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Write Place, Write Time: Erika Robuck

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway

I agree with Mr. Hemingway about books, and my writing space is full of them. I enjoy being cocooned in words, and when my words won’t come, I simply turn to my shelves and take pleasure in the pages that some other writer agonized over for my enjoyment, before I return to my own pages to do the same.

Inspiration comes by way of artifacts and shrines. I found Hemingway and Fitzgerald “match books” at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA, and I keep them on my book shelf. It’s hard to explain to non-reader/writers why little packs of literary matches give me so much joy, but if you are a reader or writer, you understand.

Photo books, a tube of Hemingway pencils I won from Cambridge University Press’ Letters of Hemingway contest, a print of Hemingway’s Key West house, and pressed flowers from the grounds adorn my shrine to Hemingway. There is also a pile of final copies of my novel, Hemingway’s Girl.

My Zelda Fitzgerald corner is growing as my new novel is in production. Two large photo books and a keepsake from my writing partner are all that’s there now, but Zelda’s haunting eyes on the large book, Zelda: An Illustrated Life, are enough to fill the space.

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When the work is done, my lazy office mate, Bailey the miniature schnauzer, waits for me in the reading chair.

Erika Robuck is the author of HEMINGWAY’S GIRL (NAL/Penguin 2012) and CALL ME ZELDA (NAL/Penguin 2013). When she’s not writing or reading with her lazy office mate, she enjoys boating on the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and three young sons.