Over at Murderati, there is a discussion from the question: What is on your desk? Here is my response.
I have two desks--one made by my dad--and I use them in different ways. The writing desk is literally the desk I sit at to write anything long hand. There are times when pixels and a keyboard don't do it for me. I break out the pen (Pilot PreciseGrip 0.5mm, blue ink) and paper (college-ruled comp books) and compose. Yes, there are times when the ideas flow too rapidly that my handwriting is horrible. (During those times, I make notes in the margins or on yellow Post-its.) But the old-school way of writing helps the flow sometimes.
Then I have the computer desk. It's really a old server thingy--with shelves on both sides of a central post. On the closest shelf, I have it lowered to where my ergonomic keyboard sits. The other shelf I have raised so that my MacBook is almost eye level. Behind the Mac, in plain view when the Mac is closed, are my Current Books. (Right now: Money Shot by Christa Faust, Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard, By Night in Chile, Hell of a Woman (anthology), The White Trilogy (Bruen), and the book I just finished and reviewed, Kiss Her Goodbye by Allan Guthrie) On the walls next to my Mac are my awards (four so far). I won an authographed photo from the band Chicago when I wrote a short story using over 70 titles of their songs. My first novel, Treason at Hanford, twice won third place at the Ft. Bend Writer's Guild contests. My second novel, Justice in H-Town won third place just last month. And I have a framed copy of my first published piece: a memorial to the journalist David Bloom, published in the Houston Chronicle in April 2003.
I use them to remind me that I have the talent to be a writer...and that only persistence will help me become a *published* author.