THE WOODSHOP: Sally Deskins

Woodshop_Deskings_pic CutBank continues its new online feature, The Woodshop, with this submission from Sally Deskins. Review our submission guidelines here, then submit your own Woodshop to

Where do you do your work?

Just moved to a townhouse with my husband and two kids. I have a lot more space than I had in our former apartment. I write ideas in various pages of a few notebooks as I’m mothering or running errands or at the kitchen counter. For official “writing” I type at this desk, in the dining room we’ve transformed into an office/playroom.

What do you keep on your desk?

Coffee, a few notebooks with etchings and notes scribbled, and bunches of to-do lists. My mug with pens and drawing pencils. My red Swingline stapler (a la Office Space) gifted from a former boss and emblazoned with an Anna Sui sticker. (Sui is a fashion designer I idolized during high school and college.) The Office calendar.  Chapstick, my phone, whatever book(s) I’m reading and/or reviewing.

What’s your view like?

Out the window, I see our grill and the townhomes behind us, with a hint of the trailer park behind that. Otherwise, I glance at my corkboard, which we just fished out of storage and which holds various inspirations—artful and kitschy photos and ads, quotes, and art by my kids.

What do you eat/drink while you work?

Before noon: Coffee, water, Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry. Afternoon: tea. Evening: cheap wine or vodka and Diet 7UP. I generally do not eat over here (a rule of the house everyone must follow), but if I sneak anything, usually Twizzlers.

Share a recent line/sentence written in this space

“It is a startling, dim story that has to be read twice to put the pieces together, and challenges readers to ask: Are you marked? And by whom?” From a review of X Marks the Dress: A Registry, in Prick of the Spindle.


Sally Deskins is a writer and artist based in Morgantown, West Virginia. She examines the work and lives of women in the arts.