Question of the Month: A Peek into Your World

by Susan Henderson on May 5, 2008

Tell me something about you by describing the contents of a single drawer or shelf or pocket.


Wednesday, Lance Reynald will chat with Anthony Tognazzini, author of I Carry a Hammer in My Pocket for Occasions Such as These, a collection of flash fiction blurbed by such literary heavyweights as Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, and Stuart Dybek.

See you then! And I will be back for good on Friday. Thanks again for all the support while I finished my book!

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon Haynes May 5, 2008 at 2:05 am

Okay, I’ll go for pocket: $2.95 in (Australian) change, a loose house key which is supposed to be in my car, the immobiliser keychain which fell off my keyring seven years ago, two 1gb memory sticks, a Swiss Army knife and a British 1p coin dated 1994.

No wonder I’m sitting funny.


Nathalie May 5, 2008 at 6:17 am

In this drawer (one of many), I have hidden old bits of bark, seashells, dried leaves, buttons, a few tiny polished stones, one still very rough but partially polished piece of dead coral, a single earring abandoned by its sibling, a tiny bunch of cock feathers, a small plastic box containing foreign or forgotten pre-euro coins, three dried poppy pods and a handful of eucalyptus fruits.
Somewhere , at the back where they might be best forgotten, lay two packets containing my hair from when I last had it cut from very long to very short.
All this is meant to end up on a painting (well, several of them, actually) someday.
Some of those magical days that will have more than the puny 24 hours allocation and allow me to do all the things I really want to do when I have finished my day time work and fed the family.
A drawer full of memories and dreams.


Kimberly May 5, 2008 at 7:02 am

Most of my shelves and drawers are empty. Everything is in boxes, waiting patiently to be transferred to the new place.


troutbum70 May 5, 2008 at 10:18 am

There is a built in bookcase next to the firplace in my livingroom. The bottom shelf is full of treasure. There is a bronze of a man in a kilt standing next to his horse holding a fox by the knap of the neck with hounds at his feet, a watercolor of the old church that was next door to the house where I spent my honeymoon in France, a broken piece of pre-columbian pottery, two sets of spurs, an old wicker fishing creel, a fossil of a small fish, a picture of me fishing and a picture of my youngest son and I at the park. I’m glad you do this and can’t wait to read your book.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 10:32 am

Simon, great to see you again!

Is this your pants pocket??! What a cool handful of stuff, but I need to know what a 1gb memory stick is.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 10:34 am

Wow, I love the answers to this question. What a sense of you comes through! When you finally create painting, definitely link it here.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 10:35 am

Can’t wait to see your new Brooklyn apartment!


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 10:37 am

Aww, thank you . Absolutely fascinating shelf you’ve got there. Says very much about you.


Nathalie May 5, 2008 at 10:59 am

Aren’t you there already?


lance_reynald May 5, 2008 at 11:07 am

bowl on the nightstand.
contents: pewter heart, 25 cent canadian coin, clear quartz, rose quartz, amethyst, a rock from my moms grave, hematite, onyx, tigerseye, another rock inscribed with the word “believe”, a few cool coins from korea, 15 pesetas from Spain… and next to it a copy of “the picture of dorian gray” with my reading glasses on top of it being watched over by a ceramic figure with grass seeds spouting out of his head.


EkEkEkEk07 May 5, 2008 at 11:34 am

there is a black shelf in my apartment that i mounted all by myself. i found the stud and hammered my nail. and my thumb. i stood back, crossed my arms, shook my head, and smiled. proud man, sore thumb. a sage colored fetish bowl sits on the first level of the shelf. a tiny pewter globe lives at the bottom of the bowl. there’s a little sage colored ceramic turtle trying to climb out of the bowl. the bowl was for a friend, but i decided to keep it when she decided she couldn’t come over to meet my cat-son. a laser light toy also finds rest in the bowl and when the cat wishes to play he jumps onto the arm of the couch and stares at the turtle bowl and whines. on the second platform there is a busted up looking conch shell that i dug out of the jamaican sand when i was a fourteen year old freshman. i was wrestling in the ocean with two boys and everything was rushing and rising and slamming and stinging and awakening. one of the boys pushed me and i landed on the shell and my hand pulled it free. the shell is thick and white and there are little holes all over it like acne dents. it’s imperfect and ugly and something hideous and solitary probably lived in it and i love it even though i can’t hear the ocean when i press it’s mouth to my ear. i can hear those boys and my laughter and i can smell the salty innocence, excitement, crippled blind infant lust. i can feel their touch, the unintentional affection of it all. the final plank of the shelf is home to a candle that smells like my bestfriend. we fight a lot so the candle is rarely lit because who wants to smell someone they can’t stand? tucked behind the candle are two dvd rentals, SWEENEY TODD and CLOVERFIELD. they have not been watched and they will not be returned on time.


