Welcome to the Word Lounge (Version 2.0)

Desk Part 2 Last week, I wrote about some household Re-arranging we were doing. Today, I took pictures of my almost-finished Word Lounge (version 2.0). This post is image intensive, but I thought you might like a tour…

Desk Part One The first picture on this page – the one with the dolls (or action figures, as I’m told the cool kids are calling them these days) – is the part of my desk that doesn’t have a computer on it all the time. I try to keep that surface free for bringing my laptop into my writing room (it lives on my nightstand) or for doing things that require pen and ink, instead of a keyboard. This is the OTHER half of my desk (excuse the mess), and it doesn’t face the window, but at least my back isn’t to the door either.

Bookshelves These bookshelves are from the furniture I bought in California in 2002 or 2003. I gave away the glass and brushed aluminum desk that went with them, when I originally moved OUT of this space in 2008. Now that I have warm wood furniture in here, in a completely different configuration, I find I like the space again.

Credenza Originally, I kept a fax machine on this credenza (the actual cabinet part, which is mostly below frame.) Currently, the inside holds reams of paper (and I do mean reams), and I don’t even own a fax machine any more. The shelves on top, which have paint kits that Fuzzy brought back for me from Japan, among other knick-knacks, were purchased at Target in 2008. He said they wouldn’t fit, but I love the way they work. On top, propped against the wall so it’s easier for me to alter it, is one of my two “inspiration boards.”

Corner Desk This corner desk is one that we bought for temporary use when we moved into this house in 2004, and were waiting for our furniture. Eventually, it’s leaving my room (and being replaced by a futon/couch thing- probably in March), but for now, it’s holding extra monitors, my Harry Potter books, and (though he’s quite blurry, thanks to Max trying to ‘help’ me take the picture) my Severus Snape action figure. As soon as I clean the typewriter (vintage Remington) I just bought from a friend, it will be filling the empty desk space. There’s no chair in front of it, because the dog bed is on the floor right there.

Reading Chair Every room needs to have a reading corner. Mine is at the window. The chair was my grandfather’s. When I was a baby he would sit in that chair and hold me, or read to me. The table is one that a friend needed to find space for when she was emptying a storage unit. As soon as I iron the white table-cloth my mother gave me for Christmas last year, it will go on the table, along with a candle-wreath made of shells from my mother’s beach.

File Cabinet Finally, tucked into the corner near the closet, is a file cabinet, which came from the same friend who supplied the round table. Unlike in one of my favorite children’s books, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller, this file box holds mailing and shipping supplies. My Keurig machine might eventually live here; but then it might not.

Oh, and for those who are wondering what’s in the closet, it’s lined with bookshelves, all of which are overflowing with books. Obviously.

Holidailies 2012


I’ve learned, in my 42 (and change) years on this planet that I am a creature of opposites. I like the semblance of a routine, but I also thrive on change. I like to ‘nest,’ but I also enjoy traveling to new places (as long as they have wifi, hot water, working plumbing and excellent coffee). Depending on the day, and the situation, I’m either a shy extrovert or a bold introvert.

Living Room by Melissa

This week I’ve been indulging in one of my favorite activities that doesn’t involve either writing or singing: I’ve been re-arranging furniture. It began with a move (mentioned earlier this week) of my writing studio from one room to another. That part was easy for me, because my husband and a young friend of ours moved the actual furniture and most of the books. (Is it possible to have too many books? Or is it just not enough bookshelves?)

But that was Sunday, and today is Wednesday.

For the last three days I’ve been slowly putting the books in order on different shelves that look bigger, but actually hold less. I wanted my studio done before I HAD to write in it, but now the week is mostly over, so tomorrow I’m going to have to write in it anyway. I did some editing and web stuff up there today. It worked okay, but the clutter is killing me. KILLING ME. If it wouldn’t set off the fire alarms and scare the dogs, I’d take a torch to everything and start over.

Almost everything.

I’d preserve the Captain Jack Sparrow and Mad Hatter dolls. And probably the Data doll, too. Maybe.

About half-way through the day, today, I was having a minor melt-down because Fuzzy is in Boca for the week, and the dogs were driving me crazy, and nothing was finished, and oh, it’s THAT time of the month, and my net wasn’t working right, so I went into the room that used to be the Word Lounge, and moved a couch.

Let me repeat that: I moved a couch, ALL BY MYSELF. Okay, it was only moved from one wall to another, but it’s a three-seat sofa-bed, so that totally counts as something awesome. Also? I moved a set of bookshelves, which is no mean feat when you’re only five feet tall. It’s not that objects are too heavy; it’s that I don’t always have enough leverage.

And then I moved a bunch more books, and now, while neither room is entirely finished, I can see what “finished” will look like, and I can almost glimpse that glorious end point.

It used to be that when Fuzzy went away, I’d rearrange the furniture in the living room or the bedroom. Our current bedroom furniture (and layout) doesn’t lend itself to easy rearranging, and since our living room doesn’t have walls (it has ONE solid wall, and an entire wall of windows, and the wall separating it from the kitchen/breakfast room has cut-outs), there’s a limit to what one can do with furniture in there and still be able to see the television.

In other news, I started decorating for Christmas today, finally.

And on that note, I’m going to watch the end of Nashville (another opposite: I’m not a country music fan, but I love this show) and then toddle off to bed at a reasonable hour for a change.

Happy Holidailies

Marcy’s Playground

While my husband insists upon calling my “Word Lounge” the “Abode of Writeyness,” it actually has another moniker that dates back to January when I bought some weight equipment.

As someone who doesn’t keep “normal” hours, and doesn’t particularly like group exercise anyway, I determined that I needed some form of strength training in addition to the walking and dance warmups and calisthenics I was already doing, I found a weight machine that only cost $200, and I’ve been using it fairly regularly ever since.

