Thursday, July 19, 2018

What's In Your Office?

I've been writing about Ray Bradbury a bit lately, and I promise this will be the last thing I write pertaining to him. At least for a while. But if I can touch on the Ray Bradbury Theater TV show for one more time, I'd like to bring up a memory of it that maybe some of you have, if you ever watched the show.

The opening showed him in his writing office. I'll never forget it because in addition to his typewriter and the shelves bulging with books, he had idiosyncratic items scattered around the whole space, like a plastic T-Rex, a robot, I think an airplane, and a bunch of other things that either meant something to him personally or were just things he liked having around.

So today I'm going to talk about my writing space. 

I am blessed to have an office Jim set up for me when my daughter and her son moved back into the house and we needed to reclaim a bedroom for our little guy. I had been using our third bedroom as my space, but that was no longer an option. So we enclosed our screened-in porch and made a beautiful place for me to type words into my keyboard.

And I do have a keyboard. Once upon a time, my writing space was one end of the dining room table where my Royal portable, manual typewriter sat. Dead of Summer was written on that manual, and so was a great deal of Saving Jake. I held out as long as I could against the incoming tide of computers, and it took me a while to get used to working on one, but I think I've got it, now.

I also don't have as many books in my space as Mr. Bradbury: most of those are out on the bookshelves scattered throughout the house. But I have my dictionary, my thesaurus, a book of quotations, and my Plain English Handbook for when I get stuck grammatically. 

I also have a glow-in-the-dark plastic cave bear skeleton; two Happy Meal Minions (one of whom used to speak Minion but alas, his battery wore out); four gargoyles - two of which are matching bookends, and one a candle holder; family photos; an actual picture-pin/brooch of Eternal Silence that I won by answering a trivia question ("Who wrote Rosemary's Baby?"); a bottle of eye drops; my entire CD collection and a genuine twentieth-century boombox to play them on; an orchid; grandchildren art; and all my Important Papers. Ray Bradbury had said about his space "I'll never starve here," which I assume meant he would always find inspiration among his things. Me, not so much. I get stuck. S-T-U-C-K and in a big way. Like right now while I'm supposed to be finishing up book 6. Or should have finished it a couple of months ago. Oops.

As Virginia Woolf mentioned, I guess every one should have A Room of One's Own. Now that I do, I consider myself very lucky.

Oh. And I almost forgot what else I have. Ghosts. I have ghosts in my office...

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