Word Spaces(2): Kevin Wilson

Kevin Wilson writes about things like dead sisters and screaming babies and sexual relationships between cousins. He also has published a few entries from his series ‘Tommy Explained,’ one of which you can see at the new Lamination Colony. I don’t want you to think that’s all he writes about, though, so visit his website or his blog. Also, you should know this: Kevin Wilson has a book coming out. It’s called Tunneling to the Center of the Earth. I bet it’s going to be funny.

Kevin was kind enough to send us a pic and a few words for today.

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Okay, above is a picture of Kevin Wilson’s word space. Here’s what he had to say about it:

When our son, Griffith Fodder-wing Wilson, was born in January, he took my study. There was little debate about the matter. The baby needed a room. I had not considered the situation, our tiny cabin and where we would store our kid, before we decided to have a baby. I should have thought about it a little more.

So my dad (who is the most capable person I know and loves, Jesus Christ, loves to use his wet saw and nail gun and his esoteric knowledge of wiring) and I turned the unfinished basement into a study where I could hide for a few hours and get some work done. It’s also where I keep my comic books and figurines. Oh, and I keep my regular books down here as well. I have a desk, but sitting at the desk feels like I’m still at my 9 to 5 job, so I sit on the floor and write with the computer in my lap. I keep the space heater running no matter the season because I have terrible circulation and get cold easily. There’s a view of the pond, and stray cats like to lounge on the porch. There was a bat but I sprayed enough tea tree oil in the rafters that I either killed him or he got the message and left.

I felt very disconnected from the space for a few months. I could hear my wife and baby overhead, which made me feel like I’d died and they were learning to live without me. I kept finding cave crickets in the corners of the room. The baby kept us up most nights and so I found myself falling asleep on the floor, an hour having passed, no writing accomplished. The near-constant presence of the bat was, frankly, unsettling. The baby had kicked me out of my house. I was in the basement. What the fuck had happened?

Then something awful happened. The novel I had been working on for two years, unexpectedly but emphatically, died on me. My agent and my editor, good people, kept asking me about the book and how it was going and so I started to go a little crazy because I did not want to tell them that the book had died and I did not want to give back the advance money.

And then something strange and wonderful happened. My wife, superhuman in her ability to care for the baby, forced me to go down to the basement every day after work in order to write. And so, for a solid month, I wrote like crazy in my new study. I would put on my Lone Ranger mask and sit on the floor, cave crickets hopping around me, and get to work on something new and hopefully better than the scorched earth from which I had previously walked away. When the month was over, I had the first fifty pages of a new novel. The room felt like my writing space and not the place to which I had been exiled.

Griff, nearly a year old now, likes to come into the study with my wife and play with the Devil Dinosaur and Giant Man figurines while I take a break from writing. When he gets older and realizes that living in a little cabin and having a room with no door makes it difficult to maintain your privacy, I imagine he’ll move down here and I’ll be back in the old study. I will probably still be working on this novel so the change might be good for me.

Thanks, Kevin Wilson.

Next week, Jason Ockert shares with us his bare study and writes about the view out the window. Yep, trees.