Tuesday, April 28, 2009


You know how some people who write have their own space? Like renting an office or something? Or even a room all their own in the house, where their computer is dedicated to their craft?

No such thing here.

I share an office. With a husband and four kids. When Husband works at home, he doesn't work in the office. He has a dedicated corner of the dining room table, just outside the office doors, where he can ask things like "how do you spell VietNam?" without leaving his seat or shouting. But his stuff lives in the office. Calvin and Hobbes anthologies are stacked with my writing books. His shiny awards for his films get a gorgeous central shelf. Several years' of Communication Arts Advertising Annuals sit here beside stacks and stacks of music CDs that are all digitized to the computers, but still live here.

But wait, there's more! Because his stuff and my stuff are just the beginning. There's a music stand in here, complete with several violin books and some fiddle music. And a violin. And everyone's stack of posterboard for school projects. And whatever everyone is reading at the moment (Harry Potter V, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and a sewing machine manual). Plus, on the desk, an iPod, a box of bandaids, a remote control, black thread, notes from a talk by Shannon Hale, zig-zaggy scissors with pink handles, a picture drawn by Kid 2, and a jar that's supposed to hold pens but is actually holding about seven broken, leadless pencils. There are some DVDs (homemade) and a slew of post-it notes, both in a pack and separated, and some blank 3x5 cards. My sunglasses are in here, sitting by my mouse, because after I dropped kid 3 at school I had them on my head but they gave me a headache. There's also a ticket to a Utah Jazz basketball game that we went to with Nathan and Cyndie. It was a good game, but that's not why I've kept the ticket. It stays because it has a photo of my fictional boyfriend Kyle Korver* on it. (He doesn't know he's my fictional boyfriend, and that keeps it uncomplicated.**)

Maybe I would get a whole lot more than 500-1000 words written each day if I actually cleaned up this desk. But you know what? This is us. This is how we live (messy and all over the place, but not on the floor - we must vacuum once in a while). It's perfectly okay with me to be the Mom first, and the writer somewhere way down the line. And a messy desk like this says something about us. We're not too fussy. We like music and books and pencils (but we don't bother sharpening them much). This desk is a snapshot of my family in a "lightened-up" moment. And I rather like it.

* If you don't know him, picture this: A cross between Ashton Kutcher and Zac Effron. Much too cute to be real.
** Clarification: he doesn't know about the boyfriend thing at all, fictional or otherwise, and THAT is why it's uncomplicated.

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