Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Scene of the Blog-- Belle of Ms. Bookish

This week we're taking a good Inner Peeping Tom look at the blogging space of Belle, Ms. Bookish herself. This lady is interesting, she certainly knows how to write, and we share some reading DNA. I would be hard pressed to name one feature of her blog that stands out to me because I enjoy reading ALL of her posts. And if you've been the recipient of her thoughtful comments on your own posts, you know she's one helpful, friendly book blogger. If you haven't visited her blog, please take the opportunity to do so. You'll be glad you did!

I could talk on about Belle, but I don't want her to flare into terminal blush, and besides...less can be more, if you know what I mean. So I'm going to cut to the chase and show you her creative spaces. Remember that all the photos are clickable so you can view them full size.

Cathy has impeccable timing: I received her email about participating in the Scene of the Blog on the day after I had finished a massive cleanup of my desk and office space. This is a rare event; my desk is normally buried under many, many piles of "stuff". Piling is actually my main organizational system; I've been told it's the sign of a creative mind. I'm quite happy to embrace that as the explanation, especially since the alternative is that I am just plain messy.

This is the desk where I spend vast periods of my life. In addition to blogging at Ms Bookish, I also work from home. I'm a book indexer by trade - I'm the one who creates those great indexes (sometimes not-so-great, but I didn't do those, honest) you find in the back of books. I've been doing this for over ten years now, and it's been nothing short of wonderful: I get paid to read books! Granted, most of the books I read for work are textbooks that run the gamut from economics to algebra to biology to psychology, but I do index a handful of trade books every year, too. I enjoy the cookbooks the most.

On the right-hand side you can see a carousel of gel pens. I use these for marking up proofs, because it makes me feel like I'm creating art. I'm not, but I'm very much for self-deception if it's going to make my job more fun.

I'm not sure if you can make them out, but hanging from the window are strands of electric stars. We picked these up at IKEA one year for Christmas, and I loved them so much, I commandeered them for the office and they have been shining brightly at night for me ever since.

Speaking of IKEA, astute readers will probably realize that all the furniture that's visible in the picture comes from IKEA, with the exception of my ergonomic office chair and the small bookcase that holds my printer.

This picture was taken before I grew a massive TBR pile on the floor in front of the floor-to-ceiling bookcases; the pile happened because my two TBR shelves, which occupies the bottom two shelves in the picture, were, as you can see, fuller than full. There's also a shelf filled with blank notebooks and journals, right above the TBR shelf closest to my desk; I collect blank notebooks the same way I collect books. I just can't resist them (I'm in love with Moleskine ones right now).

Not visible in the picture are my husband's desk (his is identical to mine, only it's up against the wall behind me - also, he's much neater than I am, so it's usually nice and tidy) and my kids' desks, which are to my right. There are many nights the five of us are crowded into this tiny office, all of us with our computers going, mice clicking, keyboards tapping. It's a good arrangement, as my older two are teens, and it's just about the only time I get to see them these days. Plus, their screens are fully visible to me as they surf the World Wild, um, I mean Wide, Web.

While I do all my writing, blogging and working at my desk, I find I never read there. Despite the comfortable office chair, I just feel inclined to read in my office. I have three places where I do my most reading. One is in my bed. The other two places are in this armchair; it's a recliner, and during the day there's lots of light. At night, I use the standing lamp beside it.

Sometimes, though, I don't feel like sitting. I'm one of those people who like to lie down to read. That's where our living room sofa comes in handy. We don't have a television in the living room, just in our sitting room, so I can normally just stretch out on this couch to read, and not have to kick anyone off in order to do so.

I have to admit that I love Belle's creative spaces. Her office is a place that I feel I could get a lot of work done. I love the wall color and the star lights at the window. As for her armchair and sofa, I could curl up on both quite happily. Look at all the windows letting light flood in, and it looks as though the room is painted the same shade of green as my bedroom and main bathroom, so it goes without saying that I like it, too. You know me, though. I have to admit that I'm wondering (in the sofa photo) what that is just outside the window on the left. Is it a hose reel? Not that it matters a hill of beans--I'm just nosy! I also like the fact that she shares office space with her husband...just like I do. Thanks so much for letting us into your home, Belle. We really appreciate it!

This week Canada...where will we be next week? You'll just have to come back and find out!


  1. Your space is lovely, Belle! I like that your books are right next to you when you're working, I bet it makes it hard to stay focused though!

    I'm a lie-down reader too. Somehow sitting never works quite right for me. The couch is where I go too.

