Saturday, December 30, 2006

Destinations


The prompt for Sunday Scribblings this week is "Destinations." I love this word, and spent lunch poring over the new issue of National Geographic Explorer magazine dreaming of kayaking trips in Belize and stilt bungalows in Bora Bora. However, this year we will not be going anywhere exotic that I know of. There are some short trips planned to Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, for writery things like conferences, but no vacations. If I could go anywhere it would be India, perhaps on the first leg of my dream mango-tasting-tour of the tropics! (I will do that some day, I swear to you. Future memoir title: Mangoes & Me: One Woman's Attempt to Hog Every Mango on the Planet to Herself).

But seriously. There are two destinations I will be visiting VERY regularly, one with pleasure, the other not so much. The pleasure one is my writing room, pictured above and below. I am in it now, and I love it so much. When I'm actually using it rather than photographing it, the desk gets pulled over in front of the green bench. I like writing on a bench, so I can spread out reference books and notebooks beside me. I'm a dictionary junkie -- I love me a new weird word like "scutage" (tax paid in lieu of military service in feudal times) and "sideromancy" (divination by heated iron) and "helminthology" (the study of worms). I've been using the same dictionary since I was a travel book editor: the American Heritage, and it amazes me that I am still finding new words in it. And I love that "callipygian" is one of the guide words up in the corner. It's a good word to know, and when I was a bartender I actually won $20 because some dipstick bet me he could stump my vocabulary! (Okay, if you're too lazy to look it up, it means: having perfectly proportioned buttocks. hee hee!!)

We had the writing room remodeled this summer by our awesome contractor, Dave (whose wife is a Sunday Scribbler and has a blog here). Dave also built an adorable patio out the French doors, and a big patio out the main back door, and most recently, a new stair railing so that we wouldn't plunge to our deaths through the gaping hole in the floor. At least, that's what our mothers thought would happen, although we had been living with it for 6 years and gotten quite used to our gaping hole. It's amazing what you can get used to. We just found out Dave and his family are moving away. Dang! Our last contractor moved away too. Is it something we did?


And here are some writing room friends:

Now, the not so wonderful destination I must take myself off to more frequently this year is. . . the gym. Bluh. Went today and it was a ZOO. I deeply resent the gym, and I resent that I am not willowy, and that I am not someone who has to remember to feed themselves so they don't waste away to a size 0. Wah!

I wrote this the other day about a character, but it could as well be about me: "With a deep, visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek and shining one, like a stiletto blade slicing free of an ungainly sheath. Like a bird of prey losing its hatchling fluff to hunt, dagger-taloned and swift in cold, magnificent skies. That she might become something glittering, something startling, something dangerous."

Incidentally, I also resent that someone gave chocolate my phone number. It keeps calling me. And it shows up at the door in new and innovative and irresistable forms, like Lindt dark chocolate with intense pear? Um. . . Yum. Chocolate, please, forget about me. I know our love affair has been the stuff of legends, but I must go on and live my life without you. Or at least, with much less of you. We can't see each other every day. It isn't SANE! It isn't DECENT!

Whew. Sorry. Getting close to Big Monday. You know what that means? I have to eat all the chocolate in the house before then so I can start 2007 with a clean slate. Ah-ha-ha-ha-HA! Have a great weekend, folks!

P.S. I need to add, these photos would not have been possible without my awesome new camera. Yippee!

29 comments:

Parisparfait said...

Laini, first I LOVE your writing room! Beautiful, bright and inspiring! I also appreciate your writing "...with a dee, visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek and shining one..." Such beautiful writing. I'm really looking forward to reading your book(s). As for chocolate, Belgian chocolate has become a little too familiar here as well - even though I've been sick since Christmas with the flu, chocolate is still hanging about. Like you, must get it all out of the house by tomorrow night or send it to Savannah with Jordana (she flies tomorrow). The photos with your new camera are terrific. Hope you and Jim enjoy your new year's celebration and that 2007 is another wonderful year for you both! xo

Alexandra S said...

What a wonderful post FT! (I bet you don't even know what FT stands for yet, do you?) I think that your contractor has to move because your writing room was his grand masterpiece and it can't get any better than that so now he must move on, move forward with his life or he will forever compare all future creations to what he did at your place! As for the chocolate, you also have some pumpkin bread headed your way that my mom made but of course, it is always possible that the loaf will jump out of the plane between here and Portland, who knows? Certainly not me. Its out of my control!

