Jan 20, 2010

My New Year’s Resolution – A Home Office Solution!

By Lisa Lipkind Leibow

This may be difficult for some of you to understand. I WANT to have an organized, neat writing space. However, the daily influx of coupons, catalogues, magazines and umpteen bills. Oh, and of course, the mail holds stacks of self-addressed, stamped envelopes coming back to me from literary magazines and agents. The paper keeps on coming. I sort through the piles. Most of the catalogues and coupons go right in the trash. I track the responses from agents and magazines then trash the rejections. I save the envelopes because my mother uses the stamps in her artwork. The bills go in a “to be paid” stack on my desk. The rest goes in an “in case I might need it someday” pile.

But there is more: I am buried in print-outs of my manuscripts-in-progress, scraps of paper and notebooks with story ideas, to-do lists, others’ stories to critique, flyers advertising my writing group at the local library, and receipts for writing-related expenses. I don’t want you to think I’m the only contributor to my paper mess. My three sons’ contribute to the mess with homework assignments, tests, report cards, newsletters, book order forms, field trip permission slips, contracts for musical instrument rentals, and art projects galore.

And this is why I rarely sit at the beautiful, antique, partner’s desk I wish I could call my work space. Instead I like to curl up on a fainting sofa – it seems the perfect spot for drama to unfold. I often write there, balancing my computer in my lap and listening to my dog Bosco snoring at my feet.

Focusing on my work space wishes has inspired me to reorganize, though! Here are some of the pictures of my progress. (WARNING: It gets messier before it gets neater!)

I have boxed up and moved to the basement all of the old manuscripts and research files for Double Out and Back and novel #2, currently seeking a publishing home, to clear some space for current works in progress.

I have started to organize my office supplies. I have this blog assignment to thank for getting my tush in gear to finish the job and get my desk in shape! I hope to be able to sit at this desk on a regular basis. Thanks for the jump start on my New Year’s Resolution. I’ll be working on my next novel at that beautiful desk!


After being stuck at her office on 9/11, a month-long siege on metro Washington, DC by a sniper, and discovering that the other parents at her twins’ preschool thought her au pair was her sons’ mom, Lisa could hear these words echoing in her ears. “If I knew this was what it was going to be like to have it all, I would have settled for less.” (Lily Tomlin: The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe)

Lisa didn’t really settle for less. She settled for different, and traded the billable hour lifestyle for fiction writing. Making up stories is much more fun than negotiating contracts, attending hearings, and deciphering statutes and regulations for clients. More than that, it has given her an excuse to pretend to be anyone from airplane pilot to zookeeper!

Lisa’s work can be seen in the Pisgah Review. Her debut novel is scheduled to release in 2009 by Red Rose Publishing (mainstream fiction).

Lisa lives and writes in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children, a couch potato of a dog, and two red-eared slider turtles.

You can visit Lisa Lipkind Leibow at www.LLLeibow.com and www.LisaLeibow.blogspot.com

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