In the White Room

My room with a view

    The image at the left has not been overexposed, it’s a photo of my view from my desk.   It’s a plain, white wall.  And it’s intentional.  With all the distractions of media, phones, internet and, during the holidays, happy crowds of family and friends visiting my house, my desk in front of the blank wall has become a necessary sanctuary to be able to formulate ideas and then mold them to the written word. 

     It’s such a curious thing, really, writing a novel about the world and yet being at times a hermit from that world.  The writer is a kind of cipher, experiencing the joys and sorrows of life, its music,  its art, its beauty, and then distilling it into words on a page, or computer screen.  But often times only after the door is shut, the phone is turned off, the warning sign posted on the door. 
    I’m always amazed, and a little bit envious, of people who can sit at a coffee shop or crowded book store and write!  How do they do it, I wonder; filtering out all that conversation, the commotion, the demands for attention and hear the voice of their characters inside their heads?
    It’s comforting to know that I’m in good company wanting to write in a kind of zen-like solitude.  Annie Dillard writes in her book, The Writing Life, “I shut the blinds one day for good.  I lowered the venetian blinds and flattened the slats.  Then, by lamplight, I taped my drawing to the closed blind.  There, on the drawing, was the window’s view: cows, parking lot, hilltop, and sky.  If I wanted a sense of the world, I could look at the stylized outline drawing.  If I had possessed the skill, I would have painted, directly on the slats of the lowered blind, in meticulous colors, a trompe l’oeil mural view of all that the blinds hid.  Instead, I wrote it.”   Thus does the oracle speak.

5 comments on “In the White Room

  1. Patty says:

    I leave my comment on the white wall that says, “comment!” I think you’re one of the most thoughtful and intelligent people I have ever known.

  2. Karen W says:

    Hi Kathleen!
    Are you writing another book yet? I sure hope so, I loved your 2 books and I do own the hard covers of them to! Please write more on this subject!
    Blessed be and Thank you for your writing! Karen

    • Karen: I am working on completing my third book which is quite different from the first two as it’s set in Texas after the Civil War. It also has a strong female character that lives contrary to the laws and expectations of men. Someday, perhaps for the next novel, I want to write Margaret’s story, living with the Abanaki and Naragansett Indians of New England. It is historical fact that she was kidnapped in 1695, never to be heard from again. In my imagination she lived on, respected and honored for her abilities to commune with the Invisible World. Thank you for your enthusiasm and support and I wish you all the best. Kathleen

      • Karen W says:

        Hi again Kathleen! Well I am so ready to read your next book, for sure! I have a question about the second book: did you change or add anything else to “The Traitor’s Wife”? I read “The Wolves Of Andover” and if you changed or added anything else to the book in “The Traitor’s Wife then I am going to get it and read it to! I would love to read about Margaret story through the way you think she would have continued on with her life with the Indian’s. I already love your writing! Keep writing please! Karen

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