Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Desks with Character

Today, while I was cleaning up the desktop on my laptop, hoping an idea for a post would present itself (yes, that's how it goes for writers some days), I got to wondering what my characters' desk tops would look like. Jim, I think, would have the tidiest, most sterile desk of all, at least at work, where he has a secretary to help him keep things straight. I picture his desk at home as a substantial, heavy, dark wood piece, littered with those pink slips secretaries use to write down phone messages, with a blotter and client files stacked neatly in a holder.

Angel's desk, I think, might look something like the photo at right: neat and tidy, with a planner being the central feature. She'd have a tablet instead of a computer, using the desktop computer in Jim's office if she needed to use a computer at all. Instead of the cacti on the left hand side of the photo, she'd probably have fresh flowers, but nothing fussy -- perhaps a single stem in a crystal bud vase, off to the side where it wouldn't get in the way. Her desk would be a neat little nook in her kitchen or breakfast room -- somewhere she could plan menus as easily as she could keep track of the family planner.

Marita's kitchen is smaller and less modern, but with
a similar counter set up.
Photo: Memory Catcher via Pixabay
Marita's house is small, without extra space to dedicate to an office, so she wouldn't have a desk at all. Like Angel, she'd likely pull up a chair in the kitchen, and keep her paperwork tucked in a drawer, only she wouldn't have a dedicated nook like Angel. The kitchen island, outfitted with bar stools, would be the place she'd sit if she needed a place to pay bills -- that is, if she didn't just do so on the living room sofa while watching television. She'd keep her files in a two-drawer wooden cabinet in the living room -- one that doubles as a side table. Her laptop would be wherever she left it last.

Charli's desk is a hand-me-down -- an old wooden desk with three drawers to the right -- two narrow, one deep. It was Marita's when she was a teenager, but, every time they talk about replacing it, Charli hesitates. She thinks her mother doesn't know that she loves the file drawer because she can just sweep everything off her desk and into that deep drawer when it's time to clean things up. Marita just smiles, not telling her daughter that she used to do the same thing.

Helen 1965 vis Pixabay

Bets's desk isn't a desk at all -- just a table on one wall of her apartment, just as likely to hold lipstick as a laptop. Sometimes it's neat, sometimes it's the drop zone at the end of a busy week. She might or might not find her bills there; they're just as likely to be on the table by the door where she drops her mail. Bets loves clean lines and a contemporary feel, but she also loves relaxation, bright pops of color and a night curled up on the couch watching old movies, so a desk isn't high on her priority list.

What do you think? Did you picture these Casting the First Stone characters' work spaces the same way?

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