Sunday, August 7, 2011

Elley P. Johnson's Bookshelf

This is my cave, my Momma Cave, and here is my one book shelf, and that over there is the fuzzy pink robe I wear when I write. Seriously, no joke about the fuzzy pink robe. 
My bookshelf is a coffee table, and it’s a work in progress, just like me. 
Currently, my table holds suggested readings from my kick-ass MFA mentor, Tony Abbott. It also hold books to slurp ideas from, books I pine for, books I’m marinating in my brain, and books I pick up for a quick thirty-second jolt of inspiration. I don’t put these titles on a shelf. I like to keep these books close. Five years ago, my table was filled with books offering advice on how not to mess up my kids. Five years before that, the table overflowed with DIY computer programming and IT infrastructure design books, with a few not so random Martha Stewart Weddings magazines mixed in.  
Having a Momma Cave to keep my table is a new luxury. My Momma Cave is where I go to read and write. I close the door for three hours a day and try to shut out all the dangling details that so often keep me from putting words onto the page.  I have a sign on the door. It reads: 
Are you on fire? Are you bleeding profusely from the head?
If your answer is no, DON'T KNOCK. You will survive. Mommy will be with you shortly.
If only it were that easy. 
During my three hours a day, I slow to a crawl, my plate empties, and I am without a thing to do for someone else. I like to think of it as freedom in suspended animation. Blissfully messy and disorganized, but a freedom I hold dear. This is what my table (bookshelf) represents, and what my Momma Cave preserves, fuzzy pink robe and all. 
Elley is a low res MFA student at Lesley University, and lives in Bangkok, Thailand were she frequently dehydrates from mixing extreme heat and 50 cent Singha Beer. She has published in JAMIA such thrilling titles as “The World Wide Web: A Review of an Emerging Internet-Based Technology for the Distribution of Biomedical Information” and “Web Report: A World Wide Web Clinical Multimedia Reporting System.”  She is currently working on a spy geek chapter book, a middle grade novel with Leprechauns and Thor, God of Thunder, and a travel log detailing every place around the world her children have vomited, either entirely or partly, on her.  
For more Elley, visit

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