deskWell don’t I feel like a princess. I’m sitting upstairs in Gabrielle’s playroom at what is now my desk. I’ve got my pens. I’ve got my daytimer. I’ve got my dictionary. And post-it notes have started breeding on the wall in front of me.

I cannot believe just how happy this little space has made me in the past few weeks. It was discovered when we were having some work done to repair the ceiling in the basement. Normally, I work in the dining room, where I would have been exposed to a whole lot of noise as they worked. So I hauled my stuff up to the second floor, intending on working on the guestroom bed (yay, laptops).

But then I spied this beautiful white desk. Our plan had been to have Gabrielle use it as she was assigned more and more homework (which has happened). But we overlooked an essential element of teenagerdom: 16-year-olds don’t want to leave their bedroom for nothing. So while she’s worked at the little station in her room, this little wonder has sat empty.

I’m not sure this is common, but I often have dreams in which I discover a new part of our house. The house is not necessarily our house, per se — I have a strange way of reverting everything back to when I was 10 and so my childhood home is often the star of the show. At any rate, at some point in the dream, I find a whole new wing or even floor that I didn’t realize was part of the package before. Often, it’s even furnished, though naturally in need of some dusting and organization.

When I started working at this desk, which has sat here for about four years now, I felt like that dream had come true. All along, here this place has been, swimming with potential, and I hadn’t even considered it, happy enough to roam around the house and park wherever was most convenient.

With Gabrielle’s permission, I slowly started moving in. Tout de suite, I relocated the Croatian doll she had perched here, as decorative dolls make me feel like I have electricity shooting down the roots of my teeth. Then I delicately moved her Smurf collection to a new locale, along with the rock she, for reasons unknown, glued googly eyes on and then stuck on the stump of a deck post. Earlier this week, I cleared out the drawers too, every nook and cranny, so that all that’s left of hers is a globe that I won’t ever move because it reminds me of all the traveling she will do in her life.

As my writing books and sticky notes started taking over, and the shoulder that’s been sore from all those in-ergonomic years at random tables and beds started to heal thanks to my correctly-positioned keyboard, I felt the deep satisfaction that comes from playing house. Should I place my three-hole punch in this cubby or that one? Should I have one designated just for business cards? Oh boy, decisions, decisions.

Interestingly (but not so interestingly), my writing has sucked for the past month, which is obviously bothersome and a little perplexing. I’m not sure if all this pretty organization is blocking me or what, but what’s been popping up on this screen has been predictable, predictable, predictable.

Still, it is tremendously satisfying to have everything in one spot. Quickly, I’ve developed new systems that have everything to do with having a space. I’m hanging short stories torn from “The New Yorker” on a bulletin board to identify their motivation, goals and conflicts. I’m looking at problems in my own stuff and hanging notes about it. Hopefully spending months randomly looking at them will improve the work.

And yes, the work. Which needs to start now. Time to light my coconut candle, turn on some Pandora Yoga, light a few lamps and pet Gabrielle’s globe for good luck. Oh but writing is tough. But today might be the day that my new space will help things turn around.

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