Writers' Rooms: Anne Giardini

Anne Giardini

(c) Giardini

I work in a reclaimed storage area in the basement of the house. My husband found the bookshelves at a salvage yard and we had someone build them into the wall. The other furniture is second hand from offices and friends. The room is mostly my own, but my husband has a practice putter in here too, just out of sight on the right. He doesn't practice when I am working but when I am walking around upstairs I sometimes hear the click when his club contacts the ball, and the ringing rattle if it lands in the cup. This is an aural representation of what I strive for when I am writing.

I keep on my desk a photograph of two young women leaping into the air. This image helps me to make a start when the screen is blank. The women are sisters, in their early 20s, the daughters of a close friend. I find their exuberance always inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking. The heartbreak relates to my strong and constant sense of loss of each moment that has just past. I don't know if there is a word for this. It is a form of nostalgia, but for the relinquishment of the immediately completed, not the long ago. I think that part of my desire to write is to arrest or at least record this loss.

I am starting my third novel and so am collecting books and stories and poems about one of its central themes, which is death. These are starting to accumulate on the right side of my desk. Bills and untended correspondence tend to pile up on the left side. The work of writing gets done in the middle on a laptop.

Sometimes I work on my computer on the couch upstairs. I get less done there, but it feels more as if I am at the centre of the house, which is where I most like to be. Going to my office feels like penance sometimes, unless the work is going very well. Then it feels as if I have made a leap and the air is holding me suspended above the ground.

Anne's first novel, The Sad Truth About Happiness, was short listed for the Amazon/Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2006 and for an Audie audio books award. Her second novel, Advice for Italian Boys, is scheduled for publication in early 2009. She has started work on her third novel, which will deal with death, loss and relinquishment. To find out more about Anne and her work please click on this link.