I have read and enjoyed many books offering first hand accounts of the creative process of writers, the jumbled desks of writers, and the how-to-do-it tips of writers.
Add to this now Carolina Writers at Home, a terrific book of essays by Southern writers. Edited by Meg Reid, it is a veritable grab bag of delights. There are authors featured from both North and South Carolina and the text is enhanced with evocative, sepia-toned photos by Rob McDonald. As I have deep connections to North Carolina — my father was born and raised in Greensboro — I am especially fond of this book.
There are twenty-five essays here about homes from the Coast to the Mountains to the Piedmont. I took my time and read one each morning over several weeks. I savored them and found it was a happy way to begin my day.
The authors were given free rein and could write about any aspect of home that was important to them: space, possessions, time to write, wildlife, views, pets, gardens. It didn't matter just as long as it was what interested them.
Jill McCorkle's bookshelf - I couldn't resist taking a photo to show you
Some of the writers I was familiar with: Clyde Edgerton, Nikky Finney, Jill McCorkle. Some were new to me and I was happy to meet them.
George Singleton writes about moving from the home he had lived in for thirty-three years.
Kathryn Stripling Byer mourns the loss of a magnificent oak tree that once graced her yard. The only memento left now is its stump.
Daniel Wallace shares on his 'ark of things' from a small wooden cricket catcher to his collection of glass eyes. (Strangest collection ever? How does one start amassing those odd objects?)
Oh, these are grand musings by wonderful writers about a place dear to their heart. There is not a bad one in the bunch. I was lucky enough to have been given the hardback edition (best choice) but the book also is available in paperback.
When the outside world is topsy-turvy, it is good to be reminded how important it is to have a comfortable, safe place to come home to.