In an alternate world somewhere, I write at an antique desk in my own private space -- a well-worn, gently sunlit dormer with pale-green walls on the third floor of a century-old mansion, perhaps. Book ideas are neatly organized on bulletin boards (for I am a visual person) and a maid keeps my disorder in check (for I am also a very untidy person, but enjoy a clean space).
Sadly, until I find a wormhole into this parallel universe, my current writing space will have to do. I use the word "writing" loosely, because more often than not I am curating kindergarten and preschool artwork, reading about TV shows I will never watch, posting pictures of my unruly brood of hooligans on Facebook, or cursing at the cheating douchebags on iPhone Scrabble.
You would think I would also use some of this non-writing time to clean, but housework is something I only do when I'm angry or sad or when company is coming (which is something that makes me angry and sad, because I am an inhospitable hermit). I'm an easygoing gal, and my house is easygoing, too.
My kids, on the other hand, are not easygoing. Paper is for ripping, buttons are for pushing, and wires are for pulling -- or better yet, biting. That is why I have encircled my desk with six squares of Superyard.
My computer may be the only machine with its own dog run.
Neater, tidier readers may note that my desk is not particularly well-organized. I beg to disagree. I have separated my desk into sections. The left- and right-hand sides are for papers -- bank forms, medical information, phonics curricula, and dozens of especially well-colored princesses. The papers themselves may not be very well-organized, but they are, at least, separated from my other piles. In the center of the desk is the plate-and-napkin pile, which is taken to the kitchen at least once a month or when it becomes a matter of public health, whichever comes second. There is also the caffeine-decanter collection.
Coke Zero is an essential part of my day. So is coffee. Because acquaintances are invariably scandalized by my 6-cup morning pot of coffee, I have limited myself to one or two cups a day in the new year. (Thank heaven for 24-oz protein shake cups.)
You may notice, amid my collection of caffeine paraphernalia, a sunscreen bottle. And you are probably aware that it is January in Canada. Don't worry, I don't drink sunscreen. But should I re-enter the work force, it will most assuredly not be as a professional organizer.
While I am chugging gallons of coffee and ignoring housework and pecking away at
Frontierville my novel, I can keep an eye on the playroom. Pictures don't really do the room justice, as one cannot capture noise in a photograph.
Then again, neither can one capture blood pressure in video. You really just have to be there.
Have you been wondering why most of my OS posts occur around midnight Pacific time? Wonder no more. Do not be fooled by the princess costumes. They are about to act out American Gladiators with hobby horses.
Between my children's squealing and pooping and poking of eyes with princess wands, and the contamination of my story ideas with spilled coffee and nacho cheese, and the infuriating use of word-building software by Scrabble opponents whose profile pictures include abdominal muscle portraiture and the implication of copious hair gel, I think it is now clear why I put quotes around the word "writing" in my title.
One day, I will have my own little room -- a calm, Zenlike space free of clutter and noise where I can pen brilliant, prizewinning works. But for now, I have my piles of snacking and caffeine detritus, and toy trucks placed strategically around my
cage writing nook to kill me keep me on my toes.
And also, I have drag-clad babies to extricate from Lego bins.