‘Write Here’ takes us into our authors’ writing spaces across the globe, where they tell us about how they go about their craft. We mark each location on the map at the bottom of each post. Today we travel to North Carolina, where Travis Mulhauser writes beside a bust of The Boss.
‘I work at home, in a somewhat converted attic. The room has one completely functional, grounded outlet that powers my laptop and monitor. The attic is not heated or cooled, or particularly well insulated, so the outlet also powers the critical AC window unit, and for a short spell each North Carolina winter the small space heater that I bought for fifteen dollars and that provides a staggering amount of heat.
I have two small bookshelves and a window that looks out on neighborhood trees and a quiet side street—and that is far more than I need or deserve. One item of note is my Springsteen bust, made by a former community college student of mine. Obviously, I’m a Bruce fan. The nameplate was chipped off in a move, but the bust remains my all-time favorite piece of art. The student has gone on to great success, by the way. She is the working artist El Gato Gomez and her fine work can be found all over the world-wide-web.
To get to and from my attic office I have to walk through a play area primarily devoted to our kid’s trains and warring factions of Playmobil figures—usually distributed between one of two castles and still in whatever pose they occupied when my son was last called for dinner. The battlefield is littered with swords, shields, and crossbows—the occasional toppled cart—but most alarming are the arms and legs that are strewn about because the electricity in that part of the attic doesn’t exactly work. So if I’m writing late—say after the kids go to bed—I walk through in absolute darkness, my phone useless in my pocket because I am balancing the laptop and the day’s collection of mugs and glasses and plates. I wince each time I hear the twig-like snapping of plastic limbs beneath me, but follow muscle memory and foolish hope toward the small crease of light at the bottom of the attic stairs and that is, of course, exactly analogous to the way I feel writing fiction.’
Travis Mulhauser’s debut novel Sweetgirl is out now.
Follow Travis on Twitter.
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