My name is Roxanna and I want to enjoy every day.

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Monday
Nov212011

Jane Austen's desk: What's your excuse?

Photograph Eamonn McCabe via the Guardian

One of my most treasured excuses (for everything, but mostly for work) is that my children go absolutely batshit the second I try to get anything done. I dream of a private office, where I can shut the door and have room to think.

That's all I ask for: peace and quiet and room. Instead, at this very moment, the kids have thrown dozens of Hot Wheels all over the family room, my couch is in pieces, and I'm late filing a post for work. Damn it all to hell.

I came across this quote and photo of Jane Austen's writing "desk" -- really, just a miniscule pedestal table -- and this description of her writing conditions (she worked in secret), and well, it puts my very common predicament into perspective.
Having no room of her own, she established herself near the little-used front door, and here "she wrote upon small sheets of paper which could easily be put away, or covered with a piece of blotting paper". A creaking swing door gave her warning when anyone was coming, and she refused to have the creak remedied. (via The Guardian)

She sounds like so many women I know. Things really don't change much.

Reader Comments (3)

Ha I love that! It goes to show you if you want it you'll make it happen, no matter what. (Crap did I just quote a movie? Sorry)
Me? I have a 7x5 ft (that's FEET) spot in the dining room. That's my studio! Jane had the right idea.

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

Though there are days I curse when shutting myself up in the tiny space I call my office, a space so small it wouldn't even qualify as a walk-in closet, I know just how lucky I am to have it, and its door. It ain't grand, but it's mine, ALL mine!

Beautiful.
I miss the chatter of having young ones in the house. That chirping is so strangely uplifting. Now I wear my heavy duty Bose noise cancellation head set to stream music, learning videos, and block the constant noise of the neighborhood leaf blowers, trucks and the rattle of my husband's keyboard. (damn those IBMs).
I love this line: "A creaking swing door gave her warning when anyone was coming, and she refused to have the creak remedied."

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia (@CichLee)

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