I don’t have a lot of storage space at my house. We live in a modest but very comfortable home with two rambunctious children and lots of stuff. Probably too much stuff. But I wanted to dedicate one quiet corner, near my writing space for my writing resources.
I loved the idea of having supplies and research available at my fingertips to consult when I need so I created my “little library” inspired by my writing friend, Tessa Dare‘s writing office. I don’t have an office but I have a large bedroom with a second-hand recliner nearby that makes a comfortable writing chair. So I cleared out a bookshelf in the bottom of my closet and created “Bren’s Writing Lair”(tm).
Above the top shelf (pictured above), I have my supplies and “go to” writer’s references (the ones I find myself pulling because they are most relevant to what I’m working on). I have my pens, white-out, pencils, erasers, LOTS of sticky notes, 4 x 6 index cards, scissors, tape and glue sticks, etc. I also always have a “running notebook” full of notes and back-story, planning materials, etc. For the work-in-progress, I also store this on the top shelf.On the shelves, I keep my historical and subject-relevant resources. Most of these pertain to the Regency period, English 18th and 19th century history and culture, geographical information (I have a historical atlas that I’m particularly proud of). There are Royal Navy resources as well. Not just because I’m writing about Navy Heroes but also because the RN from this period really interests me. There are some of the often-named “go-to” regency resources as well, such as Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, An Elegant Madness, What Jane Austen Knew and Charles Dickens Ate, along with some other treasures I’ve scooped up, like: In the Garden with Jane Austen, Tea with Jane Austen, The Lady’s Strategem, and Courtesans.
On the picture above this one, you’ll notice a brown bin on the bottom shelf. In this are my not-as-frequently consulted writing craft books and all of my manuscript pages (for at least 3 different versions) of my recently-completed Regency novel. I’m keeping the pages as a resource until they are no longer needed (hopefully once to book is published). They will then be happily recycled. Under them in the bin are the craft books that I own in paper version. I own many more in eBook format. I took a picture of the spines to give you an idea.Three of the newest additions to my library, of which I am extremely proud! Life in Nelson’s Navy, Our Tempestuous Day, and The Epicure’s Almanack.
My Christmas list this last year was made up only of books that I wanted and I told my family “I don’t care if it’s used, as long as I can read it!” One of them is a former library book, which kind of makes me guilty every time I look at it, like I have some massive fine I owe, or something. Some of these books are kind of hard to get so I was THRILLED that most of my list was filled (hint: If you plan to do the same thing, make sure you provide links to the books… makes it really easy for family members when they shop for you.)
Lastly, since I’m setting my historical novels in and around the historical county of Cumberland (which is now known as Cumbria), I was extremely astonished to learn the existence of this book, The Cumbrian Dictionary. I was absolutely over the moon when I discovered I could procure a copy for myself. It has proved an amazing resource.
So what does your writing space / reference storage look like? Feel free to post a photo link or description in the comments!