my Dad’s first remote-controlled airplane. He spent months perfecting it to the finest of details. It flew about 15 seconds before it crashed to smithereens. So he built another.
This picture features my son Marty’s first grade artwork. My older son could draw detailed, realistic portraits of airplanes and superheroes, so Marty felt he had no artistic talent. He was wrong. Look at this chick, bent so far forward, its beak spread wide, trying so hard to let his voice be heard. It inspires me daily.
This is my editing nook. I write at my computer in the mornings, and move here in the afternoons to edit for clients. This chair makes me happy. As does the trapeze artist—more of Marty’s first grade artwork.
But truly, nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by my books. These are—ahem— some of them. Enough so you get the picture, right? And certainly, enough to remind me that I am never alone while surrounded by so many brilliant mentors.
Kathryn Craft is the award-winning author of two novels from Sourcebooks, The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy, and the author of chapters in Author in Progress and The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, both from Writers Digest Books.