Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Well-Appointed Room…

By Tracy Kiely

I once had a writing teacher tell me that “one doesn’t need a special place to write; that if one wants to write, one simply does.”

Among the many things I learned from this teacher was that I really hate the constant use of the word “one.” As in, “one got pretty sick of his advice once one had been to a few of his classes.”

I need my space, my nook, my niche. I cannot plop down in any random spot and produce anything more serious than a laundry list of tasks that I hope to fulfill (but know that I won’t as I am constantly losing said laundry lists). I have a study/office in my house that I lovingly decorated in anticipation of the day when I would ink my first book deal. The thing is I never use it. It’s downstairs and has no windows. At first, I thought this would be ideal as I would have no distractions, but the problem with that line of thinking is that I also have three kids. Three kids who, when not properly supervised, do things. Things like decide to bake cookies, despite a proven lack of ability to follow directions. Things like decide to reenact battle scenes from Star Wars despite being repeatedly told that when you whack someone in the head with a light saber – even if it is made of plastic – it still hurts. Things like decide to use the outdoors as a bathroom. (Don’t ask. Granted, it was years ago, but I doubt I - or the neighbors - will ever forget it.)

Where was I?

Oh, yes; the perfect office for the perfect book.

Well, until the children leave, I think I am stuck where I am now; at a desk off the kitchen where I can head off such inadvisable endeavors. I have trained myself to drown out Sponge Bob, iCarly, and horrible video games, only letting certain phrases penetrate my focus (“Bet you can’t do this!” “Want to see something gross?” “Where do we keep the vanilla?”). I make it work, but, in the meantime, I can dream. And in my dream study – which looks strikingly similar to a room one you might find if visiting Pemberly or Downton Abbey, I image I would create literary brilliance.

In addition to being a well-appointed, brightly lit room, my dream study has a breathtaking view of the extensive gardens for which the house is (of course) renowned. The ceiling is a masterpiece of molding and craftsmanship. The walls are papered in some faded French tapestry. There is a fire in the large, stone fireplace and an adoring dog (of me, not the fireplace) snoozes on the hearth.

Plus - if I did find myself writing in such a room, I’m pretty sure it would mean I was now the kind of wealthy usually described as “filthy.” (Either that, or I’ve wandered off the official tour and am mere moments away from being escorted off the property.) However, should this all really be mine, then it most likely means that there are servants lurking about as well.

Which means someone else can run interference on the children and I can focus on writing.


Rebecca Cantrell said...

I bet those servants bring tea and cucumber sandwiches (on gluten-free bread, if required).

May I work there? Maybe when you're at the summer castle?

Meredith Cole said...

I think there's enough room for us all, Becky! I swear, I only laugh to myself when I write every once in awhile... You'll never notice me in the corner on the chaise, Tracey... I like how you dream big!