As a physical space, the Blue Rain Room still completely exists. It's become a workhorse of a room, in fact. In an email on the Friday before last, I told my friend Seamane (who is also an editor of mine) that I had so much work to do, but all I really wanted was rearrange my office. Don't worry, S., I waited until the weekend, (!) but I'm so glad I just did it.
This room used to be at the back of the house. When we moved in, the previous owners were finishing an addition that added a master bedroom and made what used to be just a bedroom into more of a pass-through room. It's hard to know what to do with a pass-through room. If we'd had a babe, it would have made a great nursery, but as it is, if the room's purpose isn't clearly defined, it becomes a dump-all kind of place. The place where you drop the pile of books that you've already read before you head back to bed to read more. My wall of yarn was there, my sewing machine and the ironing board. And when I started writing from home more full time, there went the laptop. But still, there went the knitting needles from the last project I worked on and the pants that needed a button sewn on. And when I'm trying to write, I feel the weight of all that stuff pressing down on me.
So we put the sewing machine, which I rarely use, away. I can get to it easily, though. I moved a bookcase to free up some wall space to start hanging more pictures, and we I cleared off the tops of shelves and tables. It felt good.
I spent a lot of time figuring out exactly how I use my desk (I need room for the mouse and extra room to write notes; I want the books right in front of my face and the pencils too...) before settling on just how I wanted things arranged there. I thought about eliminating one of the shelves (more wall space for photos), but Neel talked me out of it. I talked to Neel about my pipe dream of a Mac side-by-side with my laptop (our Mac is a family computer and it's downstairs) in this space for photo editing, and he pretended to be interested, but he gets nervous when I spend even pretend money. So that didn't go very far...
So it is a work horse of a room. It's my home office, steps from my bed, where I spend many hours a day writing, but we also wanted it to reflect more of the photography work I'm doing. I used to set my lighbox up on my ironing board, which sat in front of that window. We moved the ironing board out and the table (which had floated awkwardly in the middle of the room) to its place. That wall above the lamp is wide open for photos.
Oddly, the hardest part for me was that darn ironing board. I mean good grief! But seriously people, even if I don't iron much, you can NOT deny the convenience of having the board set up and ready to go if you need to do a quick swipe on a pair of pants before work. At one point Neel cautioned that I may need to just fold up the ironing board and get it out when I need it. But I know myself, and I need that ironing board to stay out or we're going to be walking around with A) wrinkled clothes or B) a diminishing wardrobe as the pile of wrinkled clothes grows. So I set it up in the guest room. It's there waiting for me. I can live with folding it up when we have company.
I like it that in a lot of these pictures you can see my ubiquitous can of seltzer. I should have also probably added my Tervis tumbler full of tea, without which I can't seem to start my day. Or my laptop actually open (ha!). Or me banging my head against my desk as I can't make a sentence work or find a bit of information I need. Now that would have been authentic!
But even without these things, the room feels good. Right and proper. Fairly minimal, with clean lines and filled with the stuff that's important to me (minus the additional Mac, of course). I'm lucky I get to work here.
PS: Still shooting in RAW. Not so sure about it...