A Writer’s Cave—Here’s mine

On a recent Wednesday night near sunset, I looked out my writer’s cave window and saw this scene. The front of the house faces the sunset, and I ran outside and snapped off four shots with a borrowed smart phone.


Then I asked myself, why not do a post showing where I write—the clutter, the mess. A digital camera made this silly idea easy.

The first shot is toward the north, the second shot east, and the third faces south. The last one faces west from inside the house toward my desk and the window.








I built all the bookshelves and drawers. Did you notice the wood carving of a fight scene from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms? There’s a story behind that wood sculpture to share one day.

This post was written to avoid editing and revising a manuscript. I spend a lot of time in this ninety-square-foot room facing the sunset. It’s amazing how much space we actually use most of the time.


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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7 responses to “A Writer’s Cave—Here’s mine”

  1. Remember the paperless society? Whatever happened to that?

    1. Old habits die hard. Maybe a hundred years from now—if civilization doesn’t collapse and usher in the second dark age people like the Koch brothers are working so hard to make happen—there will be little or no paper. I don’t want to part with all those tree books. And what’s on the shelves in my writing cave is only a sample. I have shelves in the garage filled with books and boxes of books. And there are containers filled with books under the house in the stoop space. Over the years, I bought books faster than I could read them. My parents had thousands of books on shelves.

      1. It’s not just books. It’s all the copies we print of our manuscript because we need to edit on a hard copy, read in hard copy. Because it isn’t REAL until it’s on paper 🙂 I think we will always need something tangible. I read electronically, but many favorite books are still bought in hard cover because nothing is as wonderfully sensuous as opening a new book, hearing the little crackle as the spine opens and smelling the ink and paper.

      2. True. I think the hard copy stack for the manuscript that became “My Splendid Concubine” was more than six feet tall by the time I finished and was ready to publish. There were so many drafts between 1999 and 2008.

        There’s another advantage to ink on paper. Tree books do not need a battery or an update to keep working. I gave up on my Kindle because of updates to the software. Too much trouble.

  2. There is always something tantilising about peeping into other people’s lives (where would we writers be without that curiosity?)
    Your office is appropriately crowded. Mine is in 2nd bedroom: the bed half covered with paperwork & books! Continued power to your fingers sir!

    1. Yes, curiosity—the one that discovered the earth wasn’t the center of the universe or flat.

      If you enjoyed my home office clutter, you might enjoy:


      or this one:


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