I generally work in one of four locales: the bathtub, the woods behind my house, my swingin’ 70s Dodge Forester motor home (I camp about 70 days, annually), and the room in this picture, which is my office in (believe it or not) a relatively clean state. Not pictured here are the four dogs usually sleeping side by side on the ugly green couch. The couch is so big, we had to take the door off its hinges to get it in the room. My wife wants me to get rid of the thing because it stinks like dog, but the hell if I’m moving that elephant around the corner and up the stairs again.
A few notes of interest (or not): First, my nemesis, the yoga ball, which is only there for when my yoga-teaching mother-in-law drops by to improve my posture, which is about once a month. Usually, it just sort of rolls around and gets in my way. Second, something you should know about that studly portrait of Jesus in the center of the photo—it’s signed! Yes, signed! I got it for thirty bucks on E-bay. Can you believe that? Thirty bucks for an autographed Jesus portrait! You can’t even get Tori Spelling for thirty bucks! I’m the king of E-bay. That white pad on the floor is for when I get a hemroid, something you probably didn’t need to know. The chaos on the floor is a partial draft of my current novel, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,” which is the fifth novel I’ve written in this office. I usually write here about four to six hours a day, if I don’t have a hemorrhoid. That gray heater on the floor is always on, even when it’s 80 degrees, which is why (ahem) that lotion is on the desk, so my skin doesn’t dry out—and if you believe that, I’ve got an autographed Jesus portrait I’ll sell you for 35 bucks. But really, I like working in a super hot room. I also like the hum of the motor. That’s a bong next to the lotion (“Keep it down up there—I’m trying to work!). That orange box on the floor has a basketball in it. My old man sent it as a gift for my newborn son Owen. Who sends a newborn a basketball? My dad, that’s who. I predict the orange box with the basketball inside will be sitting right there for about four years, which is about as long as that yoga ball has been rolling around.
All in all, this has been the most productive working space I’ve ever occupied. For the record, I clean my office between novels, or between major drafts of novels, thus the mess you see in this picture, is a work in progress. If you wanna’ see real chaos, ask me again in six months.
Jonathan Evison is the author of All About Lulu (Soft Skull 2008) and the forthcoming West of Here (Algonquin, Fall 2010). His official site is jonathanevison.com, and he is the ambiguous fourth guy at Three Guys One Book. 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.