Saturday, March 26, 2016

Adjusting to a New Writer Workspace and Making it Mine

The Pink Heart Society is delighted to welcome Trish Milburn as she talks about adjusting to her newest writing space and hosts a #giveaway!

The last time I wrote anything about my writer workspace, I lived in a house that afforded me a bedroom that I turned into an office. I had lots of space for bookshelves, desk, a couch and an ottoman so that I could watch TV while writing on my laptop. But in January, we sold our home and downsized. 

I went from that good-size house to an apartment with just over 1,000 square feet. 

For about five weeks in between then and when we moved into our new permanent residence, we were in a vacation cono and my “office” was wherever I toted my laptop in the condo or on the balcony. Now my office is one side of my bedroom, and I only kept one bookshelf. That shelf is now filled with the books I’ve published and my DVD collection. The books that I kept to read are in plastic bins shoved into my closet.

It’s an adjustment, but it’s nice to live where it should never snow or so little it won’t matter. It’s also a lot faster and easier to clean the apartment than the house. And having the beach about three miles away is awesome.

We’re gradually adjusting to our new space, and each day I do something that makes my office space more mine and makes it feel like home. I decorated the top of my single bookcase with my Native American pottery collection and hung my Firefly print above it. 

I hung my corkboard near my desk and put up pictures of my husband, sister and mom; my little TARDIS thumb drive keychain; the local library’s hours; and a Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice calendar. This month features the new Wonder Woman, a character I’ve loved since my early years of watching the Super Friends Saturday morning cartoon and the Lynda Carter TV show. 

Adjacent to it is a shadowbox my dear friend Gretchen Stull gave me for Christmas dedicated to our mutual love of DragonCon, which we attend in Atlanta each Labor Day weekend. It centers around a small slice of iconic and now legendary carpet that was removed by the Marriott, the main host hotel for the con.

There’s also the mug from Rock Island State Park back in Tennessee, one of my favorite parks, and the dancing flower Gretchen gave me. I still have Doctor Who prints and a Wonder Woman print my friend Eve Milady drew that I want to frame and put on the wall, but my office space is becoming more mine and more comfortable every day. To me, that’s important for creating a good environment for writing, editing, whatever work I have to do. Since I spend good chunks of time in this room, I like being surrounded by things that embody who I am and that inspire me.

I love talking to others about their office space or where you like to read if you’re not an author. How is it decorated? With what do you surround yourself? Colors? Décor? Let me know, and I’ll give away a signed copy of my latest book, Home on the Ranch, to one commenter. 

Trish's latest title in her Blue Falls, Texas series is Home on the Ranch, out now:

A Cowboy at Heart 

Austin Bryant has come back to Blue Falls to get his grandfather's ranch ready to sell. Years ago he escaped to Dallas, and now his life is exactly the way he likes it—orderly and neat. He can't stand all the junk his grandparents collected, and he just wants it gone. 

When Ella Garcia is called to haul away the trash from the Bryant ranch, she's thrilled. Her business is turning one person's trash into another's treasure. But Austin's attitude is a mystery to her—he seems anxious to throw away his family's memories. Ella notices how at home Austin is on the ranch—and how good he looks in a cowboy hat—and she wonders if there's more country in this city boy than he realizes.

For more information about Trish Milburn, check out her website and her blog, and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.


  1. I read anywhere

    alysap at yahoo dot com

    1. That's the good thing about reading. It can be enjoyed almost anywhere.

  2. I love your Firefly print, that was one of my favorite shows ever, so fun and full of wit.

    During the colder months, I usually read in a comfy chair near our woodstove, but when it gets warm that's my favorite because I can go outside and enjoy my books in the sunshine with lemonade or iced tea, I'm so looking forward to that.

    1. I love reading outside, too, when it's warm. We just got Adirondack chairs for our new place, so I'm going to enjoy both writing and reading out there.

    2. And Firefly is my all-time favorite show. Still mad at FOX for cancelling it.

  3. I'm glad to hear you're settling in and finding joy in your new digs. I did a similar move 7 years ago, from a 3 bedroom house with a 2 1/2 car garage, full basement, full attic, Florida room etc to a tiny 850 sq feet beach bungalow. But my workspace, while smaller than before, is still my library. The second bedroom got converted with floor to ceiling books on three walls and a window overlooking the ocean over my desk. Like you, I hung my favorite pictures on what is left of the walls, Springtemps by Pierre Augustus Cott is the essence of romance and it hangs beside my window. A small fireplace beneath it keeps me warm in the chilliest part of winter here in North Florida and a photo of my kids sits under my monitor. There is plenty of space on the shelves with my books for the memorablia I've collected. And, as you say, housekeeping (when I'm not ignoring completely) is so much less.

  4. Thanks for sharing about your space, Skye. I envy your view of the ocean, but at least we're not far away now. I had to look up that Cot print on the Met's website -- lovely.