Where I Write

Author Cynthia Nims's Desk
| Category: Food & Wine | Good Reads

For this series, our authors take us behind the scenes to show us what their work spaces look like. Here’s Cynthia Nims, author of Crab and Oysters.

Our West Seattle house seemed perfect for me for so many reasons (well, for both of us, but my husband’s wish list wasn’t as long as mine). It has not one but two fireplaces. A nice floor plan for entertaining. And a small third bedroom that was destined to become my office. I’m confident the previous owner used it as a sewing room. It had a bold linoleum floor (easy to sweep up fabric scraps and dropped pins) and there was one of those flip-down ironing boards that came out of the wall. I have upgraded the space a bit over the years, but where she practiced the craft of sewing, I practice the craft of writing.

CNwrite office

I am capable now and then of having a totally clean, uncluttered desk but it never lasts terribly long. Just the right degree of clutter seems to make me most comfortable. Austere is not my style. I’m surrounded by photographs, mementos, notes, the overflowing “to read and/or file” box. There is a Koosh ball and Slinky to play with when I need help focusing. And a bookshelf graces each of the walls, with hundreds of cookbooks I reach to for research and inspiration.

CNwrite kitchen

This time last year my kitchen was in total disarray as the original 1956 features gave way to some much-needed refreshing and reconfiguration. What it left me with is a more open space, bigger oven, upgraded spiffy cabinets—though I tried to maintain a bit of its midcentury charm. It is a pretty delightful space in which to develop and test recipes for cookbooks and other projects. The element I love most is the oversized wood block. Not only is it simply a great work space, but along one edge there are a couple stools, so I can perch there to review recipes after a cooking session. An ideal setting, whether with recipe pages spread out or sipping a glass of wine at the end of the day. Or, as it may be, both at the same time.

Crab  Oysters

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