The brand listed on all the documentation is some sports-equipment-y name I can never remember, but the name MARCY is stamped in friendly orange letters on the seat back.

Can you blame me, then, for thinking of the room as “Marcy’s Playground?”

Before you ask…

I haven’t taken pictures of my new Abode of Writeyness yet, because while the furniture is in there, I won’t be able to afford money for ART until after my conference, and the walls are bare, and the bookshelves aren’t organized…and, and, and…

I did purge all mortgage-related things from my desk. (If anyone needs a rubber stamp that says “computer generated original” let me know), including title fee books for three different title companies, business cards for appraisers I haven’t contacted in three years, and more “sign here” flags than I care to count.

Among the stuff I also cleared from my desk included information on various no balance transfer fee offers from credit card companies (I kept one), and an entire box of sticky-backed prongs for gluing into legal folders.

It was at once freeing and sort of sad clearing out the last vestiges of my old career.

Welcome to the Word Lounge – [LONG]

It’s no secret that I’ve been having an issue with my office. When we first moved here, and I was still doing loans, the calming tranquility of walls the color of green tea appealed to me. I had lots of power outlets for my nifty business machines. It was good.

But over the last couple years, really since quitting BigFinancialCompany, I’ve not been able to find the ‘zone’ in my office. It’s not that I dislike the colors, or anything, I’m just not at home there. This is demonstrated that the beautiful calendar my mother gave me at Christmas, from an artist local to La Paz, BCS, Mexico, was still on MARCH as of yesterday.

It was further brought home when my friend Deb walked up there with me for a house tour on Saturday, and said, “Well, no wonder you can’t write here. This doesn’t feel like you.”

We walked down the hall to the room we’d designated the Library, but that we’ve never quite used enough, even though it’s the kind of room that beckons. (Does that make sense?) I don’t know if it’s the geography of the house, the fact that it has huge windows overlooking the side street, or what, but whenever we walk into that room, we tend to find a reason to stay. It helps, I think, that our old denim couch is up there. Further proof of the power of this room: when we moved the denim set upstairs, we had no problem getting the love seat into Fuzzy’s office, but he and his friend D could not manage to wrangle the couch into the library. They measured and found out it was four inches larger than the door, in every angle.

They were, in fact, about to tell me there was no way the couch would fit into that room when suddenly, miraculously, it just did.

I should have seen it as a sign, I guess.

So anyway, Deb and I sat on the couch up there, and she said, “This is where you need to write,” which is true. I love that room. We’d chosen our original offices based on having spaces of roughly equal size, but the reality is, I work from home. I need more space. I need big surfaces spread before me like blank paper. And I need bold colors.

Fuzzy and I talked about it, and he agreed we’d make it happen. Before bed on Friday, he’d made me a diagram with visio even printed cut-outs of all the furniture pieces, so that we could figure out how this could work.

It helps, I think, that I’ve needed to replace my desk for a while. The keyboard tray broke in shipping four years ago, and we’d used spit and twine to make it work, but several months ago it broke completely, crashing down on my foot. (MDF + Bare Feet = OWOWOWOWOWOW!) In retrospect, that was probably a sign as well. The desk is no longer made, the fittings for any tray can only be attached to the struts, and no tray we could find was the right size. The desk is taller than most, and too tall to use a laptop on top of for any length of time.

I was pretty sure we would have to wait to replace my desk til after my conference, but we went looking at desks so I could find some I liked and begin a budget plan, and then we walked into Staples, and they had this corner desk that I liked. I liked it so much that I walked away from the blue glass and steel desk I’d been eyeing, sat down in the pink typing chair near it, and said, “I like this.”

I looked at the price, and it said $99. I thought, “Oh, that’s probably just for this section,” as most such desks are sold in parts – one price for the desk, another for the return or hutch – but no, that was for the whole thing. And it got better – it was on sale for $89, and then there was $10 off on the website, and then I had a coupon for another $10.

We went home to think about it. Because I wanted to make sure. And because it was bigger than we’d planned, but Fuzzy moved the couch into it’s new position, and used empty boxes to show me how the space would work. “You won’t be able to get three people on the sofa,” he said.

When the hell do I NEED three people on the couch in my writing room?

I went online to check the dimensions again, and found out that the desk came in CHERRY as well as the maple we’d seen. Now, while my original desk was beach-glass-green and powder-coated steel, the supports for the desk were warm copper cherry, and my cabinet and rolling file are also copper cherry. This was a lighter cherry, but much closer in tone than maple. I called the store, and Connie said she didn’t have it in cherry, but she’d find out who did, then sent us to Cedar Hill. The Arlington store is about six miles from our house in one direction. Cedar Hill is about eight in another direction – we go there often – not too bad.

I managed to convince the sales person to give me the Internet-only discount, and we got my new desk for $69.

I came home and had to finish a project, and Fuzzy went upstairs and built it for me. (I bribed him with a cheeseburger, but still). He had a work issue come up, and at one point he was under the desk tightening screws and talking to a client, “I’m not the best person to help with this, and I’m sort of under a piece of furniture right now…”

Today, he’ll drop an ethernet port into the room for my desktop machine, though that has a wifi card in it as well, so it’s not urgent or anything. And I’ll start moving stuff over.

After all this, you’re probably wondering why the title of this is “Welcome to the Word Lounge.” It’s because I told Fuzzy he was not allowed to refer to my new space as an office. “I don’t want it tainted by BUSINESS,” I said. “It’s a creative space.”

“Okay,” he said, “It’s your ABODE OF WRITEYNESS.”

“Possibly,” I said, laughing, the way one does at four AM. “Or, I might call it, the Word Lounge.”

Pictures will be taken when everything’s all set up.