The Kindergarten

29 Nov

Every imaginator has his/her professional play place. An aspiring writer’s may be a beanbag chair and a laptop while celebrities have constructed notorious landmarks. Elvis’s Graceland, George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch, and Herman Melville’s Arrowhead (yeah I looked that one up) come to mind.

Writers and artists need to create and thus its important for us to confine ourselves like zoo animals. Much like our furry relatives, the more natural and personalized our habitat, the more comfortable we’ll be.

I decided that I needed a “writing domain.” But all attempts resulted in failure.  Local coffee shops closed to early. And bratty children kept glancing at their watches as I typed atop the slide. I needed to create a space within my small Japanese style apartment.  Luckily, I have a spare bedroom. Unfortunately, central heating is non-existent in Aomori, so in winter even a polar bear would shiver in that room.

I already had a fitting desk, but the surroundings required a facelift. Much like a bachelor needs his pad, I craved something to match the children’s writer within.

With help from artist and friend Lisa Petro, we went shopping. Hoards of knick-knacks, toys, plants, books, paints, and colored index cards later, we were finished.

So proud of my “stylin’ & profilin’” digs, I unveiled my domain to a friend. “Isn’t it groovy?” I asked.

“It’s a kindergarten,” he said.

Dreams of bachelorhood vanished. But he was right, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, except for maybe with a hot tub?

The Kindergarten

The main wall boasts a menagerie of large index cards with the names of works in progress; blinking lights establish a tacky ambiance and exotic masks nod a smile of encouragement. There’s no better place to pen a picture book than “The Kindergarten.” Though when entertaining guests, I preface the evening by confirming I write for kids in order to avoid the inevitable “how old are you?” glances.

Let’s hope I avoid taking a stab at the horror genre. I don’t have enough sweaters to live in a dungeon.

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