kaytie May 5, 2008 at 11:40 am

Here’s a shelf: A needlepoint pillow–sunflowers on a blue and green background–made by my Nana (I miss her), The Art of Tim Cantor art book, a tea cup and saucer given to me by my cousin, an unused incense holder from my aunt, Pretzel by Margret Ray, A black and white photo of friends, a frame with a picture of me at 21 with my first dog when she was a puppy, and two Glass Eye Studio paperweights from the planet series, Mars and Mercury.

Above and below this shelf are a total of 59 books.


aimeepalooza May 5, 2008 at 11:47 am

I find myself trying to pick what shelf, pocket, or drawer will describe me best….instead of trying so hard I’m just going to pick one…
Atop my antique piano:
An old flowered journal
a picture of my Grandmother from the 1940’s
a gold FDR clock that says, “FDR The Man of the Hour,” purchased by my Great Grandmother when FDR was elected President the first time.
4 hardcover books
1) I. by Stephen Dixon
2) A Literary Treasury (from my Mother when she was in school)
3) The Three Musketeers (from my Grandmother)
4) Short Stories by Hemingway (I have no clue who gave it to me)
above it all hangs a Japanese print of a flower purchased for me by my son in school using points he earned reading books.


Simon Haynes May 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Thanks 😉

1gb memory stick aka thumb drive, flash drive or usb storage. (I back my really essential stuff up before I leave the house. I also have a 120gb hard drive in a belt pouch. Geek? Moi?)


Kimberly May 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Nope – still have a few weeks to go. It’s a seemingly endless process.


Kimberly May 5, 2008 at 1:14 pm

You and me both, sistah!

You & the juniors were missed last night, but I know that the lure of having the Bklyn Superhero Supply next door will get you over more frequently! 🙂


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 1:18 pm

You have no idea how great it is to see everyone here again. I’ll be back in a bit. Right now, I’m listening to one of my favorite poets talk on NPR. You can listen, too, if you want:


Susanna Donato May 5, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Oooh, fun! Random drawer – top desk drawer.
– Wite-out – 3 bottles, unused
– Address stamp
– Shea nut butter cream
– Postage stamps – $1, $0.41, $0.17 increments, in a wax-paper envelope where the nice post office lady noted on it in ballpoint “May 12th – 42c” to remind me postage will increase them
– 5,000 staples
– Digital voice recorder for interviews (purchased ca. 2006, unopened)
– Analog voice recorder for interviews, containing a tape of my husband making scary Halloween sounds with some children
– A tape of my grandmother talking about her childhood
– A tape measure
– My deeply scarred silver cigarette case from my teenage years, containing a book of matches with the U.S. flag on it
– Giant clamps
– Giant rubber bands
– A miniature screwdriver
– A Jumbo Professional Eraser (as opposed to amateur erasers)
– A rubber stamp from my 20s that says “Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals – Mahatma Gandhi”


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:25 pm

You’ll have to ask Mr. H how he’s feeling this morning.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:26 pm

Love the idea of a bowl of rocks. And Dorian Gray is one of my favorite plays ever.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

My dog, Jack, is really into playing with the laser light. Makes him insane. That shell says everything about you!


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

I can hear my kids’ school bus on the next block so I’m typing as fast as I can. Love, love, love the sense I’m getting of each of you – what you save, the way you preserve memories and relationships. Really lovely.


lance_reynald May 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm

ah, I’m in the middle of reading it again. First time since I was way too young to really understand it. From where I’m standing now it seems to carry such a different resonance. Something of true beauty at work in there. and, the genre bending is f-in incredible.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:30 pm

All of this on the piano? Awesome. Love the clock! And I think I might be the only writer who hasn’t read that book by Stephen Dixon. Do you recommend it?


