Patti Glacier

 I am looking at the most beautiful one hundred and fifty year old French desk. The view from the bay window where it sits takes on the flowers on my porch and the shrubs and trees beyond. It is a place where I can see what is going on in the neighborhood.  In the morning I have a cup of tea by the desk and touch the rich brass ormolu that encases the wood. I felt I just had to have that desk that belonged to an ambassador of 20130718...39 DESKFrance or I would not be able to write without it. From time to time my laptop perches there and likes it so much it leaves deep marks in the original leather. My living room is much like the desk – a perfect place to have soirees that nobody comes to except a few stuffed animals. I found out you have to invite them. In that room that I love so much there is a hand painted breakfront with grille work on the doors filled to capacity with my treasured leather books. I hauled it all the way from Italy where it was made. Although I have had the desk for twenty or so years I must admit I have never written anything sitting there…a lot of dreaming and I have stored many thoughts in its drawers. The ambassador is probably overwhelmed with grief that it isn’t a ‘working’ desk and has to take an extra bit of snuff and rearrange his wig when it distresses him.

 The view from my office is very soothing no matter the season. The trees and shrubs sway and dance with glee. A long table sits under the window and is covered with the most beautiful linen cloth with yellow flowers that a friend brought me from Europe. Tons of books surround the room and yet another antique cabinet takes up space brimming with office supplies and stationary items. Yes, I am a stationary freak.  I have so many pens and pencils that Staples called and wanted me to bring some back because they were running out of stock.  I told myself that I had to have this office just the way it is to write. I must admit I have never written anything of importance in my office but maybe pay a few bills. I love it though and it is so me.

 Now, this is where I really write. I am almost embarrassed to show you my favorite spot – the bedroom. I sit on tons of memory foam and have provided many pillows of various shapes and texture. I share my bed with notebooks, color coded of course, papers, magazines, clipboards color coded as well, calendars that I never use,  research material and transcripts, paper and tablets of every size and color although I don’t ever make lists and probably the reason I miss so many events.

This writing area covers about one third of the bed. I don’t clear it off at night or when I’m done in the morning – I arise every day at 5:00 a.m. and when I am finished writing I just simply cover it up with the beautiful silk spread…You can see why I have lost a few husbands and men friends but for God’s sake I’m a writer.20130718...17 BEDROOM WORKING AREA

I have written in my head my entire life and thanks to my writing sisters and Authors of the Flathead I started my first novel at the end of last year. It is going well.

 When I look through the window – the window of my soul, I have an infinite number of views to choose from.  Heraclitus in 475 B.C. wrote “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts…The content of your character is your choice. Day by day what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.”

Patti Dean 7-22-13

A Window on the World

Leslie's viewThe view from my window influences everything I write. Heck, it influences everything I think and do. I’m a Montana girl, born and raised, and while I enjoyed my years in Seattle, no place has ever felt as solid–as grounded, as chez moi, as terra firma–as my home in Montana.  (And no, I will not now sing the state anthem. I could. But you’d rather I didn’t. Plus I’m not wearing a bandanna and I don’t have a pony.)

Today, the view is green, which makes me inordinately happy.Leslie's house

Some days, it’s black and white–or more precisely, shades of gray–little marks on my computer screen. Other days, it looks like a cat. Or a turkey.

Ruff on desk (Leslie) Would I be less conscious of setting if I hadn’t grown up in a place where the land is so stunning–and so demanding? How is a character’s view affected by where she lives, whether she’s a newcomer or an old-timer, how often she’s packed up everything she owns and moved thousands of miles, or whether she lives in the home her grandparents built, with the family china still in the old oak hutch? I think about these things and I write in part to find the answers.

Turkey on Leslie's deck

Happily, I can write about places that bear little resemblance to home. “What would  it be like to live there?” I wonder, and so I write to discover. One of my first published short stories, “The End of the Line,” takes place in the stone towers of the Mani Peninsula in Greece, which we visited years ago on our honeymoon. And I’m busy working on Spiced to Death, the first in my Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries. In my view, both insiders and outsiders see things the other doesn’t see–and our work is better if we occasionally step off home ground and take a look around.

— Leslie