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When I quit my job to start freelancing, lo these many years ago, I was very serious about my work space.I had a little office, and I would trundle up there each morning with my patient brown dog and sit in my seat until I had made the requisite number of phone calls or written the necessary number of pages.  The room had sliding doors with a teensy balcony that overlooked the barn and horses. A cowbird would sit on the balcony and harangue me, and eventually I turned my desk to the wall so I would not be distracted.

An office came with this house, too, and although I turned my desk to the wall to avoid the view and focus on work, distractions managed to creep in.(See below.) I became adept at writing a few sentences, reading a story, then writing a few more.

Last year, my husband redid my office for my birthday. He painted it two gorgeous colors, found a beautiful wooden table, and set the whole room up. But now that both my children are in school, I find it hard to write there. My office is suddenly too quiet. Instead I sit at the kitchen table, overlooking the hummingbird feeder. I type a few lines, glance up the clock, type a few more. I pretend I’m telling a story, not writing a book. The new dog, not as patient as the old, is unhappy with this routine. He sits outside in the sun, watching the neighbors and waiting for the clock to show 3 p.m., the hour when distractions begin.

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