And I really want to answer…
Because lately I have been writing in THE SHED. Which is a crazy fulfillment of dreams I’ve had all my life.
I do. I write in a little shed, in the back of my big yard. Surrounded by garden tools and toy dump trucks and swingsets.
But set apart, off on my own. It feels very remote, like another land, a sacred space. I love it.
The Shed isn’t fancy. The big splurge I bought myself was the electricity. It has a space heater. No air conditioning (though nobody believes that, in Atlanta). It has a brick floor (in case of flooding) and is filled with furniture found on sidewalks and at thrift stores. Cast-offs from friends.
Mostly I sit in the big chair to write.
The fabulous Melody Moezzi gave me that chair, and I’ve written my last two books in it. It’s an amazing chair, however stained, because my computer can sit on the arm. The cats (who follow me to The Shed) like the chair.
I do NOT sit at The Desk very often. But when I do it means I am doing something serious. The Desk feels serious. The Desk IS, in fact, serious. Serious enough that I have written poems about it.
The short story of The Desk is that it belonged to my great grandfather, who left it to my grandfather, who left it to my father, who gave it to me. I don’t exactly own it, because it seems only fair that my sister and brothers should have access to it too, but I care for it. I watch over The Desk. I have promised Dad that if I ever have the money to do so I will restore The Desk, fix the roll-top. We shall see if that money ever appears.
It has lived in every house I can remember my father in. It is the ONLY piece of furniture he has taken everywhere he has gone, I think. On some level it feels strange to have it now, but good. Like my dad is with me, here. Like I’ll walk out into The Shed someday and he’ll be hanging out, rolling up pennies (which he used to do at The Desk) or scribbling something in a notebook. It’s hard to imagine his apartment now, without it.
Last summer, when The Shed was finished, Dad drove a moving truck down here from Bethlehem, PA. A huge empty truck, and when he opened it up, there was The Desk!
Initially, the desk was found, like all the other furniture in The Shed. My great-grandfather found it, in a parking lot.
But if I tell you that… I will be venturing into the territory of the LONG STORY.
It is enough, for now, just to have The Shed. And The Desk.