Smadar Zamir – The Space I Write In

Note: Hyperlinks that end with an asterisk lead to Hebrew web pages.

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Smadar is a filmmaker. Here’s a link to her short film Between the Lines. She also lectures and writes* about cinema* and gender*. Smadar received her BFA in film studies from the Sapir College and her MA in gender studies from the Bar Ilan University.

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1. My Computer

I do most of my writing on my computer and it’s my best friend (as a colleague). It took me ages to get used to writing on a computer, but today I can’t see myself writing in any other way.  On writing days, I write for about six hours in total. I have many files on my desktop which contain texts on different issues, at different stages of writing. Stacks of virtual paper meticulously organized. I tend to fill the desktop with documents and then sort them into files or delete them.

2. The Transparent Plastic Drawer

This is the messy area of the table. It absorbs everything that has to be done: paying the municipal tax bill, filing a paycheck stub, a form that has to be filled out for something or other, and a note of love. I try to empty it once every two weeks, but it can also take a few months…

3. The Enamel Bowl

It reminds me to stop and eat a fruit or two, or a nut, and also makes me feel the warmth of home. In general I have discovered that taking a break in order to cook, wash the dishes, or fold the laundry, truly helps and grounds me during a writing day. I try hard not to be sucked in by the writing, but to practice it as part of an assembly of actions that comprise my daily routine.

4. My Couch

This couch, which is the most comfortable couch in the whole world and cost us close to nothing, is where I settle down when I need to read or when I just feel the need to change position. Suddenly I’m working cross-legged or semi-reclined.

5. My Water Bottle

I drink a lot of water. All the time. So the glass and the jug of water, which is actually a former bottle of juice, are always on the table. Drinking water allows me to linger for a moment and it revitalizes me too.

6. The Floor

I wander on it; roam around in search of the word, the sentence, the idea, the narrative, the beginning, the end, the secret. These strolls, during which I tend to talk to myself, often make me more accurate, more precise.

7. Jean-Luc

The cutest medium sized dog. He is always present in my writing space.  Bestowing me with endless love, and reminding me to take breaks and kiss him. Sometimes he can get into a fit of barking, but that usually happens when I’m talking on the phone, not when I’m writing.

8. Shesh-Besh (Backgammon in Hebrew)

The cutest big dog.  He too is here to remind me to love, just that during the summer he prefers to stretch out in the sun outside.

9. My Cellphone – Stacy

She’s not in the photo but you can see her case. Stacy is on the one hand a very important work tool, but she is also a devious distractor. I try to put her on silent mode when I wish to write undisturbed.  I usually filter calls and return them when I’m on a break or at the end of the day.

10. My Clipboard

I got it from friends.  I use it to pin up the newest form I have created for myself, in order to perform the various tasks at hand efficiently, and stay on the ball. I put a lot of time into inventing these forms and still haven’t found the perfect formula. I used a weekly table organized according to hours, a notebook, sticky notes…
Currently I’m using a table organized according to task and follow-up.

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David Tarbay – The Space I Write In

Note: Hyperlinks that end with an asterisk lead to Hebrew web pages.

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David Tarbay is an author, translator and a Tel Aviv University graduate. His list of publications includes novels, stories, reviews*, articles, beside translations of some of the most well-known and valued Hungarian authors – Tibor Déry, Péter Nádas, György Spiró – plays and academic articles.

His book “Stalker” (Am Oved 2004) received praise reviews and The President’s Prize for Literature. “The Emperor’s Dream” (Keter Books, 2010) starred in the best sellers listings. His new book, “Outsiders” is due to come out under Keter Books too.

 

A Moral Space

1. Through the Window

I wrote my last book in its entirety right here. Three and a half square meters, half closed blinds, a hundred year old dilapidated table, and a quad-core computer with a damaged blue-ray drive.

