A Room of My Own: Eva Rieder

I had originally planned “A Room of My Own” as a limited run feature to showcase the writing spaces of a handful of writers I knew. This feature has been so popular, I have decided to extend into writers with whom I am less familiar. This week, I am showcasing Eva Rieder, (@evariederauthor on Twitter). According to Eva’s blog, this feature inspired Eva to clean her own creative space! So read it, to reward her for her trouble.

Q) Please describe your space, describing any features that make it extra special to you.

A) My space is a comfy corner in my office/guest room, and I painted it a light blue color several years ago to make the setting more tranquil. When the window is open the desk is lit just right, and I can enjoy a breeze while I immerse myself in writing. This desk is actually a table that I randomly saw at a side-of-the-road giveaway the week I moved in to my house (no kidding), so I snatched it up and made it my desk. It could definitely use some drawers, but I have a bookcase to the side and drawers in my printer table, so I’ve made do. I kept meaning to buy a bulletin board, but instead I just started irresponsibly pinning everything to the wall in the corner: pictures of my sister and niece, quotes and writing rules, and those delightful little postcards by Anne Taintor. The bookcase to the left is what I call my Writing Bookcase—as opposed to the other cases in the house filled with all sorts of books I have and haven’t  yet read, mostly fiction—and it is filled with writing guides, reference books, and various office supplies.

Q) What is your favorite/most inspiring object in this room?

A) There are actually three things in this room that inspire me. One is the illustration above the desk of a princess walking across a tightrope over a spider web, followed (led? chased?) by a cricket and a spider playing their instruments. It is by Arthur Rackham and you can see it here. My mother gave it to me when I was seven or eight, and it’s lived directly above my desk as fantasy inspiration ever since. (I always thought I was the princess when I was young!) The second thing is the word list by the window—I’ve been adding to it since the age of fourteen, a collection of words that I thought sounded pretty or that I just enjoyed saying because they rolled pleasantly off the tongue. Finally, there is a note on the board from my best friend of 19 years that she wrote in ’06, a response to an earlier version of my current WIP. She slipped it into the manuscript and I found it later, a note of encouragement and cheering that somehow only best friends can manage to pull off in a way that truly warms your heart.

Q) What rituals do you go through when you want to write in this space?

A) My ritual is pretty simple, actually: grab coffee/tea, kick cat out of chair, open file on computer. :) I’m such a planner in my non-writing life that I try to fly more spontaneously when I write. Or, when I need to have a strategy, I sort it out the night before as I prepare for bed.

Q) Any other details you would like to share about your special room

A) First, yes, that is a Vampire Diaries calendar from 2011. My mother gave it to me as a Christmas gift because the show is a family obsession, and though I still haven’t read the books, I think the series is quite clever. We call each other each week to debrief! As for the calendar being outdated…vampires are immortal, remember? Who cares what year it’s from? :)

Second, there is a rainbow-painted bobble-head dog on my desk that I can’t seem to move away to save my life. My niece painted it when she was about to turn three, and whenever she comes to visit, she’s ecstatic that I still have it on my desk (she is now almost five). I tell her it’s because she did such a good job painting it that it makes me happy when I write. Though it originally just sat there, now it’s actually grown to serve that very purpose—I smile every time I look at it. Little ones can be so darn clever!

[P.S. I have included a picture of the mischievous Sienna, Eva’s naughty cat who looks very happy at the pile of papers now on the floor. -ed.]

Thanks to Eva for sharing her Room with us. Want to share your Room? Email me at annabbps AT gmail.com with a photo and answer the above questions.

Keep an eye on this space for more writers/artists and their inspirational spaces!

See the spaces of other creatives in “A Room of My Own”!

* Tracy McCusker

* Steven Watson

* Daniel Swensen

* Angela Goff

* Angie Richmond

* Ruth Long

* Lillie McFerrin  

6 Comments

  1. Lisa Shambrook
    Jul 2, 2012

    I love your list of ‘words’, I love collecting beautiful sounding/meaning words, but have never listed them like that…I may just be doing that soon!

  2. Eva Rieder
    Jul 2, 2012

    Thank you, Lisa! It’s oddly inspiring, and sometimes I use it as my own word-of-the-day activity and try to put one of them in my writing. :) I hope it works for you!

    And to Miss Anna, thank you so much for hosting my room on your blog! Sienna is especially enjoying her run as a famous naughty cat, though my other cat, shy and mellow Bella—and NOT named after Twilight, by the way, she is nine—is starting to get a bit jealous. I feel there might be some retaliation coming! Uh-oh… :) But thank you. It’s great to be a part of your lovely blog!

  3. Kern Windwraith
    Jul 2, 2012

    What a lovely, orderly, writerly space. Like Lisa above, I find the concept of a “pleasing word list” to be very…pleasing. And the fact that you started this when you were fourteen and have added to it ever since is also pleasing. What a fascinating chronicle of lexical taste and preference! (And I have to admit, I’m now desperately curious to know what words you’ve chosen over the years.)

    Thanks for sharing your space with us. I don’t know why, but it is so very satisfying to be offered these tiny glimpses into other writers’ lairs. :)

    • Eva Rieder
      Jul 5, 2012

      Thanks Kern! I’m flattered you find it orderly—somehow this desk gets a little messed up, which is why Anna’s Room series inspired me to organize it. (And it’s still that organized! Hurray!) The word list is great fun, and I peeked at it just now to at least tell you the first and last word on the list. Interestingly, the first is “inconspicuous” and the last is “auspicious.” I have no idea how that happened (since they were years apart), but I do notice I have a lot of “ous” words on there. :) I will tell you that 14-year-old me got a lot of crap for this list, but 30-something year old me is glad I did it. Good luck with your list!

  4. Angie Richmond
    Jul 2, 2012

    I love the idea of the word list. So creative! I used to have something similar for sayings I liked but over the years it has managed to disappear!

    Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Eva Rieder
      Jul 5, 2012

      I’m delighted Anna asked. A quote/saying list sounds clever! I should start one of those…(Where to put it?!) Thank you again Anna for hosting!

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