Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Does Your Work Space Look Like?

I was interested in these photos that writers sent in to Poets & Writers of their work space, perhaps because my work space is so lame. The introduction to these pictures notes, “The creative habitats captured in these images reflect each writer's unique approach to finding inspiration, motivation, and focus.”

I thought I’d share my “unique approach,” by listing some of the highlights amidst the confusion of pens and scraps of paper:

--a lovely herd of four tiny stretchy horses that are fun to play with and pull in various directions when frustrated.

--a Ken Dryden hockey card (a legendary goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, and author of The Game, an excellent book about hockey).

--a couple dozen packs of Extra gum that I chew obsessively in a failing attempt to keep from snacking while I write.

--Burt’s Bees hand sanitizer that I spray on my hands from time to time not because my area is germ-infested (to my knowledge) but because I like the smell.

--an three minute hourglass which is, I think, supposed to be for cooking eggs but that I use on occasion to make myself feel guilty for wasting time (visually watching it trickle away, you know)

--a plastic pen shaped like a musket that I bought in the excellent gift shop at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

--three stretchy lizards that stick to the wall without leaving a mark (at least not yet)

--a bank calendar because I didn’t get it together to find an appropriate art calendar last year

--a photograph from the Library of Congress collection of a man using tongs to dredge oysters from the Chesapeake Bay

--a Berenice Abbott photo, “Newsstand,” which I could stare at endlessly, though the placard that promises “double rich malted milk with Horton’s Ice Cream 10 cents” makes me grab for another piece of gum.

What’s on your desk? Share your secrets…send me your list!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.