As of the week after Christmas I have a real desk. In the living room. On the table that held our 4-ft. tall Christmas tree this year. It is now My Desk. It has wire shelves on top of it, against the wall, to hold things such as stationery, reference books, and writing tools.
My Desk is awesome. Much work with words goes on there--mostly letter-writing, reading, journaling, and the keeping of authorised loose notes such as grocery, menu, and to-do lists. I often check and update my Events calendar at My Desk. Other things happen there too (such as prayer, small sewing and knitting jobs, and occasionally even a bit of sleeping).
I might not know till next November (well...April, for Script Frenzy) whether any "real" writing will happen at My Desk--anything that doesn't have to do with money, food, the immediate furthering of personal relationships, or the organising of time and priorities--but it is a great place to hang out. I find myself gravitating there and taking a deep, slow breath as I sit down. I am tempted to eat meals at My Desk but have resisted the urge on all but the most appropriate occasions.
I have firmly resisted all efforts on the part of family members to colonise My Desk with their own belongings. It's not that I blame them for catching a glimpse of an empty horizontal surface as they hurtle past on their way to more interesting parts of the house, and thinking it would be a good place to deposit whatever books, papers and tools are burdening them at the moment. I sympathise; I myself often search the house for an empty horizontal surface on which to set something I don't need at the moment. But they may not use My Desk!
This is the first Desk I have ever successfully used for any appreciable length of time, without seeing it become a depository for my own miscellaneous paraphernalia. My first memory of hearing the word "paraphernalia" was, now that I think of it, when I was about 10 years old and a student teacher applied it to the collection of useful or at least interesting items that was stored on top of my fourth-grade classroom desk and left me little room for doing schoolwork, and until now any Desk I have attempted to set up and use has invariably become just another failed storage system rather than a functional working surface. Perhaps I have finally grown up enough to be able to have a Desk. Perhaps something has, finally, changed.
Either way, it's a nice place to be.