At Hemingway’s

It’s been about a month now of writing off and on at the Ernest Hemingway birthplace house as the new Writer-in-Residence. And although I keep expecting to discover a ghost, a spirit, that hasn’t happened yet. But, I must say, it’s a wonderful spot…and maybe, in some ways, otherworldly.

Morning is best for me. Quiet and cool in the house. No visitors. Although it’s also appealing to be writing in the upstairs attic office when visitors are touring the home. Nice to know history is being relived, retold just below me.

And yes, I am getting some writing done. Completed the rewrite on a new creative nonfiction/memoir and will soon be working on rewrites for new novel, Night Radio. But also picked up on another manuscript that had been abandoned and it’s now finding its way. I think partly at least because of the Hemingway house experience. The story is about a writer, struggling with fame, but knowing deep down he may not be worthy of the attention, the notoriety. I think Hemingway struggled through a similar period. Some scholars believe his machismo and ego needed to be big and bold for him to overcome his self doubt. Ah, the writer’s scourge!

The experience at the Hemingway house also makes me think a great deal about a writer’s space. Why it works or doesn’t? I thought this new office at the birthplace might be a bit tacky, hokey. It was said to be decorated in a Hemingway safari theme. Oh my, that could have been one big cliche. But no! Thanks to the Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park and the board’s attention to detail, the writing space is remarkable. Those behind it clearly studied the Hemingway writing spaces in Key West and Cuba and without copying, captured the feel of both. It’s — you might say — “a clean, well-lighted place.”

One more thing…if you come to visit the Hemingway birthplace…be sure to eat here! (See bleow) Just down the street. It’s like breakfast in France!

P.S. I’ll keep you posted on the ghosts. 

The Hemingway Birthplace Writer-in-Residence Office

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