Tuesday, January 26, 2010
From the dark side
Yesterday I went to the birthday party of a writer friend. I'm not allowed to say whose or how old, but it was a milestone number and a great gathering!
Her home is in Marin County overlooking part of San Rafael Bay. Most of the guests oohed and aahed over her workspace, which has a full wall of window facing the water.
I'd never be able to work in such a space. Too open, too distracting, too much wildlife, not enough buildings.
I prefer caves.
My office is small and dark. I keep it that way by having my blinds closed during the day. The only things in my field of view are my computer, TV, 3 printers, scanner, DVD player, and books, of course. Nothing scary, like a duck or a bird or long weeds full of insects, or the blinding sun.
My computer desktop is a photo taken from a Manhattan office window. The photo is thanks to Margery Flax, Office Manager and overall Chief of Mystery Writers of America, who is in no way responsible for this text.)
I'm sure this preference comes from childhood. My bedroom window for the first 21 years of my life was about one yard away from the jukebox in the pizza parlor next door. The only sounds I heard were human (recorded or otherwise, and sometimes accompanied by sirens); the only vista a brick wall.
I spent the next 20 years shuffling between Boston, Hartford, The Bronx, and Washington, DC. Not exactly prairie land.
That combination of buildings, subway tunnels, and city noises is still comforting to me, and the place I work best.
Am I in the minority here?