Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My New Office!

So as many of you know, I had a big life change a few months ago. I left my job of 15 years, picked up my life of 16 years in Toronto, and moved two hours west to the much smaller, much quieter city of London, Ontario (where I grew up, so it's not new to me). I left my work in June, took the summer off, moved, settled in, and now the kids are in a new school, I'm in my new house, I'm working for the same company as a freelancer (while taking in a couple of other jobs) and I've somehow become the Brownie leader for my daughter's unit. (First meeting is tomorrow night: wish me luck.)

When people call or email me they always ask how we're liking the new house. And I always answer the same way: I LOVE MY NEW OFFICE!!! See, in our first house, my office was upstairs in a small room. I wrote the second edition of Bite Me! in that room, as well as my Angel and Alias books (those last two I wrote while pregnant with my daughter). And then she was born... and she, well, needed a room. And so I lost my office.

Very quickly we realized that house was too small, and we moved. Now I had a new, large office. My first Finding Lost book was written there, as was season 3. It had a guest bed in the side, but hey, it was still an office, and bigger than the one before. And... then my son was born. And I lost my office. I moved across the hall and set up my little desk in a corner of the master bedroom, where I wrote Finding Lost seasons 4, 5, and 6 (as well as all those blog entries).

So when we were looking for a house, I didn't have "NIKKI'S OFFICE" as a necessity, but I will admit I was keeping my eye out for a nook. Just a nook that wasn't part of another room, that wasn't going to be taken over by something else; hell, I didn't care if it was a closet, just SOME room I could call my own.

And then we found the house we fell in love with. I loved it for the backyard woods, for the big master bedroom with the cathedral ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into the backyard woods, and for the rec room. And I spotted a room that looked like it might be my office, but it would have to be shared with something else. Sigh. Oh well, I loved the rest of the house, so it would be fine.

And then we moved in. And I realized... that room? It could TOTALLY be my room. The entire thing. And now I'm going to sound boastful but I just have to say I LOVE THIS ROOM and I spent most of my time in it. It's not a nook. It's huge, and it has vaulted ceilings like the master bedroom (the architect was someone after my own heart). We were going to put our three biggest and best bookshelves (turns out we had 12... how the hell did we get that many?!) around the main rooms, but in the end they looked best in here. The previous owner was downsizing and sold his large desk to my husband, so I got to lose the little desk I had (it's upstairs on the landing for when the kids are older) and I inherited his larger L-shaped one. The room has a FIREPLACE (eeee!!!!) and windows with window seats in it. Sigh... I just love it. (I'm sitting here right now.) I'm surrounded by my books, my geek implements (my husband's term), and everything that is mine, and I'm just so happy here.

You know what? Words don't do it justice. Let me give you the small tour. Here's the view from my desk:

I can see the driveway through the front window, so I always know if someone is coming to the door, and who is driving past (we live on a quiet cul de sac of about 20 houses, so hours can go by sometimes where I don't see a single car drive by). Just look at that ceiling!! I LOVE IT.

From the doorway of the room, you can see my beloved piano. It's a turn of the century Heintzman upright grand piano, and when my husband explained this to several moving companies, they were suddenly no longer interested in our business. We ended up getting these three amazing guys, but when they were ready to move the piano in, I had to leave the room because I couldn't watch. The thought of anything happening to my piano would break my heart. Note the ever-present cat in the foreground. Usually they're both there, but somehow the little cat got the run of the room on this particular day.

Beside the piano is my fireplace (they closed it in, but we can reopen it and have the chimney cleaned — I have visions of Oliver Twist showing up — if we want to use it again. I just use it for scented candles right now, haha!) and on the large mantle of my fireplace is my shelf of nerd-dom. In the middle are some books written by some chick about Lost and Buffy and stuff, and beside those some books written by her husband about golf and Tim Hortons. Here are close-ups of the two sides:

Buffy and her boys, with a former Webelo beside them. Look in front of him: when I was at the Lost conference in New Orleans last fall, they had these smooth black and white stones in containers in the lobby for decoration. I think the containers were almost empty by the end of the conference. Like a Lost fan is going to walk by THAT opportunity and not swipe the infamous "two sides" stones! Beside those is my little crocheted Desmond doll that Rebecca Thompson (aka SonshineMusic) made for me!

And the other side, where my knitted Dalek from Christina Boulard sits next to the plastic Dalek my friend Graeme gave me, and my beloved Mr. Pointy award and my equally beloved Buffy Rewatch bracelet! Oh, and the French Taunter. (He keeps calling me a kiniggit...)

