You wonder where Maine writers work, don’t you?

With apologies for accidentally posting this on the wrong day…here we go again. Here are some snapshots of where we work. Our desks, our dining tables, our porches, and perhaps some surprises.

Kate Flora: A few years back, we built a small room at the top of the cottage, absolutely a “room with a view.” A view so nice, perhaps, that it would be tempting to watch the cove instead of working. Or to pretend you’re in a tree house. Imagine yourself here . . .




Maureen Milliken: I have a desk and a desktop computer, but it’s piled with stuff. Even if it wasn’t, I end up gravitating to places to write without knowing why. Kind of like my writing process in general.

My second book I wrote in a living room chair, leaning over with my laptop on an ottoman. I had severe forearm pain for months after. I’m not making that up.

The one I recently finished, Bad News Travels Fast (due out October 31, thanks for asking!), I ended up at the kitchen table for most of the final sprint to the finish. I don’t know why. I just did.

Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson: My workspace has changed from time to time over the last forty-plus years, but it has pretty much stayed somewhere in my office. The first picture is from when I was still banging out manuscripts on a manual typewriter. The second is my work area today. Of course, in good weather, when I’m in the read through/revise stage, I can be found on the screen porch with the cat, working on a printout on my lap with nary a desk in sight.

And yes, to those who wonder, the photo above was taken AFTER I weeded out hundreds of reference books.

Susan VaughanSusan Vaughan: I work at my laptop here at a desk my husband built years ago. The laptops have changed, but the desk has not. Whatever computer I buy new must fit into that space. I have shelves for the reference books I use all the time, slots for cords to go down to the power strips, and plenty of room for the mess of papers and sticky notes that are part of my process.

Oh, and the printer is out of the photos, off to the left.

I do plot and plan ahead to some degree, but each page, each chapter is a struggle, more so as I age.

Barb Ross: I love my new office in Portland. We moved almost a year ago, but this top photo was taken artfully to avoid including the boxes still lurking in the corner.

Here’s the same study again, the day after I handed in my most recent manuscript. A little bit messier!

Brenda Buchanan: I’m a writer who needs to work at a desk or table. Blame it on my rigid Catholic school girlhood, when I learned grammar and composition at one of those desks with a hinged top and (empty) inkwell. I simply think best when I’m sitting up more or less straight with my screen at eye level.

Brenda writes here

This is the work space I chose from several options at the turn-of-the-twentieth-century cottage I was blessed to have all to myself for a week last September at the Marilyn Faison Artist Residency on Peaks Island, a project of the amazing Illustration Institute (which defines “artist” to include writers.)

I’m excited to have been invited back again this year, so this is where I’ll be for a week in mid-September, sans internet connection, with only erratic cellphone service, but plenty of uninterrupted time to hang out with my imaginary friends.

Bruce Robert Coffin: I’m a bit of a vagabond when it comes to my preferred writing space. I wrote my first Detective Byron mystery on an IPad while seated in a chair in my living room. In the summer months you’ll often find me in a quiet spot at one of the many libraries in and around Greater Portland, hiding from the many warm weather distractions (i.e. working out, golfing, hiking, mowing). At the moment I am seated on my back deck listening to the birds singing in the trees while I work on Byron #4, probably because I can can sense cooler weather approaching.


But my favorite place to work for most of the year is in my finished attic, tucked into a corner in the space that was previously my art studio. Transforming the space from one of paints, canvases, and brushes to one of novel writing has been a slow and ongoing process. I envision my writing area to look more like Barbara Ross’s first photo and perhaps it will one day. I did treat myself to a real desk this year. The cherry desk with leather top, a major upgrade from the old drafting table on which I used to create watercolors, was sort of a celebratory gift to me for finishing the third Byron novel, Beyond the Truth.

Sandra Neily: I have a real office (where family sleeps when visiting so I go to the MidCoast Hospital Cafeteria to work when I am displaced as it’s very quiet on Sundays and evenings!). I am also packed to travel with a book bag library and wall charts that I hang up to remind me of plot lines I hope to follow. Here I am, last week, set up to work in Waltham, Vermont at my friends’ dining room table. My screen savor reminds me that eagles must both live and die in my next novel, and when I needed a break, Raven and I went out the door to talk over scene options with the cows. They told me to “milk it for all it’s worth.”


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3 Responses to You wonder where Maine writers work, don’t you?

  1. I would have added my office, but the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection said ‘DON’T GO THERE.’

  2. Fascinating. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Mary Anne Tomlinson Sullivan says:

    Enjoyed looking at your writing spaces…helped me to relax with my tea this morning. Thank you.

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