Loftus House #ThursdayDoors #MaryAndersonCenter #MtStFrancis

Back around the turn of the century (THIS century, wise guy), I was awarded a retreat at the Mary Anderson Center at Mount St. Francis Friary.

I stayed at Loftus House, which is the artist colony’s residence.

loftus-house-macaAcross from Loftus House was the priory. The only times I went in, I had to go in the basement, where we could eat after the friars had left the — what do they call it? — the refectory, I think. But here’s the wall that fronts the stairs up to the real entrance.

mandala-wallInnat pretty? The stone marker in front says Mt. St. Francis 1910. I used a closeup of the mandala on the cover of my second book of animal stories.

In Loftus House, I had a private room on the second floor. Since there was only one other writer in residence at that time, only two of us had to share the bathroom. It was obvious that painters were often in residence, because here’s the bathroom wall, with a glimpse of one of the transoms that were over every door. bathroom

I love transoms. I can remember the houses of friends when I was little, old houses with high ceilings and a transom over every interior door to funnel out hot air in the summer.

We also shared the kitchen. Dig these doors and drawers!

sinkstoveI had a memento mori in one of my windows.

out-me-other-windowAbandoned by the parents, but celebrated by the happy ants.

I took a picture of my work space, which I use on this blog like all the time.

retreatI was working on SAGE, my fantasy trilogy. Got ‘er done, too.

It was great, looking through the guest book, and seeing friends and idols who had had the same room and had worked at the same desk.

And I can’t leave the Mount without re-posting my favorite picture of the stay.

There’s a legend that vicious wolves attacked a city. St. Francis went out and preached to them, and they listened and reformed themselves. This statue. This statue. Can you see why the evil MomGoth thinks this statue is so freakin’ funny? I mean, I’m sorry for the effacement obviously effected, actually, by time and weather, but, still….

St. Francis and WolfThis post is part of Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors link-up. If you want to see some truly amazing doors, go to Norm’s blog and see his door photos. Then click on the blue frog link to find links to other Thursday Door blogs.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about wolves.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Loftus House #ThursdayDoors #MaryAndersonCenter #MtStFrancis

  1. Joey

    November 3, 2016 at 8:09am

    Fantastic doors post, Marian! Yes, seems wolf really might have been snippy before hearing ‘the good word’ lol
    I love the murals at every turn. What a great place 🙂

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 3, 2016 at 8:30am

      It was amusing, disconcerting, and most useful to know where everything was in the kitchen. I felt sorry for anybody who ever wished to reorganize, though. Couldn’t be done!

  2. Norman Frampton

    November 3, 2016 at 9:38am

    Nicely done Marian. We don’t see transoms very often in new designs anymore and I’m not quite sure why that is.
    I love the playful imagination of whoever did those paintings on the bathroom wall and the kitchen cupboard doors and drawers.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 3, 2016 at 10:00am

      I think lower ceilings and air conditioning have mitigated the need for transoms. I always loved them, though; the door could be open and closed at the same time!

  3. Jane

    November 3, 2016 at 10:21am

    Nice tour!
    Looks like an inspiring place to retreat to!

  4. Dan

    November 3, 2016 at 2:56pm

    Sounds like s great time. And it sounds like you made good use of it. Love the doors and I really like the picture showing the mechanism of the transom.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 4, 2016 at 8:32am

      Back then, I was just taking pictures of the art. Now that I’m a doorista, it makes me very happy that I got a shot of that mechanism.

  5. janet

    November 3, 2016 at 3:35pm

    A retreat anywhere sounds good, but to be somewhere like this, filled with beauty and whimsy, is even better.


    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 4, 2016 at 8:33am

      Janet, Mt. St. Francis is famous for its woodland trails, and I did walk one, but I mostly stuck to the room and worked. THAT was MY pleasure. 🙂

  6. Jean Reinhardt

    November 3, 2016 at 5:32pm

    I love that kitchen.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 4, 2016 at 8:34am

      It was a little overwhelming at first, like everything was shouting at me, but I got used to it. 🙂

  7. Gordon

    November 3, 2016 at 6:26pm

    It’s true that you can’t tell a book by it’s cover; the artists’ work on the interiors are great and you would have never known that by looking at the outside of that house.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 4, 2016 at 8:36am

      So true, Gordon. From the outside, it looks so unassuming and ascetic. Then you get in, where they let the artists and writers work and relax….

  8. Jesh StG

    November 3, 2016 at 10:28pm

    What a fun kitchen! Especially the painted doors:) Your experience sounds a book itself:)

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      November 4, 2016 at 8:41am

      I got a lot of work done that week. I don’t know if I could have done what I needed to do, without it. I had pulled several versions of a book apart and put the bits I liked best all in one version. On retreat, I was going through a printout of that last version, catching repetitions, plugging holes, and repairing anachronisms. I needed to concentrate, uninterrupted, and to think about nothing but that manuscript for a few days.

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