The Office. Er, Fort. Fortroffice?

I needed a writing space. Stephen King told me I did, and I do not disobey Mr King without good reason.

The space can be humble (probably should be, as I think I have already suggested), and it really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world and yourself that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

-Stephen King, On Writing

Until a few days ago, my writing space was in the living room. I didn’t have the whole room to myself, just my desk in the corner. That was fine when AJ was working nights and I was alone in a silent house… except that it wasn’t. There was always a mess on the coffee table to be cleaned, dishes in the sink suddenly screaming to be washed as soon as I sat down to write, unmade beds chanting horrible and ominous things in the bedrooms.

You see, there was no door I could close. I needed my own writing space, I just didn’t know where to find it.

Cassandra Page posted last week about her new writing space– an actual study, if you can believe that. I said there was nowhere for me to have writing space, except for the stinky basement. True, we have a small bedroom that houses the desktop computer and the assorted geekery (read: toys) that AJ and I collect, but it’s not my space, and there’s no room for my desk.

And then I started thinking about that stinky basement…

I couldn’t take the only enclosed room. That’s the playroom, and AJ would go insane if that mess moved out into the open. I couldn’t take the TV area beside the stairs. That’s the “boy cave.” So where to put my girl cave?

Hello, storage area!

Holy carp, it's even worse than I remembered. O.o

Holy carp, it’s even worse than I remembered. O.o

Fine, so it didn’t look like much. Fortunately, I’ve spent a bit of time over the last few years developing my imagination and learning to see possibilities.

I was going to make this WORK.

Now, obviously I couldn’t just move things and stick my desk in the corner; that would leave me no better off than I was in the living room. No, I needed walls, but my traditional construction skills are somewhat lacking.

Good thing I double-majored in box-stacking and blanket fort-building in kindergarten. I knew that would come in handy some day!

So I stacked me some boxes, unpacked and threw out some basement-smelling cardboard boxes, put everything back into the bins, and built a wall. I stacked the Christmas decorations in one easily-accessible corner, and covered the inside of my wall with the prettiest vintage bedsheets I had lying around. I stole an icky rug from the cats’ eating area, vacuumed the hair out of it, and laid it down. I set up the dog’s old kennel in the corner to make a table to spread my papers out on.

Eew. Needs a tablecloth or something.

Eew. Needs a tablecloth or something.

I took a space heater from upstairs, brought down a Scentsy burner, put up a picture, and stole my glider-rocker back from the boy cave, because they don’t appreciate it like I do.

IMG_3891

I stole borrowed a bookshelf AJ wasn’t using for much in his workout area, and brought another down from my space in the living room.

All I needed was… The Desk.

Yeah, I capitalized it. It’s not the biggest desk out there, but it’s 2×4 feet of heavy wood, handmade by AJ’s grandfather, plus a rolltop. Oh, and AJ was away this week, so I had to empty it, flip it, get it down the stairs and into my room all by myself.

Cue ominous music

Cue scary music

Nooooo problem. *flexes pathetic muscles*

IMG_3896

And there we have it. An office built out of storage bins, blankets, and my own stuff from around the house (though I did treat myself to a new lamp, white board, and corkboard, because DAMMIT, I HAVE WALL SPACE!)

IMG_3897

I’m so proud of my blanket/box walls. 🙂

Only one problem remains:

I still have no door.

20131031-102946.jpg

Anybody have some extra, pretty sheets lying around? No? Looks like I’m off to the thrift store…

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

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