Friday, September 02, 2011

Where's your cave?

There's been a lot on the Guppies (Going to be Published) listserv about writers' caves, along with a suggestion we all photograph ours and send them in. So here's mine. This room used to be a bedroom off the living room, and my office was in the bedroom adjacent to mine. It was dark and I had no view, but I just thought it was a logcal space. Megan called one Sunday morning and said, "Mom, I remodeled your house for you." My immediate response was, "Thank you very much but I like it the way it is." But when she told me her plan, it began to make sense. Move my office to the front room, replace the conventional, off-center door with French doors, and make a real guest room  with a queen bed, out of what had been my office (I think in part she had an ulterior motive having to do with her family's visits home). Several thousand dollars later, I had done it and become "one of ours now" to Lewis and Jim Bundock, who take care of my house to this day--everything from installing a new lock on the front door to changing those light bulbs I can't reach. They have keys, know my animals, and often come and go when I almost don't realize it.
Meantime I have this wonderful--if not neat--office off the living room. On cool days, I can open the doors and feel the heat of the fireplace. If I have a party, the open doors had a sense of space to what isn't really a very big living room. Granted, I do have to straighten my desk (usually not a major problem) and try to straighten the bookshelves. With the arrival of the puppy, I have cleaned up my office out of necessity. No more papers stored in great piles under the credenza--I had so much old stuff that I even found a huge stack of that tractor-fed printer paper we used to use with dot matrix printers. With the perforated edges off, it makes perfect drawing paper for Jacob, who is no longer happy with my recycled manuscript sheets with, as he says, "words on one side." He wants plain paper. Boy, do I have a supply now.
Looking forward from my desk, I see the living room, but behind me are two large windows onto the driveway. Handy for checking weather, watching squirrels, and giving me a sense of the outdoors. (I always like to have lots of windows and couldn't live in a house without windows over the kitchen sink.) There are two windows next to me, but they have permanent plantation shutters halfway up--still I can open them up and see what's happening on the street.
Sophie is spending much of her puppyhood in the office, and she seems to like it. Right now, Jacob is in here with her, jabbering away, playing with her--he's already exhausted her outside. But the floor is always littered with puppy toys and--shhh, don't tell dog trainers--I've traken to feeding her in here so that I can work.
In fact, when home alone, I feed me at my desk. I truly live at it and have withdrawal if I don't get some desk time each day. Thanks, Megan, that was maybe the best idea you ever had--except maybe marrying B.


Janie Emaus said...

I love your office. It has a very comfortable feel.

Ellis Vidler said...

What a nice space, Judy! I agree with Virginia Woolf about the need for "a room of one's own." I'm wedged into a corner of the den, but at least it's my space. Yours look so inviting with the book shelves.