An Elevated View: Colorado Writers on Writing

Seven Oaks Publishing, 2011

Edited by W.C. Jameson

Editor W.C. Jameson has long been interested in why writers do what they do. Why do they write? What obstacles do they encounter, and how do they overcome inevitable bumps in the road? He also wondered how living in Colorado specifically influences the writing experience. So he asked authors, with no rules or boundaries, to share whatever they wanted about their art and lives. This eclectic collection is a peek inside the minds of Colorado authors as they reflect on topics like the writing process, identity as shaped by place, and the stronghold of Colorado's history as a catalyst for creativity.


From my essay, "Writing My Way Home":
 
The room where I write is small, not much bigger than a walk-in closet, really. But size, in this case, does not matter, because my writing space opens to the outside via a rectangular bay of windows just above desk height with a view encompassing a fair portion of the landscape I call home. 
 
Each morning before I begin writing, I scan that view the way a farmer habitually checks the sky to see what the day will bring. Through the pane to my left, my eyes trace trace the undulating skyline just across the Arkansas River, where the morning sine rises over piñon-pine and juniper-dotted ridges that locals call the Arkansas "Hills" (their tallest points rise to only around ten thousand feet elevation, far lower than the numerous Fourteeners, peaks higher than fourteen thousand feet that form the skyline on the west side of the valley). 
 
I follow that ridgeline to the right with my gaze until it descends into the gap of Bighorn Sheep Canyon where the Arkansas River cuts out of the mountains bound for the Great Plains and its eventual rendezvous with the Mississippi some 1,400 miles away. Pas the canyon and now looking straight ahead, my eye climbs a sinuous dark-forested ridge to the rocky wall of the Sangre de Cristo Range, its peaks spaced as closely as the studs on a pit-bull's collar. ..."