Monday, September 28, 2009

Inside Their World

I adore books. No big surprise there. The Husband and I have amassed quite a collection. And, coffee table books abound. One of my favorites is, Writer’s Houses, by Francesca Premoli-Droulers, prologue by Marguerite Duras and Photography by Erica Lennard, and put out by The Vendome Press. If you are as fascinated as I am by how authors live and write I highly recommend you get your mitts on this book. It’s wonderful.

Three years ago, my daughter was being oriented at her new school, The Fashion Design Center of Merchandising and Design, in Los Angeles. While she was taken by the arm by the director, I was told to go off and amuse myself. I went to the museum housed near the courtyard of the school, where costumes from Oscar winning films were on display, and marveled at the workmanship and differing aspects of the varied collections, then browsed through a gift shop, eventually making my way to the bookstore. What a bookstore! Not big, but as you can imagine, chock full of volume after volume of wonderful selections.

I found Writer's Houses and had to have it. There was only one copy, and the cover was messed up, but I didn’t care.

Can you imagine being lucky enough to be Ms. Premoli-Droulers, or the photographer, Ms. Lennard? What a great job! I would love to peek around in the marvelous settings depicted in this wonderful book.

Karen Blixen, (Isak Dinesen) Author Out of Africa. (1885-1962)
--All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.
--I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the plights and the ants and the maggots.

Ernest Hemingway Author The Old Man and the Sea. (1899-1961)
--All my life I've looked at words as if I were seeing them for the first time.
--It is none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

Virginia Woolf Author To the Lighthouse. (1882-1941)
--A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.
--Arrange whatever pieces come you way.

Currently, I have been doing most of my writing in the kitchen. Although I have "a room of my own". When the kids were still living at home I had to try and write amongst the noise and activities of our growing family, now that I am free (supposedly) to go to my lovely office to work, I don't. Why? Because I've got FOUR dogs to care for. And we don't let them have the run of the house, or it would be absolute mayhem. I'm afraid being strapped with a chihuahua from one daughter, (temporarily) and a rambunctious puppy from another daughter, (indeterminately), has complicated our lives enormously. Poor Duncan and Bonnie, (My two older dogs.) They want to come upstairs to be with me, (like they used to do), but I can't bring the others. If I leave the other dogs behind they whine and cry like infants. The chihuahua's cries unhinge me! Little Lita can make BIG sounds, unnerving sounds. So, here I am pecking away at the kitchen table. Such is life.

I took three pictures, (from the book), of three author's rooms. I've named three authors and have supplied two quotes from each one. Then you tell me if you can match the room, #1, #2, or #3 to the correct author. Where do you write? And what writer’s do you admire and why?

All Rights Reserved. © 2009 by Elizabeth Bradley.


Rosaria Williams said...

What a clever game. My answers: #1 Virginia, #2 Karen, #3 Ernest. As for me, I write sitting on a Stressless Chair, with my laptop on my lap, big lacey window on my right. The room, our shared office, hubby's and mine. I have another room of my own for reading.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Since I've been spending so much time down here in my kitchen my husband is threatening to bring my chair down. In fact, I just told him to bring it down after lunch. Your big lacy window sounds wonderful!

Joanne said...

My guess on the rooms is the same as Lakeviewer's. We have a desktop and two laptops, so I usually find the place in my home most conducive (quiet) for writing on any particular day. A bit of musical computers going on usually.

Elspeth Futcher said...

My guess on the rooms is the same as the others! I often wish for a "room of my own." It would be nice to have a space just for me in a house filled with teenagers and 2 odd cats. Ah well. Someday perhaps!

I'd love to find that book; I shall start searching through used bookstores.


Boozy Tooth said...

Oh gosh... I thought those were more pictures of YOUR home. And I was about to gush! All those books!

PS: I'm not good at matching games... guess I didn't get enough Sesame Street as a kid.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

So far you've all gotten it right, so I suppose there's no mystery. The rooms do match the owners, that's for sure. I guess it doesn't matter where we write, as long as we write.

Jemi Fraser said...

I generally write while I'm sitting on my bed. I usually don't get to write until late a night, and this is a great spot for me. Although I do take the laptop elsewhere, this is my fave spot.

