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 the authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happen.
This is Gregory Robinson.
Gregory is a writer from Boulder City, Nevada. His book, All Movies Love the Moon, is a hybrid collection of prose poems and art about silent movies. Taken as a whole, it is both a history of silent movies and an experiment in ekphrasis.
He is also the Chair of the Humanities Department at Nevada State College in Henderson. When he is not writing or hanging around NSC, he is hiking around the desert his wife Joan, walking his dog BinBin, or (of course) watching movies.
Where Gregory Robinson Writes
I write in bed, usually under the covers. I mean, not totally under the covers, but at least up to the waist, my back propped up on pillows. This is not limited to creative work either. If I am able to stay home and work, I do that in bed as well. I have typed up all kinds of policies and course proposals from bed and I often wonder if people recognize my habit, even unconsciously. In my mind, someone is reading my edits to the academic grievance policy and saying aloud: “There is something calming about this policy, a kind of quiet reassurance that everything will be okay. I no longer feel the need to grieve.”
Proust wrote in bed. Truman Capote did as well, and famously stated that he could not think unless he was lying down. Robert McCrum argues in The Guardian that writing in bed provides a creative gateway, where “[p]art of you is still in the shadowy cave of dream world; part of you is adjusting to the sharp brightness of reality. The mixture is fruitful and often suggestive” (http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2011/apr/28/writing-in-bed-robert-mccrum)
I could come up with all kinds of other philosophical justifications, but the truth is fairly bland: I live in a small house and I do not have much room for a formal writing space. The bed has to take on the responsibility of being where I sleep, write, and work.
There are a few important elements nearby. The first is a painting by my father, just to the left of the bed. He retired from a career in banking and began to paint vehemently, producing a garage full of works in the span of a year or so. The man contains multitudes.
The second item, just out of view in the bed in the first image, is a painting of Mary Magdalene on tin. I am not particularly religious, but I love Mary’s expression, and I am particularly enamored by how nonchalantly she carries a tiny skull in her left arm.
The final item is also out of view to the left side of the bed. It is a painting by Gina Quaranto, one of my favorite
artists. It is a quadriptych with a door as the focal point of the third panel
and a command: Open Door. There is
something sort of Carrollian about it. Even though there may not be a clear
narrative, I am always coming up with stories that connect the four images. Las Vegas
I suppose I ought to mention the bookshelf as well. If you look carefully you will see a decent collection of Rose Metal Press books, alongside the others that I like to keep close. I used to be a librarian, so keeping books nearby provides some comfort, in the way that family heirlooms might do for others. I look at them sometimes from bed, as I am about to write or doze off.