I commissioned some jewelery to be made for me recently, by a very talented and creative jewelery artist. She took some of my old jewelery (like a gold rope chain from the ’70s!), melted the metal down and made some very cool new things for me. She and I were sitting in her studio, talking about some of the work she was doing, and she pointed out to me what she referred to as her “desk.” It was a very messy, beautiful work bench, filled with all kinds of fancy little tools, jewelery findings, gold dust, special jewelery making gadgets, magnifying lenses and lights. It was pretty cool.
I mentioned to her that I’m a writer and my life is cluttered with the tools of my trade, too. Besides piles and piles of books and other reading material in every single room of my house, I seem to find words everywhere. I collect words like other people collect Hummel figures or tea towels or whatever people collect these days. I explained how I’m terrible at reading picture books, graphic novels or comics because if there are words on a page I just look at those. I can’t even force myself to notice the pictures. (Ok, that’s a lie. I’ve read and loved every picture book Kevin Henkes has written. But, you’ll notice that Mr. Henkes puts a lot of words in his pictures! And I was wonderstruck reading an ARC of Brian Selznick’s Wonderstruck, too. But he’s smart and doesn’t put words on the pages with the pictures. Love that!) But I digress. As usual.
As a writer, I find that I trip over words; I brush words off my kitchen table; I load words into the trunk of my car; Words grow in my back garden; I buy words in the grocery store; I punch words into my computer and then words spew out of the printer; I tickle my husband with words; My dogs shit words; Words are in my closets and under my bed; The doctor listens to the words in my chest when I cough; and when I blow my nose out come words.
How about you? Do you find your life cluttered with tools of your trade? Do you have a neat desk?