And... my desk! And bookshelves.

I always wanted to just live in a library. Now I kind of get that feeling every time I sit here. I love looking around at all of my books. Well, not all them. There are those eight other shelves in the house (cripes). As I said on Facebook, I'm about three books away from being on an episode of Hoarders.

Of course, on the largest bookshelf to the right of the picture, it's not just books that are sitting next to me.

This is my shelf with some books, some comic books, all my pop culture reference books, and Opus and the Brain and my Spike bobblehead. Oh, and all my Buffy characters.

All crammed together on one shelf. Poor things. They used to have a cabinet all to themselves. Now they all hang out together, while my son keeps pointing to the Gentlemen in the back and wanting to know more about them. "But why don't they talk, Mommy?"

I have all my Whedon scholar books here... here are some of them (more of them are on other shelves):

I recommended many of these books to you during the Buffy rewatch, but in case you missed that, here they are again, go out and get them! (And also, I just noticed Getting Lost somehow sneaked its way into that photo... darn you, Getting Lost. I'm sure there isn't a person out there who hasn't heard me gripe about how my series was supposed to be called Getting Lost, and then this book took that title and came out one month before mine so I was forced to change it... in the end, I think I like my title better.) ;)

And speaking of which, this shelf is for the Lost fans. Can you guess the common theme here?

The shelf of Lost literature... the shelf that made researching the Finding Lost books twice as difficult as it should have been! It's a shelf I'm very proud of.

I actually took this photo while we were still moving in. Just as I was sticking the books onto that shelf, I noticed the backs of them for the first time in ages. Here's a select few, to show you what my Lost books all look like:

Ha! See, I really wasn't faking it. But then again, I'm the same person who read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original Middle English, rather than going out and buying the modern English translation like every other student in the class. Because I clearly knew that learning the language would be hella useful one day. ;)

On the other side of my desk are my two proper bookshelves that are all books...:

Here's a peek at the backyard that made me fall in love with this house in the first place. Here's the view out of the back window of my office, when I'm sitting at my desk:

And here's the garden path down the side of the house into the woods behind:

And finally, when you walk down the stones in the path above, you get to the entrance to the woods:

I especially love those rickety old wooden chairs that sit there. You can't actually sit in them because they'd fall apart (and your bottom would be full of splinters) but they look like they're just there in case some pixies or fairies want to use them at night. You can see a narrow path through the plants just to the right of the picture there, and that little path then leads up the hill and straight into the woods. I took these photos when we first moved in, by the way; now the ground is covered with every kind of colourful leaf you can imagine. And my office is actually right below an oak tree, so while I sit and work here I hear acorns hit the roof and then roll off. When it first happened I thought, "What the hell was THAT?!" but when I was sweeping leaves on the deck, I quickly figured it out.

I'll soon post a photo of the woods: there's one section that looks exactly like that section of jungle where the gang found the Black Rock in season 1 of Lost. ;)

And that is my office. I love it! I finally FINALLY have a room of my own. I think Virginia would have been proud.


Unknown said...

So. Filled. With. Envy. Must. Not. Pass. Out... SPOCK!

Seriously, it's a wonderful space, congrats! Skritch the kitty for me.

Anonymous said...

LOVE it!!!
I grew up with that very same piano. I have fond memories of plunking away trying to figure out melodies.
The office looks like your own haven. are you sure you can work in it and not just daydream the hours away? take snowy pics this winter!

Joel said...

Welcome to London :)

Rebecca T. said...

What an amazing space! I love it!

And I definitely squeed when I saw Desmond on the mantle :)

Enjoy your haven!

Marebabe said...

How utterly wonderful! I love how pretty and spacious it is (heavy on the spacious!), and the views, and the piano, and the fireplace, and the sleepy kitty, and the geek implements, and the acres and acres of books! Have ALL your dreams now come true? I was happy for you before, but now... I guess I’m EUPHORIC/ECSTATIC for you! :)

Judy H said...

Such an AMAZING office! There's no need to even leave the room - - - and the VIEWS you have. I am sooo jealous. Maybe I missed it, but the only thing the room is lacking is a TV (to rewatch LOST and BUFFY and FIREFLY).

Congrats on the wonderful space, and doing it up in such a grand style.

Stacy said...

What a great office! Congrats!

Efthymia said...

Dear Nikki,

1. If it's books, it's not hoarding

2. Can I move in with you? Pleeease?

3. It's as if you posed the cat, all curling and adorable (then again, when is a cat not adorable?).

Anonymous said...

