Remember how I talked about cleaning off my desk in January? Well, I reorganized the piles on my desk and went on my merry way. I knew it wasn’t the same thing, but something in me resists putting things away—especially things that prompt me to think, “In future, I’m going to (fill in the blank).”

I think Deborah Chester understands. She posted “Rituals and Excavations” last week on her blog, Chronicles of the Scribe. I wanted to shed tears of joy.

“That’s me! That’s me!” I thought, as I gobbled up each line. Well, most of it is me; I don’t have the satisfaction of having completed The Faelin Chronicles. That’s all her accomplishment. Also, I have a Dropbox account, but I haven’t shifted my physical piling system over to a virtual one. It’s working in some ways but not for the little sticky note-type thoughters.

Here’s what she wrote that really hit home:

I feel like an archeologist sifting through layers of soil. Here are research notes from that last Google search on 19th century plantations. Lower is the style sheet that I needed six months ago. Beneath that is a draft of a magazine article that I wrote–when?–and have yet to polish and market. And … aha! Now I’ve located my favorite pen. Even better, here’s a book weight I’d forgotten about.

You see? She understands. She knows that beneath the piles is that long-lost treasure—something usable, like a desk. Somehow knowing this makes my heart lighter.

Now I’m going humiliate myself and show you my messy, messy desk:

My Desk
My Desk

I have marked some items that are particularly disconcerting. Feel free to click on the picture and commiserate with me in numerical order.

1. Keyboard: This is the keyboard to replace the one I’m currently using because the letters have rubbed off. I like the feel of my old keyboard, so I haven’t replaced it.

2. Dust spray: Something else I’m not using. I keep it up there in its ready-to-fire attitude so that I don’t lose the straw. Previous to doing this I lost three straws.

3. CDs: I don’t even know what these CDs are for. This is my husband’s shelf. His games, like Warcraft and Madden Football, are sitting here. I don’t know what to do with them. He hasn’t played them in years.

4. The inbox: These are things I wanted to find easily at some point, and I don’t know where else to put them.

5. Phonebooks: When was the last time you looked something up in a phonebook? I honestly don’t remember the last time. I find them periodically in my driveway. I throw out the old one and replace it with the new one, storing them here.

6. Weekly Planner: This black binder contains my to-do lists, goal lists, menus & recipes, weekly school assignment forms, course of study for each grade I’m teaching, unit study outlines and lessons, co-op schedules and skit scripts, along with any online coupon codes I want to use. I lose this all the time.

7. State of the Art Monitor: It looks like it’s made of bone-colored plastic from the 90s, but it’s really made of a light-weight, titanium compound developed in the future. It will never die.

(On my screen is a post from The Writer’s Codex. It’s a great one, where Nathan describes his feelings as a writer in one of those terrible moments of doubt. I definitely recommend it.)

8. Zip Drive: I don’t remember what this is. Okay, I really do. Pre-Cloud. Pre-DVD burner. Pre-what’s a kilobyte?

9. Mouse Wire: Yes, this is connecting my mouse to my computer. I had a wireless one, but it started spazzing. The wire is about 8 centimeters short of plugging into the back of my PC.

10. Desk Calendar: Lotta good it does me buried under the laminator.

11. Colorful Folders: There are five folders in the shelf. Three of them contain the edited version of A Lyrical Persuasion (my Persuasion/Phantom of the Opera crossover fanfic), and the other two contain the first chapters of Dragonfly Prince. I like to stare at them sometimes.

12. Basket: So I had this spiffy idea to place the power strip and odd wires in this cute basket atop my desk. I told myself, “Self, you won’t have to move the desk to get to the plugs because the power strip won’t slide off the top of the hutch anymore! And this way you won’t have to use up desk space.” I thought it was a great idea, but the basket looks really stupid.

And there you have it. I hope this has encouraged you, knowing you have a much better system that doesn’t have you working with equipment from the Stone Age.

And now I may never post another thing on my blog. 😛

Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

16 thoughts on “Desktopsy”

        1. I know what your desk looks like! You can organize odd-shaped scraps and all types of cool odds and ends that I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with. And you make it look amazingly easy and cute! That’s why I’m so excited by the idea of your help.


    1. Surviving the aftermath of my confession is going pretty well. I’m still thinking about posting again at least. 🙂 I love knowing I can brighten your day, Mom O!


  1. Just wanted to let you know you are NOT alone. That’s pretty much what my desk looks like. Our inbox is even in the same place! Are the drawers on each side jammed full of file folders packed with invoices etc.? Thought so.


  2. “A clean, uncluttered desk is a sign of a sick mind.”

    That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, because anything else just isn’t right. I know exactly how you feel. My work area looks very similar. BTW, your state of the art monitor rocks! 😉


    1. Yay! I’m so glad I’m not alone. And after that quote, I’d like to try for a clean, uncluttered desk, just so I can examine my state of mind. 🙂
      Yeah, I was concerned about sharing a picture of my monitor for that very reason. Don’t be too jealous, k?


  3. Okay, sorry, but my desk is neat. I can’t work in clutter. But that’s just me. You may find it funny, though, that my archaeologist in Summer at the Crossroads has a similar situation with clutter in her office. And she sometimes thinks she needs to do an excavation in there. 😉


    1. 😀 She sounds like my type of archaeologist. So you need an uncluttered desk to work…You know, I think we differ in other approaches to writing and finding inspiration, as well. I think that’s one reason I get so much out of your posts on writing!


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