My writing space? A room of my own?
Ha. It’s more like one side of the kitchen table, where I plant myself during the day, removing my computer when it’s time to eat dinner. It’s more like a corner of the family room sectional, where I spend late evenings pounding words out on the keyboard when everyone else is asleep (see my night owl post!).
It’s not that there isn’t room in my house for me to have an office, exactly. My children are leaving the nest, one by one, the youngest here only a few more years. But if I appropriated the mostly vacant room upstairs, my freshman college student daughter might feel we’d already banished her from home, and none of us are ready for that.
I suppose I could climb the same stairs each day and sit at the desk in the loft where my husband pays bills, and where I might have stored some office supplies several years back. But then, I’d have to run back down again each time my sweetly obnoxious rescue dogs need to go outside. And again when they need to come back in. And again when the doorbell rings when the UPS guy shows up with an unexpected delivery. And again each time I want a snack or need to refill my drink. And again when … well, you get the picture.
Apparently, I’m just too lazy to have a room of my own.
However, it dawns on me, I do most of my writing when I’m nowhere near this place I call home.
As I ride in an elevated train on a vacation in Chicago.
As I chat with a classroom of at-risk kids while talking about my newly released novel in Denver.
As I make a chauffeur run to pick up my daughter and listen to my dad on speakerphone, telling me the details of another family story.
When my hairstylist pumps the chair up to the level of her hands and fastens a cape around my neck (not too tight, like Isabelle in Calling Me Home), chuckling with me about an older client she just finished styling.
When my kids walk aisles toward brides, and diplomas, and sing on a stage at school.
As I observe a young mother struggle with a decision outside the café where I’m drinking iced tea.
It’s in these places my stories are written. My home is simply the place they’re transcribed.
But here’s a picture of my kitchen table, with one of my foster kitties a few years ago, keeping me company there.
And one of those ornery dogs, trying to convince me a walk would be a better use of my time than writing.
And my newest companion, trying to read over my shoulder on that scroungy sectional late, late at night.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.