"Homes need names and they need to be big, sprawling.
Accommodating. ... a house of charming confusion."
~ A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle
Our home is neither big nor sprawling but it is definitely accommodating. It holds our hopes and our dreams as well as our current projects and collections, obsessions and possessions. I do love L'Engle's description of a "house of charming confusion". That suits our home to a T. As to naming a house, I agree: a home needs a name, even if it's just a description of color. We named ours The Hedgehouse for several reasons: There's a hedge of holly across the front, we've plans to install a woodland garden in the front yard which will include more hedges, and I have this bizarre desire to live in a proper English hedge like Mrs. Tiggywinkle.
Creatives tend to collect things: random things that gather like sentinels on the shelves and guard the hopes we hold for the art we create. When I write, I like to be where I'm surrounded by the things I love. There are days when I feel the need to get away from the house, the pressing laundry and dishes, the litter box and the cats continual mewling for food. And I enjoy those times out and about, writing in the community, sitting behind the anonymity of my laptop and a very large cup of tea.
Still, there's a peace that comes with sitting at my table, looking out my back door at the flowering camellia tree. The grass is over grown, the crepe myrtle is still a bundle of twigs, but the books, the photographs, the collection of ravens on the top shelve all whisper as I work. They speak of comfort and of the satisfaction that comes from working at home.
Several days a week I do go into the shop in which I work. On the days I don't have to, though, I'm happy to patter into the den, cup of tea in hand, and sit at the folding table that serves as my writing desk. I keep my notebook open, my current book on the writing craft at hand, and a stack of magazines I'm researching for possible essay material within easy reach. And, with schizophrenic February still changing it's mind day to day, the space heater is close by to warm my legs and hopefully keep the aches and pains at bay.
Working at a table in a coffee shop has its rewards. You get to know the baristas, the sales people and they get to know you. They recognize your laptop stickers and know you prefer a venti tea with no caffeine. Bonus points for getting to peruse the newsstand after a few hours of work. I try to write out of the house at least once a week but I also try to stay ensconced in my little bubble of warmth as often as I can. I find different inspiration at each place, different ways of seeing not only the world around me but also the story on my screen. I'm able to feel out a different perspective and enjoy a different shimmering of energy.
** ** **
Tell Me: Where do YOU enjoy working? Do you have a usual table at the local coffee house? Do you curl up on a sofa at a local bookstore? Or are you a homebody like me who prefers the tabletops and couches in your own piece of heaven? Where does your writing come alive? On a park bench, a picnic blanket, on a trail, at the beach, in your home office, your kitchen? Does your house have a name? Have you ever considered giving it one?