On the other side of the window, two trees intertwine: it’s unclear who is suffocating who. Beyond the fence, a bush, a path. I spy through the half shut blinds, waiting for my daughter to return from school. She stops, glances through the bushes, which are growing even faster than she is. If they aren’t trimmed soon, only a slight crack will allow us to see each other.

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2. Through time

The new book takes place in 2026, in the Golan Heights, Tel Aviv and Southern Israel, but the characters get as far as Singapore, Amsterdam, Zurich and Serengeti.  I’ve been a frequent flyer since my first book, so I have practice with movements on the timeline. The plot always beats me to it, and time broadens space. I go over the locations on Google. I check the sound of the bell I refer to, hark back to the sight of the Jumbo plane taking off, watch the flight of a flock of birds landing on a placid lake in the middle of a nature reserve. I check the flight number, the diameter of the jeep’s tires, the exact route of each and every character, until I find myself inside the scene.

When I’m in the flow, I sit on the balcony of the Golan Heights house, with the character I’m most deeply connected to, the flower grower’s daughter, the invisible hero of the book, and I sit in the front seat of the detective’s car, a wide board Audi, at 5 AM, while he drives north on the open roads to investigate.

It is no longer clear who the inventor is and who has been invented. The spaces are wider than I could imagine. I grasp at pieces of reality, which may no longer be relevant at the time of the plot. I try to deduce, project and turn what is happening today, into the recollections of a character ten years from now.

The house will have been demolished, the book shelved. But I will still be searching for the characters.

plansheetThe scarred Golan Heights on Google & the original plan-sheet of the Ramat Gan apartment by Salim Goru Ltd’s, 1957. The balcony has since been enclosed.

 

3. Back to Reality

Sometimes I really look forward to getting stuck in the middle of a paragraph only so I can go out for a walk, alone, or with the kids. I can get stuck in the middle of a paragraph even after two or three weeks of not opening the book at all. It’s wonderful to get stuck in the middle. One can also get stuck on a Saturday morning, or in the rain, at 8 Pm, an hour after the heat wave has broken. I’m free to get stuck whenever it suits me. One doesn’t even have to write in order to get stuck. With the kids I go to a picturesque park. By myself I go on an hour’s walk, on a fixed route. Instinctively, I would say that this is the real space, the ongoing forward movement, the space in which the pieces of the mosaic come together.

rainThe little one in his older sister’s boots. There is no plot problem that cannot be solved by the scent of rain.

 

4. Space and Time Travelling

Some of my childhood memories are connected to ‘guesthouses for authors’, one of the blessed institutions of the staggering Hungarian socialist entity of the late 80s. With my mother, we would go to Zsennye Castle, which was surrounded by a spacious park that was bombed and almost completely destroyed during World War II in a joint heroic effort of the Germans and the Russians, but “one thousand year old” oak trees grow there till this day. With my dad we used to travel to Szigliget, to a palace built in the 18th century, which was later passed into the hands of the rich Eszterházy family. One of the family’s descendants, Peter Eszterházy, became a famous author who honored this humble castle with his presence. Well, if a perfect space to create in exists (I doubt it, but suppose it does), I find it hard to think of a better candidate, although through a child’s eye, the honorable authors and painters were no less immersed in intrigues, hearty meals and football games than they were in creating.

writingSilence,  people writing.

Guy Levi – The Space I Write In

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Guy Levi works as Director of Innovation at the Center for Education Technology (CET) in Tel Aviv. He studied politics and sociology in Tel Aviv and New York and spent many years researching 20th century colonialism. In 2005 he visited Vietnam, the Mekong Delta and Saigon where he was exposed to the fascinating character of Ho Chi Min, the founding father of modern Vietnam. In 2009 he travelled to Hanoi in order to see his hero (embalmed in a mausoleum), and fell in love with the city, its residents and its culture. Upon returning to Israel he wondered how he would maintain his newly acquired love and decided to write a novel about Vietnam. In 2014 he returned to Vietnam in order to re-encounter his characters and design the story plot. Guy lives and writes in Tel Aviv Israel.

