I know. I know. You were expecting a book review. I promise, that will post sometime today. Consider this… a bonus.
I’m in atypically high spirits right now. For no apparent reason. Music pounds through the house via my favorite Christmas present: a Sony Bluetooth speaker from the In-Laws. It was gifted as a “both of us” present, but come on. I’m the music freak in this house. I’m the one that screams song lyrics at the top of my lungs until 3 AM. I’m the one that holds impromptu dance parties of one at the drop of a hat.
That speaker is mine.
And right now it is shuffling through my music with style. Currently, “Arabella” by Arctic Monkeys, which has my blood pumping.
I wanted to talk about my work space. This is something that is very important to me, and I know has come up on multiple posts. Usually I talk about the tone and atmosphere of whatever coffee shop (read: Starbucks) I’ve landed in for the day. But, I don’t work for the coffee giant any more, and don’t really go there unless I’m giving myself a treat of Iced Coffee.
And I know I’ve shown photos of my work space as it comes together, but today is the first day that it feels like the space is mine. Today I sat down in my $20 Wal-Mart office chair and said, “no more.” That chair is awful and impossible to sit comfortably in for any length of time. Plus it rolls, and I’m inevitably waging war with staying in place. Usually I just lilt to the side a bit and end up facing the desk at an angle.
Generally irritating and distracting stuff. No way to write a book.
So, I said, “no more”, slid the chair to a corner of the room, and retrieved one of the extra dining chairs. Our dining table can seat four to six, depending on the leaf, but we generally keep it as a four-seater.
And let me just say that this chair has made all the difference.
I sat at my desk, and though my ass slid on the slick wood of the chair (a cushion will solve that) my back found the rest and it was perfect. I’m here, and I’m ready. And it finally feels like mine.
I’ve got all my aqua accents, from the desk lamp, to the simple cardboard organizer, to the ceramic moon I painted on mine and Trevor’s first anniversary, to a large, heart-shaped paperweight my work wife brought back for me from her hometown. Actually, even the plate my tiny little potted cactus sits on is aqua. I have a theme. I have a feeling the chair cushion will match.
Beneath the white board, where I track all my weekly and yearly goals as well as reading progress, Garrus keeps a close watch over everything, Black Widow at the ready should shenanigans prevail. I have a small, thrift shop tea cup that is a souvenir from my best friend’s bridal shower. And I have a clay Hermione, intended to decorate a wineglass stem, hanging from the neck of the lamp, a gift from that same best friend on her wedding day.
I’m a sentimental person. It’s true. And there’s no better place to surround myself with all these good vibes and memories than my work space.
My bookshelf is also a testament to memories and friends. Odd trinkets and collectibles from my life interrupt the rows of books, yet again giving me a wonderful warm feeling of belonging. That shelf is unarguably mine.
And the walls! I finally have art on the walls. Over the sofa is a print from a local artist. I don’t know what the actual inspiration was, but the content reminds me of The Way of Kings, and I bought it on sight. I’ve had that painting for the better part of three years, waiting for an office to hang it in. Across from that, on either said of the window are framed prints of the maps from the book Elantris. One large print on the left, and two small one on the right. These were a gift from Trevor for my birthday, and the frames were purchased with a gift card from a good friend, also for my birthday.
Add the dog lounging on the sofa, and everything is just… right.
I mean, there are things I still want to add. An arched lamp over the sofa, a small side table to allow for lunches/snacks and drinks when I’m reading or taking a break, and a real rug (as opposed to the purple yoga mat currently spread across the floor). I want a new desk, which the Husband says he can custom make one for the space, but that project is far down on the list of home improvements.
And that’s fine, because having this space at all is so relieving. So freeing. No more packing up all my work to tote it to Starbucks. No more awkward people interactions when I just want to write. No more fielding the ever present question, “school?” when people see the laptop. Then I have to say, “no, writing” and then they either want to talk about it (which they don’t really) or they cast a look that says, “you’re one of those“.
We all know that stereotype of the starving writer sitting at Starbucks all day, writing and taking up a good seat, but only buying a brewed coffee. Yes, it’s irritating, especially since I would spend WAY more than $2.25 while I was there, and that was with a discount! But, there’s also a lot of truth in it. In my five years with the company, I met my fair share of them.
I’m glad I can park myself at home and no longer contribute to it. This is something I’ve wanted since I knew writing was all I really wanted to do. Since Trevor and I moved to Oregon and I finally committed myself to writing novels instead of short fiction. Yeah, there were some breaks in between, long pauses where the distance made me doubt my own discipline and ability. But, every step we took led us to buying a house, and I was very vocal that any house we considered must have a separate room for my work.
Now, I was willing to share that space with a guest bed, if needed. I even intended that any sofa I purchased for this room be a sleeper sofa. But, news flash, I’m cheap. I hate spending money and sleeper sofas are expensive. And when I saw the purple settee on sale, I immediately knew it was the right one for the room.
So, future guests of the Harlow Homestead, sorry, not sorry. Writing won out. It’s an air mattress or the (future) living room sectional for you.
So, though it is just the first phase and there are many improvements and upgrades to be made in the coming years, I love this room. This space that is so thoroughly and completely mine. The place where I’ve written more words in the last three months than I have in the past two years. I am so pleased, enchanted, and grateful that you have come into my life.
Now, let’s get to work!