Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where Writers Write: Christopher Moraff

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!

Where Writers Write is a weekly series that will feature a different author every Wednesday as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where some of TNBBC's favorite authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.

This is Christopher Moraff  – writer, photographer, commentator, blogger and unrepentant bibliophile. He lives in Philadelphia where he writes for a number of local and national media outlets. Chris serves on the Board of Editors of In These Times  – the Chicago-based political magazine founded in 1976 by the leftist intellectual James Weinstein. He is also a collector of books and several months ago began the unforgiving task of bloggingthrough his entire library. In his spare time he makes slow, meandering progress on a collection of short stories, as yet untitled, which he hopes to see in print while he is still of this world.  

Chris was only recently introduced to TNBBC, and parlayed his precocious use of social media into a place in Where Writers Write. We admired his spunk (ahem), not to mention his writing room.    

Where Christopher Moraff Writes

I'm lucky enough to have an entire room devoted to writing now, although over the years the magic has happened in all manner of spaces: bars, coffee shops, kitchen tables, subways, places of employment, my car, and –  most recently – the cramped living room of the one-bedroom apartment I shared with my wife (who also works from home).  Last year we bought a house with three bedrooms and now I have the luxury of writing, painting, playing guitar, gazing out the window and taking my afternoon siestas all in the privacy of my own studio. 

I sit on a faux leather office chair in front of a cheap particle board desk that is cluttered with all the usual tools of the trade. I recently swapped my laptop for an iMac, which was intended for photographic work but gradually evolved into my primary writing platform. I compose in Apache Open Office, a free word processing platform that I'd put up against the criminally overpriced Microsoft Word any day.

Speaking of words, I like to be surrounded by them when I write; depending upon what mood I am in they either inspire or dishearten me, but in either case I am moved. Books line both sides of my desk, stand sentry over my head and keep an eye on my back. On the wall in front of me I have hung framed dictionary and thesaurus pages in several languages sporting entries like defiance, profligacy and lardoire. I have an enduring respect for language. Some of my favorites words are opprobrium, foofaraw and leitmotif, although I tend to resist the temptation to employ them in everyday usage. I collect antique cameras, framed New Yorker covers, old newspapers and magazines and just about anything the city casts off that piques my interest (and that my wife will let me take home.)  

I work in a perpetual state of organized chaos. The man who invented Post-it notes is my best friend. I also think I am the only person left who still uses a physical address book (yes, a real book) to store important contacts.  

Check back next week to see where Jeff Somers writes. 

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