Write Place, Write Time

If you look at anything long enough, say just that wall in front of you -- it will come out of that wall.
- Anton Chekhov

Karolina Waclawiak


This is where I spend most of my time at home in Brooklyn. My desk is right next to our patio where we’ve created a bird haven. I have a little bird bath and feeder along with dozens of potted plants so the birds can feel at home. They line the railing while I’m working and chirp to the music I play while writing. We have a Cardinal family who frequent our establishment and have seen a hawk on two occasions. 

I have two computers - a laptop for book-related writing and an old Mac for scripts. The only reason I still have the Mac is because it’s got Final Draft on it and I can’t bring myself to buy another copy. Maybe one day soon. Actually,one day I hope to have one super computer that weighs less than an ounce, has unlimited memory, and is super inexpensive.

In general, our house is filled with taxidermy, religious icons, any strange thing we can find in flea markets, and wall-to-wall art and movie memorabilia. On my particular writing wall I have framed temporary tattoos by Jenny Holzer from her show at the Guggenheim a few years ago, a photo still from our favorite movie “Bill and Coo” featuring an all-bird cast from 1948, photos of my mother as a kid in Catholic school in Poland, my young grandmother holding a black cat, a zombified drawing of Minoru Yamasaki the architect who designed the Twin Towers by an artist friend, Aaron Sandnes, an image from the Lightning Field by Walter De Maria, and a 3D picture of the Last Supper. Oh, and up top there is a book plate from the 1800’s of skulls and skeletons. In the living room I have a medical wall - large skeleton image framed, various medical ailment prints, see-through bodies, and a print of a carnival women with knives in her. My fiance, Jon, keeps asking me if we can take it down and put something more pleasant up, but I like looking at it.

I have a lot of plants and this particular plant is an orchid I killed a few weeks ago and am trying to bring back to life. It looks very sad right now but I have full confidence in myself that I will be able to re-animate it. The little heads are by a Czech company, Qubus, and they’re called Little Joseph. They’re actually candle holders and they look very macabre when you let colored wax drip down their faces. Off to the side are chalkware carnival toys from the 1940’s (a pig and a poodle) and a chalkware Jesus. I would say that I like to write in chaos, a controlled chaos, with a lot of things around me. Not pictured, hundreds of books stacked in my vertical filing system to both my left and right. 

Karolina Waclawiak is the author of How To Get Into the Twin Palms out from Two Dollar Radio. She is also the deputy editor of The Believer and proud owner of the bird reference book, Eastern Feeder Birds, which she checks frequently. Some have called her a “bird nerd”.

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    My desk!
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    writeplacewritetime gives us a look inside Karolina Waclawiak’s writing space.
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