© 2016 Melissa Volker

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  • Melissa Volker

The Space I'm In


This is NOT my work space. It is lovely, zen, uncluttered, and unfettered. The view is -- green, and while not particularly special, it is a view at which one can stare and allow thoughts to ebb and flow (though I'd prefer water out there, myself.)

This is NOT my work space. It is wonderfully rustic and natural, with a soft, cataract, vintage charm, and I would happily relax into this space, smelling rough wood and ink and paper, stories pinging around inside my head, finding their way, or falling apart.

I yearn for this kind of sparse, austere, simple space and think that, if I wrote only letters, or in my journal, this might exist.

But, it is not my work space.

This is NOT my work space, but there are clearly beautifully rich stories waiting here. Clearly I have an affinity for wood and vintage, rustic and natural. But I could not work without a keyboard, that purse is oddly in the way, and after a time I think that raven would begin to creep me out.

This could be my work space -- there's a lot here I am oddly drawn to, and certainly the chaos is an accurate reflection of what often goes on my head as I write. Places to tack notes, images, thoughts and epiphanies -- although this reminds me more of either the room of a serial killer, or the obsessed detective tracking them.

It is not my work space.

This is my work space. A dirty window looking out at our

driveway, a basketball hoop, and our unpleasant neighbor's fence and house. Oh, and the small tree with the bird feeder. I can see that, too, and sometimes that's nice as cardinals, jays, finches, and wrens come to feed. The wine is often coffee (or decaf) and sometimes there's a cookie or two there as well. Those cords under the table are the bane of my existence and the cherry on the "anti-zen, scattered, unkemptness" that is my space. The bulletin board needs re-doing -- it's too small and should go from the desktop to the the shelf. I need space to tack things -- but I like that a sketch of my father (who, oddly, died 9 years ago today as I write this) sits on that shelf as though intently listening to whatever stories are rattling around, getting tap-tapped out on the keyboard. The tins holding my pens can stay -- one is a tin that held green tea bags from "Harney and Sons" and is square, rather than round, and the other is my Cafe Du Monde Coffee and Chicory can -- hands down the best coffee ever, and maybe my favorite cafe anywhere. If I lived in New Orleans, all my novels would be born at Cafe Du Monde and I'd weigh 900 pounds from eating all the benets.

All of them.

My space has hand drawn sketches from a teenage homeschooler who is a fan of "The Thirteenth Moon" and did character drawings for me. She's amazingly talented in ways I am not. It has a Polaroid of me from my days as an actress in an ATT Industrial film (a training film for employees) where I played a punk rock bass player getting new phone service. I remember it was called "Time and Materials". It also has a clay paw print of our old cat, Grendel, who we recently had to let go after 17 years in our lives, an owl feather, a leaf shaped like a heart, and two zen doodles. And of course, the post-its of book event reminders, and regular life stuff like coupons for pet food and $30 off $60 at Staples.

Oh, and to my left is a doorway to the living room, to the right and behind me is our dining room table, beyond that is the kitchen, and directly behind me are the stairs leading up to the second floor.

Small house, limited space, a lot going on. I can't have the ideal, austere, peaceful space. Partly because our life and our home don't allow it, and partly because writing is messy. There, I said it. It's messy. Busy. Sometimes chaotic, emotional and infuriating. I need stickies, and place to stick them. I need room for wine and coffee, my phone and my pens. So this is my work space. Warts and all.

Although I'm determined to do something with those damned cords. Or have more wine -- and then I won't care.

Creating is messy. Much as I'd like to pretend otherwise.

So this is the space I'm in.

#writing #home #space #room #clutter

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