My inner sanctum

    My new bookshelves

    This has been a great weekend. Realizing it was the last weekend I would spend with Benjy before I had surgery — he’ll be here for about 10 days after my operation, and then he leaves for college again — I decided to put my manuscript aside and focus on doing things with him that we felt were worthwhile.

    Kind of my accident, we got to work reorganizing my office and bedroom, and it was a day well spent. I never have time for this sort of thing, but with Benjamin’s muscle, it went quickly. Okay, so it took all day. It would have taken me a week by myself.

    With the help of a neighbor, he brought the new shelves my parents gave me into my office, carried the old ones out and helped me reorganize everything. Prior to this I had an entertainment center full of CDs and books on tape. So I spent hours digitalizing my entire music collection so that the CDs can go. We got rid of the entertainment center and the small set of bookshelves I had and replaced it with what you see above.

    Benjamin reorganized everything. On the left are my own books, organized by genre, with foreign language editions on the bottom. You can see some family photos, including a portrait of my boys when they were very little. The black obelisk-type object just to the right of that photo is my National Journalism Award. It's kind of hard to see because the drapes in the kitchen are dark and line up behind it. You can also see my Bose. The white box on the first shelf contains an exacting brass replica of a compass that was found by archaeologists in the cabin on Rogers Island that would have been Iain’s and later Morgan’s (and now Connor’s).

    All of my research is now organized by topic on the right side. The blue flag is the little flag they put on tables to designate RITA finalists at the RWA booksigning. Surrender was a RITA finalist, so I got to keep that lovely flag as a memento of a very special conference.

    This is the left side of my office facing in through the doorway. Forget the sprinkler on the floor. I must have brought it in, thinking I was carrying it out to the backyard or something and then put it down and forgot about it. The dry erase board in the foreground is where I jot out thoughts about the chapter I'm on. The notes you see on it now are dialogue between Zach and Natalie. If you want more detailed descriptions of the art and such, you can find these on Facebook, where I tagged different features. But picture here are my historical map of Rogers Island made in the 1750s and bought on Rogers Island (Ranger Island); an I Love NY poster featuring two F&I War re-enactors, one of whom let Benjy fire his Brown Bess musket while we were visting Rogers Island, and my print of Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott.

    This is a view of my office looking straight in from the doorway. You can see the new bookshelves flat against the wall on the right. Next to The Lady of Shalott is a replica of a map of Rogers Island and Fort Edward dating to the 1770s. Lovely! (Or at least I think it is!)

    I still like the color I chose for the accent wall no matter what the realtor said about keeping all the walls white. (Boooring!)

    So this little space is where I live and where I dream up stories and where I write them. I just wanted to show off my shelves because I’m so excited to have an organized space now, and I thought you might enjoy seeing the whole thing.

    Benjy and I went to an antique car show today, and he taught me to tell the difference between ’55, ’56 and ’57 Chevy Bel Airs. I think we’re going to head to the Botanic gardens in Denver tonight if I feel up to it to look at roses.

    Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

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