“Where am I not in my body, where am I least in it. What could be excised from me most easily. Where is a living thing not itself.”
My novel is set on a rural homestead, very similar to where we stayed in Idaho. The writing is always in the present tense, urgent, and visceral. So everyday I walked alone through the woods. The peaceful isolation helped me focus on my body—most of my inspiration comes from the physical—and the minute sensations that come with living so close to the land: the dry scrape of a low branch against my leg, the swoop and buzz of the flies always circling something, the wind that you can hear approaching from far down the ridge. When I needed a break, I plucked guitar and wrote lyrics from language I found listening to the morning weather report, flipping through books, and listening to other residents. By the end of the week, I had dropped back into the world of my novel, finished a song, and earned the nickname ‘Wizard’.
Jennifer Williams is a writer and musician living in Oakland, CA. She is currently working on her first novel, The Roof on Sunday. She often plays music with her
band, gossimer, a blend of folk and ambient noise.