I am reading Moby Dick again. The first time I read it I was in high school and I did not fully appreciate the scope nor the depth of the writing. Between then and now I have read many, many books by many, many authors. Dickens, Austen, Bronte, L’Engle, Gabaldon, Rowling, Berg, Collins and Stockett to name a few. I have always been more partial to English literature than to American, but it seems fitting that I should read this American classic again before I sit at Melville’s desk and set to write. Yes, you read that correctly. I have been given the distinct honor to sit at Herman Melville’s desk, to look out the wavy glass window he looked out while writing his famed tale and write my own story.
I have been chosen to be the first Writer-in-Residence at Melville’s beloved Arrowhead in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The curator, Betsy, gave me a private tour yesterday and when I entered the study where I will be privileged to write, I felt an energy fill my body that took my breath away. I was moved to tears. Melville is there still. I felt his presence.
My mind is bursting with ideas for my new project and my fingers are itching to start, but I think I will wait to begin in earnest until I am seated at his desk. And there, I will ask Herman Melville to guide me through the process.