Monday, 8 October 2012

A writing table

“This….” he says, stabbing the smooth oak surface with a firm forefinger, “…is a writing table.”

I shift a little uncomfortably on my rickety wooden chair, the chair that didn't come with the table but was moved here from the kitchen a few days ago, to sit alongside our newest piece of furniture.

Then I look down at the table top. Already it’s cluttered with the sort of things that conspire to fill any empty surface in our house. To my right, there’s a spiral bound notepad, the page half-covered with barely-legible writing. In the middle of it a wine stain forms a small but perfect ring of red fading to brown, the imprint of one of the tiny wineglasses that Philip loves so much. Beside that there’s another brown ring, this one made of Murano glass; bought years ago in Venice, worn to work today, but discarded now for irritating me as it tapped against the table.

Further back, half hidden by a plastic folder of papers from work, there’s a blue drinks coaster, the bright yellow sunflowers on its surface shine out at me, unblemished by red wine, usurped by a notepad, unused.

To my left there’s another open notebook, the pen lying on top of it is cracked and broken, placed there this morning after I’d trodden on it in the half-dark. Behind it there’s a pile of unread books, a DVD I haven’t yet watched, a CD of fairy tales that came free with the weekend papers. On top of all those, a pink satin make-up bag, whose zip won’t quite close, another pen (not broken), and my car keys.

The centre of the table is just big enough for my laptop, the laptop I should be using, on my new writing table, to write.

Instead, for the last hour or so, I've been browsing through Facebook,  laughing at twitter, basking in the warmth of some very kind blog comments and worst of all, playing game after game of solitaire.

It’s dark outside and when I look up at the window, I see my reflection glaring back. I've always wanted a writing table, not the dining table with a different hat on, but a proper place to write; somewhere to sit and capture the thoughts and words that pile up throughout the day. 

As I stare at my reflection, I can almost see it mouthing Philip’s words…

“This…. Is A Writing Table.”

So I nod back at it, sit a little straighter in my chair and begin to type.


21 comments:

Philip said...

My work is done.

"As We Speak" said...

A writing table, if ever I saw one...a proper writing table!

OpinionsToGo

Caroline said...

The solitaire addiction I share....

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Don't be letting furniture that has allowed itself to be type cast to push you around. The writing happens where it needs to happen. So there Phillip, lol.

Mary-Colleen said...

This post and the photo are making me look at my Writing Table. I think it needs to shed some of its belongings (and to acquire a glass of wine).

I always love catching a glimpse into how and where writers work. Thanks for giving us a peek.


Phil said...

I can remember getting my "library table" a nice big, wide kitchen table. I set it in my "library" where I can sit and compose my thoughts, look out the window and write. Unfortunately...it is also a shelf of types. The piles keep getting larger...but still, it is a writing table also, and I love it!

Nessa Roo said...

I want one, too. I hope to be reading some amazing things from you soon.

Bill Dameron said...

I have this day dream of someone leading a tour through my condo in the future and pointing towards the end of the sofa and stating "And this? This is where Bill Dameron started writing" One of the people on the tour would whisper to his friend "This is it? Not impressed, let's get our money back..." But your writing table? It is tour worthy.

The Elephant's Child said...

I loved your posts without a writing table, but am open to more. Much more. Perhaps you could argue the need for a writing chair too? One that is not ricketty.
And flat surfaces fill at the speed of light in this house. And if I diligently clear them they fill again.

Matt Inwood said...

I enjoy reading about and seeing people's desk/writing spaces. I love to see their order, their clutter; I like to know how worthy and reliable a surface for work they are. I like that they suggest a commitment to work. If Philip's stabbed finger proclamation and satisfied comment, above, are anything to go by, I presume this is a commitment of sorts for you. I hope only that it brings you to do more of what you so obviously love and what so many of us love to read. It's a handsome table.

Mrs Smith said...

I always think 'if only I had a room of my own, then I'd be a writer'

Starlight said...

I want one, too. And I hope that my future writing table will too inspire such a lovely story.

Pat said...

Never put a writing table in front of a window. Obviously. BTW I don't like the sound of Philip's tiny wine glasses. We suffered them in our recent cottage holiday.
Maybe I have been sitting in front of the computer too long but Sharon how can you wear a brown Murano glass ring to work?

Sharon Longworth said...

Philip - you must have realised by now, your work is NEVER done...

Opinions to Go - indeed. Now all I need to do is some proper writing!

Caroline - shared addictions - now there's a thing.

My baby John / Delores - now there's an idea for a fairy story - the furniture that pushes people around...

Sharon Longworth said...

Mary-Colleen - there is something inherently intriguing about people's writing spaces and places - and I bet we all end up wishing we had a mix of different elements of each of them.

Phil - oh, how I aspire to a library! The idea of a library AND a library table is beyond enviable.

Nessa Roo - no challenge there then! But then, if I'm self-important enough to announce that I have a writing table, the least people can expect is some sort of decent output from it.

Bill - do you have any idea how very American and very exotic the term 'condo' sounds? That in itself would make a tour worth taking.



Sharon Longworth said...

The elephant's child - I like your thinking! Perhaps I should work up to a chair as well!

Matt - thank you. The table is both a reminder and a promise - so that, in between what's currently a really challenging time at work, I remember that there are other things I can do and love.

Mrs Smith - First the table, then the chair, after that the room, and then maybe one day... a library!

Starlight - I look forward to reading about your table sometime soon!

Pat - I've grown very fond of a small wine glass - we've had some most convivial evenings with friends where they've featured quite strongly... And as for the glass ring - I don't wear it often, but on days when I'm presenting and end up waving my hands around a lot, it looks quite good in the light!!

Pearl said...

I do like how you write.

And yes. That is a writing table.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have my own writing table to attend to. :-)

Pearl

Pat said...

Oh it never occurred to me you meant a ring on your finger. I was thinking those glass rings you stick flowers in. Silly me!

Anonymous said...

Great post, I admire the writing style :) A little off topic here but what theme are you using? Looks pretty cool.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

The two other people living in this house are dedicated to making sure that there is something on every flat surface, and I am not talking about some sort of a covering cloth, neither! (Since my wife and her mother would beat on me some more, I will refrain from naming names.)

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