O Me of Little Faith

I moved out of one office and into another a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve had to rearrange my work environment. It’s important for writerly/creative types like myself to have a suitable atmosphere for being writerly and/or creative. Or so I’ve heard. So I set about the task of buying a 5-shelf bookcase from Wal-Mart — cheap but sturdy — and putting stuff on it.

Whether it matters to you or not, I intend to identify some of that stuff for you. Why? Because it’s my blog, and it’s Friday, and that’s what I’m gonna do. Just you TRY and stop me.

First, a photo of the bookcase. Please note the numbers have been added digitally for your benefit. They do not exist in real life.

1. A full press sheet from the first printing of Pocket Guide to the Bible in 2006. I used to work at a printing company, so I think press sheets are cool. If possible, I’m going to try to get them for all my Pocket Guides.

2. A fake ficus tree. Every office needs a fake ficus tree. (Yes, I realize the tree is not actually on my bookshelf. Shut up.)

3. A copy of Transcendent Spirit: The Orphans of Uganda, a beautiful photo/essay book by famous photojournalist Douglas Menuez. It tells the stories of several of the orphans served by Empower African Children, one of my copywriting clients. Highly recommended if you like black and white photography and inspiring (and heartbreaking) stories about African AIDS orphans. You can order Transcendent Spirit here, and all the proceeds go to EAC.

4. A magnetic modern-artish perpetual calendar from the Museum of Modern Art store. A very cool calendar designed by Gideon Dagan, but you have to change the day and month manually so it’s never accurate. I forget about that kind of thing.

5. The most awesome Kleenex dispenser in the world. It’s an Easter-island moai head. You pull the tissues out of his nose. High-fives, everybody, all around.

6. You can’t really tell, but that black thing with the buckles is an old workman’s lunchbox. It belonged to my grand-dad — yes, Paw-Paw — back when he worked for Texaco after WW2. His initials (J-E-B) are hand-painted on the sides.

7. I own a whole lot of these books, for some reason. Pics of my kids in front of them.

8. The graveyard for old business cards. Except for the top box. Those are my new business cards. If you order your own signed copy of Pocket Guide to the Bible through the end of March, I’ll throw one in. As long as you promise not to take advantage of the phone number on it and phone-stalk me.

9. A stack of old design and copywriting Addy awards. I’m not so ego-driven as to display them prominently, nor an I so humble as to shove them in the closet where they pretty much belong. I am a passive-aggressive displayer of awards.

10. A largely unknown book by Dr. Seuss, edited by Richard Marschall. It’s called The Tough Coughs as He Ploughs the Dough. It’s an out-of-print compendium of his advertising work and political cartoons before he became famous. Might be rare. I’m not sure.

11. A ceiling tile painted by a little girl named Reyna who lives in the La Chureca garbage dump in Managua, Nicaragua. This is one of the pieces of art I bought from the school there during the Dia de Luz celebration in 2007. It probably is full of asbestos or something, but I love it. For the fun, bright colors, but also for the symbolism. It started out as trash, until a little girl took it and applied some innocence and creativity to it. Beauty from ashes. I haven’t hung it up yet, but will soon.


If you are so inclined, you might also enjoy my scintillating video, What Do I Have on My Desk?

But then again, you might not enjoy that at all. Happy Friday, anyhow.

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