think everyone needs a good place to write. Don’t you? It could be on a
kitchen table, a coffee table, a desk in a spare bedroom, or a spot in
an old oak tree outside. Okay, maybe the tree thing is a bit much.
Carving a novel into the bark would take a long time. A writer would
end up as old as Methuselah before finishing. The main thing is to have
somewhere to write. I used to have such a spot—until my husband moved
Now, when I say the man “moved”
me, I don’t mean that he carried me off on wings of love like a hero in
a romance novel during a delicious plot twist. Nay, nay, the precious
little lamb chop transported me to another home altogether, which
completely changed everything.
Did I mention that I don’t like
change? It makes me majorly snarky, when I’m mildly snarky on a good
day to begin with. I mean, the house we were moving into was beautiful,
but I wanted to stay in my old home. I know, I know. What woman in her
right mind wouldn’t want a new house? Well, I’ve never claimed to be in
my right mind, so there’s the answer.
Before the move took place, I
walked around in a funk. You’ve heard the old cliché about someone’s
lip dragging on the ground, haven’t you? When a middle-aged woman (moi)
behaves in this manner, it’s not pretty.
My husband attempted to
encourage me. “Hey, remember that book you got at the library, the one
about those famous authors, with pictures of their homes?”
I cocked my head and narrowed my
eyes, wondering what advice was coming this time. “Yeah . . .”
“Our new house will inspire
you. You know, you could write your breakout novel there. Besides, you
need a professional office.”
I peeled my bottom lip up off
the floor. “You really think so?”
“Yes, I do. Everything will be
I thought about the book he
mentioned. My jaw had gone slack when I saw the pictures of the
authors’ homes on its pages. According to my husband, this slack-jawed
response usually only happens when I’m sleeping and sucking in the
drapes and/or blinds off the walls. Maybe this wasn’t going to be so
bad after all.
Somewhat enthused, I chose the
room for my office, a room all to myself. Can you imagine? I’d always
used a small desk in the living room, while my elderly mother, who is a
little hard of hearing, watched a blaring television in the background.
On many of those days, I wanted to shout things that weren’t so
Moving day finally arrived. I
hung my favorite pictures and arranged my desk and filing cabinet just
as I had them at home. Like I said, I don’t like change.
I pulled the drapes open and
eyed the view. Bushes of honeysuckle stood like soldiers across the
edge of the property. A huge oak tree waved its hundred-year-old
branches at me. The owls called, the birds chirped, and the deer
roamed. It was paradise, I tell you.
Sitting at my computer, I
bubbled with excitement. Maybe I would write my novel here—right in
this room. My husband was probably right. (You know, I’m really getting
tired of admitting that.) As I sat in front of my computer, though,
nothing happened. Zip. Nada. Zero.
Moments later, I realized Mom
had the television blaring downstairs. No wonder.
“Honey,” I hollered to my husband, since I wasn’t going to yell at my
mother, “would you please turn down the TV? I can’t concentrate.”
I turned my attention back to my
computer, and I suddenly felt restless. I can’t explain it really, but
whatever it was unnerved me, which is a short trip for me anyway.
my fingers on my desk,
I swiveled in my chair. My toes tapped a jig on the hardwood floor.
Then it struck me. Perhaps I needed to move the furniture around. So I
few weeks later, still tapping my fingers and toes, another thought
came to mind. Maybe I’m in the wrong room. The other bedroom
does have a better view of the property. I lugged my office
furniture down the hall, set everything in place, and smiled. Yes, this
would be perfect.
I sat down at my desk, fingers
poised and ready, and typed a few pages. Then I froze up again. What
My husband came home from work
soon after. His voice carried from my old office. “Deb? Where are you?”
I cupped my hand around my mouth
and hollered. “Back here.”
He appeared in the doorway,
shaking his head.
I folded my arms. “What?”
“Didn’t you want the other room
for your office?”
“I did, but I couldn’t write in
Several days later, I rearranged
the furniture in my second office. It didn’t help, so I dragged my
office furniture back to the room where I had first set up my office. I
must admit, I was growing tired at this point. When you-know-who came
upstairs and found me, he said, “What are you doing now?”
I held up my hand. “Don’t say
He eyed me and proceeded with
caution. “It doesn’t matter what room you write in, Deb.” He pointed
his finger at his chest. “The gift you have is in here.”
You’re telling me this
now? “You’re the one who said I needed a new office.”
“I said that to help you. You
have to write wherever you’re comfortable. Just give it time.
Everything will be fine.”
How many times had he said those
words? A parrot came to mind. Everything will be fine.
Everything will be fine. I wanted to smack the bird off his
perch. I didn’t know where I was comfortable at anymore.
He stepped forward and hugged
me. “You just don’t like change.”
How dare he show love at a time
like this? I couldn’t stay mad at him when he was being kind. Even
worse, I knew he was right.
A few nights later, as I sat in
bed watching TV, I grabbed my laptop to check my e-mail. Afterward, I
opened my Word program. Do you know what happened? Glory hallelujah, I
began to write.
I guess I had it in me the whole
time. In the midst of all the changes, I had simply lost my way. You
probably knew this all along, though, didn’t you? My husband knew. Again.
Anyway, he and I recently set up
our offices in the same room. I really didn’t crave the solitary
confinement as I had originally thought. After everything that’s
happened over the past few years, I may need isolation, but at least
I’ll be writing. That’s the main thing. Don’t you think?