Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction ‘My Mother’s Cottage’ #99Words #SundayBlogShare

This post was written in response to Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch’s weekly #99 word Flash Fiction Challenge. This week’s prompt is to write a story about variations in property values. Check out other entries or take part yourself!

My Mother’s Cottage

I wished I hadn’t inherited the beautiful, but run down cottage from my eccentric yet inspirational mother. I’d have preferred to hear her reading extracts from her bestselling novels, but she finally succumbed to a long illness and donated everything else to Cancer Relief.   

It didn’t feel right to sell her home, but I couldn’t afford the maintenance, until I met Jason, who contacted me on Facebook. He was the first to offer to pay for spending a few hours in my mother’s study.  

Now we’re married, the cottage is fully booked for years and the value has tripled.

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Exterior view of the Emily Dickinson Museum with Dickinson’s bedroom visible on the second floor.CreditGreg Miller for The New York Times

We all enjoy visiting an author’s House-Museum with all the other visitors and tourists, but what would it be like to spend a week, a day, or even an hour alone, in the same room where one of your favourite writers penned their novels? Imagine sitting on Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Daphne du Maurier, or Ruth Rendell’s chair, at their desk, in their study. Would it be inspirational, scary, or life changing?

I visited Emily Dickinson’s homestead in Amherst, on several occasions, the last one in 2007. It’s a beautiful house with a delightful garden. I peeked into her bedroom, where she cut herself off from the rest of the world writing her cryptic poems, rarely leaving its confines. Much has been written about her mental frailty, some scholars have suggested the possibility of agoraphobia.

The Dickinson Homestead was certainly atmospheric, and I can imagine that time alone, in her room, would prove inspiring, and it’s now possible to rent her room for private visits, by the hour.

I recently came across an article about Emily Dickinson’s Museum in the NYT by a reporter who had paid for the privilege of spending an hour, alone in her room. The idea of such a possibility inspired this week’s flash fiction.

If you are interested in ghost stories or paranormal events, the reporter narrates a very spooky experience in Miss Dickinson’s bedroom. Follow this link to read more about it.    

Emily Dickinson’s bedroom in the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Mass., with a replica of one of her famous white dresses.CreditGreg Miller for The New York Times

Which author’s house-museum’s have you visited?

Which is your favourite?

Would you enjoy spending time there alone?

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This week I asked my older grandson to colour a picture of a cottage, while I wrote a story about one.

9 thoughts on “Carrot Ranch #FlashFiction ‘My Mother’s Cottage’ #99Words #SundayBlogShare

  1. This is wonderful, Luccia. I think it would be amazing to spend an hour in Emily Dickinson’s room, sitting at her desk, inhaling her inspiration. When I was in London I visited Dicken’s home-museum. I was enthralled to see his desk and the room in which he wrote many of his stories. I did feel a sense of awe for what had occurred there. Though I can’t remember the details, I remember Stephen King writing in his book “On Writing” about getting inspiration at a desk that had been previously used by another writer. Why not us, too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved Dickens’ museum in London, too! So many interesting little details about his life and items to look at in search of inspiration…
      I’m sure Stephen King is right. When I stayed at a friend’s family home upstate NY, in the Adirondacks, and then on to Montreal, I could easily imagine some of the houses in his novels. Places are definitely inspiring and a place, or writing desk, which inspired another writer is surely worth visiting for inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Luccia. I studied at Mount Holyoke for a year, as part of an exchange during my American Literature degree at Sussex and I visited Emily Dickinson’s house. Dickinson had also studied at Mount Holyoke for a year and I was living at what they had named Dickinson House in her honour, so I felt her presence quite keenly. Thanks for the link!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Olga. I stayed at Amherst College on a Fulbright Teachers Programme for a summer and we went to a lecture at Mount Holyoke in the Impressive library.
      ‘El mundo es un pañuelo’, so I wondered if by any chance you met Betty Medina?

      Like

  3. I thought this was a very inspired piece, Luccia. I have been to both of Shakespeare’s houses, Anne Hathaway’s and the Globe Theatre. I have also been to Charles Darwin’s house. I would love to go to the Bronte Museum but haven’t managed it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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