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

What a really funny mix of practical and sentimental. I love it!

(Wouldn’t it be great if we were all as smart as Gandhi?)


Kimberly May 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I imagine about the same as me. I think E.T. said it best…



tom jackson May 5, 2008 at 3:55 pm

Let’s see… it’s a big drawer from a big dresser sitting at the end of our hallway… about 30 baseball caps (really good ones, from Ebbets Field Flannels in Seattle and Mitchell & Ness in Philly)… five nearly obsolete pairs of glasses (one of them, really thick ones, look like Napoleon Dynamite’s and I got them in the early ’80s before the advent of thin-lens technology — they’re so thick you can see all the way around to the back of my head, and I’m wearing in an independent feature being shot in Chicago in a few weeks), some videos (including “The Cemetery Club”), a long since obsolete copy of a will, a baseball (a home run ball of mine from college), and a couple of crucifixes.


Aurelio May 5, 2008 at 4:37 pm

I have a Chinese house coat I bought in Taiwan over 20 years ago, for $10. It remains my daily house coat and I have it on as I write this. One of the cloth buttons sits in the left hand pocket; it is a knot button that threads through a cloth loop on the other side of the jacket. The button fell off just this morning. It made me notice that all the other buttons are going loose too. I will repair them this evening by carefully hand-stitching them in the same manner as they originally were.


djtuffpuppy May 5, 2008 at 4:57 pm

It’s not so much a drawer but rather a box. It is the box that my digital camera came in and never got around to throwing it out. In the three years it has been in my possession it has been filled with pens that I have stolen. Don’t get me wrong, stealing is bad. But I can’t help it if I steal a pen every now and then. I also have a couple black markers that have been swiped in that box too.


terrybain May 5, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I always have a bunch of stuff in my pockets… so I’ll do that.

Firstly, I carry my wallet in my front pocket because I happen to think that carrying a wallet in your back pocket contributes to all kinds of back issues. At least for me. Though this isn’t a perfect solution, it beats carrying a purse. I think.

Also, I try to always have two pens (at least) in my pockets. Usually Expresso medium point pens because they come the closest to a really nice fountain tip without actually having to have a fountain tip that blows chunks in my pocket once a week.

I have some receipts in there that I haven’t done anything with yet. Like throw in the trash.

A small handful of change.

And three of my grandfather’s marbles. I got his marble collection when he died, and I like to carry a few of them around with me at all times, like a talisman. Or a charm. Or, like, I don’t know, like a few marbles in my pocket to remind me of my grandfather.


Rusty Barnes May 5, 2008 at 6:42 pm

The shelf next to me: tumbler of Diet Pepsi, Wee Hour Martyrdom, poetry by Jason Tandon, a Rose Metal press bookmark, Serpent Box by Vincent Carrella, a nice card from Juliet Cook at Blood Pudding Press, CDs by Springsteen and Steve Earle, take-out menus, Dylan Speaks! on DVD, the Sacketts on DVD. A keyboard brush I never use.

Hi Sue!


Aurelio May 5, 2008 at 7:54 pm

This place is busy today! You must be smiling.


maria May 5, 2008 at 8:19 pm

My always overstuffed pockets currently contain:

(1) small plastic wallet, once polka-dotted, now rubbed to mostly white; (2) 2€ coins; (1) 0,20€ coin; (1) 0,25 YTL [aka a Turkish quarter]; (1) lone, loose white Tic Tac; (1) small box of “Delete Extra” teeny-tiny super-minty Turkish gumballs; (1) wadded-up dirty white napkin; (1) iPod (in nubby green “grass” slipcase) with non-iPod headphones; (1) brown Kraftpaper-covered pocket notebook; (1) blue med. point Bic Round Stic Grip; (1) keyring with (4) keys on it; (1) tube of Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm


Henry Cherry May 5, 2008 at 8:45 pm

Ok, good this is as easy as it is strange. Contents of pocket. One Macanudo gold Label Cigar, and one copy of issue # 1 of Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm

I am!


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Ha! That sounds like one of your drawers, all right. I absolutely love The Cemetery Club. And I’m glad to know the nerd glasses made their way into the indie film!


