Here is the luminous, fractious space I call my reading and writing room. I didn’t clean for this photo; it’s the true embodiment of how this space looks when there isn’t any company — and obscene, isn’t it — overflowing crap and clutter; quiet treadmill with strange flashlight holding court; woodbins with no wood; and several overflowing receptacles of paperwork that often reside untouched in the useable work space right beside me?
Sure, I’d rather it were neater, but with three children, a full-time job, and not a lot of self-time, I mostly see this room in the semi-dark (which improves the view of many messy rooms)-and, on the average day, I get up at 5 so that I can reply to emails, walk on that pictured treadmill, shower, drop off kids, and go to work. I come back to this space in the witching hours, free time windows, after the children have gone to bed. Mostly, this is when I create.
In the out of sight frame, largely obscured, you’ll note the fireplace walls behind bookshelves are painted metallic teal with tiny green and gold butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and dragonflies I stenciled by hand. A Victorian carved, mahogany mantle covers the fireplace, its surface similarly laden with books, and above that fireplace stands a high shelf with glass pens and a big golden wood-carving of the word IMAGINE. On the other mantle-side, more bookshelves, and on the opposite wall, chocolate leather sofas, my large female nude painting, and a glass coffee table, also covered with books. Books extreme. Books galore! Books everywhere-the discussed word IMAGINE, above it all, reigning as the room guru, or instructive sign or symbol.
And now that you know about my voluptuously endowed book fetish, please re-view the above photo of my space: You’ll then know that the books kept desktop are my favorites, those to comfort and inspire. As I write, I often grab one and read a passage. Sometimes, I go to the undetectable couches, sigh, and reflect. This is how most stories start.
In this room, too, are audio recording equipment details, musical instruments, an easel-but the truth is that all tangible accoutrements here are just the vehicles for trapping my imaginative pursuits-just as the desk and unseen chair are solely the body’s holders as the mind escapes to different landscapes for making poetry or fiction. So if ever the book contemplated strands me shivering in freezing rivers or leaves me powerless in scalding desert winds-when I’m in that mental space, I’m fully there, and how this physical space serves most, before or after reading or writing, is to catch me as I freefall into other imaginariums or welcome me back as I return.
So, welcome to my landing zone, fellow thinkers and dreamers-the IMAGINE home portal, wild and magnificent as the minds that enter.
Heather Fowler‘s work most recently appeared in decomP, Pank, JMWW, and Night Train. Her website is http://heatherfowlerwrites.com. Writing Spaces is a series dedicated to the desks, cafes, libraries and retreats where Fictionaut writers work, providing a window to the physical places where some of the stories on the site originated.