Posted by: Dennie | July 20, 2013

(I found it!!!) Writing Space

(Today’s post has been found! My time and effort wasn’t  a wasted loss after all.)

My aspirations  to be a writer have always included an image of a writing space- relaxing, peaceful and inviting, a place that was mine alone, where I could escape the outside world to think, and to write. My imaginary writing space has always been located away from my main living space, above a garage or outbuilding. A barn, maybe. But upstairs, always upstairs. Never on the ground floor…

My writing space is accessed from a set of outside stairs on the the side of the building. At the top on the landing, I have two chintz cushioned wicker rockers and a round, white wrought iron glass topped table tucked in between. I step into the room through double French doors, festooned with delicate cream colored Irish lace. On the facing wall, sunlight cascades through the huge picture window,  which is flanked by casements that I have wide open whenever possible. Leaves on the maple tree outside the window wave a greeting as I step further inside, crossing the wide plank, knotty pine floor. To the right is a sitting area. A love seat, club chair and ottoman upholstered in my favorite colors of blue and green are arranged on top of a threadbare green and gold oriental rug. A rocker, slat back with  a rush seat, rounds out the seating. Two bookcases  filled with my favorite authors stand sentry against the wall on either side  of the love seat. All are flea market and tag sale finds, each carefully chosen for my space.

Opposite the sitting area is a small kitchen, consisting of a sink and microwave. Another tag sale find, a narrow but tall wooden cupboard, holds a few utensils, plates and mugs. A tiny half bath is concealed behind a closed barn board door.

The focal point of the room is my desk, a massive golden oak double pedestal purchased from an doctor and his wife, who were downsizing to  a smaller home. The desk was in pieces when he found it during a trip to Ireland in the seventies and shipped it back to the States in a Harley Davidson crate. Lovingly restored, his life had been conducted from the desk for decades. Bills paid, letters written, kids’ college applications filled out. He wanted to pass it on to someone who would love it as much as he did. Me.

It’s here that I’m inspired. I look out past the maple onto a vast expanse of lawn, dotted with trees where the seasons present a never ending change of scenery. The summer sun dapples the grass through the leaves, which eventually float down and carpet the ground in a blaze of autumn color.  Winter shimmers the lawn with silver and white, and spring transforms the brown and lifeless earth into a lush, green paradise…

I realize that I don’t need to get my inspiration from a room, or a piece of furniture. I can do without all that. Most of my writing these days is done in a spare bedroom. For years I squawked about needing a desk, and finally got one at a flea market. Not oak, but mahogany or cherry, it’s a curved front, double pedestal knee hole with a beveled edge,  and decorations of inlaid bell flowers. Really pretty, but uncomfortable to sit at. The knee hole has two doors that open to provide storage. When they’re closed, my knees don’t fit in the hole far enough to sit comfortably, so I end up perching my butt on the edge of the chair. I can squeeze under if I open the doors, but I’m cramped between them.  And I have too much stuff on the desk top–books, a lamp, pictures, an old pitcher that holds my pens and pencils, a little bowl of paper clips. It’s a crowded space to work. Mostly, I sit with three pillows propped behind me on the bed, my computer in my lap. Thus the name, laptop, I guess. It drives my husband nuts to see me there after all the fuss I made about having a desk, but it’s more comfortable.

As for the massive oak golden oak double pedestal? The story is true and it resides downstairs as a real life S-curve roll top. It’s huge and occupies an enormous amount of  the small living room space we have. But no matter, it was something that I’ve wanted for years and I love it. Maybe someday my fantasy writing space will become a reality as well.

Do you have a personal writing space? Feel free to let me know where you do your best work.

 

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