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:16 pm

Is a house coat the man-version of a house dress? Glad you’re going to stitch it up properly.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:17 pm

I’m all for bending the rules. I’m a pen stealer, too, but I don’t keep them all in one place.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Mr. H has started keeping his wallet in his front pocket for the same reasons even though it makes me a little twitchy. That’s awesome about the marbles.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Hi Rusty!

I always pay attention to the books you’re reading because you’re such a literary trailblazer (and top notch literary geek). I love Steve Earle, too.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Seems like there are always loose Tic Tacs in pockets. My chapstick at the moment is Kool-Aid strawberry-kiwi. Great, fun list to read.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I strive for easy and strange. And that is one testosterone-filled pocket. Love it!


Oronte_Churm May 5, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Back right pocket: Small leather notebook with miniature pen that slides through loops to keep it closed, wherein I keep all my ideas for blog, dispatches, book, etc., instead of on tiny scraps of paper covered with tiny spider-writing in every pocket that my wife always used to find and called The Insanity Notes.


SusanHenderson May 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I still go for The Insanity Note method.


maria May 6, 2008 at 8:08 am

Steve Earle… is that the same Steve Earle that was on The Wire?


JessicaKeener May 6, 2008 at 8:11 am

The one non-file drawer in my office is cluttered with—just about everything! Old keys that I still haven’t thrown out—current sets of keys, scotch tape, a pair of sunglasses, a flashlight, an empty eyeglass case, a golf ball, a memorial card from my uncle’s funeral, a wooden dog that I never mounted on the wall for hanging dog leashes, a tape measure, a CD player, a set of tapes from interviews that I conducted for my first book, a night light, a pocket watch that used to belong to my husband’s grandfather, a set of math flash cards that a math tutor created for my son and that my son never used, a die, a spool of sewing thread, and…must I go on??? It’s great to have you back, Susan!! Congratulations on all your hard work. Jessica Keener


Ric May 6, 2008 at 8:57 am

Most drawers are filled with debris not mine, so I dug deep into the closet and found my old jewelry box…a picture of me with a very curly perm – circa disco era. Gaudy gold bracelet – ditto. A pic of four folks from Meadow Brook Theater – backstage folks (one of my roommates was prop lady), a coffee bean necklace from El Salvador (1968 – 4-H International Peace Corp tour), an Anderson for President button, a button from the March on Washington November 15 – Stop the War (yes, I was there in 1969), a button that says simply, King – I believe my first wife has the Queen; a peace symbol that was once a necklace, a name tag from Pontiac Motors, 5 pair of cufflinks (probably haven’t worn these since the ’70’s), three coral necklaces – can’t remember where these came from, most likely from college friends long forgotten, a mood ring, tie tacks from various children, a pic of me in plaid bellbottoms, a McGovern button, …..ak, too many memories…..

my pocket, on the other hand, only has two quarters and a bloodstone rock I always carry.


Ric May 6, 2008 at 9:38 am

Third try at getting this posted……
Since all of the drawers around here are filled with debris other than mine, I dug deep in the back of my closet for my old jewelry box. In it, a picture of me with a very curly perm (circa disco era), a heavy gold bracelet – ditto, a coffee bean necklace from El Salvador (1968 – 4-H International Peace Corp trip), a March on Washington November 15 button – Stop the War, (Yes, I was there 1969), a peace symbol that was once a necklace, a gold Pieces necklace, a couple bead necklaces – likely college friends who gave them at Christmas because we were all broke; a pic of four friends – names now forgotten – who worked at Meadow Brook Theater – Carolyn was a roommate and property mistress for the theater; five sets of cuff links – probably last worn during the 70’s, various tie tacks – not used often now. a Anderson for President button, a button that says simply King – I believe my first wife has the Queen button, a name tag from Pontiac Motors, a high school pic of my wife and a grade school one as well – with horn rimmed glasses, ak. memories…..

My pocket, on the other hand, has two quarters and a bloodstone rock I always carry.

Which was more informative?


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 11:15 am
SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 11:16 am

Thank you, Jess!

Doesn’t it just feel wrong to throw out old keys? I don’t know why that is, but I save ’em, too. I like the complete randomness of your drawer.


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 11:18 am

Hiya, Ric. Unless you have a photo in the little space there, then your comment goes in to moderated mode, and only Terry or I can click the comment in when we notice it. Sorry if that was frustrating for you.


