Saturday, August 4, 2018

What Will They Say About You?

Last month I went on vacation with my family to Key West, Florida. This wasn’t our first visit there, but it was the first time we toured the Ernest Hemingway Home and MuseumAs a writer, I knew
about Ernest Hemingway, but most of it was regarding his writing, screenplays and many of his quotes
 (I do love quotes and more quotes!).

Yet the people in town who encouraged us to visit mostly discussed the multitude of six-toed cats that resided in the home. The tour guide discussed Ernest Hemingway's marriages and personal life with enthusiasm and at length.

I understand how many people desire to get to know an author’s personal story, but it made me wonder. Most authors can ramble on behind a keyboard, but tend to be more private about our personal life. 

So, just what impression will we leave behind?

The Man Behind the Typewriter

It was interesting to learn more about the man behind the typewriter. His love of cats and belief that the six-toed cat brought good luck, his turbulent marriages and personal journey through life. But I wondered how much information was precise and what was assumed from the stories people told,
assumed, or gathered from the remnants he’d left behind in his life. 

Kind of like how authors might encourage people to hold judgement on the browser history while researching a novel. Otherwise, all kinds of incorrect assumptions could be made about the author when the information was only specific to a fiction story.

Because most people aren’t preparing to be included in history, or to have their home become a museum for others to tour and create a vision of their life. 

The Heart of a Writer 

Once we finished the tour of the house, we were told that Ernest Hemingway’s writing room was a small, separate structure and that we could go view it if we choose to—heck yeah this was where the magic happens!

Now this is what I truly came for. Unlike the other rooms in the house, that the public could walk throughout, the writing room was restricted. 

I climbed the external stairway to stand in a small area that could only fit a few people at a time. This writing space could be viewed through a small area as we envisioned him crafting his stories in this little hideaway. 

It looked like an ordinary room to most, but I knew that it held the heart of the writer where Ernest Hemingway sprinkled secrets of his life between the pages that were only known to him alone.

(I apologize that the pictures are a little dark, but the lighting wasn't the best. Note the cat that has taken residence in the chair.)

What We Leave Behind

I like to think we’re leaving an impression behind us every day, and not just after we’re gone. That what we do, and how we treat others, will be how we’re remembered. Authors might have a little of an advantage in that we can leave a little bit of ourselves in our stories, or share some of our personal journey through life on our blogs, although this depends on just how much we want to share with our readers.

This tour reminded me to be mindful of how routine interactions each day could leave a lifelong impression. Of how our stories, both in reality and fiction, can live on in other’s lives. 

I don’t anticipate people wanting to tromp through my home one day and discuss the mundane details of my life, or peer into my writing room and try to make sense of my mind from the material articles I’ve left behind. But I can only hope that by being true to my heart and passions, and good to those around me, that the impression I leave is a good one and that perhaps one day I’ll inspire others to follow their dreams too.

What Do You Hope People Will Say About You?

P.S. There’s still time to try to make your dream of winning a Kindle Fire or an Echo Dot come true if you enter the contest right here.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter


Marissa Garner said...

The Hemingway home and Key Lime pie are the best things about Key West. Oh, loved the cats, too.

Diane Burton said...

I've always wanted to go to Key West. I knew quite a bit about Hemingway. He lived in northern Michigan for a while.

I hope people will say after I'm gone: she loved her family; she wrote entertaining stories.

Maureen said...

Thanks for visiting, ladies! It was a fun trip and too cute how the cats have pretty much taken over the place.

Francesca Quarto said...

I too, made this tour years ago and the cats were everywhere, like silent watchers in case we filched any memento.
Hemingway was a very disciplined writer and while I envy his talents, I wouldn't want his tortured soul!
Thanks for sharing Maureen

Francesca Q.