"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One is a wanderer

We live in a ranch-style house, four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, about 2600 square feet. Having grown up in a cracker box of possibly 1100 square feet, this is plenty big for me and my family, with one exception.

I have no office.

When we moved in, I didn't need an office. I worked at Raytheon. Dale and I had a bedroom, Marcus had one, we had a guest bedroom, and we had something we call "The Computer Room." This is a misnomer. It's actually the Computer Graveyard, where all computers go to die. It's also where stray paperwork piles up, along with horse show clothes, boxes of books, and things we don't know what to do with but can't yet discard.

It is not an office. 

So where do I write? In the living room, at the antique table. In the dining room. At the kitchen table. On the living room couch. In the recliner in the family room. I'm all over the place. 

Maybe that's just the way it's going to be. Perhaps my muse likes to be on the move. "Come along, Gayle," she snaps. "We're in the living room today."

My muse does not purr. She's a barking drill instructor.

Today, I decided I would spend more time at the dining room table. I put some motivational hangings on the wall, where I could look at them and try harder. These were presents, from my son at Christmas, and from my gal pal Tameri for my birthday. I hung them around the shelf with my homemade angel and my Welsh wedding spoon. 



Not a bad grouping, eh?

For Christmas, Marcus spent a goodly amount of time pulling all of my four- and five-star reviews for FREEZER BURN and arranging them, in a colorful display. Then he framed it. I'm not sure what I love more, the constant reminder that I wrote something people like, or the constant reminder that my son crafted me a gift from love.



These two are from Tameri. I love them because they speak to me of bravery and friendship. I've never felt particularly brave, but people tell me I am. Mostly, I think I'm just stubborn. Perhaps I confuse the two, courage and hard-headedness. 



And when I'm not brave, it's nice to know I have a tribe of friends who've got my back.


4 comments:

Simon Mayeski said...

A most excellent post - had to tell you. Warm and real and truthful - a classic. Thanks.

Gayle Carline said...

Thank you, Simon! I'm flattered!

Tameri Etherton said...

I still think you need an office, but your wall is lovely! The gift from Marcus is way cool. He's such a thoughtful son! So glad you like the little plaques I got you. They spoke to my heart and made me think of you. You are far more courageous than you think! Happy writing. Don't let the muse bark too much, she might lose her voice. :)

Gayle Carline said...

I confess, Tameri, I'm eyeing Marcus' bedroom. He seems determined to be on his own (fingers crossed). I just need him to come home and pack all his crap up!

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