When I began writing I didn’t have a room of my own, I had a table and my computer in my bedroom. I wasn’t unhappy; in fact I was thrilled. I was so excited about what I was doing it didn’t matter that I didn’t have proper bookshelves or wall space for mapping out plots. This worked for me for a couple of years and then I outgrew it. When my teenage son needed more space, I converted his bedroom into my office.
1) I have a real desk where I write, complete with drawers, slots for mail, and a flip down top. It’s pretty and because of that, I try to keep it fairly neat.
2) There are still sailboats stencils and a sunken ship on the wall that I painted when my son was little, but I was so excited to get the space I just moved in and skipped the redecorating. In one corner there are gouge marks on the floor from my son’s drum kit. Seven years of drumming! First he drummed to our old albums: Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and the Eagles. Then to new music: Oasis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Guster. It wasn’t until he discovered Ska that we thought putting in the drum kit in the family room was a good idea. Have you heard the drumming in some of those bands? Fast, loud! He followed the drums and gave me his room.
3) I wanted a waist high shelf the length of the wall for my printer, paper and for laying out my manuscripts in chapters, or whatever way I wanted to work. Instead, my husband made me a beautiful cabinet with file drawers and shelves, and a varnished pine top that goes the length of the wall.
4) One wall is a giant Work-It-Out-Wall. That means it’s okay to work out my manuscripts any way I need to. I have story board paper over the center where I use post-it and pencil to map out the chapters, collages of scenes and characters, and also my synopsis cut up and glue-sticked to the story board to keep me on track.
5) To the left of my desk, at eye level, are two pictures tacked to the wall. Xena, Warrior Princess, and Virginia Woolf. They both speak to me. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized the significance of these pictures being side by side. Xena, a warrior, who fights for what she wants and believes in. She’s strength. And Virginia, a writer who tried, but ultimately, couldn’t save herself. She’s talent. I’d like to be both: Robin, Warrior Novelist.