The desk is like any other in construction.  Sturdy wood that had been worked into legs, drawers and a smooth flat desktop.  It had been painted or vanish at one time but was now sanded and painted again.

On the one end of the desk there is a digital clock, it reads the correct time in red light.  There is an out tray next to digital clock.  It contains bills, paper for drawing, photographs not yet in frames and a charged iPod.  The iPod is blue but a lighter blue than the digital clock.  Next comes a battered mug full of pens, pencils and highlighters.  Some of the pencils aren’t sharpened.  There is sticky tape in a holder and a blue telephone – it is the worst blue of the three.

And then there are books.  Animator, anatomy, rigging, timing for animation, 3D, cell – so the list goes.  They are propped up against a black shiny PC with a flat screen.  The books are for the programmes on the PC.  There is a tablet next to the keyboard as well as a charger for camera batteries.

And in among all the digital art there is little music box.  It sits very quietly, lost in the modern world but older than all of it.


10 thoughts on “Desk”

  1. Really enjoyed your interpretation of Outsider – perfect fit for me.

    Love the very still literal descriptions of the desk – clinical. For me thi smakes the music box magical because everything else is so very mundane.

    Slightly wish there was a more explicit description of the box, of the engraving or what substance it is made of (something old: brass/wood?).

    It feels like I was sitting there looking at your desk (stuck for inspiration).

    I really prefer your writing when the setting is the real world; but perhaps that is more about me than the writing.

  2. I love the idea of this and the careful description of the objects on the desk. It is a fascinating and nicely executed example of purely descriptive text. The music box as outsider adds a little bit of interesting plot to the description. The comparative descriptions of colours create a detailed and realistic image of the scene.

    Some bits I particularly liked:
    “worst blue of the three” – I wasn’t sure about this to begin with as I wanted to know how the blue was different to the others. But I like the personal voice and preference that is introduced by the comment, especially as the rest is so impersonal.
    “Next comes a battered mug full of pens, pencils and highlighters. Some of the pencils aren’t sharpened.” – I like the detail here – the battered mug and non sharpened pencils create the impression of well-used tools. These and the books make the desk feel more lived in (or on, I guess :-).

    Some crits:
    I would have preferred the use of “has” rather than “had” in the first paragraph. It would give more of an idea of ongoing maintenance and use.
    Like elementalsystems, I would have liked a little more description of the box. If it is wooden, perhaps the description could be an interesting counter-point to the desk description at the beginning.

  3. Interesting piece, contrasting a desk that contains a collection of new things against something that was built before all of them — and will probably outlast them all as well.

    I like the final juxtaposition between the old and the new. Like some of the other comments, I’d also enjoy a bit more description of it, but not much! I like that this bit is short. But as it stands it offers very little contrast.

    I’m not sure about the tenses in the first paragraph, especially the “was” in “but was now sanded”. I agree with CBraz (for the same reasons) that “has been” might fit better.

    1. I think you’re both right with ‘has’ sounding better. I also deliberately left off describing the music box. I wanted the reader to picture whatever music box came to mind as the music box on the desk.

  4. A lovely little description – coming in late with my comments I can only agree with others on the great descriptions of the items (I liked the “worst blue” and the “unsharpened” pencils too) and the need for a slight little bit of description of the box.

    You are getting very good at pacing the language and making the descriptions stand out – it is very cool.

    “Vanish” in the first paragraph should probably be “varnished”, but that’s my only quibble. :)

    Thank you!

  5. I enjoyed this – an apparently simple, well-observed and rather poignant piece of writing. The music box description could perhaps have been more detailed, but in fact it works well in its restraint, and on its focus on implication rather than physical detail. The box ends up with a character none of the other object have, which is really the point!

    I was a little jarred by typos – you may want to reconsider your non-editing policy just to deal with minor errors, they tend to jolt me out of immersion in the writing. My English teacher soul also demands that I note that “Sturdy wood that had been worked into legs, drawers and a smooth flat desktop” is not, in fact, a sentence, lacking a main verb, and thus might be more felicitous grafted onto the previous sentence with a colon like the dependant clause it is.

    But I did enjoy this, thank you!

  6. ‘Late to the party’ says: what they said!

    Nice descriptions throughout, but the typos are a little jolting.

    The last paragraph is lovely, especially the last sentence.
    It leads the reader into imaging the box and, like AHS, I like to think there’s something a magical about it.

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