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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

Making Changes

Finding the Right Use of Space

When I moved to Chicago in 2017, I wasn't planning to revive my dreams of being a writer. I had bought new furniture when I was living in Champaign, and the desk I decided on was a style I liked and had plenty of storage. The drop-leaf front was perfect if I wanted to pen a note or write a check.

The second bedroom was designed as the "office." Mostly that meant that the small hide-a-bed couch co-existed with a lot of books. Not nearly as many as I had in the house, but still, a substantial library in a small room.

In July 2018, after attending a bunch of book signing, my inner writer decided it was time to make an appearance. Max and Cress (then called Alex and Nicky) had been kicking around in my subconscious for a few years, but developing a plot seemed daunting. I started taking writing classes, mostly with the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime. Early on I realized that I wasn't going to be able to write a romantic comedy or a mystery, and turned to romantic suspense. And Global Security Unlimited was born.

Once I started writing, I mostly worked on my iPad. I could sit in my armchair in the living room and rest it on the ottoman. Really, though, I did a lot of my writing in coffee shops, in writing groups or with friends who wanted to get together to write.

COVID changed all that. For months I didn't write at all. I had gotten so used to not writing at home, that changing my pattern seemed overwhelming. It wasn't until fairly late in 2020 that I started on a new draft of At First Sight. NaNoWriMo was the impetus for me to finish the new draft of the book.

I started out, using the desk and my iPad. That worked until I found online writing groups that wrote together on Zoom. When I realized it would be easier if I used two screen, I used the iPad and and iPad mini. But space on the desktop became an issue, so...

iPad Pro and iPad mini. I switched out the mini for my MacBook Air soon after.

I set up in the dining room, using my iPad Pro and my iPad mini, but quickly changed to my MacBook Air.. I never liked my laptop, so this year I decided to try a desktop machine, something I hadn't used in years. I bought a 24" iMac. The bigger screen was great because not only is my eyesight not what it was, but I could have two pages up on the screen at the same time.

Dining room with iMac and iPad.

While the light in the dining is wonderful, thanks to the seven windows that make up the bay, there are drawbacks. It's very hot in the summer because it faces east and south and the sun pours in. The windows also make it cold in the winter. When you have radiator heat, rooms without radiators tend to be cold.

I also disliked the fact that I wasn't using the study as a study. But the iMac is too big for the dropdown desk surface. The room is stuffed with furniture. If I want a new desk, I have to sell the current one. Not an easy prospect. The windows in the study face north into another part of the building, so there is less light. On the other hand, the room is much quieter since it doesn't get all the street noise. And, if I get cold, there is a radiator in the room.

On Saturday, I moved the iMac into the office, along with the iPad. I'm trying this new set up for the moment while I reconsider the layout of the room, whether selling the desk is feasible, or if I could move some bookcases and make room for a computer that would co-exist with the current desk. In the meantime, the small table is the compromise.

Temporary solution, view one.

Temporary solution, view two.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone in the market for a nice piece of furniture?


Remember, books make great gifts.

Ebook and on Kindle Unlimited

Paperbacks can be ordered online from Barnes and Noble and Amazon or at your local bookstore

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