My Desk

A bit of fluff while I desperately try to finish this blasted first draft.

Some time ago my good friend and fellow writer Geoffrey from Misanthropology101 blogged about what was on his desk and why. I thought the topic was rather interesting, and since all great writers steal from other writers, I promptly decided to appropriate it. I feel sure Geoffrey would approve. I quickly fell into a dilemma however. Which desk do I write about? My actual desk upstairs, which I haven’t actually written at for months? Or the dining room table where I occasionally sit when I need to really get stuff done? Or the couch and coffee-table, which is where most of my writing is actually done? The desk and dining room table are both snowed under by books for the most part. So let’s have a look at the coffee-table and my nest on the couch. Besides my Macbook and the assorted wires associated with it, there are:

My notebook – The standard writer’s notebook, spiral-bound, small enough to fit easily into my purse and half-full of random story ideas, grocery lists, and character observations.

My pen-case – Beside the wide assortment of pens (from an erasable black pen to a fountain pen) it also contains my thumb drive, my student id, a pebble from the shores of Loch Ness, a pad of sticky notes and assorted dice (d20, d12, d8).

My glasses case.

A glass of water which I try to keep filled whenever I am at my computer.

Snacks – Usually cookies, fruit, or something similar. Currently it’s a bag of Thornton’s chocolates.

Pile of papers – Mostly things such as bills, a british museum guide, my plane tickets for the trip home etc.

Assorted hair clips, combs, earrings, and necklaces that I’ve removed while sitting by my computer.

Camera – I like to take pictures, though it’s just a little digital pocket-camera. I still manage some interesting shots sometimes.

Books – These are piled beside me on the couch haphazardly. The exact composition changes randomly depending on where I am in my dissertation, but all of them are non-fiction academic books. Except the one book of Arabic short stories. Most are filled with sticky-notes and propped open to various pages.

Blankies and sweaters – Two of them, because I tend to get quite chilled when I sit at my computer. And yes, I know, it is August and should be warm. Apparently someone forgot to turn on Summer this year.

With the sole exception of the notebook, all of these things (or reasonable substitutions) would have been in my computer-space before I began to consider myself a writer. Personally, I think this simply reinforces the idea that what occurs in the space outside your head has very little to do with whether you are a writer inside your head or not. Writing is at once intensely fleeting and cerebral, and yet also undeniably permanent and physical. Duality abounds. No wonder writers are all a bit mad!

Thought for the Week: “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” Terry Pratchett

Currently Reading: The Art of Ancient Egypt by Gay Robins

One of the many pictures I snapped today along the river. The reflections were spectacular.


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