So There Was This House…

…a tiny little place deep in the woods, just north of Lake Washington. Two bedrooms, one bath, a large piece of land and easy on the eyes, but nothing exceptional or special. Love at first sight, so we made an offer bought it.

Moving in was a challenge. Did I mention the house is tiny? Much smaller than the place we’d been renting. We had to think long and hard about what to get rid of as we (truthfully I) had too much stuff to fit. The largest single piece I parted ways with was my desk. I loved that desk. It was huge–I could spread out all my papers and books and still have room to write. Every story I’ve had published was written at that desk. Surely I could have made it fit somewhere, right? Probably yes. Did I need the desk? Probably no.

One of the places I’d visited while in London several years back was Charles Dickens’ house. It’s a museum now, still furnished as when he lived there. What impressed me most was his desk. It wasn’t really a desk at all; it’s the size and shape of a TV dinner tray, with spindly legs mounted on tiny wooden wheels. Dickens would roll it from room to room when he wrote, wherever the mood struck him and the light was best. He didn’t need a grand piece of furniture at which to work, he just needed to work.

So I said good-bye to my own grand piece of furniture. As I write this I’m sitting at the kitchen table, which is as fine a place to work as any. Too many people get hung up on the things they need in order to write: the proper space, the newest program, the right keyboard. All they really need is some paper, a pencil, and the desire.

I started this post talking about my house, and maybe that’s a fine place to finish. It’s where I write.

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