Monday, July 29, 2013

It Started With A Chair

I own my second house. With my second husband. Hell, I'm in my second life. I woke up one day, screamed STOP and picked up the track of my life and changed course.

Now I sit in my first office surrounded by hodge-podge pieces of furniture collected during this transformation. Nothing matches. Nothing coordinates. It's a room of tiny opportunities. When I needed new furniture, it was a daunting process to take my pocketful of cash and find an unyet defined identity. Eating and paying rent in California meant I bought pieces off of Craigslist and made do.

My filing cabinet and chair came from a couple moving to Boston. I found that ironic since I transferred from Bean Town only the year before. The filing cabinet was a steal and the chair ... well, I was insane to want this forlorn seat made for a midget. Yes, I just wrote midget. If you're looking for PC writing, go find a Borg blog.

This chair is small, like me, and that's part of its appeal. When we met, I saw potential--its future was lit up in beautiful fabric. Picking the right hues required a few life details to settle so I could hone in on that perfect shade.

I've had my chair since 2005. For eight years it's been waiting. Waiting for me to find the courage to say, "I am a writer and I deserve an office built for me."

All writers dream about the perfect writing space. I've had several wonderful places. Boston featured a nice cubby. Berkeley gave me a second bedroom that was far roomier than my current space. But this space is truly all mine. I don't rent anymore. I answer to me and I say, HELL YEAH.

I'm going to transform this little room into the office of author, Ellen Harger. I'm going to sew, paint, saw, nail, screw, and from these two little hands (and the help of a few others), I will create my identity. It's my gift to me for finally publishing Strong Enough and being so fulfilled that I'm hungry for more. 

I'm writing my next novel and it's going like turtle on roller skates fueled by comet dust. All this extra energy is spilling over and well, let's just say that Cinderella's Fairy Godmother may have been faster with her little wand, but my way will be infinitely more gratifying.

So first up, I'm collecting fabric. I've asked my mother to help because frankly, the only thing I've successfully sewn are curtains. With straight edges. And no special pieces. My mother sewed dining room chair covers the same day of a dinner party while nine-months pregnant with me...and without a pattern. It's not always about personal skill. Sometimes you have to surround yourself with people who know how. 

I'm standing on the second step of a life long dream--creating with my hands the place where I will work every day. 

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