A Writer's Process: John Porter

Walking to my studio in the Leighton Artists’ Colony just before dawn, I mentally pen a haiku;


Gravel dark and wet
Shines at first light as I walk
Easy under foot

A mist lingering from damp snow overnight creeps through half perceived trees.  The few amber lights along the path are just enough to show the way through the pines.  I imagine deer lying nearby in long brown grass beneath the trees, but the dim illumination does not reveal their location.

 In the bright circle of the Valentine Studio porch light, a young man unexpectedly appears and slouches past with a large portfolio tucked under his arm.  He looks up momentarily with a sad, tired expression that seems to say;  'That was my last night spent on the drawings … now I'm leaving but wish I had more time.’  

But I am just arriving to work for a month.   I turn right down the little track that leads to the bottom of a small ravine where my studio Evamy awaits.  I set down my computer case on the porch.  It makes a soft thump on the old boards. 

In the darkness, I search for the key in jacket pockets before remembering that it is carefully zipped safe in the inside pocket.  Fishing it out, I fiddle with the handle lock, before feeling it relent and the door opens towards me, sticking slightly on the jam just as it did three years ago when last I opened it.  

Switching on the light, a warm interior welcomes me back.  I cannot resist saying aloud; ‘Hello Evamy ’ as if addressing an old friend or lover.  I make a quick inspection.  Two computer chairs are neatly placed at either end of the long desk surface.   A lounge chair extends beneath shelves with clean glasses, a Banff Centre mug and a box tea bags left by the last occupant.   Nothing has changed, except perhaps. me. 

This is where I wrote my first book.  It success renewed my life and connected me with so many different people.  

My main job is no longer as a business advisor to small engineering companies.  I am now a writer.

I extract a tea bag from the box and fill the kettle, putting the carton of milk in the small fridge beneath the sink.     Multi reflections of my presence move hither and thither in the studios many windows.  They are still dark mirrors before the dawn.  In an hour they will be windows again, revealing the woods beyond and hopefully an old friend.  I recall an earlier haiku;


We work together
You store pine cones for winter
I fill a blank page

No more excuses.  With tea made, I sit down and turn on the computer.  While it fires up, I extract the first of hundreds of poems which need to be polished and brought into the light.