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 11:20 am

Hey, bloodstone’s my birthstone. That is an absolutely fascinating drawer you opened, there, and I would very much like to see the disco perm!


kategray May 6, 2008 at 11:25 am

My desk has only one drawer, and my kids are always trying to sneak into it, contains: jewelry making wire spools, allen wrenches, keys to forgotten locks, pieces of my sister’s Stonehenge project from high school, my mother’s college i.d., floppy disks, beads, calligraphy ink cartridges, slides of my hometown, a rubber stamp with my first name, wire snips, glitter glue, black rubber bracelets, “stretch magic” bead stringing stuff, old movie tickets, ear bud thingies, old prom and senior pictures, a key card for MCB Quantico’s bachelor housing, my mother’s first driver’s license, my Library of Congress card, as well as my other library cards, address labels, postcard from Asmara (from my good friend Yonas, who had to flee the country), postcard of the pyramid ruins at Cholula in Puebla Mexico, earplugs, a jingle bell, a memory card, a jump drive, a ticket to Schemitzun (festival of the green corn held down near the coast every Sept.), and bookplates with Hokusai’s “The Wave”.
It’s my hidey drawer for everything strange, I guess.


Aurelio May 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

You’re a brat. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Let’s see if this link works:


Mine is not this fancy. It is lightly padded and made of plain blue fake-silk, with a Mandarin collar and (in need of repair) cloth buttons. I use it like a Cardigan sweater when the house is cold.


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I’m not going to refute the idea that I can be a brat, but I didn’t know those were called house coats. Now I know. 🙂


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Another completely random drawer. I really love getting these fascinating peeks. Thank you!


Aurelio May 6, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Well, I call it a house coat. Maybe they don’t in Taiwan, but it isn’t the kind of garment that would hold up to any kind of weather. I suppose I could have called it a smoking jacket, but I don’t smoke and didn’t wish to conjure images of myself in an ascot and fez.


SusanHenderson May 6, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Good point about the weather.

My kids just brought home letters from school saying there will be a terrorist drill at school, which will include detonating pipe bombs and other explosives. They are psyched.


Juliet May 6, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I’m proud of you Susan.
My desk has no drawers.
Explains the tsunami of stuff all over my office.


Gail Siegel May 6, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Great post idea! We’ve missed you. I will check these out soon.



Betsy May 6, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Oh, brother, I don’t have one drawer that has few enough things to itemize, but I’ll give my nightstand drawer a go since it’s closest at the moment:

three nail files
toothpicks I don’t like
a bunch of pens
one earpiece for the cell phone
the cord for my cell phone
backup reading glasses
six hankies of my mom’s and grandma’s
a mini-flashlight
a pocket knife
Kiehl’s lip balm
a tiny dream notebook I haven’t written in in a long time
Burt’s Been lemon cuticle butter
a towelette from the Venetian
an old pair of sunglasses
a package of Frownies
a polaroid of Ben, sleeping cutely
matches from a restaurant in Taos
a little rusty thing
the drawer paper that was in there when I bought it at a garage sale for ten bucks (sort of – sixties Holly Hobbie)


Sarah Bain May 7, 2008 at 1:44 am

Okay, the basket of things by my computer that still needs to be sorted:

A pencil
$2 baskin robbins gift certificate
Jason Lucas cd if that’s what you want
Barnyard DVD
A picture of a crown that says To: mama and papa
A netflix envelope
blank 3×5 cards
a picture of Sawyer at 4 months old (holy smokes he’s 2 1/2)
3 unfinished wooden switchplates
a dozen library borrower cards to fill out
a blank card with a picture of an adult hand holding the hand of a small infant
a phone number 208-443-2725
the wooden cover to a kaleidescope
hey, another $2 baskin robbins gift certificate!

Um there’s more in that basket and about 12 more baskets and boxes like that within 3 feet. Ack!


