Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Writing Desk

Being an author, there is a special depth to the problem I am suffering right now - the longing crush I developed on a desk I saw last week.

When my mom and I hit the used office furniture and military surplus store, and I found a good filing cabinet to bring home and clear off one of the major projects in my house (years of filing which would not even begin to fit in my old, one-drawer cabinet) ... I saw it there, like a gorgeous temptress, showing off that mid-century design I have craved all my life, and stretching out huge tracts of desktop, just calling to me.

I got a wild hair and made an offer for desk and filing cabinet combined, sure they would say no - and, ahh, to my chagrin, they did not do that.  They even said they'd honor the price without taking both pieces home immediately.

The thing is gigantic - three feet by SIX - and even its coffee mug rings seem charming to me. I can imagine both my laptops there, my research books, all my little gimcracks in the drawers.  Huge is good.  My current "desk" (likely originally a vanity; though it does have a modesty panel and finished "back" side, which is less usual in a vanity) is about eighteen inches deep, and the knee hole is so short sitting there cuts into my legs.  I sit high.  It's also fairly dark, and formica-topped, which does not make me particularly swoon.

I don't even know where the current desk came from, which is odd.  So much in this house is from family or thrifting/antique trips I can recall.  This one seems sort of provenance-free.  It is not greatly practical nor very romantic.

Being a writer, and never really setting myself up with a good, proper office, is sometimes frustrating - not to say outright bewildering, all things considered.

Lately, I've been spurred to some sort of autumnal version of spring cleaning - a great deal of nesting, and some very satisfying redoing of some of my rooms.  The bedroom, I shoved around a couple of weeks ago; shifting the bed to the eastern wall rather than the west - though I don't much like it, and will change it back again.  The former office, which had become a disused space mostly reserved for Gossamer to escape from Pen-Pen.  The sunny wing room, once home of Pen's cage, and having several former lives, but not much used in a very long time.

As of now, that sunny room, scarcely used since it was my little den, the first year I lived in this house, is my nice new office.  The filing cabinets are together in there - the new one housing my papers, and the old one now holding paper and photo paper and some miscellany, as well as one of two vintage stereos I have brought out of a difficult storage space since all that business about music bubbled up recently.  The other, my parents' beautiful 70s receiver and turntable, has a pair of vintage speakers on the way, I ordered just today.  It'll give us some George Winston and maybe a bit more, when I have a surprise birthday party for my mom.

Nominally, of course, it is this party inspiring me to make my house as nice as I *can* before it sees a house full of guests.  Deeper than that, I have other motivations, of course.  Motivations like being a real writer with a GOOD desk, like having a nice library, now I've commandeered Goss's room for myself.

Why bringing wasted space back into use, back to life, seems to have become more important, I don't exactly know, but it's certainly motivating.  And this isn't just about that desk - though it's enjoyable, certainly, having a bit of fun being silly about wanting it.  The former office/Goss's room is now a *much* more functional library, of sorts, a reading room so comfortable I can't wait to spend what portions of tomorrow aren't occupied in grocery shopping and laundry ploughing through pages I did not write.

I can't wait, either, to spend some time writing again - and at a good desk.  Even if it's not the one I've got a crush on right now.

It'll come.  I've made the space for it.  I'm excited ...


Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Nothing like a new desk.
Last Christmas my youngest daughter and her husband surprised my husband and me by redoing our guest/junk/storage room upstairs into an awesome office. My son-in-law built a partners desk for us and the kids cleaned, arranged everything and bought a second office chair. My daughter framed some of my columns, which made them look very writery. I use it more than my husband does. As much as I love my office with the ‘thinking couch’, framed work and am surrounded by my books and pictures which mean so much to me…as I write this I am sitting at my kitchen table where I have been pounding out my column, posts and essays for years. There is something about writing in the center of things which appeals to me. I edit upstairs in my office but I write, right here.
Your desk sounds wonderful, sort of like the expanse of my kitchen table, big enough to hold all your dreams.

DLM said...

Thank you so much for coming by! :)

The desk isn't mine at this point, and the store is closed today, but they did still have it as of Thursday, and said they'd take payment over the phone and hold it while I make arrangements to move it. So ... we'll see! I have an appliance delivery next Saturday too, so there's a lot going on and only my hands to juggle it all!

Ahh, but even if it's not "this" desk, I do look forward to getting a *better* one (though, as we joke in my family, "this" one could be "the only desk I ever loved" ...). It'd certainly be better than novel-writing on the couch.

So pleased you visited - thank you for the comment!