Writers are notoriously obsessed with writing spaces. Like unsettled dogs, we're known to tirelessly meander about, investigate and sample settings in an effort to find THE ideal spot for our Muse to call home. For some, it's a cluttered dining room table. Others seek out the comforting bustle of a coffee shop, while there are some who crave solitude to such a degree that they prefer to literally write in a closet.
Once we do find the Spot, we tend to get very possessive and territorial, which can lead to some socially awkward exchanges if your spot happens to be in public. I can't recount to you all of the times I've patiently waited for MY table at the local Starbucks to open up. I'll seriously stop writing and pack up a mountain of electronics, notes and coffee cups just to snare my happy place from the jaws of Mr. I'm Cool Cause I've Got an iPad.
GO PINCH-ZOOM YOUR PEOPLE MAGAZINE SOMEWHERE ELSE, JACKWAGON! I DON'T SIT AT YOUR WORKPLACE DESK DOING CROSSWORDS AND SIPPING SOY LATTES, DO I?
So it's probably no surprise that writers are also obsessed with the homes and writing spaces of the most revered names in our craft. We know how important a writing space can be to the delicate process of mining the imagination. Thus, it's endlessly interesting to see where Hemingway might have decided for whom the bell was tolling, or where Austen dreamed up Darcy.
That's why I'm sharing this great website: Writers' Houses. It is organized by a group of historians and authors who've traveled to many of the birthplaces and writing homes of the worlds most famous authors. There are pictures, sketches and biographical tidbits. Here is a blurb from the site:
"Founded in July 2010 by writer A. N. Devers, Writers’ Houses is an online publication dedicated to the exploring writers’ spaces and art of literary pilgrimage.
The impulse to create a site dedicated to documenting writers’ houses came from a growing obsession, since childhood, with books, travel, and making connections between a writer’s work and place. It also came from a realization that there wasn’t a comprehensive resource online, or in print, that helped literary pilgrims find their way.
Of course, it is easy these days, to search online for a favorite author and find out if they have a house to visit. But sometimes there are multiple sites of interest, and not all have websites. The Writers’ Houses database is designed to be a field guide to deceased writers’ homes, searchable by author, city, state, and country."
It's great fun, and a fascinating way to kill a few minutes.
Now for why I suck. (As if I needed to put it in writing ...) Lots of you great folks have given my blog some sort of award and/or other recognition. I truly can't express my appreciation enough for being recognized for anything other than being out of my mind most days, especially when it comes from the people I respect the most. (All of the awesome bloggers that I follow.) I've tried my best to make it over to your blogs to say a personal 'thank you'. If I've missed you, I can't apologize enough, but my Google Reader has been in hyper-drive with the number of blogs I'm following, so sometimes I miss things.
Here's the problem. Most of these awards require me to provide some sort of revelatory exposition, and are cross-promotional; meaning they ask me to pass it on to other bloggers, which in the blogging community is the only proper way to show respect to your peers. Unfortunately, that takes a ton of time, and I do good to get my 3-4 updates a week finished without stopping to answer 10 questions about myself. Furthermore, with the number of awards I've been given in the last 3 weeks I'd be writing about myself for the next month, and I know that's not why you guys and gals read this thing. (Do you really want to know how much I love dogs, and that I hate black olives? Really?)
So here's my proposal: I'm going to start a weekly blog spotlight of the folks who follow my blog. I'll pick 1 or 2 and give a shout out here on the OV. While this may not directly give props to the people who have recognized me, I think it will be a consistent way of saying thanks to the community as a whole. Plus, if you stick around I'll for sure spotlight your blog at some point. Sound like a win/win?
I'll start this week. Keep an eye out, I might pick your blog!
Hope what's left of your weekend is great,