Just in case you wanted to know what the room I spend about 90% of my day in looks like, here is a brief and terrifying tour of my office in this insanely long and over-detailed entry.
Okay, MTV, let me show you around. This is where the magic happens. My deskal area. Let’s break it down.
- My awesome MacBook, the most awesomest toy I have ever bought. The screen is displaying, as usual, not work, but my secrety LiveJournal.
- The Halloween decoration I have named Bob, after Bob in the Dresden Files. I’d like to think the Bob what comes out of the skull is the Bob from the tv show and not the books. Nothing against the books, but Bob in the tv show is smecksy. He’s wearing the crown that went with my slutty Queen of Hearts costume last Halloween, because I have named him Princess For The Day, every day. Inside the skull is a baggy of snappers or poppers or whatever you call them, the little twisted up paper bits with black powder in them that explode when they hit the floor. They are employed frequently to terrorize the cats when they are doing something bad, or just when I’m bored.
- Underneath Bob and the explosives is my “Book of Wonder”, the binder where I keep scrapbook pages of people and locations in my writing. It’s also the graveyard for ideas that I had that didn’t work out, but which I was really excited about at one time, like a paranormal romantic comedy about Dracula and another paranormal romantic comedy that I don’t even want to go into. It also holds the seeds for upcoming projects, like one about a woman whose husband is murdered by supernatural forces and a story about zombies.
I realize at this point that there are two #3’s, because I’m intelligent. The second number 3 is a beribboned steak knife that was presented to me in a bouquet of flowers by my wonderful friends at GRRRWA, including Brynn Paulin, Bronwyn Green, and Cheryl Sterling, among others who I think have pseudonymous blogs but I can’t be sure who is who. The flowers and knife were given to me to celebrate the sale of the first Blood Ties book, and is in reference to the fact that I routinely stab knives through books I hate before resigning them to my “hall of shame”. The card that came in the flowers reads “Get Well Soon. Wishing you all the best success and a speedy recovery from your recent demon possession.”
- This is the bottle of Diet Coke I was drinking the day the photo was taken. Yes, it is a two liter. Why do you ask?
- Some of my dolls. Most of them are away in storage, because Mr. Jen finds them creepy. A picture from our wedding is in the frame in front of them, so that Mr. Jen constantly has his back turned to the horrible creatures he is sure will one day murder him to death.
- My little altar of creativity. We’ll look at that in more detail in a moment.
- I like to paint, in my spare-ish time, and this is something I painted in 2003. It’s a female form, crucified on fishhooks, bleeding into an open book. Yeah, sometimes I hate deadlines, and I need to get that frustration out somehow.
- My friend Cheryl Sterling gave me this calendar as a Christmas present. Her present is still sitting in my office closet, with many other people’s presents I have forgotten to deliver.
- Good for fending off vampires.
- A framed book cover that Borders’s corporate offices gave me to celebrate The Turning’s debut at #6 on their romance list. Also, I went to dinner with some people from there and my former editor Sasha Bogin, and I had some awesome rabbit and pasta thing that looked like severed ears.
- Some postcards I like. Some from BPAL that they send along with your order.
- Some postcards of Melville related stuff. The bottom one is a portrait of him, the one above, in sepia tones, is a picture of his farm in Pittsfield, MA.
- Another genius, Mr. Stephen Sondheim.
- This is a peacock of unimaginable horror.
- My friend Chachi gave me this plate for my wedding. It has a real Wuthering Heights type scene going on it it.
- Bronwyn Green cross-stitched this lovely Irish sampler for me. It contains a very treasured old Irish proverb, “Na bodris… ni mi fhin e.” Nevermind, I will do it myself.”
- I love nutcrackers. A lot. This is an antique (and pretty racist) hand-held nutcracker purchased for me by Mr. Jen’s stepmother, who knows I enjoy strange and rare nutcrackers.
- That’s Lucy! She’s my guitar!
- Again, I repeated a number. So, the one on the wall is a card from Bronwyn Green that she drew a picture of a bare foot stomping a spider inside to prove her love, and the one on the shelf is a gingerbread man with horns that I made two solstices ago to be contrary.
This is Ryan, from the Ellora’s Cave calendar they gave out all free-like at RT. Ryan is an important component of my office, and also I like to star e at the veins of his lower abdomen above the waist of his pants. I like to objectify men.
This is a close up of my creativity altar. I throw all sorts of little bits that make me feel imaginative and inspired here. You can’t see my ribbon o’ skeleton keys that dangle down, but keys are really my personal symbol, and they hang from this altar, as well.
- A wooden stake that my friend Cristin brought me from her work. She’s not a vampire hunter, no matter what that last sentence implied.
- A really cool jar o’ writing prompts Cheryl Sterling made, and I fish out a new prompt when I’m stuck, or looking to write a fanfic.
- This candle smells HORRIBLE. Like Lemon Pledge and burning hair in a jar of spoiled dill pickles.
