Monday, October 24, 2011

From The Desk of Madame Fromage

One of my favorite essays is Joan Didion’s “In Bed.” If I were going to write about a place where I spend most of my time, it would be called “At The Desk.” Until about a month ago, I wrote most of my posts at the kitchen table, but now that my cheese life keeps expanding, I finally had to create room for it.

So, welcome. Today, I thought I'd offer you a tour of my cheddar-colored inner sanctum. Here's what it looks like. To me, a writer’s work space requires certain essentials: good light, a project board, plants, books, drawings, a place to recline, gentle clutter, and, well, personality. 

I’m always surprised when I visit other people’s home offices that are tidy as a tack. Maybe I’m weird, but I like to trick myself into thinking that I’m part of a Bedouin encampment. If I think about how isolating my life is – all this pecking at the keys, so many afternoons photographing cheese – I can get spooked.

My work space offers space for cheese reverie, complete with books in the corner, but it also serves as a crash pad for visitors. Fromage + functionality. The best thing about this room is the project board I put together to keep my notes in plain view. Until recently, I used a filing cabinet, but I discovered that filing cabinets eat things. I could never find anything I was looking for. A filing board? Oh mercy, it's my new miracle.

This is where I tack tasting notes, dote on other people's beautiful business cards, keep lists of things to do, track freelance contracts, mull over secret plans, and sometimes rearrange sticky notes to create a sense of having accomplished something. Other times, I simply try to read my own hand writing as a form of mental exercise. 

In a few months, I'm planning to redesign this site -- that's right, Blogger has served me well, but now it's time to dream of new url's. Creating a physical space, a Cheese Command Center, if you will, was the first step in a new screen vision. I hope you'll stay with me as the process unfolds. And if you've got any notes to share, from your desk to mine, I hope you will. 

Madame F.


  1. Tenaya--great cheese-lovin' blog. I just stumbled on it today for the first time--I've got some catching up to do. Best of luck with your new blog. And thank you for offering a glimpse into your world. I write at home too and wrestle with ways to make my space more inviting, yet efficient. The battle continues.

  2. my card made it to the filing board ;)

    my office/studio space has plenty of clutter! there's cameras and gear all over the place.