Problems Arose Pending a Copier/Scanner

Saturday, February 6, 2010
Over the last year, the Shack has undergone the slow transformation from a teeny hang-out spot to a cozy little home. Now when Andy or I say “let’s go home,” we both know we’re talking about the Shack. And as a writer living in the woods in this itty-bitty dwelling, the Thoreau metaphors abound, although Thoreau’ little cabin probably would fit in the Shack about three times if you break down the square footage. This might make the Shack appear to a veritable castle in comparison with Thoreau, but let us all remember that Thoreau was one person and that he ate the majority of his meals over at the Emersons which means he didn’t have to deal with running out of countertop for dirty dishes,


or having half of his couch covered with winter camping gear,

or having a home office that makes the standard office cubicle seem roomy.

The great thing about being a writer is that it’s not an especially complicated profession. Not a whole lot of gear is required to be a writer, nor does one need to possess an innate sense for mechanics or really anything else. As long as you have a pen, paper, brain, and the ability to ask questions, you’re pretty much set. There’s really no need to have an office bigger than the Shack’s postage stamp-sized one.

But every once in a while, I wonder how Thoreau did it. When the books I’ve perched on the railing around the loft’s ladder fall downstairs for the third time in one day, I realize that I’ve quickly outgrown the work space available in the Shack. Because although I have a computer and printer as well as shelves filled with office supplies, reference material and personal documents, I harbor a deep desire to be the owner of a copier/scanner.

I don’t really need a copier/scanner – my parents own one after all and I’m welcome to use it – but it sure would make my life easier sometimes. Not only would it often remove a step from the query process, it would also make it much easier for me to maintain a profile of clips. Right now I have publications I’ve been published in recently stuffed onto a shelf for the day I actually decide to make copies of the articles as well as save a pdf copy on my computer. The portfolio is something that really needs to be kept up to date so I don’t have to scramble every time I get asked for clips, but for the time being, I’m letting it slide. There’s just no place to put a copier/scanner in the Shack and I’m not organized enough to remember to grab the publications and my flash drive every time I run to town.

A friend mentioned last week that a little more room could be created in office area if I pushed the desk back farther. I’m worried though about moving the little spider plant on my desk too far away from sunlight and I don’t want all the camping gear stuffed in the corner behind the desk to become any less accessible than it already is. Perhaps I’ll work out a way to finagle a copier/scanner into the Shack, perhaps not. In the end, we can almost always make do with what we have.

We must, as Winston Churchill put it, "Keep buggering on." Today, despite the lack of a copier/scanner, I need to follow up with some correspondence, finish an article, revise a chapter, write a query, feed the birds and do laundry. I should also mention that I'm truly glad to have a couple days off to spend dinking around in the Shack home office. 

Since I'm in a sharing mood, here's a picture of Andy's new truck. It's great and I'm sure it's lovely to drive, but it's a manual transmission. I understand the concept of manual transmissions, just not as it applies to me. Andy's anxious to change that perception of mine and I guess this summer will bring driving lessons.


  1. Your space looks GORGEOUS.

    The copier/scanner will make a huge, positive difference in my life. I have two printers -- an all-in-one with printer, copier, scanner, fax, photo printer, all of which I use every day -- and a small printer just to print out manuscript drafts. I have very little space, (I have to stand on a chair to deal with the all-in-one), but it's worth it.

    We don't live in Thoreau's age -- we live in ours. His tools were different. The more productive we make our workspace, the more we can delve into our work.

  2. Uh, that should be, it will make a huge, positive difference in YOUR life, with the positive difference it made in MY life as an example.

    Not enough coffee this morning. . .


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