After spending a few years hunched over my laptop at the dining room table—which worked very nicely until it didn’t*—I’ve recently reclaimed a corner of the master bedroom as my own writing space.
It took an hour or two of digging my desk out of all the stuff my family piled on top of it and I shoved under it, a relocation of the incontinent shredder, and a careful assessment of outlets and cables—so many cables—but I finally have it almost the way I want it.
The only problem I had, initially, that the desk is about as far away from the wireless router as it can be and still be inside the house, so the eeeBox I’d bought to take the burden off my overworked, menopausal laptop,** not to mention my aching back,*** was limping along on one measly bar, when it wasn’t refusing to admit there was a router at all.
This was actually beneficial for my focus during Writing Hours, but a lot of Blogging Time was spent reconnecting every two minutes until I ran out of patience and colorful vocabulary and reached for my poor laptop, which didn’t seem to have any trouble. I figured it was a bad wireless card or whatever, and had just about decided to send the thing back to the pound and adopt a new one . . . until Watson figured out that the right half of the desk, where I’d set up the unit, is in a Dead Zone—probably because of a metal strut in the wall, or possibly the lawnmower, which lives on the other side of the wall.
Once I switched the unit with everything else, I had three bars, a relieved laptop, and a need for greater willpower during Writing Hours.
The only thing I could use is a plank—I’m thinking a walnut-finished shelf board—to stretch across those pull-out extensions so I don’t have to balance the keyboard on that legal pad over the center drawer. It didn’t occur to me that the edge of the rolltop doesn’t retract completely, so the screen is about four inches closer than I’d expected and I’m sitting about six inches farther from the desk, as I value the eyesight I have left, and every blessed hour spent without migraine sparklies dancing around the edges of my POV.
But as I tested out the space, something else was missing—a lot of things, actually, all buried in piles of scribbled notes or hidden in plain sight among the mass of jottings on my makeshift mousepad, which I’d intended to use for lists and timelines, but instead use for . . . everything.
What I needed was a single place to put things pertinent to my current project.
So I went to Office Max.
And bought myself a whiteboard and an assortment of markers.
And a corkboard strip and pushpins and a couple of glass magnets for images and articles, partially because I’m resisting Pinterest like a woman who has finally taken that first step and admitted she has a Time Suck Problem, but mostly because I have no self-control in office supply or stationary stores at all.
But at least now I also have a character diagram, some reminders, and a wordcount-goal line—with scene annotations—that I’m hoping will keep me hitting those plot points in a timely fashion.
And magnets to play with when I get stuck.
We’ll see how it goes.
What’s in your space?
*My kids have somehow become even louder with age, my poor posture has become even worse with age, and the daily, pointed remarks from several of the adults in the family about the mess covering the table were really getting old.
**Symptoms may include hot flashes, mood swings, and USB Dysfunction
***I wasn’t kidding about the hunching, and the pain was no joke, either. Sitting upright for a week or two has helped a lot—my spine isn’t doing its impression of a Gatling gun in the mornings any more and I actually might be getting taller . . . though when I mentioned this to Janie, she looked me in the eye, smirked, and said, “Right, Mom.”
^Which is why there’s a mugful of black wood Ninja pencils by my lamp, now. You can’t see them in the pictures, for reasons that should be obvious.