Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!
This is Jasmine Sawers.
They are a Kundiman fellow and Indiana University MFA alum whose work has appeared in such journals as Foglifter, AAWW’s The Margins, SmokeLong Quarterly, and more. Their fiction has won the Ploughshares Emerging Writers Contest and the NANO Prize, and has been nominated for Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, and the Pushcart Prize. Sawers is proud to serve as an associate fiction editor for Fairy Tale Review. Originally from Buffalo, Sawers now teaches creative writing and pets dogs outside of St. Louis. To learn more, please visit https://www.jasminesawers.com/
Where Jasmine Sawers Writes
When we moved last year, my spouse insisted I get a new
desk, because I was still creaking away at the slowly disintegrating pile of
lumber I’d bought for $20 at AMVETS in 2009. I resisted because the expense
seemed exorbitant, but eventually he, and the bits falling off the old desk
that could no longer be contained with tape, convinced me. I was fussy about
the style, but ultimately, I picked a desk and got a slab of plexiglass for the
top of it, because the wood was soft and I wanted to keep it undamaged as long
as possible. I promised myself I would keep it in good shape, and scrupulously
clean while I was at it. An organized desk is an organized mind. So obviously
it looks like this.
It gave me, also, his propensity for books. He’d leave his spy
novels and old white man canon in little piles around his bed. They’d get
shoved in his closet or under the bed or behind the skirt of his bedside table.
And then he’d wonder where all his books went. I’ve had to make a concerted
effort to keep my books in their proper places, and sometimes I fail
nonetheless, stacks growing here and there like unchecked weeds. I’ve also had
to move six times in the last ten years and have been ruthless in getting rid
of what I didn’t need, love, or plan to read. Still, I am running out of space.
I’m going to need another bookcase.
When conditions are perfect—that is, when the weather is
cooperating, I have no obligations for the day, and I am experiencing an
overabundance of executive function—I will find a park where I can go into the
woods and be alone at a picnic table. I will bring a book to read and a
notebook to write in. Last time I did this, I wrote Elephants
Bury Their Dead.
Recently, I found a good spot on a lake in a state park.