Writers' Spaces: Deborah Raney
So that I could fulfill my dream of being a stay-at-home mom to our four children, we lived in a rented duplex for twenty years. My first novel was written at our kitchen table, the second in our tiny “master” bedroom, and almost a dozen others in various corners of the living room.
But two years ago, with three of our kids through college, we bought our first home, and I am delighted to finally have my very own writing studio. I never minded having my desk in the hub of the house, and in fact, I once vowed that even if we lived in a mansion, I'd never move my little makeshift office out of our living room. Good thing it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, because I love my sunny, colorful, quiet room and the painted farmhouse table desk that I never have to clean off before I can serve supper.
For the past couple of months, my office “chair” has been a 65 cm. exercise ball. It is the most comfortable seat I’ve ever had - great for muscles and balance, and if I ever start feeling sleepy I just bounce for a while and it perks me right up.
My Dad built me a reference bookcase that keeps my dictionary, thesaurus, and other reference books within arm's reach and at just the right angle. Above the bookcase, is a crowded bulletin board with photos of my family - my visual prayer list, and a reminder of where my priorities should be.
One corner of my little office holds a cozy overstuffed chair complete with fluffy pillows and a warm afghan - a great place for afternoon naps—er, uh, brainstorming sessions. Or for my husband or our teenage daughter to plop in for a visit after work or school. My husband's beautiful art is framed over my chair (and all through our house).
My trusty Mac laptop is my only computer, so if I ever need a change of scenery, I can easily move my office out onto the front porch or our sunny back deck. Too often the Kansas wind keeps me indoors, but I love it whenever I can be on the deck with the wind chimes making breezy music and our “two cats in the yard” snoozing in the chair beside me. (One of those two cats presented us with four darling kittens a few days ago! Anybody want a kitten??)
Virginia Wolff said, “"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction…” Well, I don’t know about money, but I’m starting to subscribe to the “room of her own” theory.
Deborah Raney’s new novel is Remember to Forget the first of the Clayburn Novels for Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. For a tour of Deb’s writing spaces click here.