I loved my corporate career, a—fast paced—grab onto the rocket and scream yee–haa—kind of career. After my 2 children started college, I had the opportunity to live in “exotic faraway places” like India, Taiwan and Hong Kong, however there was nothing glamorous about 24-hour flights. From my flat in India to my home in Seattle was a 48-hour trip via train, taxi and airplane. One time, I crossed the international date line and enjoyed a 48-hour birthday with champagne, and a plane full of strangers singing happy birthday.
I loved it—until I didn’t. A line from Mary Oliver’s Poem said it all, “…are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?” (“Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?”)
After attending the Port Townsend Writers Conference, I jumped off the fast track into another high energy opportunity. I bought a hobby farm and opened a B&B on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. I’m a morning person and love to cook so it sounded like a good idea at the time. I cared for five llamas, ducks, a pair of Toulouse geese and oh-so-many goslings, two (boy) rabbits, two (girl) sheep, and 20-some chickens. I served very fresh eggs for breakfast.
I found that farm chores and inn keeping left little time for writing, even in the slow winter months. After six years, I sold the farm and moved to a beach cottage that couldn’t have been more rural—or quiet.
There was an eagle’s nest in a tree above my bedroom, a bear devoured my birdseed. My dogs and I walked the Hood Canal beach teeming with sea life during low tide and listened to the owls and coyotes every night. You might say I turned 180° from tending to the needs of guests and the chaos of my farm and B&B, before that, over-populated big city career and before that, caring for my family. I discovered that all I really want to do is write.
I absorb the quiet around me, making it possible to be creative both in my writing and in the design work I do for other authors. I may have hated this kind of life when I was younger—who knows—but I do know that it’s what I need now.
See a YouTube video of my B&B, Morgan Hill Retreat. The B&B and farm inspired my novel, Secrets Lost, my farm is on the cover.
Shearing Day just before closing the sale of the farm
Nearby lot clearing Watching these horses and their handler at work, reminded me of photos of my Granddad’s horse team, and inspired another novel I’m toying with, Cecil and Edith (working title)
Author, Marcia Breece with her constant companions, Ellie (bottom step) and Dora