A Journey Through Favorite Writer’s Eyes





Summer is over. My novel has an official release date — more on that later — and I have been granted an opportunity to work on another project through the Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency.

This is such a fantastic journey for me, as much inward as outward. And to bridge the gap between ‘normal life’ and this dreamy space, I decided to begin with a few days in Concord, Massachusetts to commune with history and the spirits of so many literary greats who walked through its tree-lined lanes and breathed the fresh forest air down by Walden Pond.

The first pictures are of cemeteries and the tiny headstone of Henry David Thoreau at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. You can get a sense of its size by the height of the pencils.

I’ve been assured by one of the museum curators this was no accident, keeping true to his ‘minimalist’ lifestyle and philosophy.

Emerson, Alcott, Hawthorne, Sidney — are his eternal neighbors. And this is just one stop along my path.IMG_0498



The Alcott house–better known in Concord as The Orchard House–was open and I couldn’t help but recall dreamy childhood days spent reading Little Women, Little Men, and Jo’s Boys.


I’ll post more as time allows, and also post other pictures on Writingfeemail‘s site.

Renee Johnson is the author of Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and one very spoiled German shepherd named Gretel.   


  1. Faaaaaabulous photos.
    I adore the cemetery, the sleek stones, the colors, the pencils!
    Little Women! Oh, My!
    Congrats on your novel, btw. What a great accomplishment.
    Martha’s Vineyard. Are you serious? I want photos. More Info.
    WOW. wow. xxx

    1. I’ve actually been talking about you. One of the writers here has written a book on the topic of abused and battered women. Your blog was the first thing that came to mind and I shared a bit of your story with her. If you’re interested I can get you the information on her collection.

    1. Yes, thank you. I miss you Elyse. I’ve been getting the first novel polished, the second ready to go out, and have a third — the young adult — I’ll be working on at Martha’s Vineyard. I’ll be dropping in on you very soon.

    1. It’s a real gift to me to begin the part of the journey with a real sense of the ‘greats’ – male and female – walking along with me. I thought you would enjoy the pics, Jill.

  2. You’re in my old stomping grounds, Renee! When I was attending college in Waltham, MA, I’d sometimes ride my bike to Concord with my then boyfriend. We visited all those homes you mention. My favorite, of course, was Alcott’s. Walking through her home and imagining what it must’ve been like for her, and the inspiration she drew from it. Wish I could’ve been there with you now. Sigh. What memories I have of beautiful, charming Concord.

    1. I wish you could have been with me too. How much fun could the two of us had? In the room upstairs in the Alcott house – The Orchard House – was the desk ‘Little Women’ was composed on and it was all I could do to keep my fingers from caressing the wood top where her hand would have rested, as if her greatness would have leapt into mine through the energy in the desk. (I could have used the bicycle too. Did some serious walking.)

  3. What a wonderful and inspirational little getaway. I love the pumpkin: “I’d rather sit alone on a pumpkin than crowded on a velvet cushion.” You are so busy! Have you retired from USPS? I can’t imagine accomplishing everything you do while working there. Congratulations on your novel. Can’t wait to see it in print.

  4. Congratulations! I’m so glad to read everything is going so well for you and your writing career.

  5. This is so uplifting. I love these writers. Congratulations. This is an inspiration. Did you self-publish or go with a publishing house? It is always a consideration.

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