Reader Help Request

Posted: August 17th, 2013 under Reader Help.

Did I, or did I not, within the past two years, post a picture or two of my messy office?

If I did, and if anyone knows where it is, I’d appreciate the reference.



  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — August 17, 2013 @ 5:48 pm


  • Comment by iphinome — August 17, 2013 @ 5:49 pm


  • Comment by iphinome — August 17, 2013 @ 5:49 pm


    ooops look like Kerry was faster by a minuite judging by the timestamp

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 17, 2013 @ 6:01 pm


    Thank you!

  • Comment by Karen — August 17, 2013 @ 6:33 pm


    It’s soooo nice to know that other creative types more than flourish in a “mess.”

    I explain my “problem” on the basis of my having a strongly visual memory — I organize and remember where stuff is because it is visible, but once it’s “put away,” my mind files it under, “oh, I don’t need to think about that anymore.”

    The invention of laptop computers has helped me tremendously, because it’s given me my desktop back to lay things out on (where I used to resort to various piles on the floor), but until various somethings are fully done, then the idea of tidying up is anathema to me because I will completely lose my train of thought in the process.

    That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, at least until the next project forces me to find a bit more space on some vertical surface….

  • Comment by rkduk — August 19, 2013 @ 4:37 pm


    Karen, I’ve learned to minimize horizontal surfaces, because they grow piles of stuff like coarse fuzz …

  • Comment by elizabeth — August 19, 2013 @ 5:52 pm


    rkduk: I once designed (but had no money to build) a house that had all walls as storage walls, and no horizontal surfaces except those that, when a string was pulled or button pressed, tipped to 45 degrees and dumped everything on the floor.

    Unfortunately, if the floor itself isn’t horizontal, there’s a problem with utilization.

    A gravity cancellation program might work….

  • Comment by Karen — August 20, 2013 @ 3:59 am



    This is not necessarily entirely meant for you, but I hope you can understand that I more than get your point from the following:

    You mean like having objects accumulate the covering of cat hair my “yes he’s a short-hair but he seems to convert at least half of his calorie intake — which, by the way is enormous — into growing fur he plans to molt because he’s a white cat living in a warm climate where he might actually have needed all that fur if he lived in snow” that a 20-pound cat produces?

    Isn’t it a good thing I’m not allergic (either to the hair or to the things that attach to it) and that all of that cat hair, when swept away with an idle hand (and a mental promise that a vacuum will pick up everything that is now on the floor) tends to bond to dust and sweep it away too?

    But more seriously, my mind doesn’t seem to consider the dust or the cat hair or anything but the need to build my mental map of mnemonic clues.

    And truly, once those clues are put away, they are only a memory of a problem I once struggled with. If put away prematurely, it’s a struggle that has been lost.

    If, however, I’m given the chance to let my mental map continue to battle with the physical one I’ve constructed, often mystical things will happen because in repose, my brain can work to reconcile things that never seemed to fit before.

    Given time, this red object and that blue object (and the purple, green, ochre, orange, eau de nil, puce, indigo, cobalt…) and an entire rainbow’s worth of other problematic concepts can somehow begin to form shapes that remain true to to themselves but still blend and fit.

    I don’t pretend to understand it (and I still have a huge reservoir of “morality” inside me that says that”cleanliness is next to Godliness”, but I have learned that being NEXT to Godliness isn’t the same thing as living in His Grace, and when I look at the world, I see even more “messes” (and many of them are delightful, so please don’t respond by reminding me of any of the tragedies that we know so well from the news) like species that live in symbiosis and ecosystems that benefit from diversity but die under monoculture.

    IOW, if neat desks work for some (as was true of the most ineffectual boss I’ve ever known), then great. They just don’t work for me — and I’m happy to know that someone I admire has likewise recognized that one system doesn’t fit all!

  • Comment by pjm — September 3, 2013 @ 2:18 am


    If it’s near the top you’ve used it recently.

  • Comment by Kathy Kelm — October 8, 2013 @ 5:17 pm


    I call it “visually organized” it sounds ever so much better than messy piles of stuff..

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 8, 2013 @ 11:32 pm


    Kathy: My stuff used to be visually organized. Now it’s just messy piles of stuff with dust layers on top. (Time! I need more TIME!) As for the book: all the Del Rey books list the previous books in their groups and in order, right up front. Even the ones they didn’t publish.

    Caryn: I think people will figure it out. I’m just tired and still coughing and my neck hurts, so I’m cranky.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment