Patrick Wensink Recommends...

“A mess. I need an absolute, total, tsunami-like mess on my desk to be productive. I cannot be creative when things are neat and tidy. Oddly enough, my work does not fit any sort of neat and tidy structure. I avoid pre-planning by figuring a book out as I go along and groom all the wreckage into shape later. Currently on my small maple desk is a laptop; three paintings my three-year-old son made at summer camp; a giraffe sculpture he also made; eight children's books; a biography of children's author Ellen Raskin; five novels for grownups—including a copy of my latest, Fake Fruit Factory, with its front cover blown off by M-80 firecrackers (a casualty of the book trailer filming); a faux Tiffany lamp that is not plugged in; a picture frame and a print of a cat wearing 3-D glasses I intended to put together and give to my friend, MacKenzie, at Christmas eight months ago; a Breathe Right strip still in its package; stacks of notes and notepads; some CDs; and a book called Magic Tricks & Card Tricks. My wife hates this salvage yard of an office I have carved out, but I love it. I feel comfortable amongst all this information and history and strangeness. When I feel comfortable, I can work. And when I work, I am less of a grouch. Thank you, mess!”
—Patrick Wensink, author of Fake Fruit Factory (Curbside Splendor, 2015)