A couple of weeks ago, I leapt. After years of working out of an office in my home, years of avoiding eye contact with the dog who made me feel guilty for not walking him, years of hearing the buzz of the dryer and heading downstairs to take the laundry out, years of making coffee and seeing the list of chores on the counter and heading out to do them instead of going back up to work,

My studio is a room with a view. But today when I glance up from my computer, that view is blocked by a crescent of snow piled up on the outer ledge. However, I can easily picture the monochrome world beyond that barrier: the metal-grey sky, the wide white ribbon of the Red River, the black maple and willow skeletons. It’s still snowing.

I spend a great deal of time on my bikes, both in Winnipeg and in Tucson, and in a way they constitute a kind of office. A mobile office where thoughts come in the way of meditation: ruminative, fragmentary, suggestive. There’s lots of time on a road ride to let the mind drift and for thoughts to waft like streams of smoke, winding from this to that as the wheels whistle along, matching the twittering of birds from the verge.

Like most writers, I have a computer and a room to house it. It is a good room. Pale walnut floors. Slate-coloured walls. If I stand, I can see out the window across the back deck and over the gardens to the lake. It is tastefully decorated with my wife’s black and white photography. My guitars are close at hand. But I have never considered this space as my studio.

Meet the creatures who hang out on my crowded and messy writing desk—there’s Monique the odd Ceratopsian (“horned face”) dinosaur, with a twisted torso; Thelma the cute Rhodochrosite owl; and several smaller crystals and stones.

When I said I’d like to paint my studio terracotta and antique yellow, some raised their eyebrows, but I have no regrets.

I like to write overlooking water. I know that some writers find the natural world a distraction. They would sooner be cocooned in an enclosed space where there is nothing but the writer and his words.

I would like to begin with a bold statement like “The WORLD is my studio!”, or “I write wherever and whenever The Muse finds me”; I would like to say that The Muse finds me scribbling frantically in a Moleskine at a café on the Left Bank in Paris, or atop the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, but in reality she just stands there tapping her toe and glancing at her watch while I mop spilled coffee from the keyboard on my little desk in my little Toronto apartment.

Calling my WorDoctor office a studio is precious—it’s a workplace, and, since I’m one of the lucky ones for whom work and play are indistinguishable, it’s also my play-space.

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

R3B 1H3

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