Each week we’ll be inviting an author to share a peek at their writing space. This week it’s Lynne Cantwell, author of SwanSong.
My daughter got her own place in April, which allowed me to reconfigure my “office” to the current layout. My father made the desk for me decades ago from plans he found in “Popular Mechanics” magazine. Originally it was maple-stained plywood with a pressboard top – he was going for a marble-top look, which never worked. (For one thing, the writing surface was uneven. My pen would go right through the paper at inopportune moments.) So I replaced the top with a tabletop from IKEA, and painted and varnished the desk and the skinny bookcase to match the parsons table I use as a printer stand. The drawer unit under the parsons table came from a crafts store. The right side of the desk, which you can’t see, features a magazine rack; I use it to hold file folders for hard-copy printouts. The Rocky Mountain National Park poster over the desk is from a calendar of WPA posters – I love how it promotes “no modern conveniences” and “freezing temperatures guaranteed outdoors every night” as if those were good things. On the far right, you can see the corner of my latest IKEA acquisition: a sofa table with cubbies for my reference books for The Pipe Woman Chronicles. It’s so nice to have everything within reach! Clipped to the basket on top is a Cheshire cat keychain that one of my daughters gave me.
Based on the Irish tale “The Fate of the Children of Lir,” *SwanSong* is the story of a jealous half-Tslyddi woman who curses her four Wolleni stepchildren to 900 years as swans. But the curse goes awry and the children are only partially transformed. The childrens’ journey, as they learn to cope with their changed lives, is one of hardship, tragedy, and triumph.
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