Poe lived in a dump and why I suck

Good weekend, all!  If only everyday were a Sunday ...

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.


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,



  1. Now I'm going to feel really dumb if I start following your blog today...
    (I do think your solution to 'blog awards' is nothing short of brilliant, though)

  2. I once saw the inside of Hemmingway's writing room in Key West. I have a photo I hope to post WIGATI.
    We drove by Poe's house one time, but didn't go in. Maybe next time.

    Thanks for posting the link.

    And what's not to like about black olives?

  3. Oh, and one more thing. I'm not going to feel really stupid if I start following your blog today. I can use all the help I can get.

  4. I'm a loyal follower who enjoys her closet for serious writing. When I need mental stimulation of some sort, I sit at another computer, in our den next to a window, with my semi-famous lemon tree outside.
    Shakespeare's birthplace is a very tiny house in Stratford-on-Avon. I saw it many years ago....
    P.S. You don't suck.

  5. Enjoyed your post. Got me thinking about where I write. Actually, where I don't write.
    I have never, not once, written at a Starbucks. The closest one is hours away from my place, but now I'm curious if the coffee might make magic of it's own happen. I'm going to have to try it next time I'm in the city, just to say I did.

    Thanks for the link, some neat photos there.

  6. Hey, vampire-gooy-eye-guy! Got an awarad for you, just pickit up at my blog--just save as a picture--FOR FREEEEEEE! it's on the left hand side Hearts and some drivel saying "Pass the Love", something like that. I'd offered it a few weeks back, so if you missed it, that's okay. You're one of my friends who does stop buy once in a while and you always give me a nice comment.
    I'm the same as you--I can't get around to everyone either. But if you make a comment on my blog, I usually pay it back.
    Ta for now. Love what you've done to your "home".
    Keep it up. YOu make me chuckle.

  7. With a blog title called "Poe lived in a dump and why I suck" you nabbed my attention.

    I keep telling my husband I want a new house. I need a "space" just for me to write and not be disturbed. Our current home doesn't allow for such a thing (my desk is in my bedroom and therefore I find it really easy to get out of my desk chair and take a nap). I do like writing at Barnes and Noble--the coffee smell makes me swoon.

    I'm going to check out the links about writers homes. Looks like a good time.

    I feel bad for Poe.

  8. Oh, forgot. Nice use of jackwagon. I fear it has imprinted itself upon my brain and I will be using it frequently.

  9. I have to say I agree about the awards. Luckily, I don't receive that many, but it took ages to prepare that post the other day. So thanks for owning up and for the pix of Writer's Houses.

    Blog On, my friend!

  10. The first time I got a blog award I thought, "Oh, this is so awesome!" Then I had to go bug my friends by passing it on. The second time I got one I groaned at the amount of work I knew I was in for. It's not that I don't appreciate being recognize. I think it's cool that folks want to honor each other. I just hate the chain-letter approach. I think blog awards would be much more special if you passed them on to one or two people, not five or ten. I live in fear of the next blog award.

  11. Hey E.J- we don't pass on the blog awards either at our site. Not that we don't love them, but there are five of us blogging there, and each of us gets one day a week, and if every post started with a list of awards, we'd never get around to blogging about writing! I'm trying to come up with a solution, too, because I'm not trying to be a spoilsport- just can't see how we could fit them in.

    Bet Hemingway's house was chock full of mounted dead animal's heads- he obviously needed plenty of space for that!

  12. That's a good way of dealing with the awards :P I must admit my heart sort of sinks each time I get an award. ;)

  13. Hey E.J. Awards are great but can be tiresome. I still need to post a thanks for the Style one. Haven't done it yet. Major fatigue happening right now. Didn't post a blog at all today.

    As usual your blog was great.

  14. Hey there E.J. Hope you had a good weekend. I loved your link to author's houses, couldn't help but feel a little jealous about Mark Twain's abode.

  15. I'd love to change my space, but at least I'm productive in my little ole dump.

  16. Who needs to write in awesome places when the best places writer's hang out is in their minds :-D

  17. I just wanted to say that I'm so glad you used the word 'jackwagon.' I had me a hearty chuckle at that, yes Sir. If you can work it into each of your posts, that'd be great :) (The pics of the authors' houses were cool too!)

  18. I'd also like to echo how much I love "Jackwagon".

    Your blog highlighty thing sounds like a fabulous idea. I struggle with this too - feeling obligated and guilty if I don't participate, but the "sharing" posts are my least favorite to do. You smart!

  19. Well-put. Three-to-four updates per week! That's insane. I'm good to get one or two per week.

    There was a blogfest not too long ago, the Lazy Fest, where authors took a picture and posted their workspace. Yes, we do love our workspaces!

    Mine is a closet where I can shut the door and have quiet.

    - Eric

  20. Thanks for the link to writer's houses. I'll have to check it out.

    Those awards do take up a lot of time. I've won two and spend hours trying to come up with 7 things about me. Although, I do like to read other bloggers information. I fear mine is so uninteresting that I may chase followers away.

  21. Loved this post. I'm a writer's-life-voyeur, so I really enjoy seeing where the masters got their words down on paper. :) Thanks for sharing.

  22. you like black olives?!? I now feel more connected to you by just knowing that!

  23. I'm with some of you; I think Mark Twain had a swank pad! Also, I too love the word 'jackwagon'. Perhaps it shall one day be the name of my writing estate ...

    "Welcome to Jackwagon Shire, former home of E.J. Wesley. He completed 9 failed manuscripts in this house."

    Has a nice ring to it, don't you think? :0)


  24. I'm still looking for a writer's haven actually. My room just isn't cutting it. Hemmingway's house is amazing but I'll be honest; I'm probably more likely to hang around Poe's house...perhaps cause it looks like a house I've lived in.

  25. Love Poe's house! And your plan sounds like a good one. Since joining the writer's crusade, I am so hopelessly overwhelmed with great blogs to read that i can't keep up - and I'm not getting my work done! - so clearly I need a plan too :)

  26. Great plan! I got to visit Shakespeare's birthplace a while back - interesting. There was also a famous author's house I passed on Portobello Rd. - red door....but, now the name escapes me... New follower and fellow crusader here, just (finally) making the rounds. Happy Tuesday!

  27. YOu know, you could ski off the roof of Poe's house...

    I'm sure it's not allowed, but you could...


“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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