Archive for August, 2020

Settling into the New Studio

August 3, 2020
New Studio Taking Shape

It was wonderful to walk down the long flights of stairs knowing that I’d had good luck working. I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day. But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that you knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple, declarative sentence I had written. Up in that room I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

My Writing Desk

With enthusiasm I post today’s blog from my renovated studio space. This project has been ongoing for months, and finally it nears completion. Decisions are still being made about lighting, and books are still not in order on the shelves, but I’m really close. I now have four work stations arranged about the spacious room–one roll top desk, one reading table, and two drafting tables. Each space is designed for a specfic project I’m working on, and I’m thinking of giving each space a special name. This morning I’ve worked at the roll top desk, calling it my Hemingway space. This is where I do most of my daily writing in the journal and composing on the laptop. Today I rewrote three chapters of my Turvey’s Corner 63050 stories that I hope will one day turn into an illustated novel. I posted the Hemingway quote above because it has continually granted me encouragement when stuck during the writing process.

View from where I’m working now . . .

In future blogs, I’ll share detailed pictures of my new studio surroundings. I close today with my revised Introduction to Turvey’s Corner 63050.


Nice town, y’know what I mean?

Nobody very remarkable ever come out of it, s’far as we know.

Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Like domestic coffee, rural towns in Midwest America percolate daily with lives destined for obscurity. That formidable fact however fails to suffocate the aspirations of romantic souls convinced that their corners of the cosmos experience an infusion of divine energy unrecognized in other quarters.

Turvey’s Corner, a fictional Missouri town, lies midway between where I grew up (High Ridge, 63049) and the town where I attended high school and church (House Springs 63051). Turveys Corner, twenty-three miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri, and a few miles south of historic Route 66, emerged from an underground spring of memories and imaginings.

The cycle of stories includes a host of fictional characters, sketches drawn from my personal life as well as the lives of my family members and friends. Native American writer N. Scott Momaday, a lover of words, presents his literary works as “pieces of a whole, each one the element of an intricate but unified design.” He calls his stories “facets of a verbal prism, if you will, patterns like the constellations.”[1] My hope remains that the cast of characters from Turvey’s Corner will present a constellation triggering similar memories from the reader.

[1]N. Scott Momaday, The Man Made of Words, p. 1.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel I am alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.