I notice my grandparents’ 1930s red-topped kitchen table. The top of it is somewhat organized with a copier, laptop, lamp, pencils and notebooks as it lives its second life as my desk in my writing room.
Stephen King describes his writing space where he penned his first books Carrie and Salem’s Lot in his Memoir on the Craft: On Writing. It wasn’t pretty–an old kid’s desk sort of thing squashed in an area next to the washer and dryer of a double-wide trailer.
Today, his desk is a lot bigger and more fitting a professional writer, but his point on writing surfaces isn’t on the furniture; it’s on the writing.
King says, “The space can be humble…, it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut.”
But it’s so easy to slip into focusing on the organization of a writing space and procrastinate on the writing.
I’ve imagined my DESK. It’s wide-topped, cherry wood, drawers down one side, narrow drawer just under the topside, maybe a shelving attachment for laptop and printer. Or not. Maybe it’s the old-fashioned, just mahogany and drawers type like the guys on the TV show Mad Men use in their offices.
Oh, the glorious tales I could create if I had one of those.
In reality, my grandparents’ table has a small, segmented drawer in the front made for silverware. It’s where my grandmother stored her butcher knives. It has two hinged leaves on either side to extend the surface space as desired. Thick stainless steel legs with rotting rubber tips hold it up.
My grandmother was the best cook and kindest soul. I’d see her every Sunday along with fifteen or more other relatives. We’d eat oven-baked, breaded chicken and chicken soup. In the evening, before we’d all head home, we’d make ice cream sodas. All homemade. All delicious. All eaten at the red kitchen table.
To date, I’ve written this blog, several short stories, two biographies, a fantasy novel and more using her table.
My desk isn’t going anywhere. It’s energy is too good.