Writers aren't always the neatest bunch, but there's a method to their madness. In the ocean of papers, knickknacks, family photos, art objects and sentimental keepsakes that swirls around them, most writers can find what they need when they need it. It's possible that their working environments mirror their states of mind in the famously messy creative process. "I work in a lot of clutter," the novelist Scott Turow says, "which may be emblematic of my mind." And aside from computers with their all-important word-processing programs, sometimes the most important objects in a writer's lair have little or nothing to do, at least directly, with the making of sentences. Printers Row Journal visited this group of Chicago writers for an exclusive look at their work spaces, the Windy City's laboratories of the written word. Kevin Nance is a Chicago-based freelance writer whose work appears in the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Poets & Writers Magazine and elsewhere.