Tag Archives: work space

Pictures and Words 01: Art and Work

19 Oct
Bless you Angelica - wherever you are!

Bless you Angelica – wherever you are!

I suppose it’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately, these pictures are only worth about 500 – tops. Gojira (pictured) reads over my shoulder all day, but I don’t mind. For a giant, radioactive dinosaur, Gojira is a very good guardian against terrible grammar errors. I swear, not a day goes by that I don’t look at this big print and smile.

The artist – a long time friend – made it for a school project. She gave it to me for a ‘song’ basically and I feel so lucky. I don’t think she ever really understood how much I appreciate it. Not only do I have a life-long love of Godzilla movies, this kind of bombastic, pop-art treatment is right up my alley. And, of course, it means a lot that she made it. I have precious few works of art by my friends.

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My Work Space

16 Oct
This motivates me.

This motivates me.

 

The studio I work in is in (what I think is) a strange part of downtown. The building is mostly empty, with a restaurant out front and a bar next door. I share it with two real cool writers and I think we’re good for each other. Just being around other people who are actually working is pure magic – but that’s a subject for another time. I have never been more productive and happy to work on my craft.

My chair is a solid wood thrift shop find on big ol’ casters. It’s got funky, orange padding, it’s not too comfortable, and you can’t adjust anything on it. The typewriter was a gift from a dear friend; he’d lugged the damn thing around the world and back, even though it’s not really portable. It’s home is on top of the brown, leather briefcase my mom bought me when I turned eighteen. Why would she do such a thing? No one will ever know, but I still get some use out of it now and then – just like the typewriter.

There is a wooden coffee table under that, and next to it is a second-hand floor lamp which gives me an adequate amount of work light. All of this is next to my trusty, gray aluminum, two-drawer filing cabinet – which doubles as a small tabletop of sorts. It’s a good place to keep my small bin of yo-yos, little office essentials, and somewhere to prop up my papers. I usually don’t put my coffee, water, or snacks there, for fear of spillage – but I have a rickety barstool that does the trick.

Now, when I’m using my laptop, it rests on an old TV tray that is just the perfect height for me. A lot of people might not know what these are for, but they were an invention of the 1950s – right about the time that Americans fell in love with television. These tiny, folding tables were perfect for propping up your dinner, cutlery, and beverages, so the whole family could stuff their faces while watching TV. How wonderfully ‘Mericun. They still make ‘em, of course, and mine is light bamboo or something.

I didn’t spend more than ten bucks on any one of those things – a fact that makes me pretty pleased with myself. And it’s not just weird smugness. I literally had to save up to make those purchases (besides the gifts, naturally). Now I could probably head out to Ikea and snap up some super awesome Scandinavian furniture science without breaking the bank. But there is a crazy appeal to me, in this slap-dash, bizarre conglomeration of junk. It is MY stuff.

The one thing I don’t have in my cozy little workspace is the internet. Oh sure, my studio-mates have it, and they really do need it for their business and projects. But I have warned them – on pain of death – to never give me the password. If I have access to the internet, my ability to write fades away. It is not a matter of self-control really, nor is it a matter of ‘net addiction’ or whatever. It is the neurotic desire to check my email, or my twitter, or facebook, or – everything. It is everything that I could be doing.

I don’t have any weird desire to live in the past. I am not a nostalgic hipster. I couldn’t give a damn about being ‘mainstream’ or not. The only thing I want to do is write. And every time I get work done on a project, I am teaching myself the most important lesson:

This is what works, this is what doesn’t.

And that’s it. Get off the internet. Write some words. Now write some more. It should be that simple. I’m doing my best to make it that simple.