We don't shelve by genre or author here. Simmons, Harrison, Easton Ellis, Blauner, and all the badasses who are still alive are sharing space with Stoker, Nabokov, and Updike, as they deserve to.
OK, so maybe we do sometimes shelve by genre. This entire section is horror, but not all the horror...
And over here is a photo of my dad wearing a fishing vest with a beer can holder sewn into the breast. He sewed it there. Which is why he is sitting beside Bukowski, Fante, Exley, Salter, and a few other one-of-a-kinds...
My books, humbly placed above another horror writer of some regard. Jesus wept.
And some crime, noir, and other stories featuring guns here in the kitchen . . .
A couple of classic machines, gifts from former neighbors Gary and Laura and Caron in Mineral Point, and from my deceased third cousin Ernie, who was a Glen Miller aficionado par none. Below, paper. Blanks pages go into the printer at far left, sentences get laser-beamed onto them, eventually these white masses, like pupae, mutate into novels.
An original poster from my very first Pearl Jam show, the Vs. tour in 1993. They played the CU Field House, all tix sold out in 3 minutes, I was bereft. One of their assistants wandered into McGuckin Hardware where I was working and asked me to mend the band's laundry bag, 4 hours before showtime. So I did. Guy put me on their guest list. I went alone, stoned to the Orion Belt, was hooked for life. I love this poster because it reminds me of the maestro pianist puppet who looked like Guy Smiley on Sesame Street, the one who used to get so frustrated composing his pieces he would bash his forehead on the keys over and over. Writing is like that a lot of the time. So is rock and roll. If you don't bleed puppet blood for it, you're not trying hard enough.
Tater-Tot, intercontinentally known as Le Monstre, captured here in the flying-eagle-deadly-talon pose of his morning yoga routine.
The desk. The monitor. Some storage bays for pens, stamps, spectacles. The idea is to keep your workspace clean and clear of clutter. As the desk goes, so goes the mind. The keyboard I roll with is one of the German-engineered DASKEYBOARDs, with brass switches under the keys to increase tactile feedback and mimic the sound and feel of typing on a typewriter. When the shit goes off up in this piece and the story is flowing at 250 words per fifteen minutes, DAS sounds like an antique train set clickety-clacking down the tunnel. Do yourself a favor and ditch that silly svelte Mac keyboard with Chicklet teeth and get a DAS. Writing should feel and sound like the physical labor that it is. The white cylinder is my lip balm. I am addicted to it and am putting more on right now.
What can you say? Cowboy. The Old Man. The Elder Statesman who is still a puppy. Rescued from hell in Brooklyn circa 1998. Purchased for $20 from a drug dealer, rehabilitated by Mighty Mutts, adopted by Pia and me when he was 10 months old. There were over 70 applications, the adoption took 6 weeks. We won. He likes to sleep on his back, hates loud trucks, and this summer discovered a new avocation in chasing, but never eating, baby toads. He's been old and lazy since he was 2. He once drank turpentine and didn't even puke, just shat it out the next day and then ate the rest of his Iams. He has consumed more shoes than Imelda Marcos. He's 14 1/2 and still jumps out of bed every morning. When the work isn't going well and I feel alone in this office, I look down and see him snoring against a pile of Robert McCammon and I am no longer alone. This dog isn't "like a son". He is my son. M'Boy, my splotched wagging heart.