Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Killarney Sheffield - Why Authors Have An Office

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          After five years of being a published author with a full house of five kids I finally broke down and insisted I needed an office. My family looked at me as if I had grown another head! Firm in my resolve I pointed to the insanely hot in the summer, and ridiculously cold in the winter, sunroom and claimed it as my own. It made perfect sense to me. Here was a room crammed with Christmas decorations, forgotten Easter baskets, the treadmill I fully intended to use… someday, and miscellaneous odds and ends that needed a place to call home. Both the unused desks in the corner, my maps, reference books, writing awards, plot binder, pens, pencils, promotional items and signed copies of my books would fit in there, if I crammed them carefully, I insisted. No one was quite convinced, so I got tough and because I’m an author I wrote out the reasons why I should get the sunroom as an office:

1)      My writing disaster of reference materials would be easily accessed and easily hid.
2)      No one could complain my collection of plot notes written on various colored sticky notes stuck to every available surface such as walls, desks, windows and chairs.
3)      With the doors shut the kids would not be subjected to my Regency, Victorian and Georgian dictionary of rude and vulgar slang and cuss words my characters on occasion use, that tends to exit from my mouth to the page.
4)      No one would be faced with just how crazy I am when I have hour long, out loud conversations with my characters complete with arguments and the above mentioned cuss words.
5)      The kids would not be tempted to call 9ll when they realize I have been staring at the wall in a catatonic like state for two hours mumbling, “not writer’s block again…”
6)      And last, but not least, no one would be subjected to gleeful cackling when the villain in my stories meet their just reward at the hands, or should I say teeth of an overprotective pony, or a rampaging tiger. We all know payback is very sweet!

So in the end I fought a hard battle and won my very first ever office all my own, where I sweat all
summer and wear layers of clothing like a bag lady all winter. Some days I curse my decision when I feel like I missed something interesting in the real world beyond the doors that is my chaotic home, or when I run out of tissue to stem the flow of snot-cycles attempting to form on the end of my nose, or when even my eyeballs seem to be sweating from the heat. Other days I am extremely pleased I can shut the door and block life out and sink into the 1800’s when things were simpler, or perhaps a little more wild than life on a Canadian prairie cattle ranch.