Friday, July 2, 2010

The Fortress of Solitude

So the Rejectionist has a play-along game going on at her blog. We all get to link to our own blogs to show our writing spaces. And I love writing spaces. What's not to love? Desks, computers, typewriters, trolls, pens, papers... Everyone has these things, right? But they're all different. Writing dens are like Lasagna. Same basic ingredients, same basic idea... and yet every cook has it turn out a little differently.

And, of course, I have to name the post after one of my favourite books. Thank you, Jonathan Lethem.

So, here's my writing space...

My little fortress. Poorly defensible, yes, as there are lots and lots of windows. Hey, it's in a sunroom. I can always drop boiling pitch.

It's great. Depending on where the sun is, there can be a little glare, but I can live with that. Lots of light, beautiful view of fields and trees all around. A happy little corner on the world.

And here's my gorgeous old 1920 Royal typewriter. Notice the little window on the side... I like windows. :)

Tools of the trade, plus my Sancho Panza (always necessary) and my three-headed troll from Norway (if you've never been down the Trollstigen you've never lived... okay, you might've lived a bit, but you should really go).

And a view from the side! Just because.

So where do you work your magic? Does place matter? Place is important to me, but not vital. The writing, really, is in my head, and I carry that with me wherever I go. But it's certainly nice to have a place to go, a place that's comfortable. It's nice to have a fortress, where your thoughts and dreams are protected, a place that keys you into creativity. Familiarity becomes habit, and habit is the operation of subtle cues that tie you into certain activities. The touch of soft keys under fingertips... the blinking cursor on a white page... the possibility of story...

Note: And please don't forget to check out Justine's story, The Choice, if you didn't see it yesterday. Just a mere few spaces below... you know the urge is irresistable.


sarah mccarry said...


Bryan Russell said...


I like my space. Oh, and I should mention that the desk is an old piece that I refinished myself. I'm sort of in love with dark wood. We shall have little stick children and dance through the summer dusk.

Emily White said...

I love the three-headed troll! It's kind of creepy in a Twilight Zone-it's going to come to life-sort of way, but that just adds to the charm. :D

Rehman Pakistani said...

i think, if the terrorists get your guidance, they may leave guns behind, and start a creative life. to rehabilitate the terrorists is a theme of the author of THE TERRORLAND, Habib R. Sulemani, who writes seldom blogs:

very nice piece.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Now I want my own fortress of solitude. Especially today when I have my own three-headed trolls running through the house.

Drat you!

Carolyn said...

OMG. You have no idea how much I want a sunroom just like that.

Anonymous said...

Oh your typewriter! And you posted a huge picture of it so we can gaze at its ribbon spools and keys and why does it have a window‽ I don't even. So cool!

I love your bewindowed fortress of solitude. I love solitude. What a lovely space!

Mira said...

This is lovely.

What a wonderful, peaceful space to write in. I'm jealous, too!

Although, I noticed you left out the three cute little distractions running around.

Love the Sancho Panza. :)

Anonymous said...

the windows!


Also, the typewriter...can you say WOAH? Cuz thats awesome.

Bryan Russell said...

Thanks, everyone!

And luckily this nice little spot wasn't blown away by the tornado. That would've been no fun.

Steve MC said...

Huge views, a comfy chair, and in Canada. Paradise by the laptop light.

Kari said...

AH...the typewriter!! So beautiful.

And your writing spot is AWESOME--except I don't think I'd like all the light :)

Anonymous said...

Sancho Panza is a most excellent accessory.

Like Casey, I am also curious about the typewriter window. Or maybe I just wonder why more things don't have windows in them.

Matthew MacNish said...

That's an amazingly beautiful typewriter Bryan. But this all begs one question:

They have sunshine in Windsor?

Kidding of course but I have to admit your writing desk is enviable. Not just the desk either, I should say writing space.

For me I write anywhere and everywhere. The best and most enjoyable writing I have ever done was while keeping a small hand written journal while living out of a backpack in the Cabinet Mountains in Montana. Then again the MOST writing I've ever gotten done was in my cubicle at work.

I'm aware that that's depressing but hey, it is what it is.

I do have one pet peeve. I CANNOT type on a laptop. I don't know exactly why. I mean I can use one of course, but I have to connect a USB keyboard with large, clicky keys.

J. T. Shea said...

Nice digs, Bryan, but I can see how 112 degrees could be a problem!

Birgitte Necessary said...

I've been down many a "trollestige" and you're right, one needs to wander those paths to really live. Or flirt with living.

When I was in high school my dad brought my sister and I each a typewriter like that, he'd picked them up from a friend who was cleaning out his junk. I'm sad to say it disappeared in one of my many moves through college.

Beautiful little getaway. :) Love it!