The Invaders Inside My Writing Space

My writing space is an exercise of compromise.

My wife has two adopted cockatiels. She swears they’re mine. They regularly find their way to my desk in search of almonds. Recently Jasper (the young boy bird) decided he likes the taste of my computer cables. It took me a moment to realize my backspace and period key were no longer working as he had chewed most of the way through the keyboard’s cord. He’s a rescue project that we took on as a neighbor kept him in a dark room for about seven years with little human contact. When he’s not biting me, he loves getting his head and neck scratched, writing deadlines notwithstanding. The girl bird has been with us for seventeen years. She doesn’t like the boy bird.

G Gehrke January 13  Welcome to My World of Dreams pic 2


So almost everything that’s in my desk space has the tell-tale signs of hostile avian lifeforms. It’s a crowded few square feet where I do both my writing and try to run a business. My first edited manuscript sits tucked by the monitor, yet someone has tried to turn it into nesting material. I have three notebooks in play for my writing. Random ideas go into one. A second is a current project notebook where I’m putting down research which pertains to a fall-of-civilization novel I’m working on. My most recent page therein is on safe-cracking and picking locks. The third notebook is a binder with printouts from editors, writing tips, grammar guidelines, and things of that nature. All three notebooks are nibble-notched.

Food and water is a necessity at my desk. I’m constantly hungry, and it’s a distraction if I have to get up more than necessary. I keep raw almonds and sometimes a box of cereal nearby to keep away the stomach grumblies. Both birds know this. The birds are evil, and they covet my food. Birds don’t have lips. Thus there are crumbs around my keyboard. Crumbs get into my checkbook. I’ve placed the checkbook as a bulwark against the invaders getting food in the keyboard, but it’s not much of a barrier. I have to blow the checkbook out before I write checks.

G Gehrke January 13  Welcome to My World of Dreams pic 1

Other random papers include a tax binder, a copy of PC Gamer, and a clipped magazine article on fusion that need to be filed. Scraps of paper have notes on them. One flier from our local sanitary district has a rough short story outline and a brainstorm list of alternate titles for my second novel which might see the light of day in 2016.

The final compromise around the workspace is my spine. I sit forward at an awkward lean, typically with a leg crossed. There’s often the girl bird asleep on one of my feet, and I usually don’t want to wake her up. The other one when not roaming is in his cage where the little demon belongs, but he will no doubt find his way back up here soon. With the current situation, I might get some work done, if I’m quiet. And if I’m lucky, the almonds will be all mine.

Maybe I need a cat.



Do you have an invader/ office companion who won’t leave you alone? Please share!

7 thoughts on “The Invaders Inside My Writing Space

  1. Hi there! I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your post. To say it is great (not just this post, all of yours!) is an understatement. You are really talented (:
    Because of how much I loved this post I had to check out your blog and I couldn’t help but follow you because your blog is both amazing and beautiful! I am so happy I came across your blog and I can’t wait to read more from you, so keep it up (:
    By the way this comment is towards all of your blog posts because they are all equally amazing and incredible (:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You make me miss my feathered friends – I haven’t had one in years. Perhaps it is time to add to the menagerie here…

    Choppy is good about just sitting in the office, at least until walk time. At that point, I get pestered until said walk is completed, at which point she is happy to go back to napping. The new cat, however, is a different story. He still hasn’t learned the “Sarah needs to be left alone while working” rule. Much toy distraction is used to keep him away when necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

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