a toolshed in the garden of Monk's House in Sussex, England.
In twenty-first-century Ann Arbor, writing sometimes seems like a spectator sport, with authors composing in coffeehouses and libraries, on park benches and buses. But some of the city's literati still heed Woolf's advice, writing in rooms of their own.
Steve Amick, author of The Lake, the River & the Other Lake and Nothing But a Smile, both Notable Michigan Book winners, clatters down the open steps of a nearly empty 1929 white Cape Cod on Jackson Avenue to a marginally musty basement. In August, he'd just moved out of his office here, a bare room half-paneled in rough-hewn wood. Upstairs there are a few pots and pans in the kitchen, a folk art buffet and coat rack he built, an antique upright piano across from the fireplace in the living room, a few lamps and boxes. Most household items and furniture are in the family's new home in a rural area near Zeeb Road, but the bedroom that will serve as his office there is still a mess--he jokes that his wife, Sharyl Burau, "would kill me if I showed it to you now."