(Yeah. Like that ever happens.)
Anyway…spontaneous. Yes, sir. That’s me.
So, a little spackle, a little paint, some new carpet, and I’d be back in business, right?
So very, very, very wrong. Our little project snowballed, as these things often do, as anyone who owns an old suburban house will tell you.
Long story reduced to one ugly word: mold.
My office is now gutted to the studs, and our roof—yes, our entire roof—will be torn off and replaced starting this week. Then my office will have to be re-framed, re-sheetrocked, re-wired, re-everything.
(Had I realized we had thousands of extra dollars at our disposal, I’d have opted to spend it on a fabulous Mediterranean cruise vacation and taken my chances on a leaky roof, water damage and mold. My husband, however, appears to have developed an unhealthy fear of leaky roofs, water damage and mold, and so we are spending our thousands of extra dollars on flannel-clad, ladder-climbing workmen, and shingles. At least I got to order a charming red-speckled gray that matches the shutters. The shingles, not the guys—though they may very well also turn out to be charming, red-speckled, and gray.)
Ever since I acknowledged that I am not one of those fortunate, SPONTANEOUS writers who can write anywhere, any time, I’ve had to adjust my schedule so that I work on the book only when I have the living room to myself. Which pretty much relegates my writing schedule to the wee hours, school day hours, and non Yankees-or-Giants-game-viewing hours. As a result, on occasions when I would ordinarily have run up to my desk to pound out a new scene, I have unexpectedly found myself with free time.
I was worried that I might be frustrated about deadlines and all the writing I could have been doing in my—sob—office. However, I’ve discovered that there’s something cathartic about the homey housewife life. I’ve been keeping busy cleaning out cupboards and closets, cooking and baking, planting bulbs, pruning hedges. In fact, the last few weeks have been kind of a throwback to my contented newlywed weekends, when my husband and I were living in New England with no friends and nothing but time on our hands.
If I had an office I never would found myself at Borders on a rainy Saturday afternoon this past weekend, browsing other people’s books when I ordinarily would have been writing my own. Other people’s books, like a new memoir called THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.
BIO: Wendy Corsi Staub is the New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy novels under her own name and the pseudonym Wendy Markham. She lives in Westchester County with her husband and children.