Fireblossom said...

Thanks for your visit and comment at my Word Garden earlier today, Elizabeth!

I chose the bottom room as Hemingway's becayse the stag and fish kind of gave it away. I had a harder time with the remaining two, but decided that because there are two pictures of a man (or men) in the midle one, that was more likely Karen Blixen's than Virginia Woolf's.

I write at my desk, which was my father's. It has been around at least as long as I have. It isn't designed for a computer, obviously, and so is crowded, but I like it. I compose longhand in notebooks when I write poetry. I'm fussy about what pen I use, it has to be comfortable to grip and leave a clear clean line.

Emily Dickinson is my favorite, and i got to visit the Dickinson Homestead in August 2007. I love her for her very original style, especially for the time, and her humility while writing brilliantly about timeless subjects.

ellen abbott said...

I love this..."I don't believe in evil, I believe only in horror. In nature there is no evil, only an abundance of horror: the plagues and the plights and the ants and the maggots."

I don't believe in the devil or evil either. What we consider evil are things we just don't understand.

colbymarshall said...

I generally write in my office or at the laptop in my living room. Whether I write on laptop or my desktop all depends on the mood I'm in. :-)

Maggie May said...

oh I love this post! and that book sounds marvelous. i found Duras only last year and fell in love with her writing.

Lauri said...

I had it right- even wrote it down on paper if you want proof. :)

Love this-It is none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.

I know all about that writing in a common space with people all over as I write in the dining room of this open plan house. I'm planning on building an office- it's a day dream I spend quite a bit of time fabricating.

The Victorian Parlor said...

I think that Karen Blixen is the first room, Virginia Woolf the second, and Ernest Hemingway the third. I tend to write wherever I land. Recently it has been at the desk in the living room which is actually quite conducive to writing. I keep a cup of tea (or glass of wine depending on the time of day) with me and classical music playing in the background. As for my favorite authors, well that's a hard one. My absolute favorite is Charles Dickens. I love that he writes like he is speaking and I feel as if he is right there telling me the story (not to mention that the stories are set in my favorite era and interesting too). Jane Austen would be my next favorite and then from modern day, Dorothea Benton Frank.

This was a fun post!



Galen Kindley--Author said...

I try to write in my office at the desk, I’m just more focused there, but, I also find myself setting with the laptop in the family room pecking away. Lots more distractions in the family room, and the couch, while comfortable, is horrible for typing ergonometrics.

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Unknown said...

Oooooh... I was too late to play, but LOVE the rooms. Sadly, I have three littles and a husband who doesn't understand my hobby. Wish I had a room.... I have a plug and a bed and a laptop that follows me around.

Lori said...

I so badly want that book!
I write on my living room sofa, on the laptop. Sometimes, when I do go to the office upstairs, I still write from the sofa, because it's much more comfortable for my back than sitting at a desk.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I have to sit at a desk or table to type if I'm going to be doing it for any length of time. I envy you guys that can work in bed. That's what my daughter the designer does. She's always propped up on pillows pecking away!

I have gone to Starbucks when I'm out of town and find that for some strange reason I can get in the groove with all the strangers milling about and the lovely aroma of coffee in the air.

Carol Murdock said...

I went to Amazon and got a copy!
Can't wait to read it! Thanks! :)
I had the same guess as the others!
I do have my own writing room and yes, I have my own money so maybe I'm in good shape! :)

Marguerite said...

Such a fun post! I guessed right, too, before I read the comments. Love the rooms and the quotes. If I'm writing for fun, I write wherever I feel most comfortable, at the time. But for serious writing, it's at my desk, on the laptop.

Kim said...

I'm envious of the room of your own but I wonder if I would use it also. I try to find scraps of time to write after Deaglan is in bed. Usually this happens at the kitchen table. Some of my favourite writers are Rohinton Mistry - he has the ability to make me laugh and cry within the same sentence; Thrity Umrigar - she pours herself into each character - when she describes a character's love of her child it makes me think - Yes, that is exactly how it feels.

At first I thought these were shots of your home. Then I clicked on each image.