Two arrivals

The mail brought lots of exciting stuff yesterday. First:

That’s right, I gots me a shiny, shiny ARC! A whole box of them, in fact, about which more anon. But before I get to that, the second thing that arrived is my new desk!


After some consideration, I did indeed go ahead and buy a GeekDesk. It comes with a little motor that will, within a few seconds, move the desk between sitting and standing height (the latter going high enough to be comfortable for kniedzw, who is 6’3″). I’ll deliver a review once I’ve had more time to settle in with it, but my initial impression is definitely positive. My one complaint off the bat is simply that it doesn’t come with a keyboard tray; the one you see in those photos is taken from my old desk and screwed onto the underside. (The drawers are also from the old desk, and will be replaced soonish, since without the old desktop there’s nothing to cover the upper drawer.)

Anyway, in celebration of both book and desk, I’m giving away an ARC! Tell me in comments what your ideal work environment is: coffee shop and a pad of paper? Lying in bed with a laptop? Floating on a raft in the middle of a swimming pool in the tropics, while well-muscled young men bring you grapes and cool drinks? (It doesn’t have to be your actual work environment, just one you like the sound of. So feel free to be creative.)

(Also, if I previously promised you an ARC (because you made me an icon or whatever), feel free to ping me with a reminder, marie [dot] brennan [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll be going through my records and making a list, but the notes are scattered and I don’t want to miss anybody.)

0 Responses to “Two arrivals”

  1. elizaeffect

    My ideal work environment: a comfy bed, cat at my side, in a space with indoor plumbing and walls of bookshelves. Preferably somewhere cheap and probably rural (but with speedy internets!) so I can afford to write full-time. Still looking for it. 🙂

    Cool desk. Will be interested in hearing what you think of it long-term.

  2. celestineangel

    I am the sort of writer who needs isolation and quiet to concentrate on my writing; I am far too easily distracted by, um, anything else.

    I would simply love an office. A single room that is all my own, with bookshelves, and a desk big enough to handle my desktop, laptop, and a (working) printer, and room left over to scribble on scratch paper.

    No TV, no radio… and no Internet. Internet will have to be on another computer outside this office.

    What I need is a Chamber of Solitude.


  3. leatherdykeuk

    A cottage looking out over the Gower, where the setting sun glitters on the windows. A sturdy pine table, a top of the range widescreen laptop, and a superfast internet connection

  4. alecaustin

    Nice desk! The ARCs look nice too.

    What’s the vaguely LP-looking pad in the second picture? Something to stand on that provides more support than carpet, I’m assuming?

    • Marie Brennan

      A balance board. One of the things I’m looking to do with the standing aspect of the desk is do more than just stand; if I perch myself on the balance board in idle moments, I can strengthen my ankles or stretch my calves while I type (both of which are things I’m sorely in need of as a general rule).

      Support-wise, I’m going to try and make a habit of wearing shoes when I’m standing at my desk. With the height of my arches, it’s kind of necessary.

  5. kendokamel

    The balance board is a really nifty idea! I’m not sure I could handle all of that standing, with my iffy knees and feet, but I fantasize about using a balance ball at work. (Sadly, it would have to be a HUGE one, and I’d have to somehow magically guarantee my floor would be free of rogue staples and thumbtacks…)

  6. wingsofawolf

    I think that my ideal work environment is my laptop and the kitchen table, when it’s sunny, warm, and breezy outside, so all the windows can be open and the breeze can stream through the entire house. The coffee maker should be nearby, so that I can make gallons of iced coffee; I’m pretty sure I can subsist on that and peanut butter sandwiches if I get into the groove. My laptop lets me disable the wireless LAN, too, which is something I sorely need sometimes. If they would invent anti-glare screens so that I could move this ideal outside, all the better.

    Also, the house should be empty and the yard should be fenced, so if I could take this ideal outside, my dog could come with me. I have a feeling her sorrow would distract me otherwise.

