Saturday, January 12, 2013

If I only had a desk (also, free cats!)

(Photo courtesy of 
jfl1066 on Flickr)
For our first anniversary Brad and I went to Key West -- a magical land where the average temperature is in the 70s, sunsets are celebrated nightly and cats come with six toes.

While there, we visited the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum and checked out the pool house where Papa wrote "To Have and Have Not," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber"* a bright, beautiful space lined with books and whimsical tchotchkes and warm breezes. 

The studio was once connected to his bedroom with a walkway, so he could just roll out of bed when the muses were speaking. It was a magical land where writing happened despite a strict drinking regimen. 

Alack, I live in no such magical land. 

Behold, my studio:

That's right Hemingway. Eat your heart out.
You'll notice a newspaper that more than likely will never be read, a stack of thank you notes that need to be written, manuals for toys that need to be filed. Behind the computer is a copy of "The Country Mouse and The City Mouse" with a cover that needs to be reattached and a princess wand with gems that need to be re-glued. The computer sits on top of a table cloth covered in specks of pureed carrots and bananas that needs to be cleaned. The table sits on top of a floor that notoriously needs to be scrubbed

Oh and the computer contains a novel that needs to be written.

Welcome to my kitchen.

My little black hole of incomplete tasks.

I do have an alternate studio to retreat to, should the dirty dishes in my sink speak louder than the voices in my head. 

Pay no attention to the atrocity occurring on the TV screen.
OK, so a lapdesk in the living room isn't an ideal location either. 

While I am accumulating enough cats** to rival Hemingway's accommodations, my writing situation leaves a lot to be desired. 

When Sarah and I were visiting the Sugarloaf Craft Festival in November, I came across the most gorgeous desk. I don't remember what it looked like exactly, but I do remember telling Sarah that if I had a desk like that, my novel would be finished by now.

And then the other day, while I was handling some social media updating for the used office furniture site I subcontract for, I came across this: 

Sigh again.
It's called a Roost. I call it the solution to all my writing problems. 

It's bright, portable and crust-free and if I had one in my backyard, my novel and the one after that would be finished by now.

I'm pretty certain that every mom I know would also lust after a Roost -- a quiet, four-season spot reserved solely for them to do whatever it was their weary old hearts wanted (write! yoga! paint! sleep! not yell at the 2-year-old for the 30th time to stop lying on top of the cat!). 

It's a magical land.

And now we've reached the point of my post where I try to make lemonade. 

So here's what I'm thinking: While my kitchen table and the lapdesk in my living room aren't ideal conditions for novel writing, they are, the conditions that the characters in my novel would most relate to. 

if I were writing in an immaculate garden pod on the world's most beautiful desk, well, it'd be a different sort of novel, for a different sort of person. 

Enough excuses already.

*Lest you think I'm some uber-literary person, I told Wikipedia-ed the crap out of these titles.

**In fact, if anyone is interested in adopting a cat, we have plenty to spare. You can have your pick or any of our fine specimens.

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