Harvey Hiestand is a writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. He attended Arizona State University, where he majored in Mathematics and Geography. During his junior year, he was called to active duty in the Army and was with the 3rd Infantry Division when it invaded Iraq. He served a tour of duty in Baghdad and Fallujah. Now released from military duties, he enjoys spending his time with his two children.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
No longer being able to sleep. I absolutely love sleeping and I have wonderful dreams, even when they're nightmares. I remember one time in a dream I had been walking through a desert wilderness and suddenly the ground all around me fell away into a bottomless abyss. I was left atop a column of rock, and a wind started to blow. It got stronger and began gusting until I couldn't keep my footing anymore. As I fell into the abyss, I kept looking at the column of rock. What woke me up wasn't the terror of falling, it was a sense of amazement at how detailed this rock column was, and how impressive the sense of speed was as I fell. As soon as I awoke, I squeezed my eyes shut, wishing the dream would continue. But it didn't.
So, on most days, I get out of bed with a resigned disappointment. Which is too bad--the real world is equally as detailed as the dream world is--I know, I know...
Describe your desk
My desk is clean. It's everything around it that's cluttered. The wall has nearly three boxes of pushpins in it, holding up a periodic table, some lunar calendars, tons of handwritten notes, a list of passwords, photographs of random things, and to-do lists I've never to-done. My chair is one of those metal folding chairs you find in auditoriums, and it's bent--it has been for three years, and when I go to the office store, I always forget to replace it. All around the chair are piles of books, endless printouts of works-in-progress (I'm worthless at editing onscreen), reams of paper, and a half-dozen broken cell phones. It's probably not the ideal working environment, but for now, it's okay.