- Mr. Jen thinks this crystal looks like a penis. I think it looks like a crystal, myself. But anyway, these are my assorted rock bits. If you are eagle eyed, you may spot the dragon pendant from the cover of Possession nestled among them.
- Yay, Labyrinth!
- This is a button that says “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” There is a funny story behind this button, which I will share one day in a post titled “When I met Mandy Patinkin once.”
To the rear of my office (heh, “rear”), are my bookshelves o’ doom. This is shelf #1.
- A forlorn and abandoned stack of cds. Sorry, guys, but iPods are the wave of the future.
- Isn’t that cute? It’s one of my three Build-A-Bear friends. I have a real problem with buying toys.
- My TBR pile. Please note how the shelf bows under the massive weight.
- That’s my friend Christina Radish’s Christmas present. I’m a horrible friend for not sending it yet.
- Behind the crystal ball, that’s a Little Apple doll. I love those things so much, it’s ridiculous. I wish I could afford to buy them all.
- Remember what I said about toys? Also, beside those Barbies is a bird watching dwarf nutcracker. Remember what I said about nutcrackers?
- Big ole stack of sheet music.
- I guess I skipped 8 to make up for the repeat numbers earlier.
- Another painting I did, this one of an appearance of the Blessed Virgin at the end of my Grandma’s driveway. You know, like you do.
- Hair extensions of DOOOOOOOOOM. I’m working on a project right now.
- A dirty blanket that I use for a curtain, because I’m too cheap to buy a curtain.
- This is a really cool wicker chest my mother-in-law gave me, and I put all my supplies for witchy doings in there. Lots of herbs and oils and snips and snails and candles and such.
This is the second bookshelf o’ doom. Now, with added doom. Someone used to use this in their bedroom and they put a television up top and just threw away the top shelf, hence the sadly wasted space up there.
- Another Little Apple doll. On the shelf below her, there is yet another one. Toys, remember?
- This is a really cool gift I got from someone who was taking a photography class. She might not want me to plaster her name all over here, so I will not mention it. But she took this picture and titled it “Nathan’s Bookstore”.
- My big ole shelf o’ comparative religion. I’ve basically taken a little bit from every book on this shelf and cobbled together my religion of Jenism. I’m trying to figure out a way to work it into a cult, like Scientology.
- Various paperbacks that I enjoy and keep. Okay, truth is, I keep every book, ever. Even if I hated it. Because I love books in general and I don’t like not havin them. This is also why I don’t go to the library, because they can get real uppity if you keep the books.
- I guess there is a five on that other Little Apple doll, but I really didn’t think the placement of red-on-red through all that well. To tell the truth, I marked these things up while watching House last night.
- A picture of me at my very first book signing at Waldenbooks in the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids. This was totally momentous, because like, the year before that I was working in the Gap in that mall.
- So, once upon a time I had to go to Colorado Springs for this sales conference for Harlequin, and it was really cool and I met awesometastic people, and they had the covers for our next books all blown up and placed around the room where we had dinner, and I was like, “Can you mail that to me,” and they did. But now I have no clue what I thought I was going to do with the thing.
- More paperbacks of wonderfulness, and a really ugly plate.
- Down there is the Hall Of Shame. I won’t show you what’s on it (that is a closely guarded secret), but I will say that it is also the home of my ugly unicorn collection.
- Okay, see those leaves hanging down? They’re attached to this awesome wasps nest my mother-in-law gave me. She just cut down the whole branch it was on after she sprayed the little buggers to death (they were invading her house, something had to be done). There are actually still wasps stuck to it, dead. It’s the most awesome thign in my office.
This is where I work on wigs. I love wigs. They are fun, they let you change your hair without commitment, and also you can do things to them that you could never do with human hair.
- This is a wig I’m currently working for the Faery Ball at RT. Okay, actually, I finished it last night. But it was about six hours from the finish line in this picture. I always color in the faces on the wig heads to keep them from being so damned blank and creepy.
- See all that plaster and the unfinished wood window sill? About a year about we got our windows done, and I’ll be honest: I hate painting. I still have not repainted around this window on the grounds that it has a door on it and people don’t need to be going in my office in the first place.
- Isn’t that speaker cool? There are three of them in my office, and they look like tiny Darth Vader heads.
- My 1914 Singer Tailor Model sewing machine. Also known as my wig table.
- Wow, how did that get broken?
- That’s a box of MREs that my Army friend thought we would enjoy. Guess what? NO. MREs are gross. I do occasionally open them to fish for the M&Ms that sometimes come with them.
And last but not least, this is my real uncomfortable office chair. Notice the broken back. The left armrest matches. It often just pops up and pinches me for no good reason. This chair is the devil. But I’m too cheap to buy a new one.
Unless they make one that looks like toys. Then I would buy it in a heartbeat.
So, that’s my office, for better or for worse. Now, all my sordid little details about where I work have been revealed. Yes, my office is a land of wonder and gaiety, but also unimaginable sorrow.
Go, try to forget the horrors you’ve seen, but they shall stalk you in your dreams for all eternity. I’m going to go get some Diet Coke and a candy bar!