Carolyn J. Rose said:
A few days ago I took a look around my office and was amazed by the amount of stuff packed into that 10x12 space. I’d be at it for days if I had to pack up and move to a less high-maintenance home—something we consider when we’re overwhelmed by encroaching foliage, stampeding dust bunnies, and windows with enough smears to make a CSI technician rethink his career.
“Don’t worry,” the optimist side of my brain said, “A move is years away. Housing prices are still in the toilet and you’re a long way from downsizing.”
That means not only moving, but also minimizing
And that’s a word that can strike terror into the heart of even someone with the habit of going through closets each spring and finding new homes for clothing, books, cooking utensils, and Christmas gifts from Aunt Belinda that can only be described as “unique.”
But, terrifying as the thought of winnowing, packing, lifting, lugging, and unpacking may be, someday we’ll bite the bullet and move into smaller digs.
So I decided to prepare myself by taking a hard look at my office and deciding what is absolutely essential.
The desk, chair, computer, and printer obviously will have to stay. And, no way can I sacrifice the stapler, hole punch, tape dispenser, reference books, telephone, file cabinets, or bookshelves.
It would be impossible to part with the address book, that vase full of pens and pencils, the basket loaded with index cards and pads of sticky notes, or the rolling shelves that hold reams of paper. And of course I’ll need the mouse pad, wrist rest, paper clips, manila file folders, padded and plain envelopes, stamps, pencil sharpener, calendar, and highlighter pens.
Finally, there are the boxes of books, stands, postcards, display signs, and business cards that go with me to events at bookstores. And there are the handouts I tote to workshops at libraries and other venues.
That seems like enough to fill a half-ton pickup, but I haven’t skimmed the surface of what’s truly important, I haven’t listed the top ten writing-space items I couldn’t function without.
Here they are in order of importance:
10) The stack of index card with the titles of TBR books that grows ever taller as I read reviews and comments on my favorite blogs chat groups.
9) A window to gaze out of and watch birds, squirrels, and neighbors. (Hmmm. Is that why they put up that enormous fence?)
8) Artwork, photos, and knickknacks to stimulate memories of milestone events, places I’ve visited, and friends I’ve made or reconnected with.
7) The bulletin boards on which I post cartoons related to writing, inspirational slogans (Sit down, shut up, and write), and politically incorrect bumper stickers I don’t dare put on my car for fear I’ll be run off the road.
6) The television I insist is there in the name of research (you never know when you’ll need to watch an episode of Lock N’ Load) and as a motivational tool (when my plotting needs CPR and my writing has all the sparkle of that planet formerly known as Pluto, a B movie is just the ticket to make me feel better).
5) The CD player that provides the backbeat that keeps my fingers moving to the Rolling Stones, The Travelin’ Wilburys, The Doors, Bob Seger, and host of others.
4) The nail file I use to take care of chips and breaks and to pry food particles from between the keys.
3) The ceramic tile I set cups of hot coffee or soup on.
2) A box of tissues to take care of sniffles, sneezes, and spills.
1) A strategically placed mirror to remind me that I’m not getting any younger and I’d better stop wasting time and get back to that work in progress.
What’s on the top-ten list for your office? Stop by and share in the comment space below.
Carolyn J. Rose grew up in New York’s Catskill Mountains, graduated from the University of Arizona, logged two years in Arkansas with Volunteers in Service to America, and spent 25 years as a television news researcher, writer, producer, and assignment editor in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. She lives in Vancouver, Washington, and founded the Vancouver Writers’ Mixers. Her hobbies are reading, gardening, and not cooking.
She is the author of four published mysteries and a suspense novel, and the co-author of four other mysteries and a fantasy. Surf to www.deadlyduomysteries.com for more information.
By Carolyn J. Rose
An Uncertain Refuge
Consulted to Death
Driven to Death
Dated to Death
Co-authored with Mike Nettleton
Sometimes a Great Commotion
The Big Grabowski
The Hard Karma Shuffle
The Crushed Velvet Miasma
The Hermit of Humbug Mountain
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