OKay, more photos (click to enlarge) of my barn. I had not realized so many people reading this blog...presumably because they are interested in children's books...are also interested in barns. Of course there are many connections, the most obvious being " 'Where's Papa going with that ax?' " said Fern to her mother.."
My barn dates to the early 1800's. (The house is earlier, late 1700's, so perhaps there had been a smaller, earlier barn which was razed to make room for this one). So a lot of cows have been milked here, a lot of horses have chewed at their stalls (we still have evidence of that), a lot of pigs been slaughtered, a lot of kittens have been born, a lot of spiderwebs have been spun, in this barn.
Thinking back, way back, as a writer, I am remembering that my first book for young people, A Summer to Die
, published 30 years ago, was set in an old New England farmhouse. I lived in Maine when I wrote it, so the setting came naturally to me, but also I wanted to move the fictional family to a somewhat isolated setting in order to focus on the intimacy of the family relationship without the distraction of school, friends, etc. that would have been neecssary details had I kept them in their town setting. So...(writers have such amazing power!)...I gave the college professor dad a year's sabattical in order to write a book, and they rented a rural farmhouse.
But it only occurs to me now that I did not give that house a barn. Or if it had one, as presumably it did, I didn't make it part of the narrative. In a way I wish I had. It would have been a somewhat magical place for the introspective young girl who was the central character in that book, which was written in the first-person....