I don’t need any fancy architecture. A plain rectangular room will do me just fine. It has high ceilings and polished wooden floors with shag rugs–easy to clean, not to mention easy to replace when the rugs start getting worn, black and possibly sticky. Two of the walls, corner to corner, are complete floor-to-ceiling windows, all the better for letting natural reading light in. I’d say self-cleaning, but even my imagination has to meet reality at some point.
There’s a hammock in the corner where the windows meet, and suspended egg chairs from the ceiling. Go ahead, call me a yuppie now, I’ll wait. Done? Let’s move on.
The other long wall will have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, chock full not only of books, but games, DVDs and Blu-Rays, and display nooks for all the random collectibles and figurines I seem to steadily acquire. You know the ladders from those old shows and movies that run along the length of the shelf on a rail? It has one of those.
The final wall has a low shelf which contains all the hardware like the surround sound receiver, gaming consoles, and a computer that doubles as a media centre. As for the TV, it’s the wall itself, using a HD projector. When I want to switch between reading and games, I simply press the button to lower the blackout blinds on all the windows, and the room transforms just like that.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper lounge without recliners, and a long couch for the days when you find it amusing to jostle your friends just as the monster leaps at the protagonists on screen. And don’t forget the beanbags strewn liberally across the floor.
A small bar fridge to one side supplies those oh-so-hilarious Lord of the Rings or Star Wars drinking games, while a small coffee machine will keep us awake so we can keep drinking during those marathon sessions.
If I continue with my job as a consultant, keep up those long hours and dedicate my life to my work, I could have this. I could have it all in, oh, five to ten years. If I can deal with the daily pressure-cooker that comes from being forced to schmooze and network and make a big deal of myself, I can climb that ladder. I can kick and scrabble and elbow my way to the precipice where the dream room isn’t just possible, it’s expected.
As a writer, however, I will never, ever be able to afford it. Let’s be perfectly honest–Suzanne Collinses and J.K. Rowlings are few and far between. You’d have better luck making it as an A-list Hollywood star. More than likely I’ll be working casual jobs on the side to make ends meet, hoping to sell a piece or two, or heaven forbid, an entire novel, here and there. Perhaps one day I’ll sell enough to quit the casual jobs. But that dream room? No.
As I look around my small bedroom, and type this up on a laptop that has serious battery issues if not kept charged, I realise I don’t need any of that. I don’t need that hammock, or those bookshelves, or even that gigantic TV. I just need scrap paper and a pen, and that will do me.
Let me create beloved friends, give them hopes and fears, love and loss. Let me bleed my heart drop by drop through my pen, let me find that elusive wisp of hope and breathe it back to life.
Let me delve into the worlds of could-have-beens and should-have beens, and let me dream.
Leanne Yong is an aspiring Aussie author who is working on her second young adult novel. Check out her blog at Clouded Memories for more information and a journal chronicling her latest foray into novel writing.