Yesterday, I made my annual pilgrimage to the Thurber House annex for a NaNoWriMo write-in. Just to innitiate the blissfully ignorant and bring them into the world of high stakes word counts and literary chaos, NaNoWriMo is the creative abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, hopeful writers from all over the world, all skill levels and all ages come together focused on one goal: to write 50,000 words toward a new work of fiction in the month of November. Local chapters sponsor events and write ins which usually double as support groups for writers. In my area, that includes this annual write-in at Thurber House annex. But the best reason to attend this event is next door. If you need a stretch or some inspiration, you can take a break from writing and visit the home where the author and humorist My Life and Hard Times“. The book takes place in this house.
On Saturdays, all tours are self-guided so I was at my leisure to soak up any creativity that the famous humorist might have left behind before leaving Ohio to join the staff at The best place in the house is James’ bedroom. He was a college boy attending the Ohio State University during the time he lived here. The typewriter set up in the corner was not used during these years, while he was writing for the college paper and humor magazine. But it is the actual Underwood #5 typewriter he used later while working at the New Yorker
If you visit, be sure to check out James’ tiny closet. When authors visit for readings and signings, they autograph the closet walls and you can find some pretty famous names in here!
Speaking of famous authors… I am feeling a little inspired now. Perhaps it’s time to return to my NaNoWriMo novel. Maybe I’ll add a scene involving a ghost, an antique typewriter, a tiny closet, and … Well as James Thurber said, “Don’t get it right, just get it written!”
What are some of your favorite literary destinations?