||My childhood bedroom had a little adjoining side-room which became my study. The view from one window
was the driveway; the other looked out at Mom's
clothesline. Here's how it worked: I could walk
into my study and close the door. Yes, close the
door. Inside, there was a clunky wooden bureau
with my teeny bopper record player on top. At the
window facing the driveway, my desk. On either
side of me, bookshelves built by Dad ... kind of
like surround sound but in books.
My first job there in Lincoln, Massachusetts
was as a pre-teen volunteer in the children's library.
Heddi Kent taught us how to shelve books, alphabetically
by the author's last name. Inside my study, I replicated
Heddi's method: titles alphabetized by the author's last
name. It never occurred to me that this was atypical
behavior for a 10-year old. Sometimes, the desk held
the typewriter I'd gotten one birthday so I could learn
to type and "always have something to fall back
on." Even then, I had all of the ingredients: privacy,
plenty of books to read, the ability to print words,
and a choice between silence or accompanying music. A
room with order and simplicity. A room where I could
really listen to myself. A room where I could write.
here for more.