home office

New digs, new office by J.C. Hutchins

I get a lot of questions from folks about writing and rituals: How many words do you write a day? What software do you use? Do you listen to music when you write?, etc.  Over the years, I've also encountered questions about my workspace: What does it look like? I recently moved from South Florida to the Denver area, and have spent the past month working hard to make my home office (which I use for my creative writing and the day gig) a warm and welcoming place for me to herd words for hours on end. I'm becoming increasingly proud of the office, and -- partly to finally answer the question What does it look like? and partly to selfishly, proudly preen at how it's shaping up -- I reckoned it was time to post some photographs. I pray you'll indulge me. :)

Here's a shot from the far corner of my new digs: my sole bookshelf is on the left (I'm ditching hard copy in a big way, forsaking the fetishization of printed books and buying ebooks almost exclusively now), and my main desk is on the right. The darkened monitor resting on the filing cabinet is for my Mac mini, which I use as the house's wireless streaming media server.


For curious tech-heads: On the main desk, I've got a vertically-mounted MacBook Pro running the show, a 27" LED Cinema Display, some Bose speakers for audio, and a ScanSnap document scanner.


Another shot of the desk, before I added the speakers and a statue of Thoth, the Egyptian god who invented writing (whose photo follows this one):


Some spiffy bling on the bookcase shelves include my collection of fan-made, hand-crafted "Beta Clone" figurines and my small Transformers collection. (You can take the boy out of the 1980s, but...)


Being surrounded by inspiring artwork always revs my creative engine. Here's a rundown of some of what's now on the walls.

First up, a priceless hand-painted portrait of The Spirit by the late Will Eisner, one of history's most influential comics creators. I wrote a profile about him for The Palm Beach Post in 2000, and he sent me this magnificent piece as a thank you. Eisner was the best.


Next up: a delightful propaganda-style poster supporting the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund -- a worthy cause. I bought this guy about 10 years ago, I think. Finally had it framed when I moved to Colorado.


Here's a exceptionally dramatic and cool print of a Soviet-era propaganda poster. It reads, "We will smite the lazy worker." It's placed behind me, and looms like a thundercloud. Whenever I get whiny, I think of the mantra behind my head and keep typing.


More art, on the far walls, include this awesome print of the cover from the June 1957 issue of Amazing Stories. Humans rising up against their robot oppressors? Can't beat that with a stick, folks. The magazine also has a great story from Harlan Ellison in  it. How would I know?


Some more geeky goodness, including a print of artwork from the uncut edition of The Stand, signed by artist Bernie Wrightson, the original page 22 from Superman: Metropolis, painted and signed by Ted McKeever, and a sublime signed limited edition print of a girl wearing a jetpack. Because girls with jetpacks are, and will always be, awesome.


I still need to acquire a futon for this far side of the office (sleeping accommodations for guests, and a soft place for me to sit), and perhaps an area rug to make some colors "pop" throughout the room, but aside from that, I think I'm all done decorating. :)


Hope you enjoyed the tour. If you have any questions about my setup, give a shout in the comments. I'll see if I can answer them!