  7. missxtravesty

    My favorite place to get anything done is the library that I grew up in. My mother was a librarian when I was born, so instead of finding a babysitter for me at an early age, she would just take me to work with her. I taught myself to read at four years old and… well, haven’t stopped since.

    The branch of the library that I grew up in has been remodeled in the twenty two years since I’ve been attending, but it doesn’t change how beautiful it is or how peaceful it makes me feel. One of the best developments of the refurbishment is an outside garden area with chairs, benches, and tables, and whether it’s finishing the last 300 pages of the twelfth Wheel of Time novel (did that on Monday) or trying my own hand at my short stories, it’s my workplace of choice.

    If it happens to be raining, there’s a perfect little alcove in the library with a ceiling that goes three levels up, so all you can hear is the soothing sound of the rain and the thunder rumbling once in a while. Even though I’ve since moved a hundred miles away and we visit once every week or two, I always make it a point to get away to my sanctuary for a while.

  8. la_marquise_de_

    That’s a lovely desk: I hope it helps with comfortable working.

  9. tooth_and_claw

    A studio sunroom with a view over the mountains. I will probably never, ever have this, but I want it sooooo bad– giant melodramatic spires out my many windows, bathed in glorious light while I paint? Yes please.

  10. rachelmanija

    A perfectly comfortable desk and chair, with an infinite dispenser of hot and cold, caffeinated and non drinks beside it. Also, an instant, automatic, residue-less spill vaporizer.

  11. bookblather

    The balcony on my first apartment, with my laptop on a lapdesk, a pot of tea (almond oolong for preference) on the table next to me, and no footballers in the school across the way. That was one of the best writing environments ever, and I miss it a bunch. Don’t miss the apartment itself, but I do miss that balcony.

    Although lying in bed with a laptop has much to be praised as well.

  12. amysun

    I look forward to checking out that desk in person. I’ve been interested in a standing desk but knew I’d also want a sitting one for when I’m having a bad knee/ankle day, so this seems like an ideal solution!

  13. starlady38

    I really like my carrel in the EAL: hardwood carrel and chair at just the right relative height with two plugs, built-in light, next to a floor-length window. Now if only there were a coffeeshop in the library…but I sneak in coffee sometimes anyway.

    Other than that, the dining room table in my dad’s house worked really well. It’s really mostly about the relative height between the chair and the table, I like to be well above the latter.

    That desk looks pretty sweet, I have to say.

  14. Anonymous

    I’m with Stevie on the coffee shop. My writing is usually of the scientific variety, meaning I need the internet for finding resources, but it can also be a source of distraction. In a coffee shop, knowing that other people can see what I’m up to is usually enough to keep me away from time wasters.

    There are a couple lovely coffee shops near my apartment, and one of them is *almost* my ideal. It just needs a little extra lighting, a chair that is comfy but won’t put me to sleep, an instrumental band playing softly in the background, and endless refills on my favorite drink: a chocolate and vanilla concoction with a double shot of espresso.

  15. genarti

    On a dock, on a lake, with a green hillside behind. Other people are allowed only if they’re quietly reading or writing themselves. (I’m thinking of a specific dock, but would totally accept substitutes.)

    On a hillside, surrounded by trees, ditto about the people. See the icon, really.

    In a coffee shop with a pot of good tea and headphones, ideally on a well-stuffed couch or chair. This is the only one of these I achieve with any regularity at all, and even so I spend a lot more time opting for the much cheaper option of sitting at home in my papasan chair with a pot of my own tea and my feet propped up on a footstool (and my cat glaring at me from across the room.)

    I am enormously tempted by the idea of a laptop tray built into a treadmill. If I could, I would walk everywhere, and write the whole time.

    Also, that desk of yours looks fabulous! Edit: and huzzah for the ARC! I meant to say that, and got caught up in visions of ideal writing set-ups.

  16. cloudshaper2k

    My ideal workspace is our home library . . . except soundproofed and with a locking door. (Although, I really don’t mind the littlest two tramping through to get to the kids library in the room’s closet.)

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