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  • Writer's pictureDonna Norman Carbone

My Writing Space



As my three children grew, physically bigger, the space in my house felt like it was shrinking and mine seemingly obsolete. When my, then, 22 year old son announced he was moving across the country, I really thought about his bedroom. Should I leave it completely intact? Just in case? Completely closed off-- a shrine of sorts. I discussed the choices that lay before me; he wasn't happy he'd be losing stock, but it was his decision, after all, to leave the nest.

After serious contemplation, I decided to reclaim my space. The room that had been mine before he became a restless and independent 10 year old, wanting his own space outside of his shared room with his brother would become mine again. I'd sacrificed that and so much more. Making it clear that he'd always have space in our home to return to, I set about the task of closure and new beginnings.


My writing space is largely decorated in black and white with pops of color. An abstract, painted heart hangs on the wall adjacent to where my desk sits. Sometimes, I just look at it, getting lost in the splashes of color, imagining.



Across from me, are two paintings. One of which is a bookshelf I painted of all my favorite books at a paint night with my sisters and mom. The Catcher in the Rye, A Year by the Sea, Imagined London, Little Children, The Reader, Mrs. Dalloway, Gone with the Wind, The Great Gatsby, Shakespeare: Complete Works, Little Altars Everywhere, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, One Day, The Red Tent, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and, of course, Wuthering Heights are stacked on the shelves. These are the books that live within me. Beneath is a tall Chakra painting that my sister painted–all seven chakras, one of my most prized possessions, a daily reminder of my sister and our shared interests.




On other shelves, I have trinkets I’ve collected over the years from my many trips to London, France and Italy. I have photographs of my family and keepsakes like two Dorothy dolls, French clowns, Tinkerbell statuettes and snow globes, pin lanyards from Disney World, and an Underwood typewriter (that works). A signed Train poster hangs on one wall and, on another, a poster of the entire text of Wuthering Heights shaped into an image from the novel, a gift from a former student.


On bookshelves, I have a host of craft books, so they are at my fingertips when I need them: many Ackerman and Puglisi's thesauruses, Bird by Bird, Save the Cat Writes a Novel, Before and After the Book Deal, The Writer’s Lexicon and Write for Your Life among them. Tucked inside the cabinets of my bookshelves are drafts of (mostly shelved) novels I’ve written, printed out and bound, and twenty-six journals full of my musings over the years.



But the best feature of my space, the one everyone who sees it gasps about, is the chalkboard wall filled with graffiti of favorite quotes and symbols that inspire me.



I am a creature of comfort. I need it to think, to write, to be productive. This room gives me comfort. This space inspires me because it's mine. Only mine. It reflects all of who I am. And the best part–I can close the door.





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