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1. My Work Station

This is my workspace, in the small dining area on the left of the kitchen. I don’t need anything but my computer, which usually isn’t even connected to the electricity. I write mostly on weekends, in the early morning or evening, when all members of the house are busy doing their own thing. Sometimes someone may pass by or cook next to me, but it doesn’t affect my concentration or my writing.

When I just began writing the novel, I would recluse myself at my parents’ house on the kibbutz, when they traveled overseas. On one occasion, I didn’t step outside for four days and wrote for eighteen hours straight. I have noticed that it takes me time to get into a profound writing mode, so isolation is a treasure.

 

2. My Computer

All I need in order to write is a computer and a network connection. This book couldn’t be written in a world with no internet. My writing is very associative and I need immediate access to information and quick answers to the questions that pop into my head. When I write, I have about 20 open tabs in my browser, as I skip from one to the other according to the ideas I have. One moment I need to compare between the Vietnam provinces in order to decide where a character was born, and the next moment I need historical findings in order to define the character’s familial background.

Wikipedia is my main source of information. One of the characters in the novel is a young boy with no father or mother figure, who ran away from his poor village to Hanoi. The boy is adopted by one of the older characters, and when this character holds his hand warmly, he cries for the first time in his life. When I described the tear rolling down his cheek, I suddenly asked myself – what is a tear? and discovered that there are actually different kinds of tears, with various chemical structures. Tears of excitement, for example, contain a hormone which is supposed to relax the body, while onion tears are meant to protect our eyes. These pieces of information that I am exposed to during my research are collected in my head or on the computer, and eventually they enter the story. My writing is a never-ending process of discovery. If my book will ever be published I’ll probably dedicate it to Wikipedia.

 

3. Word

I write on Microsoft Word but back everything up on Dropbox. I don’t take risks. I don’t print out my writing; everything is digital, organized in computer files. I don’t use notes either, nor do I use notepads or notebooks. If I’m not by my computer, I write my thoughts down in my smartphone’s Notes app. I believe that if you don’t pay attention to your thoughts, they will disappear. If you don’t hang on to an association, it will leave.

 

4. Red Coffee Mug

When I write I need coffee beside me. It can be hot or cold. Coffee is part of my thinking process. I only drink my coffee out of this mug because when clasping it, it feels like an extension of my body. When I lost it one day, I went crazy until it was found.

 

5. Refrigerator

I don’t eat while writing, except for chocolate or halva, both can be easily drawn out of the first shelf of the fridge door. All I need to do is stretch my arm backwards.

 

6. Orange Packet

On the top shelf lies an orange packet with tea leaves in it, a gift I received from my Vietnamese friends. It has no current use, so if you feel like some tea you are welcome to write me…

 

7. Earphones

This is where my earphones, which have gone missing, usually are. I often use them to listen to Vietnamese music, like this singer. With the help of Google I can translate the words to English or Hebrew with a click of a button and the meaning unfolds before my eyes.

 

8. Dinko’s Pillow

This is where our dog sleeps while I write. His presence soothes me.

 

9. Ironing Board and Iron

Every morning, before going to work, I iron my clothes. And every single time I do so, I recall Murakami’s book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and the character’s clothes ironing ritual. It helps me examine the way small details of life are expressed in literature and refine their reflection in my writing.

 

10. Bookshelves

My writing is influenced by my two favorite authors: Jose Saramago and Haruki Murakami. From Saramago I borrow the writing style, not using quotation marks for example. And Murakami calms me. I read him slowly and remain flabbergasted by his language and metaphors. When I think of the journey my characters are on, I see them both in my mind’s eye.

 

11. Point of View

When I think, I tend to detach myself from the screen and raise my head. This is what I see. The distance between my seat and the balcony banister is 12 meters. One cannot see the street from the second floor, only the trees across the road, the chairs on the balcony and the coffee mug of whoever sat there a moment ago, maybe it was me.

