Kentucky Oaks takes place this weekend at Churchill Downs. The Oaks, for those of you who haven’t read my book yet, is the race the fillies run the Friday before the Derby, which takes place on Saturday. Will I be there this weekend? I will not! I will probably be working away in my office and hopefully listening to the race or watching it on youtube or something.
Speaking of my office, however, how about a tour of mine? I thought of this when my eye landed on one of my favorite knick knacks.
My sister gave it to me and I laugh every time I see it — if you can’t read it it says “She is too fond of books, and it has addled her brain” (can you see, it’s attributed to Louisa May Alcott) — mostly because of what my second grade teacher wrote about me: “Debbie is very well behaved. She loves to read. Unfortunately she often rushes through her work in order to get back to her book.”
Guilty as charged, and still the story of my life!!
I happen to know that E.B. White, author of, among other masterpieces, Charlotte’s Web, wrote in a spare little shack on his property in Maine. It had nothing but a table, a chair and a typewriter, based on photos I’ve seen. Nothing on the walls, nothing cozy to take a nap on, no rug to spruce up the place. I wish I was like E.B. White (or Andy, as his friend called him), but I’m not. I am surrounded by things connected to Rachel Alexandra, to my next project, about a woman who created a rhino sanctuary, and to my love of sailing (and my family). It might not look tidy, but I know where everything is.
Here is the desk top near my computer. That’s a photo I took of Rachel Alexandra, a red rhino eraser (hee hee!) and a paperweight that says “perseverance” that a friend made for me many many years ago.
Some days the clutter gets to me, even though it’s MY clutter. When that happens I head to my favorite table at my local library or one of three or four of my favorite coffee shops. Of course Andy couldn’t have done that. In his day the only way writers wrote was on a typewriter. Not exactly portable. Though I have heard of Brooklyn-ites who have brought their typewriter into the local Starbucks. Imagine! Not only would it be heavy to carry, the clack of the keys, as satisfying as it is to the clacker, would be torment to those around them.
Anyway, I try to remember that everyone’s process is different. What’s important is to put your “derriere in your chair”