A Writing Room

On a trip to Key West, my husband and I visited the home of Ernest Hemingway. We both love the books he has written, so with our curiosity brimming, we passed through the portal of this famous author’s abode — inhaling the many memories tucked into the old walls.

The home was ‘way beyond the fashion of the early 1900’s. Not only did the house have room after room of beautiful furniture, a modern kitchen and inside plumbing, it sported a huge swimming pool in the backyard. We roamed around the property as our guide shared tidbits about a man who was a mystery even to himself. Then he took us up a winding staircase at the back of the house. As the creaking door opened, there before our eyes, was a writing desk, paper and pen and piles of mismatched books.

An old chair with ripped upholstery had been slid under the desk and curtains fluttered around a window that looked out upon the rolling property. I was sure I could feel Mr. Hemingway’s presence, even hear his creative thoughts tip-toeing around this sacred room. Yes, I felt like I was in church. Tears filled my eyelashes as I stood with the others just enjoying the presence of his spirit.

This visit, this tour, this experience is very special because it launched an idea in my head and heart. Yes, I wanted a writing room some day. And as I pen these words, I am sitting in it right now, writing this story. My husband, Jack, was instrumental in this idea — turning our shed into my own writing room!

My wish, my hope, is that those who enjoy my writing might visit this sanctuary of creativity. My family, my friends or perhaps a new owner of this house one day can hopefully feel my presence after I am gone. I do believe that the spirit prevails even after death and, though my writing will never be famous like Mr. Hemingway‘s, I hope those who read  my stories will remember me, this room and my completed writing projects. Unfortunately, I think I will never finish putting down all of my thoughts.  But I am comforted that those that are left behind will help, comfort, and entertain my readers.

Ernest Hemingway did inspire us with a famous quote: “The truest friend is a book.”  I love that because in order to write, one must read. Oh, the glory of the written word, the sharing of memories and the future of a story that can be everyone’s legacy.

Thank you for your inspiration, Mr. Hemingway, and thank you, Jack, for helping make my dream come true!

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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