By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye
I’ve spent a lot of time on my office. It’s perfect.
I have a TreadDesk—yes, you read it right, a real treadmill desk, the desktop is on hydraulic legs to adjust to walking height with a press of a button so I can write while walking 1.4 miles per hour whenever I get the urge, and an exercise ball to sit on when I don’t feel like walking.
I have inspiration in front of me—a life-size stand up of Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS—my favorite show and one of Abby too because my kids gave them to me for my birthday.
I have bookshelves filled with hundreds of books on writing and three different yet beautiful dictionaries.
I have not one but two beloved Mac computers with two screens because one can never have a big enough desk top.
I have my Writer’s Clock which tells me what time it is—closing in on a deadline, unfortunately.
I even have a sound machine so I can hear applause and laughter whenever I need it.
I have my sidekicks, Raja, my three-legged Bengal cat, and Jasmine, my Pointer mix always there to talk to or give me love.
I’m a lucky author!
The only fly in the ointment is that my DH—dear husband or damn husband depending on my mood—has decided, since we share everything else, my office has magically turned into our office.
Every evening and weekend, he’s sitting directly in front of my desk and I can’t work. Now my DH is as close to perfect as anyone possessing a Y chromosome can be. He built me my office, my desktop, and even bought me a second monitor while he’s using one of those teeny tiny notebook computers on the desk in front of mine with a ten-inch screen. He does the cooking when I’m on deadline, all the laundry all the time, takes care of running the kids around, reads my contracts, and is the most supportive husband anyone can imagine. It’s really hard to complain—and yet somehow I find a way. It’s frustrating as hell because as perfect as he is, he’s still a man. So how does an anything-but-perfect wife, mother, and author tell her near-perfect husband to get the hell out of her office because he’s a walking, talking, breathing writer’s block?
She packs up her MacBook Air and goes to Starbucks. Yes, I know it doesn’t make any sense. How can I write at Starbucks with a ton of people, screaming kids, beeping coffee timers, and insanely loud Frapuccino machines, and not be able to write with my husband typing quietly on his little notebook computer?
For two years I home schooled my daughter (who used the same desk my husband does now) and drove her ninety miles each way to Carlisle, PA to attend the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and dance forty hours per week. I had no choice but to make the Carlisle Crossing Starbucks my office. It took me a few weeks, but I’d go to work, get my coffee, and write my books. I wrote four books while Twinkle Toes danced. Then she decided to move to Carlisle, live with a host family, and go to Carlisle middle and high school. I thought, yay! No more home schooling, no more driving three hours a day! I’ll get so much work done. I sat in my lovely office and I couldn’t write a damn thing. It took me about two months of twiddling my thumbs before I got any decent words written. But finally, after much practice and Twinkle Toes withdrawal, I was able to work. Things went swimmingly, I did run back and forth to Carlisle to see Twinkle Toes and my Starbucks family, but for the most part, I was happy working in my lovely office until you-know-who decided it was OURS!
Now I’m at the Mt. Airy Starbucks—if I squint my eyes, I imagine I’m in Carlisle so it’s not so different. I do miss my favorite baristas—Laura, Lauren, Jess, Gina, Ben, Trudi, Christine, Shannon, Steph, the Manager, Nikki, the District Manager but I’m making new friends at the Mt. Airy Starbucks, and I’ll be working there until I finish Call Me Wild.
Last night, the guys closed up shop, and I sat on the patio working away since it was nice out and still before DH’s bedtime. My barista buddy Edward dropped off a box of coffee to hold me over until my MacBook Air’s battery ran dry. I swear, if there were an outlet and a porta-potty, I’d have stayed all night!
I figure I’ll eventually get used to sharing an office with DH, but I don’t have the time to twiddle my thumbs right now. I have a book due in nine days. Yikes! If Starbucks was open twenty-four hours a day, I’d move in until I finished the book.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
By Robin "Red Hot" Kaye