In which Deb Kristina shows you around the place

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deskWelcome to my office. Sorry that it’s chilly in here. There’s no heating vent in the office itself, it has to share with the rest of the downstairs, and seeing as its February, the whole downstairs is a bit nippy. Sometimes my toes go numb, but it’s nothing some extra socks won’t fix.
See this picture, here? This is a snapshot I took of the inside of Hemingway’s office, at his Key West house, where I visited while attending a literary seminar in early 2005. At the time I was dreamy about publishing and searching for an agent. I took this picture as a sort of totem, and it’s been taped up near my desk ever since, though we’ve moved twice. That was three manuscripts before Real Life & Liars, so it took a while. (Also, I’ve always doubted his office was ever this neat in real life.)
When it gets too cold in my office, sometimes I come out to this big blue couch. But it’s so squishy and comfy, and the dog takes my working there as an invitation to slide himself in that small space between my stomach and my laptop, until he rests his head on my keyboard and starts writing his own experimental poetry, which goes something like this: “edx,l.ß0063,,cc”. Also, I get sleepy here, and start to gradually slip horizontal which is hardly conducive to productivity. So, moving on…
Here’s my kitchen upstairs. The kitchen table is a pretty good spot. Lots of room to spread out papers, not so comfortable that I get distracted by thoughts of napping, and unfortunately for the dog, no room for him to get in my lap. The heating works fine up here and I stay toasty warm with only one pair of socks. This is a popular choice when the weather’s bad.
deck_officeBut through the sliding door… Spring and summer mornings will often find me out here with the cordless phone, coffee, and the computer. And the dog. He likes these folding chairs, too. I put one in front of me and form an ersatz recliner, balancing the computer on my lap, while Lucky takes up residence in a third chair/doggy bed. Someday again soon I’ll be out there, though for now, it’s back to my downstairs office, because I feel fortunate to have any space that I can claim as mine for writing, even if my toes do sometimes go numb.
typewriterYou see how it’s decorated with so much clutter? It might look like junk but it’s artwork by my kids, and souvenirs of fun times with writer friends, and look here. This tiny typewriter was meant to be a picture frame, but my friend Jill Corrin gave it to me as a birthday present, encouraging me to put an inspirational writing quote in the frame. And so I did. That was my thirtieth birthday, and now I’m 34. Again, it took a while. But that’s OK. I’m patient. And I have really, really good friends.

Deb Kristina

13 Replies to “In which Deb Kristina shows you around the place”

  1. Hi Marsha!

    Just noticing it’s a rather surreal effect, sitting here in my office, looking at a picture of my office… My toes aren’t numb yet this morning, but we’ll see. It’s early yet. May have to defect to the kitchen.

  2. Thanks for the tour of your house, Kris! Maybe all writers like to move around a lot, since we get stuck in front of the computer for so many hours. I just love my laptop!

  3. Hi Katie! Many an overnight guest who has crashed on that couch has extolled its virtues.

    Meredith, I think my constant moving around also has to do with celebrating the everyday joys of not being in an office. I may not have my old salary, but if I want to work somewhere other than my desk, by golly I’ll do it! And no one can stop me! Bwah ha ha ha!

    I’ve defected to the kitchen this morning. Too cold down there.

  4. My office gets cold, too, sometimes, and yes, even as I write this, I have migrated down to the dining room table, but I also like the kitchen island, the armchair in my office, and, when it’s really cold and raining and my child is napping, bed.

  5. Oh, and right now the laptop is up on the kitchen counter where it’s (barely) out of the reach of sticky fingers, as all the critters are home now. This is where I type standing up…

  6. So it’s a gift that keeps on giving — in a good way!! That’s wonderful to hear!

    I remember being young and using my mom’s typewriter on the dining room table. I’d write fiction but didn’t get past two or three pages. That’s probably why I’m the amateur and you’re the professional! And why I chose journalism … shorter stories. 🙂

    Lucky and Traverse have a lot in common. I often sit at the corner of my couch with the laptop propped on the armrest. Traverse is notorious for jumping on my lap and plopping his head on the keyboard. He never lets me forget who’s #1 in this house.

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