For most of my writing life I have been working at tiny desks in rooms that we called "offices", but were more truthfully "junk" rooms. They've served me well, though. I'm not complaining. I've done some good work in the privacy of these rooms (even though they often resembled the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter).
But all good things must come to an end. My family is growing -- not in number at the moment, but more literally in size -- and we've reached the point where both children need their own room and space. So, bye-bye office/junk room.
Now, my wife works from home, and when discussing moving the workspace downstairs into the living room, we decided it was time to buy an actual desk and upgrade from the prefab ones, as they never seem right after an attempt to move them. But, since the desk would be out in the open, where our two Diaper-Dwarfs could get at the computer and reek havoc with their ever-sticky fingers, we needed something we could close up. We also wanted something that looked nice, like real furniture. Oh, did I also mentioned it needed to be fairly cheap, since money seems to have a secret escape route out of this house?
Dreaming right? I would think so, too. But, you don't know my wife. If there is a deal, sale, coupon, or bargain out there, you better know that she'll find it. She scoured the net like a school nurse searching for lice.
Too visceral? Sorry.
On this tiny, unknown site, called Craigslist (I didn't figure you'd heard of it) she found this incredible roll-top desk, that was the look, size and most importantly, the price we were looking for. After an hour drive north we had the desk.
Now, when I sit at this desk and type, I can pretend I'm one of the great writers of yore, penning my masterpiece, you know, the one that will change the world. There are only a couple of problems with this.
One, it's out in the living room, and as those of you that write know, sometimes it's hard to write when everyone is watching TV, or playing video games, or if you have children like mine, screaming at each other over crayons.
Two, my wife works from home. Her job is fairly flexible, which is nice since she is also going back to school. But, at the same time that means that she sometimes has to work odd hours and I have trouble blocking out a set time for me to write.
So, what's the solution?
I'm typing this post on my brand new netbook. It's small, portable, and hopefully just what I need to be more productive with my writing. We bought a regular laptop a while back, but with work and school, my wife really does need it most of the time.
So, while the roll-top desk is beautiful, I most likely won't navigate too many of my strange worlds from its helm. I'd say I'll most likely be writing like Stephen King did back in the old days. You'll probably find me sitting in the bathroom (he sat in the laundry room with a typewriter, but we have more of a laundry closet) with the netbook balanced on my lap.
King had some great things that found their way out of that laundry room. I don't think that's too bad a way to start.