CutBank continues its new online feature, The Woodshop, with this submission from Brad Felver. Review our submission guidelines here, then submit your own Woodshop to photo

Where do you do your work?

In my basement office, which I completed about a month ago. My wife was tired of my office being our kitchen table.

I framed the space to avoid window wells and insulated the walls so that it's nearly silent. Any little advantage I can find to help me concentrate is worth it. There's something primal about constructing your own work space, something similar to an animal marking its territory. By the time I finished, the place already felt like home, already smelled like me.

What do you keep on your desk?

As little as possible. Usually just a laptop and maybe one of the books I'm reading.

By design, there is no view. It's more a bunker than an office. But I built in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, and having all of those wonderful books in one place so near me really is quite the view.

What do you eat/drink while you work?

Usually coffee in the mornings, which is when I do most of the heavy lifting. Sometimes a beer or whiskey later at night when I head back down to work or to read.

Do you have any superstitions about your work?

I try incredibly hard not to, and I invariably fail. Writing superstitions often end up being like ultimatums you give yourself: Either I am 100-percent comfortable, or I won't write, by God! I try to write when I can carve out the time, but yes, I still have superstitions. I like to have something to drink, I like the space to be neat (a messy room jars my brain into safe mode), and I like to have instrumental music playing.

Share a recent line/sentence written in this space.

"Men believe all the world is about men. But the man who learns humility, whether through failures or hard work unrewarded or through the long quiet of nature, that man might eventually stray from this brutish devotion to his father, and if he is particularly lucky, as I have been in many things, he will find his mother, who will be waiting for him, all this time waiting for him."

Brad Felver's fiction and essays have recently appeared in The Minnesota Review, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Ascent, and Fiction Writer's Review. He lives with his wife in northern Ohio, where he teaches at Bowling Green State University.