in which Prairie Schooner contributors give us a glimpse into their writing spaces and sensibilities.
(Owen King’s short story “Home Brew” appears in the summer issue of PS. King is the author of We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories, and the co-editor of the anthology Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand-New Superheroes and their Amazing (Short) Stories. He lives in New York with his wife, the novelist Kelly Braffet.)
(3 things on your writing desk at the moment)
It so happens I write in an easy chair and use a lap desk, which is basically just a flat, kidney bean-shaped piece of wood that my wife bought me from Levenger's one year. So, the only thing that lives on my lap desk is my laptop.
However, I have a sort of small trunk by my easy chair, and set atop it are the following three items: 1) a microwave-unsafe coffee mug from the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, filled with pens and junk; 2) a brick of sticky notes; 3) some stapled pages of research for a story.
(A classic you've long been wanting to read)
Something by Trollope, probably The Warden.
(Why haven't you read it?)
I'm a slow reader, and on top of that I have a sick addiction to research. But my best friend, who is a specialist in 19th-century literature, and a brute, has been harassing me about Mr. Trollope for awhile now--and by harassing me, I actually mean that on a few different occasions he has beaten me with one of those wieldy Oxford editions of Can You Forgive Her?--so I need to get down to business
(Music that puts you in the mood to write)
I can't write with music on.
(A favorite book in your possession: a favorite not just for content but for its actual physical qualities)
When we got married my wife gave me a copy of Bleak House that is very special to me. It's a 19th century edition. It's not wildly valuable, but we bought these, like, special gloves to turn the pages.