In 1984, hopelessly blocked on a novel, Georgelle Hirliman hit on the idea of setting up shop with her typewriter in a Santa Fe storefront. Beside her, she placed a sign:
Help Me Cure My Writer’s Block — Give Me a Topic.
In Manhattan she wrote in the windows of The Village Voice, Shakespeare & Co. on the Upper West Side and B. Dalton on Fifth Avenue, among other places, sitting daily for eight hours at a stretch.
Though Ms. Hirliman passed away in 2010, her inspiration lives on now through a New Yorker now living in Savannah, Lauren DeRosa. She occupies the window at Paris Market on Broughton St.
I talked to her briefly in the store. I didn't understand the history of her "project" at that time. It just intrigued me.
A writer in a window. Are you on display, like a zoo or a mannequin? Seeking to answer questions in an artsy store, are you part of the block or part of the writer? But there were beautiful words everywhere (whatever the answer).
She asked me if I had a question for her to answer, but, honestly, I saw so many pictures in my head...words escaped me.
How much is that writer in the window? “I stopped answering that,” Ms. Hirliman told The Albuquerque Journal in 2000. “Nobody paid.”