22 January 2011

A Room of One's Own

Post title stolen, of course, from Virginia Woolf.

Over the summer, we moved (one of those cross-town moves that seems a little silly when you rent the truck to go nine blocks but is ultimately much better than carrying your couch through cross-walks). We moved into a house that was significantly larger than the one we'd been renting, and one of the really exciting things about the move was that there was finally room for both my husband and I (notorious book-hoarders both) to have our own nerd-caves. Since July, my books had been shelved at complete random (in the order they were picked up off the floor, really), and two weeks ago, I finally organized them.

(This is mid-organization. The good news is that, at the end, all of the books had a place on a shelf)

After the fit of book-organizing, I rearranged the office itself, too, because I'd had the room since July and barely used it, and since, I've been in here, actually being productive, pretty much every day.

One of the major changes was that I pulled my desk away from the wall, turned it so my back wouldn't face the door. Somehow, that helped an awful lot. (One of my students told me that's a huge issue in Feng Shui, and hey, I use the space now, so there's probably something to it.) It still feels very strange to have a piece of furniture that's sort of in the middle of the room, but it's functional and I wasn't doing anything else with the middle of the room.

And so, the end result:
For those of you who may be library-minded, there is a system in place: the first two bookcases (on the left, above) are fiction (in alphabetical order). The bottom shelf of the middle bookcase is the tail end of fiction and the shelf of drama--dominated by Shakespeare. The bookcase in the corner has a shelf and a half of poetry, then "academic books" that I will use often (folks on writing, a few theorists and meditative folks), then there is a whole shelf of anthologies, a shelf of non-fiction, and the bottom shelf is manga and composition textbooks. Not that I think manga and textbooks really go together, but the two collections were the correct sizes to be on a shelf together. The short bookcase is two shelves of Medieval Stuff, and its bottom shelf is the heavy-hitting theory from the Ph.D. exam days. 
The final two bookcases contain reference books that I use often and literary journals, respectively. Then the desk and the curtains I finally hung! (I sewed them in July.) The wooden box on the desk is a manuscript box that my dad made for me, and atop it are my three current journals. The grey one is all-purpose, the purple one (an Ecosystem that I love) contains 2/3 of one novel, and the black one (my first Rhodia webbie) is for all of the new writing projects so that the purple can remain dedicated to its novel.

And then, most importantly, The Scoo appreciates my renovation of her office.
 This cat won't leave this chair now, though she had no interest in the room before I "fixed" it. Even when I am sitting in it, she sits across the headrest or she sits behind me.


  1. Things: I LOVE your chair. I love your manuscript box. (Manuscripts may be the most inconvenient physical things ever.) I would like you and Bill to carry your couch through a crosswalk just so there can be photographic evidence that I can enjoy. I recognize many of your books! (I should not be surprised?) And I am glad to see that in organizing your books you put the HP books in order from left to right. \:-)

    The Scoo is a cat.

  2. Aw - The Scoo is so lovely. She won't leave because she KNOWS that you finally got around to cleaning up the room just for her.

  3. Did you buy the chair to co-ordinate with the Scoo? 'Cause I can see why she thinks it belongs to her (aside from the general "all things belong to the cat" rule, I mean).
    I am excited to know that there's a novel 2/3 of the way to something. (plotted? outlined? first-drafted?)

  4. @Lycomayflower, MSS box is pretty nifty. I am considering painting it (as it was put together with spare oddments of wood) and possibly doing something very Anglo-Saxon with its decor. You are evil re: couch. Also, that is the only order for books in a series to go.

    @Julie, Yes, exactly. My cats wish that I would do things more efficiently according to their schedules. =)

    @laytonwoman3rd, ...the chair color is not unintentional. (The Scoo is also the reason that the chair is fakey suede and not fakey leather because somekitten likes to put GIANT HOLES in leather/fakey leather. The imitation suede doesn't show the claw-marks.) And the novel is maybe 2/3 of the way drafted, and I know where it's going, except there's another Pushy Project that is hijacking my brain.