A Window to the World by Tara L. Masih
I know that many authors write in cafes and coffee shops, so many in fact that it’s become a cliché in movies and commercials. But I could never do that. I need isolation, quiet, and a window.
Every house I’ve lived in as an adult writer, I’ve had my desk in front of or just next to a window. Since my story settings tend to take place in rural communities or in small hometowns, I think I need to be nearer to nature than to a bustling restaurant. Through one window, I used to be interrupted by ducks, coyotes, groundhogs, and even once a black squirrel running by. How replenishing to watch a bluejay against a branch covered in green, or rewarding to watch the female cardinal, who has returned for a second year, nest in the bright yellow forsythia bush just outside my new window. She has little dun-colored eggs now, two of them, speckled in black, to keep warm this cold spring day. They are so small, the size of a thimble, that it’s hard to believe that birds could evolve from them, and ones so bright red.
And just beyond her bush is a lilac starting to bloom, and I’ll soon get to smell the flowers through my window screen, and too fast will come the fiery display of the sugar maple in the near distance.
And beyond the maple is an old dead tree, inside of which every year a downy woodpecker makes her nest, along with a staccato racket that fills the neighborhood when she drills.
And beyond that, I can’t see, but the view from a window is, in essence, of infinity. The view may be obstructed, and the eye has its limits, but the creative imagination can take the hidden vista to all sorts of places, continents, and worlds.
All of this keeps me connected to what I like to write about, and to what I am part of.
Tara L. Masih is editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (a ForeWord Book of the Year finalist) and author of Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories. She has published fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous anthologies and literary magazines (including Confrontation, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, Red River Review, Night Train, and The Caribbean Writer) and several limited edition illustrated chapbooks featuring her flash fiction have been published by The Feral Press. Awards for her work include first place in The Ledge Magazine’s fiction contest and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations. http://www.taramasih.com.