Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!
This is Lenore H. Gay.
Lenore is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor. She ran a private counseling practice for ten years and later served as the Coordinator of the Internship Program at the Rehabilitation Counseling Department, Virginia Commonwealth University. The Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) has awarded her two writing fellowships. Her short story “The Hobo” won first place in a fiction contest hosted by Richmond’s Style Weekly. Her essay “Mistresses of Magic” was published in the anthology, IN PRAISE OF OUR TEACHERS (Beacon Press). Another essay, “My First Mentor” was published in the anthology “US AGAINST ALZHEIMER’S” (Arcade Publishing). For three years she served on the steering committee of the RVALitCrawl. For many years she volunteered as a reader and editor at Blackbird, An Online Journal for Literature & the Arts. She is an active member of James River Writers. Gay’s debut novel, SHELTER OF LEAVES, (She Writes Press) was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, OTHER FIRES, (She Writes Press) will be published in October, 2020. Currently she is working on a new novel. Find her online at lenoregay.com
Where Lenore H Gay Writes
My writing room is where I spend the most time. I didn’t install a phone in this room, if I’m writing I often ignore the ringing from the kitchen or down the hall. This small room has the best outdoors view. I look out onto a small red maple and at my window yellow/white flowers that resemble pom poms, further out is a mini garden, the stars there are the white peonies. The dogs and their walkers stop to look at the big blooms. The dogs leave their calling cards. Yet the peonies have managed to survive and return the next spring.
The two file cabinets, two drawers each, hold my writing and office files. The other day I decided it was shredding time again. I don’t have room for another file cabinet, and that’s probably a good thing. Love my wall to ceiling built-in bookcase. Three smaller bookcases hold poetry, nonfiction, dictionaries and many books on writing craft. The fiction books live in the living room. Recently I culled the fiction again and donated three grocery bags of books to a local bookseller.
Three paintings hang in my writing room. The largest, left of my desk, is my daughter’s stunning, colorful abstract. One of a series she has been working on. When I look at it, I imagine autumn leaves. On the right side of my desk is the final watercolor my father painted. He finished this small piece while looking at the ocean from the porch of our rented beach cottage. He was eight-six, in the early stages of dementia. The watercolor has a softer pallet and less details than his other work. My brother’s pink and purple abstract watercolor hangs on the other wall above two smaller bookcases. It’s a joyful piece and resembles some of Daddy’s abstracts.
In the hallway I can look at a large portrait of Daddy painted by an artist friend, to the left is a charcoal portrait of Mother done by an art school friend. On the right is my grandmother’s self-portrait, done in oils when she was about twenty-five.