Ladies and gentlemen, a project weeks in the making. My…home office:
Please, ignore the laundry basket.
Now that I look at it, I realize it’s not too different from before, but believe me, it is. We got rid of the double bed that had been there; Kate’s room is now the official guest room. An entire bookcase, outta there. Several cartons offloaded at John King Books for store credit — I believe we have $100 worth now, and I’ll probably donate it to a teacher or school or something. The desk has one-third less crap gathering dust on it, and I’m still not done.
My office cleanings rarely take place quickly, because I have to think about everything I pitch, and sometimes write about it. We hold on to so much in our lives, and so much of it is just garbage, but it makes us feel good to know it’s sitting on a shelf somewhere. In that closet I have a number of Kate’s baby toys, and Alan’s childhood teddy bear, which was given to us by his mother the last time she cleaned out a space. I just can’t bear to see them go into a garbage bag just yet, although I know that’s where they’ll end up, because everything ends up there.
I threw out so much. All my clips, all my career stuff, awards, everything. I figure if I absolutely positively have to have some clip, it exists somewhere. It would be an excuse to come down to Fort Wayne and sit among the microfilm readers, so win-win. I recall once reading a James Lileks blog where he revealed he was doing a project where he was compiling every word he’d ever written on his site, printing it out and putting it in bound volumes. I’m sure the University of Minnesota library will be pleased to get these treasures when he dies, but I have a much more Buddhist sand-painting view of my work. Do it, put it into the world, then forget it. And I must have forgotten it, because it’s in these boxes I’ve been dragging through my life without opening for years and years.
So: All of this is preface to me taking a few days out of my life for a walkabout. I realized, mid-January, that I was getting very sludgey in the head, and decided I needed a change of scenery. (Big talk for someone whose shampoo and facial moisturizer, purchased during a monthlong trip to France, haven’t run out yet.) So I’m starting out, tomorrow, on a few day’s loop of the Ol’ Souf’, as I’m calling it. First stop, North Carolina, where I have friends I haven’t seen in years living in the Outer Banks. I’ve been given a particular time to arrive, i.e., low tide on Saturday. Otherwise the unpaved road might not be passable. Well, that’s different, I thought, agreeing to every detail. Then on to Atlanta to crash with John and Sammy for a couple days, then home. I’d tried to loop in Nashville, but my friends there are going on their own brief walkabout, so no go. There will be stops along the way — Columbus, Pittsburgh, somewhere between Pennsylvania and the Atlantic Ocean, somewhere between Atlanta and Detroit. I like that much of this is unplanned, because I want to be unplanned, just for a week.
It’s a working trip, in that I’ll have my laptop and still be contributing to Deadline, but at rest stops and Waffle Houses and the like. I’ll be Chris Arnade, only probably not at McDonald’s. (I see he’s walking now. Oh.)
And also posting here, needless to say. Maybe with some more interesting pictures. John informs me the Obama portraits are at the High Museum in Atlanta, so I really want to see those.
OK, so, bloggage? Just a bit:
How do we Elmore Leonard fans feel about this? About Raylan Givens being surgically inserted into “City Primeval” and made into a miniseries? I’ll tell you how I feel: NOT GOOD. A bad idea. Let me drive for a few days and I’ll tell you how I feel about it.