This frame that I see is autonomous of space and time, so it can easily become the view from a hotel window in Hanoi, or any other place I want. My point of view helps me think every time I need to set all the data aside and enter the realms of my imagination.

 

Aran Rondel – The Space I Write In

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Aran lives on Kibbutz Eilon in the Western Galilee, at the northern end of Israel. He is the Research Director of an NGO called the Social Guard which monitors the parliamentary work of the Israeli Knesset. He’s also struggling to write his M.A thesis in political theory for the Tel Aviv University Philosophy Department. He is a former basketball correspondent and writer, as well as an ex-future writer.

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1. Making Coffee

Writing for me starts here, with the morning coffee-making ritual. I have two macchinettas, a small one that makes coffee for one person and another that is good for two or three people; I rarely use the latter. Although I make excellent coffee, I was never a big coffee drinker. I can go days without having a cup, and it won’t bother me. The truth is that I like making coffee more than I enjoy drinking it. I find it to be a good way to get into a working mood. This is true for any kind of old-fashioned coffee-making process that requires some work and preparation, and not for instant frozen coffee.

 

2. My Beaten Down Old and Slow Computer

I am not a man of changes. I like my habits and I like it when things feel right. I bought this computer almost seven years ago, expecting it not to be as comfortable as my older Compaq laptop. But it surprised me and I took to it right away. I remember turning it on for the first time. It wrote LG – Life’s Good – in large bold red letters on the screen. I decided to name it Decepticon, because it is a lying machine.

I’ve written a lot on it, and I feel that to an extent all this hard work has been a joint effort by Decepticon and me. Most other computers – be they laptops or desktops – don’t seem to make my thoughts take form in words as clearly as my old companion does.

But it’s old, and its processing does come to a halt whenever things become busier. I’ll need a new friend soon enough, I’m just not sure how to know if it’s the right one for me. Some tell me that every computer will feel right after I get used to it. I despise this thought, although it does relieve some of the pressure of getting a new machine.

 

3. My Tomato Bush

It isn’t just procrastination. I really do think and articulate better when I walk around. I find it hard to speak on the phone sitting down, and if I’m writing stuff for work and need to think things through, it’s impossible for me to do it while seated in front of a computer.

During the past few months, ever since I moved out of the city, I’ve been grooming a tomato bush in my front yard. I planted seeds of tomatoes which I purchased at my favorite vegetable stand, in the Tel Aviv Carmel market. After a week or so, some seeds sprouted, and today I have a beautiful 65 cm (2ft.) tall bush, with some tomatoes growing on it.

Every time I need to get out of the chair in order to think, to take a five minute break or to make a phone call, I step outside and observe the changes and growth of the bush, and the tomatoes that are hanging on it. Then I can go back to focus on my work, while feeling thankful that – unlike the plant – I work indoors.

 

4. The View from My Living Room Window

Most of all, this window is a clock, it makes every part of the day feel different. It faces west, so it lets no direct sunlight in, in the morning. The roof tiles, which extend about two meters over the window, protect it from the midday sun. There are a couple of trees in the back yard – pomegranate, loquat – that block most of the late-afternoon sun. This means that mornings are shady, relatively dark, and just right for slowly easing into the workday. Throughout most of the day, the sun lights the trees beautifully. And in the hours before dusk, the trees outside the window are flush with sunlight, some rays making it into the house and into my eyes, creating en route strange yellow figures on the mosquito net. It’s a lot like driving west during sunset. But I don’t fight it; I work through it, because I know the day is almost over, and it’s time to put one last effort into the day, before I retire from my work station, defeated.

Giselle Marks – The Space I Write In

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Giselle Marks has been writing for 30 years and finally found the courage to get published. Her first two Regency Romances – The Fencing Master’s Daughter and The Marquis’s Mistake were published by Front Porch Romance. They are not currently available but will be re-released later in 2014.
She has also written the Zeninan Saga, a series of Fantasy/ Sci Fi novels with some sexual content. The first of which – Princess of Zenina will be published shortly.

