Sunday, November 23, 2014

Space to Grow

a few of my favorite things
Today, I am officially jumping into the blogosphere...Yay me! For about a year, I have toyed with the idea, even starting a blog on WordPress, but alas, it wasn't to be. I'm hoping that the more user-friendly Blogger platform will keep me motivated.

So, for my first post, I'll talk about my writing space.

Thinking back over the past several years, I have written on the beach, in the car, in a hammock, by the riverside, on a park bench, on a plane, (Is this starting to look like a lesson on prepositional phrases?)

Well, you get the idea - I've written pretty much everywhere, including on a boat, though I realize the Norwegian Getaway is not exactly a dinghy.

The strange thing is that the only place I couldn't seem to write - the only place where my ideas dried up like my tongue when I was tricked into trying an unripe persimmon - was my office. This was the office I meticulously decorated with Pottery Barn-ish furniture and accessories. It was chic, spacious, magazine-worthy, and hopelessly devoid of any personality. It didn't work. It really wasn't me, after all.

So for a time, my go-to writing space was a comfortable chair and ottoman in my sunroom, where I would sit with my computer on my lap, my neurotic schnauzer across my feet, cup of tea on the end table, birds outside the window at the feeder, and the smell of pine drifting in the open window. It worked. The ideas just kept coming, and I felt good about my writing.

What didn't feel good, though, was my neck. According to the physical therapist, it wasn't a very "ergonomic" setup. So after three months of physical therapy, muscle relaxers, and several rounds of dry needling (Look it up if you're not squeamish!), I decided to nix the chair and create a new space.

Ella is not happy without my feet here.
But the sunroom was so me - the greenery, the birds, the sun, the blissful quiet - how could I abandon my muse-worthy enclave? It had to be in there, but it was already packed with furniture and plants, with no possible space for a desk and "ergonomic" chair.

After lots of mental maneuvering, a few awkward interactions with a tape measure, and several conversations with my not-so-easy-to-convince husband, I had a plan. I would remove one of my giant plants, shift the sofa down a few feet, and voila! Room for a writing desk (not the Pottery-Barnish desk that still sits unused in my office). This desk had to fit my personality, bring forth my muse, conjure up images of Hemingway and Dickinson. It had to ooze a writerly essence. Was I asking to much? Was this to be my Holy Grail?  Could I find it for less than a month's salary??? I was resourceful, savvy, clever; surely I could make this happen. Sadly, however, an exhaustive search on the Internet and treks to local antique stores proved me wrong. It seems unique = expensive. And I didn't have time to take an old fixer-upper and transform it into my dream desk.

So, while I was cursing the furniture gods and bemoaning my general fate, I had to make a dreaded visit to a neglected room in our basement we use for storage. And that's where it hit me. Well, I hit IT, actually; While I was digging around for whatever it was I needed, I bumped my head on a piece of furniture. That piece of furniture was a the desk I had used all through college and my first seven years of teaching - an antique sewing table that a close family friend had refinished for my mom. A heavenly light seemed to shine around the desk (or maybe it was the cartoon stars that were swimming in front of my eyes from the pain). Either way, I knew I had found the answer.
writing quotes & notes

With a little rearranging, it fit into the corner of my sunroom perfectly. I filled my little niche with my favorite pictures, books, and objects (none from Pottery Barn), and now I have the "perfect" space - one that suits me, nurtures my writing, and just feels right.

Now, if I can just find the perfect chair..

Happy writing, y'all!


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Randi! Of course you must know I'm a fan of your blog title and subtitle ... ;) That tree is lovely too.

    I hope you'll be sharing some of your writing or writing process here. And I do hope you'll join the Poetry Friday crowd, too! I'd be happy to give you some info on that if you email me!

    Happy blogging!

  2. Great post, Randi! I can't wait to read more. Write on! —Amber

  3. I so relate to this post! I have abandoned my basement office and have been using a comfy chair in our living room. But my back has been complaining about this arrangement. I'm thinking about finding a cheap treadmill and getting the dear spouse to make a desk for it and try writing while slowly walking. I'll let you know if it works! (and good luck with your chair search.)

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  5. So funny, Buffy! That creates a very interesting mental picture, I must say. Please let me know if it comes to fruition and how it works out for you! As for the chair, the search continues... By the way, thanks for taking the time to comment. I miss getting to read your brilliant poems every day!

  6. I really enjoyed the post! Congratulations!