Cleaning the Office
September 15, 2010 1 Comment
We all have to clean the office, eventually. My writing office has been awesome though it wasn’t supposed to be mine. It was built in 1999 so the family could use the living room, instead of it being Ed’s office.
Things changed in 2000, Ed’s new job required travel, and The Cabin became my personal sanctuary. I spent many creative hours in there but it’s a seasonal space. I’ve done most of my writing on a laptop at the kitchen table. I don’t like being in the cabin at night or during the winter. Yet these are my best writing times from habit; after dinner when the chores were done, the girls busy, and Ed happy to be in total control of the TV remote. But the girls are gone and there’s this empty room. It’s a no-brainier choice but I am a Taurus woman and we are not easily pried from our routines.
So the choice was made. No more laptop. The new computer was ordered this morning. No more shuffling stuff around on the kitchen table, hauling the laptop out through the rain to the printer, then back inside with pages. I’ll have a keyboard and monitor that can be ergonomically adjusted to prevent neck issues.
Now I have to shop for a desk. That’s why I was cleaning my office. How much of these past ten years of my writing life will I take into my new space? Both printers? Files? All the office supplies? The red and black striped worm? The foam ladybugs?
It was like a trip down memory lane, pulling stuff from the way-far-back of the cabinets and seeing dates prior to Y2K. There were portfolios with resumes, folders and canvas sacks from every conference, maps and tourist brochures from trips taken. There were county approved construction plans for a room addition, that was never built. Next were all the files and folders from returning to school in ’08 and all the stuff I wrote for writing classes, speeches, reviews of live theater. There were a few B’s since I struggled with the difference between theme and thesis statements for analytical essays. I’m still not sure I get that!
Next, I sorted all the manuscripts I’ve written, the story binders, workshop handouts, and more. I’ve decided to keep most of the above, but it’s been reorganized and there were only four paper grocery bags to recycle. There was even a two foot high stack of diskettes. (Remember those?) All the books will also stay. The cabin will become the library, so I don’t have to haul reference books into the house or thin out my keeper shelves. And I know where every book is, on those shelves, since that’s where they’ve been for years.
In honor of my new space I’ve made another choice. I’m going to storyboard a new book. Well, it’s not really new. The two novels I’ve been reworking are interconnected, and the 3rd was planned to make it a trilogy. Except this third book is nothing but a few pages, a small pile of notes, and a really sketchy possibility. It’s been a long time since I’ve started a new story, a clean slate, where all the characters are unknown. Then I’ll begin at the beginning and draft actual pages all the way to the end. I haven’t begun a new fiction project since 2003.
I hope I remember how.