A Lot of Assembly Required

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.

5 thoughts on “A Lot of Assembly Required

  1. The desk looks like a winner – so does the cat:) Sara gave us the postcards and bookmarks this week, and your book is being advertised on the circulation desk in a standup photo frame – looks good. Just be sure to let me know when I can pre-order on Amazon!

  2. This is the first blog I have ever read, and it was highly entertaining. It heightens my anticipation of buying Maid of Murder. Thanks.

  3. I love your new office space. Very cozy and the cat makes it perfect. I have dogs in my office most of the time, but they curl up on the floor and keep me company so I don’t mind a bit. You book sounds like a lot of fun and I hope I win it. I’m curtailing my book buying due to hubby’s unemployment status and it’s really hard to maintain. There are SO many good books out there. Good luck with your new work environment!
    B.D. Tharp
    Author of “Feisty Family Values”

  4. Hi Amanda! Thanks for speaking at Sigma Tau Delta yesterday. You gave a humorous and insightful speech.

    When I was younger I begged my parents for a computer desk that I could put in my bedroom because, after all, I was determined to become a prize-winning novelist at the gloriously young age of 14. Anyway, they bought the desk for my birthday and yes, it also came in a million pieces that my dad had to put together for me. (He, however, hated the illustrated instructions and would have much preferred words!) Years passed, and I spent many hours a week doing homework and surfing the internet while sitting at that desk. Now I’ve moved out and have 3 desks! This sounds great, right? It would be if I could motivate myself enough to clean the mounds of papers off of them so they can be used! Your desk looks very pristine in the photo, but my question is, can a true writer EVER keep her desk clutter-free? Hmmm, I wonder…. You’ll have to keep us updated!

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