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A Desk of One’s Own

Wood Writing Desk

I love writing desks. There is something about a writing desk that brings out the romantic in me. It conjures up a different era when people took the time to write long, newsy letters to one another, using a fountain pen and ink well. A good old fashioned wood desk also brings to mind visions of writers like Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, sitting for hours penning away at what would eventually become some of the world’s greatest literature.

I had a writing desk when I was in grade school: it was a small wood table that my mother paired with a spindle back chair and my father painted white. This writing desk witnessed some of my first attempts at poetry (the moon, a Cheshire cheese in the great unknown). I can’t remember when or why I stopped using it, but many years later, walking into my niece’s bedroom one visit, there it was – same desk, same chair. After making it to high school, I used the large mahogany wood desk downstairs in our basement because it had room for both a typewriter and somewhere to put a notebook or a sheet of paper so that I could write by hand.

For me, a writing desk is a place where possibilities become certainties; where thoughts transition into words on the printed page. Nothing inspires me more than a journal or notebook sitting on top of a wood desk, open to a blank page. I missed having a space that was dedicated to working on pen-and-ink writing projects. I have a computer and a computer desk, but it’s not the same and does not possess the same inspirational pull. But finally I have a writing desk of my own, thanks to the shipment of stuff that arrived from Winnipeg recently.

It actually is a games table that my father used as a console table in his front hallway. When it first arrived, I had no idea what to do with it. The movers had pushed it up against one of my freestanding bookcases and stuck a chair in front of it. After they left, I pulled out the chair and sat down, surveying the mess. That’s when it occurred to me that the table would make the perfect writing desk.

But where on earth would I put it? After a lot of bedroom furniture moving, I replaced one of the night stands so that there was room to put the table in the far corner of the room. And in keeping with my resolution to pare down, I placed a few treasured items like a picture of my mother, my Acme pen and my purple journal for additional writing process inspiration.


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