I have to share my office from time to time with other members of my family. My husband sets up his laptop there, and my daughter uses my computer in the evening. I really don't mind, but my dream is to have an office where no one can set foot but me.
This space, which was called a mother-in-law apartment on the property description, is a room across the carport from the main house. We've remodeled a little bit so the closet that faced outside and served as a toolshed now has doors opening inside the office. I use it to store extra books. The day we inaugurated it, it became full. I also have a big four drawer filing cabinet for hanging files and an ugly office metal cabinet where I store odds and ends. There's a bookcase for my true crime books (I didn't want them in the house when the kids were young, because some of them contain graphic pictures) and a smaller bookcase for my husband's National Geographics (we just didn't have anywhere to put them).
On top of my desk there are stuffed vampires, china vampires, and rubber ducks, plus two dried arrangements: one from the table where I sat the night I won the Anthony, and one from a librarian friend when I made the NYT Bestseller list for the first time. The walls are even more cluttered. There's a caricature of me that is really quite old, a vampire cartoon a friend had framed for me, several framed black and white shots of tombstones in New Orleans' famous cemeteries, various awards I've won, and a great picture of our three children. There's an overstuffed loveseat that no one likes but me, and a big cushion for my dachsund.
This is where I spend hours and hours of my time, so it's an important room in my world. I keep a dictionary on hand, and a few copies of my books for quick reference. On the corkboard by my desk, I keep a list of appearances I'm making in the current year, my daughter's class schedule, a list of parents on her softball team, and hotel and airline reservation print-outs.
Hearing all about my office may be low on your list of pleasurable reading, but this was one of those days when a suitable topic just didn't drift to mind. The holidays had a lot to do with that. The importance of family? Done. The after-Christmas blues? Done. The tedium of putting away all the decorations? Done.
There's another item I want to mention. This past week James Brown died. Some of you very young readers may not remember James Brown, but I had the pleasure and the privilege of seeing James Brown perform live when I was in my teens. This guy may have had a chaotic personal life and a terrible childhood; but despite, or because of, these things, he was an incredible performer. He could move in ways Michael Jackson never dreamed of, he could whip an audience into a frenzy, and he worked harder than any entertainer I've ever seen. In his own way, he was a great man, and it makes my heart glad to see the tribute being paid to him now.