Ah, yes. The office. That’s long been a touchy issue for me – literally, because I’m so sensitive to my environment. Anyone out there like that? You actually have to “feel” a room before you can enter it? This makes short vacations rather difficult because it invariably takes me 48 hours before I can get comfortable in most places. On the other hand, I knew that I’d found my house as soon as I felt it. I hadn’t been in more than two rooms of the place; hadn’t even set foot upstairs when I said to my real estate agent, “Call my husband. This is our house!”
Unfortunately, our charming, if drafty, old farmhouse doesn’t exactly have room for the elegant office of my dreams. In fact, my office is the little landing at the top of the stairs. It’s not even a room really, but it has great light and an amazing view of the farms, fields and mountains that surround us.
For the longest time, I pounded out FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA on a narrow old desk we picked up for next to nothing at an auction. Then my friend Tanya came to visit from Uzbekistan and told me I had the Feng Shui all wrong. Apparently, I had been facing the wrong direction. No wonder it took me so long to finish my book! I also needed a picture of a flowering tree, something that represents fire and some money over my right shoulder. I needed photos of people who supported me over my left shoulder. And for goodness sake, I needed to keep the bathroom door (at the other end of the landing) closed whenever I was writing!*
Since we didn’t have much maneuverability in my tiny space, St. John hauled out the tiny, computer cart that we’d dragged around since grad school, so that at least I could be facing in the right direction when I wrote. We got the photos, the candle, the Chinese money all in their right ba-guas. Tanya tied some red ribbons in several auspicious places. And laugh if you must – but it was shortly after that, that I sold my book.
I guess with my first book about to hit the shelves, my family thought it was time for me to have something a bit nicer to work on than the flimsy old computer cart. For Christmas I got a lovely bamboo desk of my very own. It took some looking to find one that fits the tiny space and keeps me sitting at just the right angle. But we were certainly NOT going to mess with good Feng Shui!
So now I am contentedly (if just a bit coldly) sitting at my beautiful new desk, nested perfectly into the corner with a gorgeous – at the moment, snowy – view out my window. Perhaps when I sell my next book, I’ll buy that matching bookshelf I’ve had my eye on. And who knows? Maybe when FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MALARIA hits the New York Times Bestseller list, I’ll finally get a real office. It’d have to be facing in the right direction though. I am NOT about to go messing with good Feng Shui!
*Note: The Feng Shui advice given here was carefully discerned in consultation with a compass, my date of birth and possibly an intermediary who talks to the dead (hey, it was in Russian, so I can’t be exactly sure). For the Feng Shui advice that will move your life along, consult your own funky friends!
P.S. Rhonda Lane and Helen K – you two are the lucky winners of last week’s contest in celebration of POSED FOR MURDER! Send your mailing addresses to Eve@thedebutanteball.com so we can get your prizes to you.