  2. I just LOVE this feature!

    Belle's space is just perfect. I love the large desk space - the colored gel pens are genious (I think I have to invest in some for this year's grading) and the bookshelves are gorgeous. I am beginning to start my own collection of blank notebooks; but I truly hope to start filling them soon.

  3. Belle you have a lovely office and the sitting room looks so inviting. I have to comment that my dining room is in almost that same shade of green.

    Thanks Cathy for doing this weekly meme. Love it and thanks to belle for sharing her space with us.

  4. Belle -- your office is so neat and clean and you share it! I do not share my office with my DH. Yikes! And my office is generally very, very messy.

    I too have a carousel of pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters and so on in every color imaginable. Tools of the trade?

  5. Belle's space is all 5 crowded into the office space...that must be like a mini office in a commercial building with all the mice clicking. LOL

    Love that couch. I agree lying down and reading is the best.

  6. Lovely space, and great to know more about your job. I had actually never thought about who does what

  7. I love Belle's blog, so I was glad to see her work space. I never knew she is a book indexer - she needs to do a post on that! Thanks for sharing these photos, Belle!

  8. Cathy, that is definitely a hose reel - you've got sharp eyes! We have a large deck outside that door. When mosquitoes are not out in full force, I like to sit out there to read.

    Meghan, I think if I were to rate my reading spaces, my bed would be number one!

    Molly, I have so many blank notebooks these days, I suspect many of them will stay blank. But there's something so comforting about knowing I have a notebook for just about any occasion.

    Cindy, we just repainted the living room and I love this shade of green. It used to be more of an olive green, with pine trim, but we felt like we needed a brighter change.

    Candace, my desk is in a terrible state right now! I'm just such a piler. Cathy has got great timing. I've been looking at the photo myself with longing ...

    Serena, my daughter also likes to do anime fan videos, so half the time, there's more than the sound of mice clicking - there's a lot of squeaks and yelling going on LOL

    Blobeudd & Kathy, book indexing can definitely be a lot of fun (except when I have a ton of deadlines!). I probably should do a blog post about it!

  9. This is just the most impressive desk I've ever seen! I don't even know what color my desk is, it's so full of stuff! Love the sofa and chair too and all the plants!

  10. Good timing indeed! It all looks so neat and organized :)

  11. I have followed Belle´s blog for some time, but now I feel I know her much better.

  12. I love the yellow in the office!

  13. Belle, I do my best reading lying down too!

  14. Belle, Your space is just great. I could picture myself very comfortable there...LOL

  15. Ikea....lovely book shelves....comfy chair to read, it reminds me of my Scene of The Blog last

    Very nice.

  16. Oh wow! What a lovely space! I love that your entire family can work together in the same room. What a great idea!

  17. So glad everyone's enjoying this peek into my office space!

    Jill, I normally can't even see the surface of my desk either. I am still feeling kind of in awe at Cathy's timing.

  18. I just love your space Belle. That desk is so nice and big. I think I can work at a desk in the office but at home I always end up reading and working/blogging from the bed. I think it's one of the hazards of having a laptop.

  19. I love visiting Belle's blog - it's one of my favorites. So now it's nice to visit the space where she does the majority of her writing. Cathy, I agree with you on her writing ability. Some day I hope to read something of hers that is in a bound edition.

  20. Wow, I love her blogging/reading spaces. And a career as a book indexer sounds really neat.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  21. OK...I want her career, her desk, her books, her sense of humor, her writing style! Let's just trade places!

    And I'm a huge Ikea fan! : )

  22. Love the photos! Everything is so warm and inviting. I've never seen the top of a desk at my house (or a table, or countertop...) I'm a piler too. And laying down to read is my favorite position - couch, bed, hammock, it's all good!

    This is such a great feature and so interesting! I didn't forget about your email to me (OK, I did a little bit) but it's been crazy around here the last few months. On the to do list! Love your blog!!

  23. Belle-- I'm glad I was correct with my hose reel guess. One of the things I like about living in the desert is that the heat kills the skeeters!

    Margot-- Yes! I definitely want to see Belle's writing published!

    Jenners-- Denis and I sit at 2 IKEA desks. I just got their newest catalog and have to wear a bib to sop up the drool when I look at their bookshelves!!

    Wrighty-- That's okay about forgetting my email. I'm still working through the first round of bloggers who said yes. Maybe things will have quieted down for you enough when it's time for round two? (I hope so!)

  24. Belle, I just love your desk & the comfy couch!

    What a treat it was.

    Thank you, Cathy, for hosting Belle. Thanks, Belle!


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