Thursday, October 04, 2012

Moving Up Hill

As some of you may know, much of the past six months has been devoted to moving out of the old house and into a new one.  I'm one mountain range further west now.

I was not consciously following Horace Greeley's advice, but here I am anyway. 

This to the left is my old office.   

To the right we see my old office after I took it apart and started packing stuff.  I entered a phase of my life when I couldn't find anything.  Those brightly colored little squares are postit notes.  Me, trying to stay organized.

Failing mostly.  

You can see the dog has on her dubious face.  Herding dogs don't like change.  They just know that change is bad for the sheep.

This is my new office, before the books got unpacked and put in place.

That's my desk here.  I've set it up in the back in the corner of the big main room, behind the sofa, not far from the fireplace.  Way across the room, I look out the back windows where the eastern light comes in.

I haven't lit a fire in the fireplace yet, but I've got wood.  A friend brought me a truckload today as a 'housewarming gift'. 

Next here, you see me with the books and files put away.  The baskets on top hold envelopes and office supplies.

The top two shelves on the left are my TBR books.  I have rather more than I can ever read, I'm afraid.  They are not merely stacked two deep, they are crammed in till there's no room for a temperance pamphlet.

But the files are moving into the places they fit and it's getting so I can mostly find things.

The rest of my books are over here in this long bookcase that's off to my right as I sit at the desk.

The top two shelves are my Keeper books; the rest is reference materials. I had to thin out quite a bit of both when I moved.  Ouch.

My dog still looks pretty dubious, don't you think?

The cat, on the other hand, has adapted well to the new environment.  She's the color of Appalachian rocks and when she sits still, she's pretty much invisible.

The back porch has a view down mountain.   I look out to the east.  The rising sun is probably a good omen.

Round about that last mountain that you see in the distance is where I moved from.

I'm high enough that I see clouds below me lying over the valley.  I look down on hawks circling on the wind currents.

Sometimes the clouds just walk up the hill and cover everything.  Surreal.  Beautiful.

Now I understand why folks in Seattle drink strong dark coffee. 


  1. Empty. Peaceful. Silent. Miles of woods. Nice.

  2. looks lovely. i envy you that view, except I'd hate to be that far from the convenience of civilization. Always one of my biggest questions -- peace & beauty of the country vs the ease & entertainment of the city ;) Enjoy the new home

  3. Your new home looks beautiful. I should think that for a writer being somewhat isolated is ideal - fewer distractions and people dropping by. Fantastic views!

  4. The views are lovely! Moving is so difficult. I love unpacking and organizing but the packing and not knowing where anything is drives me crazy.

  5. What a beautiful house and vistas you have, Jo. Enjoy. :-)

  6. I'll echo Janet: Wow. That view would either inspire me to write non-stop, or to just sit out there all day drinking coffee and watching the hawks. Congratulations on the new digs!

  7. Gorgeous! I envy you your fireplace and lovely organized bookshelves, but most especially that view. can't get enough of those mountains!

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  9. Anonymous9:39 AM

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  10. This is a wonderful, peaceful place. Right now, the nights are rather full of insects buzzing and growling back and forth to each other in the woods.

    Note to those of you who write books where the heroine flees through the primeval wilderness ... the wilderness is NOT silent at night except in the winter.

    I'm getting into a new routine here. Once I get my head together just a bit more I think I'll be tremendously productive. Hope so, anyhow.

    It feels good to shed so much of the useless stuff I've accumulated over the years.

  11. Wow that is a beautiful view. I hope you get great inspiration from it. The clean air should help too! ;-)

    LOL. The sounds at night would freak me out. I'll have to give that a thought. Thanks for the tidbit it may help me to add a little something to my story.

  12. This is the Virginia hills, of course. If you're writing elsewhere YMMV.

    The bugs give a great call from one set of bushes and are answered antiphonally from another. Cool

  13. Gorgeous view. And a fireplace in your office! I'm jealous. Of course now you'll be able to write even more of those wonderful "we must get out of these wet clothes before we catch a chill" scenes. :)

  14. Wow, that looks lovely.
    Except for the boxes.
    Send me the new address at some point?

  15. The new house looks lovely, Jo! Love those last four pictures too. There's just something about fog like that which lends such a mood. =) May you settle quickly and find everything you need miraculously beneath your fingertips when you reach for it.

    I think we've been following Greeley's advice more closely. MD->AL->TX->CA. I asked where we were going next, Hawaii? Then DH came home from Shanghai with a job offer. Told him it wouldn't work, it was so far West it was East again.

  16. As one who has had to move her office four times in the last year, I can attest there is no way to stay organized. Your last move is progressing faster than my last move. Looks fabulous. Congratulations. Enjoy the view!

  17. Oh wow, Jo. I am officially envious of that view. And your new digs are just rustified enough to suit. Perfect!

  18. Moving west is good, Jo. And for that view, I'd move around the world! Great digs.

  19. Anonymous9:14 PM

    How pretty. I love the views and the fireplace. The dog has really been giving you the look.

  20. Even the pictures don't convey the beauty.

    I wish I could invite every single one of you here to do your writing sitting on that porch, looking out over the world with the soft sun in your face.

  21. dreamy dreamy! i've gone a bit green envying that fireplace!

  22. Congrats on the new digs! How stunning. Though I hope you enjoy snow, because it looks like you're going to get a lot up there.

    With that view, I'd probably not get a word written. [g]

  23. This is just beautiful. I think I would possibly be *less* productive here because I would spend all my time sitting and staring at the view... (I'm only partly kidding - hope it is extremely productive for you!) I bought Mischief and Mistletoe and loved your story there.

  24. Hi Joy --

    Thank you so much. I'm glad you liked the story.

    I hope being happy and at peace makes me more productive as a writer. It'd be ironic if I get more done when I'm harassed and stressed.

    Beth --

    They do say there's snow aplenty up here. I'll have to take a photo of my 'emergency pantry' for when I can't get in and out.

  25. Thank you for sharing your inspiring pictures! Your office is lovely and full of grace. And RIGHT for your books. Yes, they can be born there (says I :-)

    I didn't realize how out of the loop I have become since the birth of my son last month until I noticed your novella released. What? And I didn't know? I'm away to Amazon...

  26. It's an excellent anthology. I am so proud to be in there with those fine fine writers.

    Isn't that view pretty? I get up in the morning and stand there, looking out the window, holding a cup of coffee.

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  28. Hi Annie --

    It is saving my sanity right about now. IRL has been pretty bad these last months. Here, I find I can write again.

    And -- this is the cool part -- it's not like moving to Montana. Just ten or maybe fifteen miles away there are coffee houses. Smallish, true. But the principle is there.

    I have to giggle at the idea of 'living up to' my surroundings. Tee shirt, Deva trousers, an old flannel shirt for warmth and --

    I have to tell you about this. I have bright red knitted stretchy socks with little rubber tread on the bottom. You know those rubby things they have on kids' socks so they won't slip on the floor? Those.

    So I'm wearing red stretchy socks with bobbles.
    To work.
    How cool is that?

  29. Jo, it makes me happy to think of you in such a wonderful place. Someone who brings the joy of exquisite writing to their readers deserves to be surrounded by beauty.

    I would never be able to write there. I need coffee house noise and mess, where I don't feel I have to live up to my surroundings.

  30. You respond too quickly and I comment too slowly!

  31. *g*

    I'm up and watching the email diligently. I have friends and relatives up and down the East Coast and I worry.

    Silly to watch the email, since if there's a problem, that's the first to go.