A morning of writing and research at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Spilsbury
Spilsbury

I am a lifelong writer who has spent the last ten years developing a legal entrepreneurial, and architectural expertise. Though I have found deep meaning in my professional work, I have been yearning for the opportunity to channel my creative energy into a creative nonfiction writing, including a memoir as well as Spilsbury, which addresses the masked tenets of contemporary housing discrimination and a seventy-four year old woman’s triumph over residential segregation. Spilsbury also chronicles the life of Sue Spilsbury, one of the first female attorneys in Louisiana, and the immeasurable gifts that spring from intergenerational friendships. 

I believe that this human account of housing discrimination presents an opportunity to discuss a systemic pattern of grave importance through storytelling as opposed to political discourse or academic literature. Wrapped in wit and unarmed vulnerability, Spilsbury highlights a devastating phenomenon that is both cheating and undermining communities, especially communities of color, all across the country.  It is also a tender account of an unexpected friendship that seamlessly folds together all of the elements that have defined my life thus far:  housing, civil rights, unbridled love, resilience, and the interconnectedness of us all. 

Expected date of completion is August 2021.

Wintering and writing on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul, Minnesota

Wintering and writing on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Quixotic Coffee in St. Paul, Minnesota

Writing + (Law + Architecture)

The crafting of this Spilsbury is allowing me to fuse my passion for writing with my commitment to law, housing, and the importance of the built environment.  With the writing of this story, I am confident that I can both honor an internal calling as well as create a platform from which to speak about one of the nation’s most pressing issues. 

 

With that said, I feel strongly that the unfolding of both my personal encounters and my professional career have directly led me to the crafting of this particular creative nonfiction book.  Personally, the relationship that I forged with Sue Spilsbury, the main character in in my manuscript, transformed the contours of my life.  Our rapport extends much beyond her fight against city-led discrimination and our common ground as lawyers.  Given the loss of my grandparents before the age of majority, my friendship with Sue has allowed me, for the first time, to reap the unlimited benefits of an intergenerational bond.  Her wisdom, humor and warmth have deeply enriched my emotional and spiritual intelligence, and I believe the corporeal threads of Spilsbury will foster significant growth as a writer, allowing me to tap into the very essence of the universal life cycle. 

Meeting, research, and happy hour agenda for my first trip back to New Orleans, Louisiana in April, 2016

Everywhere I Go

Although the majority of the events woven into Spilsbury take place in New Orleans, the book itself can be written anywhere in the world.  And that is one thing I love about writing:  I can take it with me.   The versatility built into the process is invaluable and I look forward to chronicling each stop I make along the way. 

With Minneapolis as my home base, I plan to land in as many local coffee shops and wine bars as possible. 

Working on the best table ever at Dogwood Coffee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Studio 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Calm, quiet and so conducive to writing

Love this place!  Worked here in the middle of a blizzard.  Little Owl Coffee in Denver, Colorado

Plucking away with a glass of red on the sunset perch.  Silver Lake, Minnesota

One can never go wrong with Bull Run Coffee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The barista at Dogwood Coffee even took music requests!  Love it.  Minneapolis, Minnesota

Casa de Sue Spilsbury in New Orleans, Louisiana.  I couldn't get enough of the old school coffee contraption

I spy two friends, baller espresso, and warm conversation.  Spyhouse Coffee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Casa de Grant & Alex in Boulder, Colorado.  Legit spatial utopia complete with Nespresso for any coffee concerns

Bricks walls, wood floors, exposed pipes & the best cup in town.  Sold.  Five Watt Coffee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

The most trendy hole in the wall I've ever seen (and their americanos are spot on).  Asado Coffee in Chicago, Illinois

Twins.  Knotty Nook in Battle Lake, Minnesota

My second home in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Pulp n' Grind

Ahhhhhh.  Merchant.  I think I've had a thousand espressos from this sweet coffee shop.  New Orleans, Louisiana

© 2021 by Emily Hunt Turner, Esq.