Office 2: The Desk

I know, the floor’s not done. But I want my desk back. The last time Mollie was here, she took everything on the desk and put it in a box and shoved the box on the window seat so she could work. The box is still somewhere on the window seat, buried, and my desk is a hellhole again. So I will return to the floor, I swear, but today it’s the desk. Actually, there’s another aspect working here: I don’t want to do the floor, the floor is boring, and even if I double the fifteen minutes again, it STILL won’t be done, but I’m pretty sure I can do the desk in fifteen minutes and then I can work there again. The desk is a TREAT. Kind of.

So, here’s the desk:

Desk A

Mollie’s theory is that there should be nothing on a desktop that you don’t use daily. Of course, she’s also anti-tchotchke which I feel is draconian. But clearly there’s stuff on here I don’t need at all. Like . . .

Very early, early notes from DLD when Bob and I were doing Dueling Binders. He’s the Binder Boy, I just did mine to compete. As I remember he was trying to put all our e-mails in there. Then his binder exploded. I’d already given up so mine is fine. Except none of these notes make any sense in conjunction with the final draft. We really wrote that one the long way around. Rememer what a great character Hannah was? Oh, right, we cut her. And the jacket, the jacket was great. Right, we cut that, too. Never mind.

Empty journals and notebooks, eight of them. Completely empty.

A fan letter from 2001.

A rough floor plan of Two Rivers.

A list of flamingo mentions from Agnes.

A picture of a wedding cake from Agnes research.

An RWA from October of 2006.

A copy of the invitation to a party I threw in Columbus when I was in the MFA program. (How did this stuff get on my DESK?)

Two packages of batteries.

A magazine about Bermuda, because I might set a story there some day.

The instructions to my new keyboard that say, “Turn off your computer, attach the keyboard with USB cord, restart your computer.”

Notes from a tarot reading I did. A year ago.

A notebook with notes in it.

My new keyboard.

My old keyboard which works just fine, thanks.

Two pieces of bunny paper to make an origami box to hold bunny tails for the blanket I’m making for my editor’s baby. (I think he’s three now.)

Many sticky pads that I transferred to the tray that’s already full of sticky pads.

A set of twelve colored Sharpies, still in the package.

A list of septic tank contractors in Clermont County.

A picture of me that I took back when I discovered the camera in my laptop.

Three boxes of Kleenex.

Box of industrial strength Velcro.

Lecture notes for the Cherry Con on fiction basics.

A package decoration.

Passport photos that make me look like a drab middle-aged woman from Ohio.

A 2007 calendar, with nothing on it for Sept through Dec, which means I stopped writing things down.

Tissue paper from Martha By Mail.

Wrapping paper. I think it migrated here from a collage.

My passport holder with my passport which needs renewed.

A To-Do List.

Scraps of torn paper with AKMG notes on them.

Many empty envelopes.

Tylenol, still in the box.

Two packs of spiral bound notecards. NO idea what I was going to do with those.

My copy of a contract.

Laura Resnick’s book, Rejection, Romance, and Royalties: The Wacky World of a Working Writer. We had lunch and she gave it to me before I could buy it. I’m sure it’s fabulous, since Laura is.

Two $30 off cards from Staples.

Two reams of printer paper.

The sample piece of Corian from my bathroom remodel. Over a year ago.

Ohio postcards I bought to send to Bob to annoy him.

Two giant paperclips from the Humanities Council.

The squeeze cherry promo from Bet Me.

My Wile E. Coyote cup and my Wonder Woman cup.

A box of pushpins.

The box that I put all the cords in from my electronics so they’re not snaking all over the place.

The surge protector.

A copy of the British Welcome To Temptation.

Three prescriptions I never filled from 2006.

The paperwork from the car I bought last November.

My contract with BenBella for Coffee at Lukes, signed but not sent.

Rough drafts of handouts for the Cherry Con workshops.

AKMG notes on full sheets of paper.

An old cellphone. From two cellphones ago.

The SMP catalog with Agnes in it (double-page spread, we were very happy).

Flamingo pen.

Devil Duck Drive.

Two pair of earrings.

An earpiece for my last cellphone.

The tape of a psychic reading I had in New Orleans when RWA was there (five years ago?)

My nametag from the Maui Writer’s conference (four years ago?)

Two boxes of pens.

Two bras.

A hotel receipt.

Oriental Spice hand cream, tiny little jar.

An old Russian wood swan from my grandfather’s house.

A Mac plug.

A card that says, “Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet,” that I bought because I’d forgotten all about Roger Miller (Dang Me). Must go to iTunes and see if they have him. No, must finish cleaning desk first.

A copy of the Spanish Bet Me (from when I put the cover up on one of the Argh posts).

A Xerox of the Queen of the Night bas relief for D&G.

My Heroes back-up DVDs from iTunes.

The keys to the truck I sold my nephew. Hmmm.

Wolfie’s disgusting old dog collar.

The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. Good book. Meant to read it again for Agnes and then misplaced it. Oh, well.

Anthropologie catalog. Good for collages.

The Fortune Quilt by Lani Diane Rich. Terrific book.

Queen of the Night book, research for D&G.

THe end from a giant styrofoam drill given me by my tech crew from when I did high school theater tech. The end broke off and I’ve been carting it with me ever since. The rest of the drill is somewhere, but the end always ends up on my desk. It’s signed by Mollie and Matt; the rest of the names are on the rest of the drill. I love this piece of styrofoam.

An inhaler.

My therapist and my editor’s business cards.

Two curtain rings.

A check register from 2005.

Two trackballs.

A box of TicTacs.

My Wacom tablet and mouse.

Two cups of pencils, pens, scissors, whatever.

The phone.

That’s it.

Well there are also the four shelves beneath the table. One has a tray full to overflowing with stickies. Another is full of cups of pens. Nobody needs this many pens. Then one had a tray full of notecards, my stapler, and a box of business cards, except I never use business cards, so they’ve been there for years. And the last one had a tray of . . . stuff. Ten rolls of scotch tape, a box of report cover labels (huh?), two rulers, Galactic glue, a stack of Unfortunate Miss Fortunes bookmarks that SMP sent us, paperclips shaped like dogs that my mother sent me, a paper punch, a light bulb, rubber bands (I never use rubber bands), white out, three measuring tapes, a wireless mouse, a cherry paper clip (hello, Jill!), four more rolls of scotch tape, a roll of packing tape, a lanyard to hold a name tag, a small Krispy Kreme mirror, the spare battery to a computer that is now in upstate New York, and nine mini rolls of scotch tape (no, I don’t know why there’s so much tape).

And ta da!


What did we learn from this?

Fifteen minutes is not very long. If you subtract the time I took to list all the stuff I found, it was about half an hour to clean off the desktop alone. The shelves were maybe another ten minutes. It’s still fast, but fifteen minutes, I dunno. OTOH, fifteen minutes SOUNDS short so that’s why you start cleaning.

And I am never allowed to buy notebooks or sticky pads again until these are all gone. Ditto for black pens and Scotch tape.

And a clean desk is a beautiful thing.

[You know, this has to be a lot like watching paint dry. Really, come back in ten days and I’ll do a real entry.]