I stood at the door and waited a moment for someone to answer the bell. The curtains were open and I’d seen someone sitting back in the corner of the room as I walked up the narrow brick path from the street.
One leg looped over the corner of the desk and the other propped on a file cabinet, she was leaned back in her chair with a book in her hand and two more on her lap. Surrounded by book shelves stacked to the ceiling, her desk was piled high with more, and even more books were stacked neatly around her desk on the floor.
I knew Jen was a writer. I’d been editing her most recent venture. We were having coffee in her garden this day. At least, that had been the plan, before the cold front, fog and snow clouds crested the mountains to the west.
If I’d been counting seconds, they would have turned to minutes before I heard feet padding across the tile floor to unlock and open the door. “Jan, I forgot. We’re having coffee! Come in. I’ll put it on. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I got caught up in reading a novel and I totally forgot to put the coffee on to brew.” She pushed the door shut behind me and took my coat and hat. I dropped my shoes near the closet door and padded through the house behind her in my stocking covered feet.
“Oh my, I have cinnamon cake with walnuts. Mom brought it over early. She must have been thinking of us…” Jennifer started the pot of coffee and cut two thick wedges of what appeared to be the most decadent apple cinnamon cake I might ever have an opportunity to taste. (No diet would prevent me from tasting that much decadence.)
She served the cake on delicate china plates with real silver, at a table covered with linen and lace. After the initial discussion of coffee and cake, she lit a fire and we got down to the business of writing…
“I saw where you read, but where do you write?” I asked. I’d been overly anxious to see her writing corner. (I’d heard stories.)
“Oh, you’ll love it!” She stood up, leaving her cake and coffee, “Follow me.”
I walked behind her up the twisting staircase to the round room at the top of her house, above the library that spanned a whole two floors. She stopped in a round room with windows looking every direction and pointed to a desk near the middle with her computer set up, waiting.
“That’s where I write. Nothing to distract me but the view, from which I get much inspiration.” Her voice trailed off as she gazed toward sunlight streaming through a cloud bank, sending golden rays toward a distant mountain peak. “That could inspire a poem, or an entire chapter, born of light rays dusting the peaks with crimson ad gold…”
She sat down at the computer and I let myself out through the front door.