Saturday, March 10, 2012

There's No Place Like Home

My office, during the post-fire demolition, winter 2011

When my kids were rug-rats, this narrow, little room off our living room was their playroom. It was a hodgepodge of books, toys, games, and art supplies for about 12 years of our life in this house we've lived in for the past 19 years. When the kids got old enough that their 'toys' became gaming systems instead of matchbox cars, they took over the finished side of the basement.  I refer to it as 'the man pit.'  I claimed the room they no longer used as my office.

In the space that spans the windows, sat my enormous desk, bought 20 years ago at a furniture closeout sale where it fit a specific room in our former rented house.  Since this room is only 7 feet wide and the desk is over 3 feet wide, it make the long narrow space even narrower, but I've never minded.  I love being able to spread out the piles of papers and reference books I use when I'm writing.  And it's the only horizontal space in the house that belongs completely to me.

On the morning of our fire, the desk was there, my laptop open on top of it, doing its nightly automatic backup. When the firefighters answered the emergency call, they smashed all the windows with fire axes, sprinkling glass over every surface in the room.  Including my laptop.  When the house was safe to enter, the firefighters carefully closed my laptop and brought it to me.  While there was no direct fire damage in the office, they had closed the laptop with the glass inside it, grinding glass shards between screen and keyboard. Even if that had been the only damage, the fan had sucked in the oily smoke, killing the hard drive.

Fortunately, all I lost was my usual writing space and not all my writing.  (Dropbox is your friend, people.  Really.) Once we got a new laptop, I was back in business.

But it was a hard year, being displaced from home in into a cramped apartment with my family and no designated personal space. I still managed to fill notebooks with scribblings, found places to lug my laptop to and write, but when we moved back into our home and I was able to put my restored desk in its rightful place, well, then all was right with the world again.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “My favorite writing place”– March’s topic in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour — an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 
If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour by checking out the group site. Read and enjoy!


  1. I hope you get your space back soon!

    1. Thank you--we are actually back home now and I am typing this at my own happy desk. :)

  2. What happened to your house was certainly regretful, but I'm glad that you've finally returned to your favorite writing spot. Truly, there's no better place to express yourself than in the comfort of your own home. How long did it take to restore your house back in good shape?

    1. About 10 months. While the outside structure was intact, they had to gut and rebuild the entire basement and first floor as well as rewire/replumb the whole house. Quite a process and glad it is behind us.