Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Space is Any Place

For anyone tuning in late, this week we’ve been writing about our work spaces. Maybe it is a reaction to my father who seemed to need a special place to write, but I decided I would be able to write anywhere. Or almost anywhere. I tried working on my computer in the car on the way to Vegas and that didn’t work out that well. It’s hard to type when you’re bouncing.

I am in Chicago now and the above is one of the places where I work here. Since I’m here alone, there was no one to take a picture of me with my computer, so the doll graciously agreed to stand in. I’m not sure of the quality of the photo either. I forgot my camera and had to use my BlackBerry.

Note the coffee cup. It’s porcelain, not paper and my favorite. The tangle of stuff on the other side is my local yarn stash. You probably can’t see them, but there are also menus for local restaurants and a phone to call in my order. Behind me on the bookcase are crocheted nursery rhyme characters. Little Boo Peep is there, along with her sheep and Humpty Dumpty, unless he fell down. I wish I could say I made them. My mother got them at various holiday bazaars.

The red chair is in perfect condition despite being a hand me down from one of our neighbor’s office in the 60s. He was the photographer for the Museum of Science & Industry (that’s where his office was). He did some other photography work too, and he sometimes used me as a model. Not a fashion model, more like pretending to be a kid being helped by a social worker. One time I had to sit at the soda fountain and eat a hot fudge sundae at the drugstore across the street. I’m not sure what that was for. It was also thanks to him that I got to go behind the scenes at the museum. Somewhere there’s a pictures of me holding a rabbit, standing on the inside of the fence at the farm exhibit.

I guess collecting dolls is in my genes. The doll model was my mother’s. It’s hand made and one of a kind, though I guess that’s pretty obvious. She’s so big, she has real little girl shoes on. There are other dolls all over the place including an old one of mine. My mother told me she had real hair. I thought that meant it would grow and gave her a hair cut.

But when I’m working – I’m here to finish my overdue book – everything fades in the background and I could be floating in a fog. That’s why I don’t worry if there are windows or birds chirping and trucks rumbling down the street and shaking everything. When I stop working, I feel like I need to rub my eyes and remind myself of where I am.

Do you find that you get lost in your work or a TV show or movie and forget about where you are?

Lastly, one of my friends, Kate Collins, had a family tragedy last week. She writes the Flower Shop Mystery Series and her next book, Dirty Rotten Tendrils, comes out on Tuesday. Some of her friends are trying to help promote her book. I decided to have a contest and the prize is a copy of Dirty Rotten Tendrils. So, leave a comment before 11:59 p.m. Saturday and I’ll do the whole thing with folded up papers and my husband randomly picking one of the entries. I will announce the winner next Saturday. Check out the book. If you like cozies and flowers, I’m sure you’ll love the it.


Jeannette Hayashida said...

So sorry to hear about your friend's tragedy. I am not familiar with the Flower Shop mysteries but I will be sure to check them out when next I am in a bookstore.

Planner said...

Your doll model is sneaking in edits to your book when you're not watching!

I can definitely get lost in a book (I'll just read one more page!) a craft project (just one more row!), and any time I sit down at my computer, which seems to purposely devise new ways to distract me. Every day I wonder how it got dark so fast.

Best wishes to your friend Kate.

Betty Hechtman said...

Jeanette, thanks for leaving a comment. You're now entered in the contest.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I'm sure you're right about the doll. She has a mind of her own.

I know what you mean about just one more row - unless it's knitting.

Kay said...

I love cozies & had not read any of Kate's books, but when I heard via fb of what had happened, I friended her. Sent her a message & decided I want to read all of her books. May take me a while on our fixed income to do so, but am determined! I do get lost in what I'm doing, especially when I'm knitting or reading. Get totally engrossed in it & enter the 'zone.' Hubby can't understand it. Of course he just sits on sofa & sleeps with the dogs. LOL Not that that's a bad thing, just not my thing.

Camille Minichino said...

Love your doll hair cut story, Betty! That looks like a great corner and that it's in Chicago, even better!

I get so lost that when my husband comes in, I jump. He can't figure why since he thinks I should know that he's home and might drop in!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I like to work anywhere I am, too, Betty. If nothing else, I get lost in my imagination, dreaming up story ideas!

Betty Hechtman said...


It sounds like your husband has found his own zone on the couch.

I still can't get in the zone with knitting. I am too worried about making a mistake and not knowing how to fix it.

Betty Hechtman said...


I jump when my husband approaches the room I work in at home. He's learned to clear his throat a few times to warn me he's there.

Betty Hechtman said...


Just imagining is great. I like to take walks and tell myself stories.

Dru said...

When I read and the book is a page-turner, all the world outside the book does not exist.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Betty, good for you. I can write through most stuff unless it's a particularly delicate part of the book, you know? And yes, I've had people "sneak" up on me because I was so engrossed in my work.

Betty Hechtman said...


There is nothing like a good book to take you away.

Betty Hechtman said...


I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who gets startled when they're working.

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

Sounds like a fun read. Maybe a new author to explore!!!

Allison said...

I have been away from the computer the last week due to work (at least, away from the FUN stuff on the computer!), and just now found out about Kate's loss. I am so very sorry for the hard time she is going thru right now. I think it's wonderful that she has such truly caring author friends who are rallying around her to promote her newest book while she is going thru this.

Betty Hechtman said...


I'm glad you are so enthused about finding a new author.

Betty Hechtman said...


I'm very lucky to be friends such a nice group of authors. They are so generous about helping each other.