Marilyn said...

And what a fabulous destination it is! (As I'm sure your 'friends' would attest.) As for the gym...I don't know where you're hiding whatever it is you think you need to get rid of...since when I met you, you seemed oh so slim. Wishing you and Jim a beautiful, happy, healthy, prosperous 2007. May your destination take you on many magical, creative journeys in the coming year.

Left-handed Trees... said...

This room is magical--I cannot imagine all of the amazing things you will create in this space! As for the dysfunctional affair with chocolate...I had one, until my illness began at the start of 2006. Now, I am slowly getting healthy, but chocolate and I are reduced to eyeing one another wearily, remembering what the other was like, "way back when we were together". (sigh....) Did I mention that Santa left chocolate in the kids' stockings and bath bubbles for mine? At least it wasn't a lump of coal...

I hope your 2007 is full of inspired days in this inspired space!!!
--D.--

Jamie said...

What a magical, colourful, whimsical world you've created in your writing room. It feels simply delicious, like all of the mangoes you are sure to devour in your cross-planet adventures.

And think of the gym as your pre-adventure trials! You are honing your goddess' body for all that is yet to come. Put on your wings and celestial-height boots, and you'll be ready!

Becca said...

Thanks for sharing the pics of your glorious writing room! Such a bright, positive feeling place it must be. That's a great destination to have :)

I too will be high-tailing it to the gym in quest of becoming
callypigian (thanks for the great words - I'm a collector too!)

Happy New Year!

jennifer said...

Hi Laini!

I love the pics of my dear husband's work! It looks so bright, cozy and lovely.. The colors are amazing! I know I have seen it in person.. but Wow! that camera does it justice! Escpecially Dave's bookshelf! (my fave)

We are sad to leave you guys this year but be assured it is nothing to do with you! :) And of course, his finale for you will be a sweet kitchen before we go....

I cannot do the gym.. I can do yoga but not the gym, it's just something I cannot bring myself to do.. so kudo's to you for going!

I guess I won't be bringing you back chocolate from Paris... what would you like instead???

liz elayne said...

so glad you have that railing. now i don't have to worry about you plunging to your death either (or me plunging to mine when i visit).

you will travel to so many destinations in that writing room...and i can't wait to read where your trips take you.

(bravo to you for doing the gym thing. i am going to have another piece of chocolate now.)

AnnieElf said...

Your writing room is a dream. And an inspiration. Don is going to help me organize my art space so I can get going again in 07. I'm thinking a splash of color is just the thing for starters. I'll be up your way in June. Would LOVE to see that room and the gaping hole. Annie

Amber said...

I love how you use color and whimsy in your writing room! So YOU! I can see how you can let your mind go to magical places, in a room like that.

Oh how I need to start back to the gym, too! Yucko. I have lost lots of weight, but I am sooo soft and floppy and *raspberry* . Not. Attractive.

Happy New Year Laini!
:)

Catherine said...

Your writing room is wonderful! And I love what you are writing in it, you have such a sense of humour eg "someone gave chocolate my phone number". And travel book editor? What a wonderful job.
But - I don't know where you are, but it seems to me that Seattle, New York and Los Angeles are all a long way from each other. So how can your trips be short? The whole of Europe would fit into the US quite easily! I guess we all think it's a short trip if we stay in our own country :)

Tinker said...

Your writing room is so gloriously colorful and juicy - it looks like it must feel to actually be inside a mango! Chocolate has had my number for years, even though I keep trying to get an unlisted one, somehow it always finds me again.
Wishing you and Jim a New Year filled with wonders and delights!

Darlene said...

Laini ~*~

What a love you are and have been for me. Kind and wise words have penetrated my heart and I thank you for that.

I can't even begin to tell you just how much I appreciate it.

Thank you thank you,
much love,
Darlene XOXO

Inconsequential said...

your bench looks very outdoors indoors.
v.cool.

Not sure I like the colour scheme, but then i'm sitting in a pink room, and I don't like that much either...

