Look at my Desk! Sophie Masson

And the latest creator of wonderful children’s books to allow us into her Creative Space is the delgihtful Sophie Masson. Sophie lives in country New South Wales so we don’t often get to see each other … but here she is … and her creative ferment! This is just an amaazing creative space. So different from mine (and many others who have allowed us to Look at My Desk!).


I was brought up in a big family, I’m the third of seven, and from the word go, if I wanted to create anything (and I was a scribbling storyteller from the time I could first hold a pencil) I had to do it in and around shared family spaces, noisy siblings, parents with demands, etc. And when I grew up and had children of my own, I didn’t want to stay shut away from them in a separate room. It was totally natural for me to write my novels at my desk in our big living/dining room, in a shared family space where life flowed all around me, noisy kids, telephone, and all the rest, yet somehow at my desk, it felt like I was in an oasis of quiet creative space. There’s a famous story my family tell about me. My youngest son, a drummer, had been playing his instrument in his upstairs room all morning, very loudly and yet when he came down for lunch, I asked him what he’d been doing all morning! And no I wasn’t being ironic and I hadn’t been wearing ear muffs, I literally did not hear him. At my desk, I was away on some far-distant sea, on the ship of adventure, and nothing else had impinged on it. Plus I loved it that our children really understood what their mum did, because it wasn’t shut away from them. And that feeling of wanting to be in the thick of life has continued to this day though the house is quieter these days what with our kids having grown up and moved away and I could have a separate study. But why would I want to?

Similarly, my desk is a creative ferment–I prefer saying that to mess!–because that’s the way I operate, always working on several things at once, with my life outside my writing not separate from it at all. You can see my computer, printer, notebook and documents for various projects but also the little notebook and flash cards I’m using for the Russian lessons I’m doing (online), the DVDs I like to watch in the evening after a hard day at the desk, and lots of other odds and sods. You can see my cupboard with all kinds of things in it such as old notebooks, boxes of magazines, old files etc–but this is only a minor part of the storage for all my literary paraphernelia, it’s colonised quite a lot of the house (and copies of my books live in glass-fronted splendour in our bedroom.)

You can also see (if you’re lucky) the view from the window just in front of my desk, our lovely green front garden. It’s a beautiful room, this room, because it looks out front and back on to our land (we live on six acres in northern NSW), with views not only of trees and flowers and vegetables and so on but also flocks of birds, and a nonchalant clan of kangaroos. And it’s a room, indeed a house we built ourselves, from mudbricks from our own land too, and it’s all powered by an individual solar power system (not connected to the grid). Yes, all my novels are powered by the sun! When we first built this house, this big room was the first thing we built and moved into, so in the early 90’s, when my first few books were published, my desk was sharing the space with all of our family life, including the sleeping areas, until we built the bedrooms.
See, I told you Sophie had a very different creative space. ALL that noise!
Sophie’s latest titles include:
The Phar Lap Mystery (Scholastic)
My Father’s War (Scholastic)
She also has a new book coming out due shortly
The Boggle Hunters.

Do remember to drop in to Sophie’s website (or http://www.sophiemasson.org/)

3 Responses to Look at my Desk! Sophie Masson

  1. I admire you more than ever. And your space is beautiful!

    adele February 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm Reply
  2. I love this meme, Christopher. I’d actually thought an entire blog devoted to the subject would be fascinating.

    Sophie, I was getting hints about your environmentalism and values by some of your photos, but this sealed the deal. Fascinating.

    Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) February 28, 2012 at 11:12 am Reply
  3. I didn’t build my own space, and unfortunately I don’t have mobs of roos in my front garden, but Sophie’s desk looks remarkably like mine!

    I love the story of the drumming and that all the family have been such a part of your writing life.

    Deborah February 28, 2012 at 1:04 pm Reply

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