Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Writing Space

One of my favorite books is Writer's Houses by Francesca Premoli-Droulers. It's a big coffee table book with beautiful pictures of 20 different authors' houses, desks, gardens, you name it. In it you have Faulkner's southern mansion, Sackville-West's abandoned castle, and Virginia Woolf's sprawling cottage. To see where the greats wrote their books and poetry is awe-inspiring.

As for me, on the very other end of the "great" spectrum, I usually write at the kitchen table. Right there. That's my spot.

It's actually quite nice. Great breeze when the windows are open; fridge nearby; and the good sound system in is this room. I also have all my books and notebooks right on hand. The only drawback is that when anyone else is home, distractions abound. TV being the big one.

So I bought a folding screen and some good headphones.

This worked for awhile. But then the people who live with me discovered even though I was hiding behind a screen and I couldn't hear them, they could still wave their hands frantically or bang on the table to get my attention. "Have you seen my socks?" "Do we have any good ice cream in the house?" "The cat just puked on my knee."

Drastic measures were called for.

I moved into our computer/junk room. I regret not taking a picture. This is a pic I took actually AFTER two weeks of cleaning. Note how you can see the floor and how the desk is not piled all the way to the ceiling with crap. I had made a lot of progress.

Almost three weeks of cleaning, sorting, throwing away, and I created what I call The Sanctuary--my little place to flee.


Here it is at night.

I've got a minus ion, spooky cloud maker, a lava lamp, and an eel-shaped paper weight. I've got candles, incense burners, and a picture of my agent's front door (because I was too shy to ask for a picture with him). All extremely important when your pretending to be a famous writer.

No, it's not a villa or a castle, but I'd bet money Virginia Woolfe didn't have a pink lava lamp.

There is, however, one little problem. Remember I live in earthquake territory. And this is what I have immediately behind me.

Yeah, ouch.

I believe I shall write with a helmet on.


Tigermama said...

I like your space and especially the lava lamp. But, what the heck do you have on as your screensaver???

Kappa no He said...

Oh, THAT! It's a tengu. I'm in mountain goblin research mode. Tengu's everywhere.

Inty swetha said...

Earthquake area ?? OMG! it's very difficult to live there.. is n't it? i use to wonder how people live in those places...

i'm glad you are a survivor! your rooms are good.. and your junk room is better than mine :P

Anonymous said...

Great article! It inspires me to want to write also. I am going to show your Aunt Pat the "before" picture of your space, and explain to her that this is how an office is suppose to look. Mine is worse, but comfortable.

Kappa no He said...

Inty, I swear I didn't know this was Big Earthquake Area before I moved here. I really should have researched more. Oh, and you haven't seen the "upstairs" junk room. It's really scary.

U.J. Ha! I love it. I think she'll shake her head, cluck her tongue, and call my mom to reprimand her for her child raising skills. I've seen your office, btw, and LOVE it!

Benjamin Solah said...

You so have to post a photo of you with your helmet on now!

I love seeing writer's spaces and your one looks fab....oooh and I want your Mac!

Gary Heller said...

This is pretty funny. i like and can certainly relate to the "cat puked on my knee"
An artist friend of mine has the same trouble with distractions and living in a small place. He also uses large headphones and as a matter of fact had me take photographs of him with his headphones on for a self portrait that he will soon be working on.
I like that desk. I too would like to see a shot of you with a helmet on while working there.
i like your sense of humor.
Soon again

Kappa no He said...

Ben, no, you want a Mac Book Pro! The fancy one. One day...One day...

Gary, funny how cats can blow just about anywhere, anytime. I've become good at recognizing the "cat smile" that let's me know one is fixing to go for it.

That is hilarious about your artist friend who is wanting to do a self portrait of himself with his headphones on. I totally understand.

Anonymous said...

When Jan Johnson gave me all of her books, I got a couple of bookcases and screwed them into the walls just like the directions said. One little shake and both of them pulled the screws right out of the walls.
I see you have huge pipe brackets holding them up. Get a couple of thin boards to screw in the front to keep the books from flying off the shelves.

Kappa no He said...

I was VERY surprised that with the last earthquake (a 6!) all my dish pummeled the china closet door (it's got a latch so didn't open) but not one of my books from that monstrosity fell. I asked around a lot and with that particular earthquake only walls facing south/north threw stuff from them. The bookshelf faces west. I was lucky. Yes, I need to put some boards up to keep the books on the shelves.

MDK said...

Ahh! I see you're getting serious! Nice pad.

Frank Baron said...

It's perfect, Terrie. It even feels welcoming in 2D. You'll do good work there. I can feel it. :)

Hilary said...

It looks warm and wonderful, and invites creativity. Just wear that helmet! I love the fogger.. I have one too. :)

Kappa no He said...

MDK, nice to see you. Serious, yes, yes, serious. Now only if I hadn't put all those toys in there...

Frank, thank you and thank you. You've helped more than my silly room even.

Hilary, aren't they great? However, the boy-child still shows up and still beside it blowing on the fog. It's still new to him. I'm hoping the fascination wears out soon.

Deidra said...

Hello! I'm a first-time reader, and I'm really enjoying your posts. The writing area you set up looks wonderful! I never thought much about it before, but you inspire me to set up an area for myself... :)

Dara said...

Hello, I'm also a first time reader. I have to say I'm a little jealous of your writing space. I need to make my own a bit more "themed" instead of the mess that it is now.

Currently waiting for your book to arrive at my library! I'm uber excited to read it as I love Japanese mythology and ghost stories. I'm currently trying to write a novel about the Yuki Onna.

Anyway, love your blog!