Gail Siegel May 7, 2008 at 11:35 am

It would take all day to list what’s in any of my drawers, but this one is closest to the computer at work. (Fortunately, I can’t open the drawer all the way to see what’s in the back.) Visible: pair of faded black cotton socks, 2006 guide to Chicago places and spaces, 2 different metra train schedules, huge bottle of advil, orchid hand lotion, nail clipper, old desktop calendar of Bushisms: (“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”) toothbrush from Dr. Jon M. Finley (who is he???), toothpaste, several boxes of paper clips, empty ALTOIDS tin, bandage, lipstick, old broken PDA, menus, Good Earth tea bag insert (“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” – Billie Burke), blank postcard from the Deer Path Inn, where I was married in 1982, shoe insert, misc unlabelled drugs, post-its, ugly pink hair tie, matches from Smith and Wollensky, fat rubber band, unused tampon case, loose Hall’s cough drops, sleeve of pepper, dental floss, guide to the 2003 Illinois General Assembly, map of Chicago, recipe cards from the Atwood Café, wrapper from a bar of Lake Champlain chocolate, lip gloss and forgotten peppermint candies in a tin, which I think I will eat right now.


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Thank you so much for that. I’ve felt like Sisyphus with the boulder for so long.

I’m kind of into that tsunami method myself.


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I’ve missed you, too!


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I love that you save toothpicks you don’t like.

You must have awesome nails and cuticles.


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Your drawer says busy-mom. And that phone number is for the Idaho Fish and Game Reserve. (I’m so nosey!)


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 1:59 pm

I love that Bush quote. Lots of unused, forgotten and broken things. Hmmm. You have a story there.


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Yeah, I re-read it recently, too, and it just blew my mind. Where I was the first time I read it, I don’t know. Still, I think if I re-read Moby Dick, I might have that same 7th grader feeling of walking through molassas and taking 20 minutes to read every page.


Betsy May 7, 2008 at 2:49 pm

You’d think… but it’s not true!


Gail Siegel May 7, 2008 at 3:09 pm

I had something interesting in my pocket, too. It’s over at my blog. xxx


terrybain May 7, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Hey, no fair… that’s my basket.


terrybain May 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm

I give you permission to release yourself from worrying about where your husband keeps his wallet. As if you needed it. (Though I do think some people need it, and it can, indeed, come from anywhere.)

I also give you permission to not need permission for anything at all.

Blessings to you & Mr. H.


SusanHenderson May 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Wow, Gail, I’m glad you posted that. Here’s the link, everyone:


Mary Akers May 28, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Well, I don’t have to go into a drawer–the drawers are actually organized. It’s the desk that is overflowing with: printed out Zoetrope reviews for a story I’m currently workshopping; a local public radio member card; a paperclipped stack of encouraging rejections (I throw out the form ones); a small box of chocolate covered espresso beans; a love note from a girl to my 12 year old son who wanted to share it with me; a voided check to the Georgetown Review because I discovered I had already sent them the story for the contest that this was the entry fee for; a copy of As Bees in Honey Drown, research for my next novel; my cell phone charger; Strunk and White’s Elements of Style; Carol Peters’ poetry collection, Muddy Prints, Water Shine; an Amnesty International sticker; a used envelope listing all the places I sent work during my last big submission push; six or seven permission slips for my kids to attend this or that event; my eldest’s shot record for college (must put that away!); a vitamin; two recently received copies of the second edition of the NF book; a marble notebook with notes from a recent lecture that I attended as research for the new novel; a full binder of student contacts for my other job at the marine ecology school; a stack of mini-CDs we designed to advertise said school; pens and pencils in a cup; cookie recipes that I typed in and printed out extra large for my sight-impaired mother-in-law; a faux stained-glass window thingy made by my middle daughter; a napkin that says I *heart* Mommy in thick blue magic marker; The letter that Santa wrote to my kids this past year; a Red Cross blood donation magnet to tell me of my next appointment; a miniature PT Cruiser pull-back car (cherry red); and a big old stack of receipts that need to be logged in both for my writing and for ITME–oh and ~3700 sticky notes reminding me to do all manner of other things not previously listed.

(In reality, this is only a fraction of the shit on my desk, but I didn’t want to go on all night…)


SusanHenderson May 29, 2008 at 8:04 am

Great to see you here, Mary! Really love what you’ve got in that drawer and wonder what’s in that Santa letter.

I’m bunkering down with my book again (round 3 of edits), and it’s going well, but it’s taking all my time and concentration, so I’ll be scarce until Monday’s question of the month.


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