28 January 2009
Before I went away I was reading a blog (I think) about writers' rooms -- the different rooms that famous writers wrote in. And it made me think about my two writing rooms, and the other rooms I've written in.
In my old house, my computer sat before my study window, which was framed by a herb garden where rosemary and lavender flourished, basil struggled and parsley was always going to seed. Beyond the herb garden were red and grey pavers and a lovely Hannah Ray (bottlebrush) with velvety greeny-grey leaves and spectacular red flowers in autumn and spring. Sometimes, I'd daydream while looking out the window.
The walls were lilac, the carpet grey, the curtains a fantastic bubbly material with greys and pinks and purples, in a subtle zigzagged pattern. In that room, I belted out my first draft.
In my new house, my computer is along the wall that houses the window, but is offset so that if I'm looking straight ahead, I'm looking at the wall. The window, slatted with wooden venetians, looks out onto a lush tropical-looking garden that's more drought-resistant than it looks. Palm trees form the backdrop and a small pond forms the foreground, though this is more often dry these days than wet. It's a restful garden.
When I first moved into this house, I had great visions of writing on my deck -- taking my laptop outside and sitting overlooking the swamp. I tried this once or twice and found I spent the entire time gazing out at the swamp, watching the pelicans and swans, rather than writing. The deck (on a windless day) is great for workshopping or marking, but never for writing. For writing I'm serviced best by a blank wall and my own imagination, so while I might dream of having a room with views like these two, taken from a lookout in the Mimosa Rocks National Park (in NSW), I know that such views are best left to dreams.