After two years holed up at home (thanks, Covid), I'm sprucing up my writing room. My creation station isn’t fancy or budget-breaking, but it works for me. I repurpose furniture. Surround myself with tech gadgets, old-timey treasures, and stuff that makes me happy and productive.
Hey, want to see where I'm writing my rom com? Perhaps you'll find an idea for your creation station, too. Don’t be shy! Come on in and have a look around at my writing room.
1. Ace Your Space
If a trainstation is where the train stops, what's a workstation?
You don't need to spend tons of money on your creation station. I repurpose whatever I have on hand for an eclectic mix that brings me joy.
My writing room is a converted guest bedroom in our cozy yellow cottage. The room is anchored by the 20-yo, L-shaped desk my employer provided when I worked remotely in a high-tech firm.
A 1960s maple hutch picked up at an estate sale displays family photos and stuffies that remind me of my children’s book characters. The cabinet's double doors hide messy computer cables, printer paper and office supplies.
I cover my walls with whatever suits my fancy:
2. Tools of the Trade
Thank you, paper clips,
for not being like staples that can't commit.
— Jimmy Fallon
Wherever your space, splurge as much as you can to fill it with tools of your trade. I love my trusty 2013 MacBook Pro. It's paired with dual screen monitors, Bluetooth keyboard and mouse that make book formatting, graphics and editing a breeze.
Best, I can take my creation station anywhere just by unplugging my laptop.
Having an ergonomic work station is super-important.
Years ago, I developed a repetitive motion injury from long hours of writing. I'm better now after therapy and torturous steroid injections. That's why I have a customized ergonomic keyboard tray to keep me pain-free. An inexpensive bamboo stand from Amazon raises my monitor to the proper height to prevent neck and shoulder strain.
Music brings a warm glow to my vision,
thawing mind and muscle from their endless wintering.
-- Haruki Murakami
Can you work when it's quiet? I can't. I need sound. Soft background music. Nothing loud. Never distracting song lyrics.
Orchestral movie scores make up my playlists. Scores from composers like John Williams, James Horner and Michael Giacchino over YouTube and Apple Music pump me up every time.
4. Room with a View
There’s a world out there. Open a window, and it’s there.
— Robin Williams
Tall windows fill my creation station with light
and glimpses of the world outside.
When I want a break from writing,
all I need to do
is look up to ...
….keep an eye on the weather
…. watch my garden in all its seasons
… enjoy the parade of kids biking, running, and skipping down the sidewalk
… wave at Marvin, our friendly mail carrier
5. Play Time
The supreme accomplishment
is to blur the line between work and play.
Gotta have a playful creation station or else work is, well, too much like work.
My collection of happy things started decades ago when Mama gifted me a Star Trek action figure. Since then, I've added more.
An old-timey printer's tray rescued from a salvage yard
is filled with print blocks from back in the day and teeny treasures from Mama's stash.
They're paired with Great-grandma Belle, who watches me from her horse and buggy.
Love that she was a 'modern' woman in the late 1800s, who drove her own carriage!
6. People Who Need People
Stages of working from home:
Yay I get to work from home.
It would be nice to talk to people.
I hope that pigeon sits in the window today.
– Mark Agee
As much as you love your creation station and its flexibility, you'll want to find ways to connect with other humans. My creation station does just that.
Like most of the world,
I felt lonely and isolated during Covid.
I’m grateful for
the Zooms, Meets
and Facebook Rooms
that kept me connected
with family and friends.
Hooray for virtual workout classes
(and my bookcase
for doubling as an exercise station)!
Thanks for your company on my writing journey!
Over to You
It doesn't matter if you work in a palace or a broom closet.
The trick is to make the most of your space
and have fun with it,
Where's your workspace or home happy place?
What do you like most about it?
What tips do you have for making the most of a creation station?
I'm always looking for ways to make my space better, and I'd love to hear your ideas.
Please share in the comment section.
We rarely get more than a dusting of snow here in central North Carolina. When we do, we declare an unofficial holiday – Snow Daze! Excited kids play outside until dark. Parents shiver and watch. We head to bed early in exhausted delight after downing quarts of hot chocolate. And the snow melts the next day like it was never here.
Join me and see for yourself what a rare southern snow is like on this Snow Daze photo walk through my ‘hood.
1. Anticipation is keeping us waitin' ...
Excitement builds days before.
Forecasts tease us with possible snowfall amounts and storm tracks.
Most times, the wintry weather misses us.
But once every year or so,
the predictions come true.
And just like that....
Snow Daze mania takes over!
Folks in northern climes, who are used to snow falling all winter, think we're nuts. We ignore their eye rolls and revel in our frenzy.
It starts with a mad dash to Harris Teeter and Food Lion for milk, bread and toilet paper. (Yep, those items run out quick. Nope, we don't really need them, but they're our winter weather security blanket.)
Then we dig out snow boots and that pair of warm mittens Grandma knitted for us last Christmas, hoping we remember where we stashed them.
Parents hunt for shovels and ice melt. Kids pull out sleds and cardboard boxes. Anything to whoosh them down a snow-covered hill.
I assemble my Snow Daze staples.
2. Twas the Night Before Snow Daze ....
Breath plumes silver in frigid air.
There's an eerie nighttime sky,
ringing the moon.
We're sure now .....
snow is on the way!
When snow creeps in,
it's cold, dark, and past bedtime for most.
my social media feeds still
It's snowing in southern Wake County!
First flakes in down town!
We got an inch already on the deck!
Anybody know if garbage pick up is cancelled for tomorrow?
3. Ready, Set, SNOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!
Snow brings out the inner kid in all of us.
I'm so excited,
I hardly sleep a wink.
Can't wait for my first glimpse of the white stuff in daylight.
I'm up at dawn, camera ready,
to catch the best light.
The storm has moved on,
but in its wake....
a brilliant sunrise.
Our Covid-weary, winter world
is transformed and delicious,
dusted in white
like a cake
drenched with powdered sugar.
It's not long
breakfasted, booted, and bundled kids
giving the freshly fallen snow
Nothing short of a winter wonderland!
Kids are ...
building snow people
Snow Daze joy; Photo by Favorite Neighbor
I walk the hood, taking it all in
before dashing inside
to throw chili fixin's in the crockpot for tonight's meal.
Later, I dig out my trusty shovel to attack the sidewalk and driveway. This is the first time we had to clear them in five winters! I don’t mind. Tackling this fuffly stuff is my favorite kind of winter cardio. A thin layer of ice adds enough resistance for strength training, too. Best, when I tire, Hub finishes the job.
Cat Michaels' winter exercises
So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Good-bye
Everyone reluctantly straggles inside
to warm up with chili or hot soups by the fire.
Some Littles even stash bowls filled with snow
in their freezer
to save for another day.
Good thing they do.
the snow melts away.
We hope we don't have to wait
another five years
for our next Snow Daze!
Have you experienced a Snow Daze in your part of the world? What do enjoy most about it? If you don't live cold country, what would you like to do during a snowfall? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
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