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1. Writing Station

Every morning, after I stumble from my bed, as soon as I’m dressed, I sit down to write at my computer. My writing station is a very orthodox computer desk in a niche in my dining room.

2. Shelves

Above the computer is a shelf filled with my youngest son’s computer games and DVDs. He is away at university doing his finals in Genetics. I am dreaming of their removal as my bookshelves are overflowing. Beside me is a small bookcase filled mostly with fantasy and sci-fi novels.

3. Walls

I have nothing stuck on the walls, no plot-board or writing exhortations, only a framed painting of some chrysanthemums that I painted some years back and a Japanese calendar sent by my sister from Tokyo. 

4. Coffee

Beside my keyboard I normally have a glass of lemon squash, unlike most writers I am caffeine allergic and so drink neither tea nor coffee.

5. Notebook 

Beside the glass is a notebook where I jot down useful information and things I don’t want to forget. 

6. Lighting

On the other side of the keyboard there is a special light that artificially imitates sunlight which my daughter gave me because I get SAD in the winter.

7. Music

Most days I listen to Youtube while I write, because I like a background noise. I admit to a current preference for Enrique Iglesias, preferably singing in Spanish, which I speak few words of.  I get distracted by the poetry of English words, so this way I can listen to the tune, passion and rhythms. However, today I’ve been listening to Leonard Cohen and the late Jake Thackray, who was a British singer-songwriter with a witty and ribald repertoire. He is practically unknown outside of Britain but has a beautiful deep voice and his words are fabulous. 

8. Schedule 

Over the last few months, I have started my writing day by producing a poem. They vary in length, subject and seriousness considerably. Today’s effort is named Cupid’s Joke… Having written a poem today, I read a friend’s comments on my main work in progress, a third Regency romance with the working title A Compromised Rake. I have reached 14K in length and will work on it when I have finished this piece which I started a few days back.

9. Unfinished Business 

I am particularly busy at present because I have several projects unfinished. I have to republish my first two Regency romances which were released late last year by Front Porch Romance. Front Porch Romance has closed so the copyright has reverted to me. I think they were rather over-priced, and hope that despite republishing them, they will make more sales with reasonable pricing.

Then I also intend to release the first of my books in The Zeninan Saga, Princess of Zenina, and I am undertaking a minor revision before publishing. The Saga extends to twelve books so far, all unpublished. It is fantasy/sci-fi with sexual content.  It’s set in the far future mostly in a group of planets administered from Zenina, which is a female dominated planet.

My friend, fellow writer and cover artist Sarah J. Waldock has already created a cover for Princess. We are discussing whether to change the cover for The Fencing Master’s Daughter and how to alter the one for The Marquis’s Mistake.  Together we are writing an anthology of fairy and mythic tales intended for adults, we are about three quarters completed and will then illustrate it together. We may also produce a book of our poetry together.

10. Books

On the other side of the room, there are two larger bookcases, flanked by windows overlooking my small garden. There is a pile of mostly reference books, which have overflowed in one corner. Quotations, thesaurus, atlas, two biographical dictionaries and Wellington’s War number among them. More crammed bookcases can be found in all of my rooms, except the kitchen and bathroom.  Most of my collection of historical books and Regency romances are in the front room.

11. Between the Lines

When I’m not writing, my characters will be sorting out their scenes in the back of my head. They have learned not to be too noisy and distracting because then I might make them wait before writing their tales. But I know I have to work hard because I have so many stories they want me to tell.

@GiselleMarks1

 

 

Ido Angel – The Space I Write In

 

Note: Hyperlinks that end with an asterisk lead to Hebrew web pages.

