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I also believed, as many writers do, that to become a published and well-respected writer all I needed was the right office. When Lighthouse first settled in, I happily ended up with Ferril’s study, way in the back on the second floor, as my office. The room is airy, with a high ceiling, built-in bookshelves, and other touches of personality—like a narrow homemade ladder leading to the finished attic loft—which give you a glimpse into Thomas Ferril, the person and poet. I bought a bunch of Ferril’s books and placed them carefully on a bookshelf. I lined up my own poetry library on other shelves. I dusted off an old glass lamp that I’d bought at a garage sale and put it on my desk, which was nothing more than a pine door painted black and laid across two low bookshelves. The desk faced a whitewashed wall where I hung motivational quotes—lines from poems and inspiring declarations like: “A brave man struggling against adversity is a spectacle for the gods” (Seneca), and, “Writing is a form of making, and making humanizes the world” (Richard Rhodes).
Everything was in place. Me, the aspiring poet, in the poet’s house, literary ghosts flitting all around, my computer on and humming nicely, the blank screen waiting. Brilliant and mesmerizing poetry was just a few keystrokes away.
Things don’t exactly go as planned. You can read the whole article online, but to see the glossy of the haunted poet, you have to get your paws on the January print edition of 5280. Nice work, Mike!