Scott Sparling

Hallucinations, a blog about writing, trains, and Wire to Wire

Inside Job

Posted on Jan 27th, 2013.

Sometimes it's too cold to write in the treehouse. Even in the low 40s, the space heater will warm it up pretty good. But when the temperature drops below that, I write inside. 

A few weeks ago, the Sucker Lake News (I think that's what the publication is called) did a nice little story on the grant I won and ran a picture of my indoor writing space. You can see the conga that I keep to my right, in case any time needs to be wasted playing repetitive rhythms.

(The photographer placed a copy of W2W on top of the drum. When I first got the conga, I made a hard and fast rule that it would never be used as a table. It's a musical instrument, after all, and nothing should be placed on top of it. I make exceptions for books, CDs, unopened mail, dirty clothes, power cords, credit card receipts, manuscript pages, notebooks, tax files, hats, postcards, stuff I've brought home from work, and other, smaller drums. However, I draw the line at placing dirty dishes on top of the conga. Those go on the floor.) 

What you can't see in the photo are all the other, uh..totems that I keep on my desk for good luck or inspiration. The treehouse desk, by necessity, is bare. It's too small to collect crap. But the indoor writing space is a magnet for that kind of stuff. 

So for the next few blog entries, I thought I'd share some pictures of a few things I keep around me. Starting with these.

These two tin plates are Loteria pictograms I got from Tesoros in Austin. La Calavera is The Skull, although to me the image is more about death. El Corazon is The Heart. These are on the shelf right in front of me, and I look up at them frequently when I get stuck. Basically they tell me, Remember that the stakes are high. Remember to write from the heart. I need to remind myself of that a lot.