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Ido Angel is an Israeli author, director and entrepreneur. He was born on October 8th 1974 in Ramat Gan and attended Thelma Yellin high school where he studied theatre. He served in the IDF Theatre and studied film at HaMidrasha Art College; where he went on to teach Narratology for seven years. For five years he worked as a news editor for Channel 2, and has written and directed for TV in Israel and abroad. He has published two novels, a novella, a teen book and some short stories. In 2010 he founded the Misantrope – a workspace for writers, freelancers and students in Tel Aviv, together with his partner, Anat Cohen. Angel is divorced and the father of two girls.

His books:

  • Perhaps he should be Called Brave Yoel? (Teen book. Saar, 2008)
  • The Story of Michael* (A novel. Edited by Dana Olmert. Ahuzat Bayit, 2010)
  •  Nick, a Man and his Words (A novella. Appears in “Behind the Money Lies a Story”, an  anthology edited by Dana Olmert. Ahuzat Bayit, 2010)
  • Children’s Story* (A novel. Edited by Michal Heruti. Modan, 2012)
  • Terrible Poems* (a combination of poems, fragments of prose and illustrations. Self-published, 2014)

For TV:

  • Death of Cain (Written, directed and edited by Ido Angel. 50 minute drama. Independent production supported by the Snunit Foundation)
  • Vipo: Adventures of the Flying Dog (Written and directed by Ido Angel. An animated TV series for children. 2 seasons, 26 episodes, internationally broadcasted)

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1. The Misantrope*

Pay attention: there is no such thing as ‘writer’s block’ – because there are no such things as ‘writing conditions’. Any condition needed in order to write is actually a disguised excuse not to write in its absence. And the guy telling you this has founded a workspace with an extremely meticulous work (writing, or studying) environment. But that’s where the difference lies: it’s an environment, not a condition.

The Misantrope is: a) Not home. Home is where you live, not where you work. Getting out of the house creates a separation that forces borders upon the act of writing, like any other work. You have limited time in a limited space. b) Not a café. Cafés are for leisure. Writing in a café is like trying to draw while on a carousel. The scenery changes constantly and stability is impossible. The Misantrope is quiet. You’re there with yourself and that’s it. c) Cheap. No waiters, the coffee’s free (as are fruit and sweets), the prices are idiotic and set and you don’t have to bother your mind with anything other than the words themselves. If you’re hungry you can take a break – we have a deal with the neighboring falafel stand, the café on the corner and even the bakery on the opposite corner.
This is where I wrote my second novel and the poetry book I have just published. Here I also conduct my Anti-Workshop for thinking about writing.

 

2. Mistakes

If I was forced to dictate one writing condition it would be to learn how to make mistakes. Mistakes are the real writing space. The search for ‘correct writing’ is no more than a sack of excuses for its nonexistence, just like striving to perfect the search for ideal writing conditions. If you try to write only the right words, you’re just being obstructive towards yourself. In order to learn writing, one must decipher its death (or if you prefer softer imagery – in order to learn what’s wrong with your writing, it first has to be wrong). Think how easier it is to look at writing obstacles this way: inspiration doesn’t always come, but mistakes can always be made.

In my opinion every writer has to learn to write in three roles: as a child, a parent, and a teacher. One needs to skip back and forth from one role to the other. To write completely intuitively, with no inhibitions and then look at the text with a mature yet loving and sensitive eye and then with a cold, critical and analytic eye – over and over again. At the end of the day, writing is a process, not a goal. And the compositions – are no more than crossroads.

 

3. An Ergonomically Padded Computer

My joints are made of cardboard. My right hand has already been operated on because of all this ink I waste on paper. My left hand is heading in the same direction.

 

4. People

Who pay me so that I can sit here quietly and write – before the books are even published!

 

5. A Peach

 

6. Gum

 

7. Water

 

8. The Mother of all Chandeliers

We bought 22 reading lamps at Ikea and welded them together

 

9. Lack of Coffee!

The machine broke down today (this never happens). Tomorrow there will be a full cup of coffee right here at any given moment.

10. The Most Comfortable Chair in the Entire Universe.

I wouldn’t mind having it welded to my ass and walking around with it like Hawking.

