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The magical cave hole

September 3, 2011

Inside my house there’s a magical cave hole. That’s where I work. I don’t call my office the magical cave hole, I prefer to call it the library. To get there you just head to the bathroom (somehow appropriate?) take a right past the shoes, push through the thicket of winter coats and you’ll find the spot. Shut the door behind you when you enter. That’s important. The backside of the door is a whitey-board.

In real-space this room measures about ten by ten. You entered through the east wall, there’s nothing along that wall except a reading chair in the corner by the bookshelves. The bookshelves line the south wall; there’s an elliptical machine backed into the southwest corner; a large painting and a small window on the west wall; and the north wall, it’s got two shelves, a desk, and a floor-to-ceiling cork-board.

The shelves hang like a dark-stained equals sign above a wooden desk of the same color. They don’t have much on them, the shelves: a TV to watch when using the elliptical (yes, it gets used, shut up;) a few baskets (okay, I don’t know what’s in ’em;) my journal, kindle, and wallet (they come and go w/ me everywhere;) and a few books on writing…

The Scene Book by Sandra Scofield.
Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway.
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor.
The Art of Fiction by John Gardner.
On Writing by Stephen King.

The cork-board is dotted with white three-by-five cards–story notes, notes on writing. I see an abbreviated Chekhov quote: “A glint of light on broken glass” (this reminds me to write well.) That’s flanked by: “Get in the ring” (pursue conflict;) and “Attack of the Challenge / Defeat of the Challenge; Setting, Character, Action, Event, Pulse, What are the Emotional Beats? Goals? Stakes? Urgency?” (this pretty much covers everything related to profluence.)

And then there’s the desk. I love this desk. It’s small. No clutter. It’s got just enough space for a laptop, a monitor, two yellow notepads and a cup of coffee. The front drawer pulls out and holds the wireless keyboard. And when I get going, when I’m clicking the keys and staring past the words on the screen to the world they represent, that’s when I slip away. That’s where you’ll find the real magical cave hole.

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