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Why Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk?

02/07/2011

Why is a raven like a writing desk?
— The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll doesn’t give us an answer to this question, but one look at my own desk supplies an answer: both ravens and writing desks (mine, at least) collect shiny things.

Ravens’ tendency to snatch up things that catch their eye and hide them for later makes them natural role models for writers. My desk is full of treasures and distractions, although everything on it is something I really need: my computer, of course; two monitors, so I can look at more than one thing at once; my favorite pens; my hourglass, to measure out uninterrupted writing time; my beloved Blackwing pencils, for marking up manuscripts; and the latest addition, my Batphone, because you never know when Gotham might need saving.

But I’m in good company. View this slideshow of famous writers’ desks.