word craft


The Best Place to Write

I live in two places. For most of the year, I live (in Col­orado) essen­tial­ly in a for­est (Routt Nation­al For­est) at an ele­va­tion of just about nine thou­sand feet. 45 acres, most­ly for­est. Our near­est neigh­bors live half a mile away. To get to our log cab­in house we need to go three-quar­ters of a mile on a dirt road. The road is very steep. 

We are also sur­round­ed by moun­tains. There is Iron Moun­tain, Hahns Peak, and Sand Moun­tain. That said I can look down the Elk Riv­er Val­ley and see the Flat Tops Wilder­ness Area, six­ty-five miles away. 

If I want to buy food, it’s a (round trip) dri­ve of six­ty miles. To get mail (no home deliv­ery) it’s a (round trip) thir­ty-mile drive. 

mountain home

As I write this, the first week of Octo­ber, I know that in three weeks the snow will start to fall. We often get sev­en hun­dred inch­es of snow. If our three-quar­ter-mile dri­ve­way is not plowed, we are not going anywhere. 

By way of contrast—to escape that snow—we have a two-room 630 square foot row house in Den­ver. We are usu­al­ly there from Jan­u­ary 1 to May 1. If you look out the front win­dow you will see an apart­ment house. If you look out the rear win­dow you see an alley, parked cars, and a few trees. If I want to buy food, it’s a ten-minute walk. Dit­to, restau­rants. Post office. Any­where I go, look, I see peo­ple, young and old. 

The ques­tion of the day is, do I write dif­fer­ent­ly in these two con­trast­ing places? 

The answer is no. 

row house

Because where I am at my best, real­ly, is in my head. And one of the best ways I know how to get there is by putting on a sound-can­cel­ing head­set. Twen­ty-one bucks at Home Depot. It removes all sound—that is, all distractions—so that my atten­tion, my com­plete atten­tion, is on my screen, which is to say, the world I am try­ing to create. 

So, for me, my favorite place to write is in my head, deep in a silent nowhere. 


2 thoughts on “The Best Place to Write”

  1. I see Mckin­ley in the first pho­to by the house, do you think you would ever write a sequel to “The Good Dog”? It might be a nice way to pay trib­ute and homage to Mckinley.


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