Probably the Worst It’s Been

My office, 12/30/07:

This is, alas, an all-too-accurate metaphor for what my brain has been like for most of 2007.

Hopefully, 2008 will be a bit neater.

41 Comments on “Probably the Worst It’s Been”

  1. Holy Crap!

    You need help. Seriously, there has to be some show on the Discovery Channel that would come in and make sense of your mess.

  2. Yikes!

    My apartment suddenly looks less cluttered than it did before I saw that…

    (I was apologizing to a friend about how bad my place would look if she stopped by, and she replied “I’m not visiting your house.” Wise woman, that.

  3. Amateur. My apartment is at least three times more cluttered than that! I win! Wait a minute, I have no idea what I’m so proud about.

    How about this, John, I aspire to live as neatly and as clutter-free as the above picute.

  4. Holy shit, dude. I don’t know what you’re freaking out about — that’s what my apartment looked like until about six months ago.

  5. Mr. Scalzi? I tip my hat to you sir! That disaster is the stuff of legend. The only thing you could do to put it over the top would be too tilt all the picture frames you have hanging on your walls.

    Then, you’d truly be working in a war zone.

  6. Dear John,

    May I recommend shelving. It’s cheap (or can be), easy to put up (usually), and solve all sorts of space issues. Please look into buying some. Lots and lots and lots of them.

    Yours in clutter,

  7. Do you drink Coke Zero warm? Or do mice build their homes in those empty(?) boxes? Cause every picture I’ve seen has those refridgerator fit soda containers in it.

  8. I surrender. I thought I had the messiest office in the world.

  9. I love that the bulk of what seems to be taking up space is piles of your own published work. Any writer who criticizes this clutter is just jealous.

  10. This looks like a job for Super Krissy. Dude, I don’t think your Mac died, I think it committed seppuku.

    Hey look, there’s Forever War on top. That’s book two down on my guilt pile.

  11. What is it with writers and insanely cluttered ‘work’ spaces, anyway? All the writers I know are like that.

    (Of course, if functioning in this level of clutter was all it took be be a writer I could do it, but sadly most publishers insist on actual wordcount, and even *gasp!* talent.)

    Also, I’m impressed by your cunning placement of your computer behind the monitor. I’d never have thought of that. *files away for future ‘organisation’ ideas*

  12. I have that same space heater next to my desk. It keeps me toasty.

    So, what were you standing on when you took the picture? The only empty spot in the room? ;)

  13. I like that the chair faces toward the coke zero and away from the screen (aka work). Either that or someone hit the “husband/dad” eject/summon button, sending Senor Scalzi hurtling out of the room with a “boing!” or maybe “shhwoomp!” noise . . .

  14. Oh look, I can see his chair…no wait, I can see his cat. Or is that his cat sitting on the chair. Hang on, is that a car transmission in the corner? My goodness John, you might want to start slowly, like just dusting.

  15. Thnak you for improving my self-esteem. My office space is marginally less cluttered. Of course, that’s AFTER I cleaned it up for the annual in-law invasion….

  16. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    SLT (Chang O.C.'s Kid) who is almost 9

    Holy Cats! Is your last name really Collyer?!

    The cases of Coke Zero in the office for easy consumption really bespeak some deep… issues.

    But if it helps you write da wordz, can I send you a truckload?

  17. My lovely wife would have a bone to pick with me if I let my workspace get to that point of… information density. (And it *used* to, until we moved to our snug little space in Vermont, and my workspace is now part of the living room.)

    Moreover, she would use that bone to beat me over the head if I actually posted a photo of it for everybody to see. ;)

  18. I should print this out to show John B. the next time he gives me grief about MY office. On the other hand, I’ve no prayer of matching your “after” photo.

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