 

11. Surrounding all this is a Thick Transparent Cloud of Contempt for Normal Writing.

Enough with the characters who come and go from one place to another, saying sentences, experiencing things.

This is how my next book begins:
Eyes fall on the first words of this book like the bodies of two victims, as they hit the ground. A man carries his name within himself, like a disease: Gideon. He looks at the body lying in front of him, in the mirror. He’s wearing a thought like a hat: Day One. Today is Wednesday. But no day came before this day. The phone rings.

Matan Shiram – The Space I Write In

Note: Hyperlinks that end with an asterisk lead to Hebrew web pages.

matan

Matan is a journalist, a blogger* and a beginner screenplay writer. He writes about Cinema and Music for Globes Economic Newspaper*. Matan lives and writes in Hod HaSharon, Israel. (Photo taken by Liron Breier)

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1. Art Room

Welcome to my art room. The space I imagine in, let my thoughts wander, scribble warped characters and nonexistent landscapes onto a page, and mainly write. In my art room I do not work. I create. I work in my workroom, where I write my newspaper articles for Globes. This separation is necessary especially because it’s supposedly the same action – thinking that leads to writing, which sometimes includes characteristics similar to those of building a story. Seeing as I’m aware of my tendency to slip away into the realms of my imagination while writing an article, (some say while doing anything and everything else as well), I am prepared for all sorts of stimulations from my inner metaphoric world to interfere, and so I often find myself telling myself: No! You’re in your workroom now. Concentrate!

 

2. Closet of Thoughts

Like my clothes, my thoughts are scattered (thankfully not in the same closet). As you can see, my closet of thoughts is not a metaphoric closet. In it are pages, notebooks, notes that were ripped out of notebooks, a corkboard overflowing with ideas and fragments of stories and also sharpened pencils, black inked pens, rulers in different shapes and sizes and various kinds of stationary. The reason for this is that I have two main weaknesses: a weakness for stationary and a weakness for stationary shops.

Every now and then I’ll open one of the closet doors and pull out a thought I forgot I ever had, or quotes I collected over the years –something to help me when in need of some empowerment. For example, the following quote, I can’t remember who said it: “You’re considered weird until you succeed”, or this wonderful quote by Rainer Maria Rilke: “In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write.” (Letters to a Young Poet).

 

3. Balcony

The front balcony of my house overlooks a small street, but for me it feels like the street overlooks my balcony. This feeling disturbs me, and I admit that because of it, it took me a long time to discover the magic of my balcony. I usually sit there during the remainder of the night, watching a live picture of night turning into day, listening to the world while it sleeps. Countryside quietness that is only disturbed by a passing truck, a newspaper delivery man distributing morning additions, a few insomniac birds, and (4) my dogs, who bark at the newspaper delivery man. On the balcony, during these hours, there are no distractions. They allow me to reflect deeply upon the events of the day that has just ended, the undercurrent of behaviors that have collected in my memory, an experience of some sort, that sitting calmly on my balcony allows me to continue, expanding its initial existence. There, on that balcony, stories find themselves being born.

 

5. Saxophone

Playing the saxophone enables me to express my inner gaps, that some may define as inner conflicts.The sharp transitions from joyfulness and humor to heaviness and sorrow, from earnestness and self-importance to total goofiness, from trying to silence an inner pain to wanting to shout my inside out. From the subtle to the wild. I like subtlety and not refinement, and I believe in harmony that is rooted in disharmony. For this reason people tend to be surprised when they discover that I don’t like jazz (they seem as surprised by my vegetarianism). Jazz bores me. My music is somewhere between the blues and rock, between George Gershwin and Pearl Jam or Nirvana. When I play I close my eyes and wander through all sorts of places in which I will never really get to play – like the Barbie Music Club in Tel Aviv, or the New York City Subway, and I allow myself to create different characters inside me, some of them find their way to the page.