As I get closer and closer to the release of Maid of Murder (June 16, 2010 in case you want to mark your calendars), I’ve come to the realization that my writing career is a small business. The tipping point for this was when I was working on my taxes. Well, not working on them, just gathering the paperwork to give my accountant, so he could work on them. I’m well aware of my limitations and small business tax forms are near the top.
Another indicator was I have a lot of stuff. Business cards, file folders, bookmarks, postcards, and the list goes on. One evening after a long day at the library, I was walking across my bedroom and tripped over a box of business cards, colliding with my dresser. After rubbing my sore side, I thought, “If I’m tripping over the business cards now, where in the world was I going to put the boxes of my books when they arrived?”
There was only on answer. I needed an office. Shouldn’t a small business owner have such a place? In actuality my home is too small for a real office, you know with four walls and a door, but I thought I could dedicate a corner of my bedroom to the cause. With my mind made up, I set to work. So on a work night, I was up to past midnight carrying end tables up and down the stairs and moving empty bookshelves. At first I tried to move the shelves with the books intact… not a good idea. Timber! Luckily, my cats got out of the way in time.
With a space cleared, I realized I didn’t have a desk! Well, I did, but it’s a French provincial number I’d had since I was a baby. It’s pretty to look at but completely impractical and better suited for a hobbit than my 5-9 frame.
The lack of desk could only mean one thing… shopping! I admit it. I love to shop. My first day off from the library, I went desk shopping. My hope was 1) I would find the perfect desk and 2) I wouldn’t have to put it together.
After visiting a couple of stores, I found the desk I wanted, but alas there was not some but a lot of assembly required. I asked the salesman if they put furniture together. He said they did but for a fee that cost almost as much as the desk. I took it home in the box. The box was too heavy to carry upstairs, so I had to open it in my living room. While doing so I sent millions of pieces of Styrofoam packaging flying in all directions. Then, I lugged it piece by piece up to my bedroom. Finally, when I had all the pieces sitting on my bedroom floor, the cats and I examined the directions in bewilderment. Ugh! Have you ever noticed that screws in those kinds of things all look the same? Luckily, the directions were in pictures. I’m a wordsmith, but I appreciated the instruction writer dumbing it down for me.
In truth, I have a lot of experience with furniture assembly. I once put together a giant computer desk for my dad over a Thanksgiving weekend. The thought of fighting with that Sauder monster still gives me nightmares. This one was much simpler, and I had desk together with a couple hours work. Okay, a couple of times, I screwed the drawer fronts on backwards. I’m a librarian not Bob Vila after all.
In the photo, I reveal my efforts. My cat and assistant contractor was kind of enough to pose for the shot. So now, with a desk and an office so to speak, I feel like a real writer. Just in time too, because the galley proofs of Maid of Murder arrived last week. They are spectacular.