I am curious about what you keep around you when you write. This has crossed my mind because I've temporarily set up shop in Italy, first in one house, then traveling to a writer's retreat and then back to a second house. Yes, nutty, don't ask why. It has lead me to think about the essentials. This trip is all about writing as my books take place here, plus it's my second "home." But, what do you need to write?
Many would say, nothing. Just a pen and paper or a laptop. Lots of ideas. Time. No phone or Internet. Well, I have found I need a lot more. Looking around at the desk I have been using for the last four days I confess it's a mess. My mess. I'm not a "go to Starbucks" kind of gal--yes, I know many of you (guys too, Lindsay) are easily at work out in the world. Nope. Not me (or not I as my grandmother would correct). I like my cramped space with all my stuff around me. Sure I can work in an airport, a restaurant or waiting in a parking lot. But, that's not my first choice.
So, what's around me as I sit here and write this? I'll take an inventory. Beware, this is not for the queasy. How have I accumulated so much in such a short time?
- My laptop (of course).
- A thumb drive so that if my lap top disappears I have kept everything (don't laugh, it was stolen on my last trip- yeah, the thumb drive saved my a**).
- A printer/copier- I actually hauled one over with me because I am weird about having hard copy when I need it. It will stay here, so one lugging is enough.
- Two reams of paper. No, I didn't haul those, but they make me happy. Just think, when they are gone, my book is probably nearly finished!
- Four pencils. I make lots of notes and you can never have enough sharp pencils. There are two pens as well.
- A connector for my iPhone. I charge it off my computer and always need to know my husband and kids can find me. Yup, I'm here alone. Remember, this is about writing.
- My iPhone. Why have a connector without the phone?
- Multiple adapters. They are stacked up as I have to keep plugging things in and the European plugs are totally different from our American ones.
- My watch. I can't wear it when typing. The clock on my computer somehow thinks I'm in Connecticut. I have trouble adding six hours, so my watch sits next to me.
-A glass of water. I am a fiend about my water. Many of you are coffee hounds. Not I. But don't get between me and my glass of sparkling water.
- The modem. Gift of life. It is blinking rapid yellow lights telling me I can reach all of you with the stroke of a finger.
- A lamp. Gotta seeing what I'm doing.
- Various sundry of office-type stuff (paper clips, scotch tape, a highlighter, post it notes, and more than I should confess).
- A Tom Tom GPS system for the car. I get lost a lot. Something I lie about to my husband. He really knows the truth but still protects my virtue in this regard. I've never not shown up, just might have taken a longer route than necessary.
- A land line telephone, not my cell. We lose power often enough to warrant both.
- A few Kleenex's.
- Car keys and house keys. Why they are on my desk versus somewhere else, who knows. It all seems to end up here.
- Fussy notes about everything- my story, what I have to do today, who to call, what to remember, it goes on.
Gracious! There is even more I hate to admit that surrounds me. This is actually a small desk. Yet, this is my little nest. The kitchen is perfectly clean, my bedroom is tidy, there is nothing in the bathroom that looks out of place. Yet, my desk is a living and almost moving environment unto its own.
What's on your desk? What do you need to have around you? The only things I'm missing are my two dogs at my feet- traveling with them is just too complicated so they are at the doggy spa. And, of course my dear family. But then, hmmm, the writing would be cramped. Your desk? What's there?