Also, i'm not sure on the etiquette of these things, but you don't look like the sort of person who needs to worry too much about eating...if that is your pic up there in the corner...

oh, and if you like words...
http://phrontistery.info/index.html
has a few odd ones on offer :)

Goddess of Leonie said...

that is a gloriously coloured writing room! i just painted my studio a new colour... sky blue :) it is deliriously good!

ahhh, sweet destinations... may you travel deeply and wildly into your heart and your imagination this year!

we have been drooling over travel brochures and intrepid travel guides and lonely planet books the last few days, having decided that 2007 is our travel year.

it will definitely include india ~ that is the place of my spirit, and i get teary thinking of it... perhaps japan as well :)

may the year ahead be filled with adventures of all kinds ~~~
in love and light
leonie

megnificent! said...

India is one of my dream destinations, too! Usually when I mention that to people, they curl up their nose, like they can smell it, or something! I think a piece of my life puzzle is waiting there for me.
Chocolate? Ladies, ladies, ladies....hasn't anyone ever read a nutritional label on a chocolate bar? Valuable calcium, iron, protein and 0 trans fat! (At least on the Hershey's w/Almonds I'm staring at, right now at 7:35 am!!
These are all vital nutrients that our female bodies shed on a monthly basis, which is why mostly females crave chocolate, at least that's my personal theory that I choose to believe and what I tell people in the checkout line at the store when I'm hoarding an armload of 3/$1.00 sale of my favorites and they give me their greedy little looks!
So, the next time you have a craving, listen to your body speaking to you!
I love your artist office! Very active. Action has to be occuring in that colorful room. Awesome!

brittany said...

seriously unbelievable room! It's so full of color and character! So refreshing and different than anything I have seen. Thanks for sharing. I bet it would be fun to be your friend:)

Chocolate better not be cheating on me, because I have no regrets that I depend on him for my sanity every.single.day. No one could love him like I do.

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a bright and delightful room! May I recommend the orange mangoes of Malawi for your Manfo tour, they are the sweetest most delicious mangos. (But avoid the green mangoes of Malawi for they are evil).

Shari said...

Hi Laini,
Isn't it funny how we try to devour all the goodies before the new year begins? Have you ever tried a frozen chocolate covered cherry? Oh my goodness, what a treat! Happy New Year to you both!

Lisa PN said...

You are the only other person that i have ever read about, met...well you know! that knows the word callipygian. Everyone thinks that it was made up! alas, it is good to find you. Happy New Year and know that someone in Toronto Canada will also be working out and saying good bye to chocolate. but until tomorrow, today, i make cookies!

~Michelle~ said...

Your writing room colors are totally JUICY! Wow!

My fav chocolate is anything by VOSGES. mmmmmm....

Happy New Year!

Patry Francis said...

I am now suffering from a severe case of writing room envy. How could you NOT write something magnificent in a room like that?

I like that you call it a writing room by the way. I never knew what to call mine--the office, the study--both felt wrong. While I was in PA over the holidays I found a sign in an antique shop that said, "Welcome to the Back Porch." I don't know why, but I had to have it to hang in my writing room.

Happy new year to you and Jim!

Michelle said...

I love that space! Ha, I should have put the gym down as MY destination. It's not too late...

RetroBerry said...

Wow, who's the artist of the work above your bench? That black-haired, lady is scrumptious...

Wishing you many juicy destinations in 2007!

Bongga Mom said...

Congratulations on your new camera! You certainly put it to good use, taking such great photos of your gorgeous writing room (WONDERFUL color scheme you've got going there!) I'm pining for a new digital SLR myself, anything that removes the annoying time delay so prevalent in regular digital cameras.

Hanna said...

thanks for sharing these inspiring and beautiful photos of your writing studio - it looks totaly awesome!

Bright Phoenix said...

Your house is stunning - those colors!

I am new to your blog, but I've added it to my favorites for a daily visit. Your photographs are lovely!

Good luck on the gym - I am starting an exercise regimen, too and I know just how you're feeling.

Jone said...

I love your writing room. Now that would be a prompt for Sunday Scribblings: write about your writing room. I wonder where others write.
Would love toread your book as soon as it comes out.

Sophie said...

i want to come visit you -
your house inspires me
- it is vibrant and happy -
just like you:)