I didn’t plan to post again this soon. With my return feeling imminent, though, I figure what harm could it do.
A friend wrote to me privately. In his email, he mentioned the desk, said he’d like to see it and wondered whether maybe it has magic powers.
Actually, it might have. I thought I’d share my expanded response to him with you.
As I mentioned yesterday, my desk is walnut, stained naturally in a warm medium brown. The finish on the leading edge of the large surface shows some wear, primarily in four places: where my forearms rest while I’m typing and where the previous owner’s elbows/forearms rested when he was writing longhand. More on that later.
The top of the desk, which is solid walnut and almost two inches thick, looks like the deck of an aircraft carrier. It’s five feet wide and almost three feet deep.
Originally, the desk had five drawers. Two were shallow lap drawers, each 18″ wide and 2″ top to bottom. They were also as deep as the desk.
The other three drawers are in a single pedestal down the right side. Each of those is 14″ wide and 5″ top to bottom. They also are as long as the desk is deep. So tons of storage.
It just occurred to me, in that way the desk is like a giant treasure box. (All boys, it seems, regardless of age, must have a treasure box. It’s similar to a woman’s hope chest, I suppose, but it relies on actualities and memories rather than possibilities.)
I loved the two wide, deep lap drawers, but when I cut 3″ off the legs to lower it to “computer desk” height, I had to remove the lap drawers and their support so I could get my legs under the desk. Sigh.
But if I hadn’t done that, the desk would be too high, putting my arms at an awkward angle for typing. That can cause all sorts of problems.
I didn’t want to cut the desk down, and that’s why I first moved it out. Then recently I remembered it’s MY desk and I bought it so I could write novels on it. So any modifications are fine. Modifying it is better than having it sit in storage collecting dust.
I saw a stamp somewhere on the underside of the desk that identified it as having been built in the 1930s. If memory serves, according to the lady we bought it from, it was already a writer’s desk when her husband bought it, though the first writer’s name escapes me, if she even mentioned it.
Then her husband, a novelist, bought it. As I recall, that was in the early 1950s. He wrote several novels on it longhand. He also wrote tech manuals.
When he passed away, we attended the estate sale and bought the desk from his 92 (I think) year-old widow for $250.
When I told her I was a writer and novelist, she was very pleased and tears came to her eyes. “Then I know it’s going home,” she said.
So yes, it very probably is magic. 🙂
I probably won’t post for a few more days.
Via The Passive Voice, see “A New Story…” at https://electricliterature.com/a-new-story-by-the-master-of-hardboiled-detective-fiction-1ff845e9479a.
Dean’s offering to be a first reader for other writers again. The upshot is, participants get him as a reader (with feedback) free and two online seminars besides. See https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/want-to-be-challenged-i-am-doing-it-again/.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 580 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 580
Writing of “”
Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX (done)
Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 453762
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1360
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 176913
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 630675
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182