My desk is a mess. In the summer, I enjoy a bigger one, not just the one foot square that usually surrounds my laptop. Thank god I have a landline or the phone would never be found. But it’s not just a matter of out-of-control physical space—the laptop screen is also a mess. In honor of the big projects, I put off reading all those attachments, in honor of summer, I download this and that, stuff I’ve been wondering about, interesting things. (Note the screen’s Final Cut Pro.) I have two books to put the coup de grace on by the end of summer, editors waiting. One, Pirate Talk, only in the voices of pirates, no description, so I’m forever sorting out dialogue, and the other, Bohemian Girl, who starts out as a slave to a Native American and I’m forever having to glue in something really prairie from some pile of research. Where is that description of Civil War balloons? And then getting the two sets of two hundred pages—I have to print out once in a while—mixed up. Even my feet are in a muddle—the dogs have room here to curl under them, and are forever leaping up to attack a dazed fly. Outside, traffic hesitates at the corner, then guns past. That three words get put in a row is the real wonder. Too soon it’s 11:45 a.m. and lunch looms, someone will have to make it, walk to the store and buy bread. There’s no deli, well, there is a deli a few blocks away but it’s too expensive. Figures of what cash remains comprise my marginalia, mess up individual pages. Can’t bills take a break too? Maybe if I lose them under a draft.

Terese Svoboda‘s new books, Weapons Grade: Poems and Trailer Girl: Stories, are coming this fall. Her official site is Writing Spaces is a series dedicated to the desks, cafes, libraries and retreats where Fictionaut writers work, providing a window to the physical places where some of the stories on the site originated.

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