On Your Desk
A brief interruption...

On Your Desk

Ellen Kushner 1

Today we start with "Desktop" photos sent in by two of my oldest friends -- both of whom do work at those desks that I am constantly awed and inspired by.

First, the desk of novelist, playwright, and radio host Ellen Kushner -- not her current desk, in New York City, but the desk at her last house, near Boston, which she feels a bit nostalgic for. I think many of us can relate to that: a house we've left behind that still looms large and symbolic in our imaginations...where we physically grew up, or artistically grew up, or otherwise settled into our bones below its roof (*cough*Weaver's*Cottage*cough*).

"I have always made big wall collages as I worked," says Ellen. "But now, my otherwise wonderful study in NYC does not have the wallspace - I have to make do with a big window onto Riverside Drive, which seem like a reasonable tradeoff . . . but the truth is, I miss my old bulletin board in my Somerville, MA house more than I can say.  I even took a picture of it before we left . . . Here it is.  You can probably tell that I was working on The Privilege of the Sword (on the lefthand side!) - In fact, I turned the ms. in 3 days before we put the house on the market."

Ellen Kushner 2

Next, three pictures from master illustrator and myth-maker Charles Vess,  from his Green Man Press office in rural Virginia. "The first," he says, "is in the middle room of my studio, a 4 x 8ft drawing in progress:

Charles Vess - Big Drawing

"The second is in the back room of my studio where I have my drawing board (and a few books). The shelves and toys have slowly, over 12 years of being here, surrounded my drawing board:

Charles Vess-Exterior of drawing space

"The third photograph shows my actual drawing board with a bit of the room beyond it. Behind me are three windows that let in a lot of light."

Charles Vess-Drawing Board inside looking out into room

...And to show that you don't have to be a well-known writer or artist to contribute a photo to this series (all readers of this blog are welcome), our last picture this morning comes from my young cousin, Kathleen Maher, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kathleen is an historian specializing in early American history, and this is her desk at the National Constitution Center in Philly, where she's the Youth Programs Coordinator. (We're so proud of her!)

Kathleen Maher

More photographs to come....

If you'd like to contribute a picture to the "On Your Desk" series, you are very welcome to do so. You'll find more information (and the address where you should send your photo) in the first post of the series.