CutBank continues its online feature, The Woodshop, with this submission from Bonnie ZoBell, as interviewed by Caitlin Summie. Review our submission guidelines here, then submit your own Woodshop to And don't forget - chapbook contest submissions are open as well! Review submission guidelines and submit your best work here.

ZoBell WoodshopWhere do you do your work?

I work at a desk in an office converted out of a garage. It's mine-all-mine, so I can use whatever wild colors I like without conferring with anybody. My dogs have their own beds out here.

What do you keep on your desk?

I have a miniature Day of the Dead diorama on my desk that I particularly like—a skeletal waiter and waitress with big toothy grins. I have the painting by Sandy Tweed that was used on my current book over my desk as my muse. Knicknacks from various projects I'm working on—books by people I'm interviewing, tape measures to measure my dogs' necks for cool collars I find online, a Firebox I'm trying to figure out how to use.

What’s your view like?

That's another thing I love so much about my office—I have a window and leave the door open so I can see all my plants. I'm an avid gardener.

What do you eat/drink while you work?

My favorite thing to drink in my office is Cherry Fizz, which writer Kim Church introduced me to this past summer. Cherry juice, club soda, and a lot of ice. Yum.

Do you have any superstitions about your work?

Fortunately, no. I confess the picture I'm sharing with you has been tampered with. If it has to be that clean in order for me to write, I'd never get anything done.

Share a recent line/sentence written in this space.

She was so disturbed that her face contorted into a terrible grimace, facial muscles rioting so that her natural beauty became a knotted mask.

Bonnie ZoBell's new linked collection from Press 53, What Happened Here: a novella and stories , is centered on the site PSA Flight 182 crashed into North Park, San Diego, in 1978 and features the imaginary characters who live there now. Her fiction chapbook The Whack-Job Girls was published in March 2013. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in fiction, the Capricorn Novel Award, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award. She has an MFA from Columbia University, currently teaches at San Diego Mesa College and is working on a novel. Visit her at