I just read about Community being postponed (I was counting days!) and was looking around for something black to cut out a 'darkest timeline'-goatee, but then I read your post, and it's ok again - this can't be the darkest timeline, when there are offices like yours, it's unconditionally perfect.

Christina said...

I'm so happy for you...and SO jealous! ;)

I'm also really honoured that my Dalek has a special place in your new office. ♥

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I'm packing my suitcase. I'll be there tomorrow.


JS said...

What Marebabe said - beautiful and perfect. Sanctuary. The thought that came to me was Giles' library. But with more action figures. I think you need more Dr. Who figures. I have an angel that moves a little bit every time I leave the room.....

Nikki Stafford said...

I don't know who the Anonymous Community fan is, but that is one of my favourite comments ever. ;)

JS: I think a Weeping Angel might be the only thing that could seriously drive me from the room. I'd be bricking the door shut behind me.

Batcabbage said...

Splenderiferous office, Nik! Most importantly, it has what every office needs - a complete set of the glorious BKV's Y: The Last Man! And is that a hardcover Pride of Baghdad I can see there? It is! Brilliant. You should check out his new comic Saga. Thoroughly original, gorgeous artwork, and the first TPB is just about to come out. You would love it. (I'd just like to point out that I don't work for BKV, or benefit in any way if any of you buy his stuff - I just love him and want to protect him.) :)

Great office!

Austin Gorton said...

Excellent. I am totes jealous, not just of your office, but your whole house. It sounds very nice. I can't wait to move out of the "cozy" townhouse I'm in now.

Have you ever read any Harry Turtledove? He does alternate history has a whole series of novels that re-imagines WWI and WWII in a world where the Confederacy survived the Civil War and exists in a pseudo-Cold War state with the US.

Anyways, there's a family of characters that live in London, Ontario, so some of the events of the series are centered there, and that's always what I think of in relation to London, Ontario.

As I said on Facebook, I'm about three books away from being on an episode of Hoarders.

Eh, it looks like most of your books fit on the bookcases. It only becomes a problem when they're stacked on the shelves, or the floor, or... (Not that I know anything about that, of course...).

Felecia said...

Love the office! First thing I noticed in the pic of the bookshelf with the Buffy figs on it was Opus on top! Squee! Yet another awesome thing about Nikki! My Opus lives on the bookcase next to my bed.

Nikki Stafford said...

Batcabbage: I KNEW you'd see the BKV books before anyone else. And yes, my copy of Pride of Baghdad is thanks to you, sir. I really need to get some more of his stuff. Amazing.

Teebore: I haven't read any Harry Turtledove but now I'm intrigued! I'll look into it.

And as for the books, you haven't seen the rest of my house. Eep. (What you see in the photo comprises a small percentage of my books, sadly.)

Nikki Stafford said...

Felecia: Yay! Opus fan! ;) I got mine in 1986. He's been my companion ever since. When I went away to university for post-grad studies, Opus and Brain came with me, and were pretty much the only things I brought from my bedroom other than a computer.

EsDee said...

I have two Opus' (Opi?) The regular one sits on my bedside table. The Christmas one (wearing antlers with red/green XMas balls hanging from them) comes out after Thanksgiving.
Have fun with Brownies! I was leader of both my daughter's troops starting at Daisies all the way through high school. I would never trade those times with my girls. And when I say "my" girls - I mean not just the ones I bore - but also all the other girls who became "mine" over the years.
One of my daughters has just started playing on a new team in college and texted me to say they had just sung "Moose Juice" after practice...and that she knew she had found the right group of friends in her new teammates. Moose Juice, if you haven't discovered, is one of the MANY MANY crazy, funny, goofy scout songs that the girls love to sing.

Meeting Space Solutions said...

That space there is so worth to be in. Its organised aura is inviting. And the books? Terrific. :)

Blake said...

Great looking space! Very cozy. And the gang is together again! It was nice seeing Angel and Spike side by side. Kinda miss Wesley, rogue demon hunter, though. ; ) Having a great office space does make you feel that you’re always brimming with energy to create.

Blake Mitchell

Online Office Furniture Specialist said...

Good to know everything went well after you left your job. The success of your home office is just one proof to that. All the best. :)

Unknown said...

I love your window! But I can’t help imagine a garden window would look so much better. It would give you nicer scenery outside and more oxygen by placing flowerpots in there, which would make your room more peaceful and tranquil.

Marla Hinds

Flexible Serviced Offices said...

That office feels like home, right? ;) It is so lovely and inviting.