By Marilyn Baron
If where you work is a reflection of who you are, then I must be a mess. To say I’m a pack rat is a bit of an understatement. People often compare my work space to the desk of 60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney. In the old days (before advancing age syndrome struck) I could stick my hand in the pile and find any piece of paper I wanted. I knew exactly where everything was. In my mind, my desk was organized. That’s no longer the case.
I need to do some housecleaning. I tried it once. I moved everything into boxes and stored them in the basement. Then our basement flooded and all of the cardboard boxes were destroyed and had to be hauled away. Turns out I never needed that “stuff.” I don’t want another flood, but something of Biblical proportions needs to be done about my work space.
My desk is just a repository of paper and junk. I can’t sit at the desk, there’s no room to write there. And then there’s my husband’s desk. Most of the time when he’s not at work he’s on my computer. I can’t understand why he has to use my computer when he has a laptop he can use when he’s not at work. When my younger daughter visits and she wants to catch up on some work at the office, she uses my computer. When my older daughter visits from New York and she checks in at the office, she also takes over my computer.
Actually, I can understand why my office is where everyone wants to be. My office is bright, the walls are painted a soothing lemon yellow, my curtains are a yellow and blue striped and floral pattern and the rug is a diamond-patterned yellow hue. Hanging on the wall is my framed 2005 Maggie certificate for Third place in the Single Title Category for “The Colonoscopy Club.” I think I need to write a sequel because soon I’ll have to have another one of those procedures. A Bermuda print, called “Shutters,” depicts a pastel yellow cottage with a stepped pristine white roof against a blue sky background.
Probably one of my favorite things about my office is the view from the windows that open up to my backyard. When I’m not writing, I’m daydreaming, getting inspiration, talking on the phone and looking outside, and I can always count on seeing a lively squirrel chase; birds, ranging from red-headed woodpeckers and blue jays to hummingbirds; roaming coyotes and most often deer, sometimes five or six of them, walking on the trail by the stream in back of my house.
As far as inspiration, I don’t need candles. I don’t have a sense of smell so I would probably burn down the house and never realize it. I love music, but I don’t generally play it when I’m writing. To get me started, all I need is a phrase, an intro, a thought, a name and that sparks an idea and generates a story.
As far as the state of my office, I probably won’t change, not at this late date. I like order in my life and the rest of the house is in good shape. But my office reflects the chaos, ideas, creativity and excitement in my head. So maybe that’s not so bad.
What is your favorite thing about your office?