OVERBOARD ON ROANOKE SOUND: MY FAVORITE OFFICE. Some people hang out at the proverbial water cooler in their high-rise offices, a welcome escape from their cubicles. Lucky me, (truly, so lucky) I might be found in my office watching the sun rise over the ocean. My pier, jutting out into the sound, served as research library and think tank and office, all rolled into one. It was here that I could observe minnows and osprey and dolphin, watch storms gathering to the east, see the wind’s patterns on the sandy beach. Here I could swim with my eyes open, watching my arms cleave through the golden spray on nights when the sound was alight with phosphorescence. Then it was time to make note in my journal–to translate it onto the page–everything I saw and heard and felt. I could write chapters in my hammock. I could review the day’s work on the cedar chaise. I could take a tea break on the paddleboard with Zoe, my fox terrier, on a cold winter day, or cool off with a dip in the sound in summer. After a hurricane washed away part of the pier, I waded out to my office, now an island. I didn’t work 9 to 5. In writing Between Tides, I found that the imagination isn’t very good at keeping a schedule. Not when the work is all around me, deep as the water is wide.