Surrounded By Story

We wander into the kitchen hungry.
His lunch.

Mine. (There's eggplant under that that lettuce.)

View from the front porch, where we most often eat.

Going back to work. Writing gets done here:
Business gets done here:
View from my writing place. My chickens and hats have been retired. They could tell you some stories.

I surround myself with stories -- little altars everywhere, throughout my home, but especially in my office (which is the living/dining room of this house). My life is held in these stories -- look carefully and you will see my children, my husband (when he had long hair and played the trombone)... me dancing with Bull Durham at my high school reunion...

My chickens, my favorite Golden Book, my political leanings, books that taught me how to write and that continue to stand guard when I need them,

Notes from school children and their teachers, original art by good friends, the star another friend gave me before I'd ever had a book published, "for good luck," she said, and it was... thrift store finds, presents made by my children when they were young...

...and that's just a fraction of what I see from my writing place, when I look up, weary and fuzzy-headed from trying to untie a story knot or figure out the next scene... or when I look up exhilarated because it has gone well.

My own story grounds me, so I surround myself with the artifacts of a long life and the people I love -- the desk organizer my son made in Cub Scouts, the handprints of my eldest daughter in plaster, next to her photo, the Robert Browning poem my Great-great Aunt Mitt gave me ("Grow old along with me/the best is yet to be/the last of life for which the first was made.")... the New Orleans beads Coleen and I gathered....
Photos of editors I've worked with, litle pink houses (thanks), dominoes we still play, pictures of family members who've gone on before me, old bottles found at the cabin in Luray, bits from the beach, my mother's button box... it's all precious.
It helps me, as a writer of fiction, to be surrounded by these facts. It helps me, as a human being, to remember where I'm from.

Have a great weekend, everybody. Surround yourself with your story.