I love when people tell me their home is their castle because so much goes on inside those four walls.

Your home is the place where your positive and negative emotions flow, where decisions are executed and children are raised. It’s the place where arguments happen, recipes are tested and holidays are shared. It’s behind those closed doors where you experience laughter and sadness and where lovemaking occurs.

Most of us do not have a room of our own, but most of us do have our spot or space where we go to pay bills, read a book, needlepoint or knit, watch our favorite shows, talk on the phone, shop online, answer emails, spend time on Facebook and put on our make-up. We should all create places that fit our lifestyles.

I am no exception. I have my favorite places, but the most important are the ones where I write my stories. I have an office that I share with my husband, but I never write in that room.

I thought you might enjoy seeing and hearing about my spaces, the ones where I have written well over a thousand stories throughout these few years. These are the spaces where I am most happy and productive.

If you do not have a place you love to ‘just be,’ maybe you should. And if you do have that place, but are not one hundred percent content, you might want to consider taking the time to recreate your existing space to fit your idea of perfection.

Why I’m writing about my writing spaces

Friends of ours from Chicago were visiting last weekend and were anxious to be shown around, as they had never visited our California home.

The man said, “I want to see where you write your stories.”

“That’s a first,” I said smiling. “You prefer to have a desk tour rather than a house tour?”

“Yes,” said the lawyer-turned-creative writing professor. After showing him my makeshift desks he said, “Write a story about your writing spaces.”

A light bulb went off and I replied, “I love your idea.”

I thought about his suggestion and the first thing that came to my mind, “My writing spaces are my little homes within my homes.”

Bright and early the next morning I took photos to show you.

And this morning at 2:38 am, I quietly slipped out of bed, went into my bath, sat down at my dressing table (one of my makeshift desks) and began my story. “There is no better time to think then in the silence of the night,” a phrase my girlfriend Penelope loaned to me in a middle of the night email. I love the phrase because it is the truth.

As most women do, I wanted to expand my thoughts for this story to include places where my daily life flourishes because flourishing outside our four walls is as important as flourishing within them.

I am very fortunate and grateful to enjoy two homes. Not a day goes by that I do not say thank you for my lifestyle, it has been a habit of mine since I was a child.

I live in two homes

I live in Chicago, Illinois on the 71st floor of an apartment in the sky. It is in the middle of a bustling city with a view of Lake Michigan, the city skyline and lots of constant tumult. I have a flourishing lifestyle. I am in love with many aspects of my life, Chicago and my apartment are on that list.

I also live in Rancho Mirage, California in a Zen style home. My husband and I built our home from scratch and I adore it. There was not a blade of grass on the property, only desert sand. Building our home was one of the happiest times of my life because my interior designer, Richard Himmel, “got me.” Our builder, Warren Stocker, got him and my husband was the ultimate because he never said no to anything I wanted for our home. The main reason I love this home is because we built it together and it exudes a peaceful presence.

I live in two neighborhoods

Chicago wins, hands down. I love and appreciate the beauty of the city. I can walk to Walgreens, Neimans, every imaginable woman’s boutique, the market, my nail salon, restaurants and even visit friends without ever leaving our building. What’s not to adore?

Rancho Mirage is a tiny community surrounded by picturesque mountain tops all year long. I cannot walk to anything. When I leave my casa, I can hear a pin drop. The only constant tumult is the women’s mouths at a club we spend our time at during the winter months. My favorite things in Rancho Mirage are my home, my husband, my pooch Orchid, my yard filled with palm trees, olive trees, bougainvillea and hibiscus and the quiet of the day spent ‘at home.’

I live at four makeshift desks

I spend part of each day and night writing in our bed…

at my dressing table…

on my private patio outside our bedroom door…

at a game table with a view…

and once in a while, at my real desk in our bedroom. I sit at my desk because it has many sentimental possessions on top from my husband, children and grandchildren, my daughter-in-law, my housekeeper and my close girlfriends. I cherish my gifts. They often set a mood.

I live on airplanes

I love to fly. I have the sky as my backdrop and there is utter silence except for the consistent roar of the engines. It is a divine place to write a story. Each flight creates a story, so I am also productive. Best of all, I have my husband by my side to ask questions if I am searching for a word or thinking through a thought. I am in heaven.

I have to run, I have a conference call. You now know where I write and where I live my flourishing and abundant lifestyle. Please let me know where you live yours.

This story is dedicated to Tony Hammer.