Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tee-Hee, A Room of My Own!

So I've spent 28 of the last 36 hours cleaning my basement and... building myself a writing room! A room of my own! All for writing! Just writing and reading! And I can make charts and LEAVE THEM ON THE TABLE, out, in the open, without having to clean up before the students come!

It's mine. All mine. And I'm SO happy!

I jury-rigged it from this:

writingbefore writingbefore2

To this, with some old curtains and tablecloths. I did buy two 5 x 7 rugs, which was interesting because one was 5 x 8. The ball is my chair. It's actually quite comfy! It stretches out my back when I roll it while I'm sitting on it.

writingdesk  writingbookcases

There are no books on the bookshelf yet. I'm still finishing up. I'm getting rid of most of my books, actually. Six garbage bags full. (Donating them, not throwing them away!)

It looks a little silly with the fabric ceiling and the fabric walls, but I have an unfinished basement. This was the cheapest way to make it a room in it. It looks funny from the outside:

 CD2 234 CD2 236

I like it. It's like a Writing Lair. A cave. And I need caves. I need blinders. I need to close down the rest of the world when I write.

It kinda feels like when I used to build forts when I was little, out of blankets. I LOVED doing that. I used to make a little hideaway in the back of one of my closets, behind my clothes. I love little hide-outs.

Or like some exotic sultan's tent or something. My cat has commandeered my reading chair. Maybe he's the sultan!


I'm on a cleaning FRENZY. I don't want things. Yeah, I'm still on that kick. It's like, the more I take to the Goodwill, the happier I get. But my writing room is quite bare. Look at all that table space! What would you put there? What do I really need in a writing room?


I need some candles. I have a whole HUGE boxful upstairs. I'll finally get to use them!

I can feel that things are getting better and better. You know how when you struggle and struggle, then, through a Herculean effort you shift the energy, and then things just STEAMROLL with luck?

Pseudo got some good news today, but I'm not allowed to share. *pout* But it means I'm feeling like I need to be pouring some energy into that side of the world. And that side of the world is perking up!

So I might be an every other day sort of blogger for awhile. I'll still read your posts everyday, because I don't want to miss an instant of what's going on with you guys. (Yeah, I was one of those kids who couldn't go to sleep because she was afraid she'd miss something.)

Do you have a room of your own? What's it like? What's in it? If not, where do you write? And if you had a room of your own, what would be in it?

28 bonus scribbles:

Melanie Avila 8/31/2008 12:56:00 AM  

Yay for the writing room! It must be so nice to have your own space. :) Good luck with pseudo - it sounds like the room came at just the right time.

Oh, and my mother says I never wanted to go to bed because I was convinced I'd miss out on all the fun. :)

Bernita 8/31/2008 05:57:00 AM  

Clever adaptation!
I use a former bedroom.

Erica Orloff 8/31/2008 08:13:00 AM  

I love it! It's so cozy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. Two middle children are bugging me for a cat. LOL!

Amy Nathan 8/31/2008 09:10:00 AM  

Very nice! I think when we own our space we are freer to be creative!

I have a public space in the house, but it's mine and it works. It's beautiful, in my opinion, and uncluttered and open...unlike the the rest of my life!!

Mark Terry 8/31/2008 09:58:00 AM  

Space heater. Highly recommended for the winter.

Eric Mayer,  8/31/2008 11:45:00 AM  

I love it. Oh yeah, we loved putting blankets over the kitchen table, with a card table or two for annexes, to make houses on rainy days. And the closet thing too. I had a cardboard box with controls crayoned on, though, so my closet was a space ship.

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:25:00 PM  

It's wonderful! I was so tired after mostly finishing, that I slept ten hours solid. So I still haven't used it! (I'm going in two seconds!)

I am TOTALLY like that. I hate going to bed!

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:25:00 PM  

Bernita, that sounds nice! I used to have a bedroom in one of my houses, but then DH came. I guess he gets a room for his office, since the whole house is a piano studio, LOL. :-)

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:27:00 PM  

Yeah, it feels all warm and cozy! If I could part with him, I'd give you the Big Lug. He's so good with kids: indulgent, gentle, fatherly. He lets children do anything to him, which would probably be a good trait around Demon Babies!

Boys are great. Playful as kittens, and cuddly as adults.

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:29:00 PM  

Amy, I'm hoping that's true! Plus, it does put me closer to the "girls in the basement," no?

Uncluttered. Just the word practically makes me orgasmic. I can't wait until my whole house is uncluttered!

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:29:00 PM  

Mark, that's funny! I have a space heater that I carry around with me in the winter. I'm a cold sort, so a space heater is definitely a must!

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 12:31:00 PM  

Eric, yes, yes, YES! My best friend had one of those BIG boxes, you know, like the kind a washer comes in? I can't tell you HOW much I wanted a big cardboard box of my own. She had TWO ROOMS in it! It was SO cool.

I did turn a little "under the stairs" sort of Harry Potter cupboard into my own little playroom when I was little. I miss it!

lainey bancroft 8/31/2008 01:16:00 PM  

Great room! Very airy and peaceful. Cool idea to use the yoga ball for a chair. Must try it!

(((Congrats pseudo!!!)))

Edie 8/31/2008 01:34:00 PM  

Love it, Spy! And glad Pseudo is doing so well.

I have a room of my own, an extra bedroom, but I'd be embarrassed to take a picture. Yours is so neat and mine is so messy. I have a chair for my cat too. :)

Susan Helene Gottfried 8/31/2008 01:49:00 PM  

Whoa. You haven't had your own space until now????

I'd go nuts in a basement without windows, but it sounds like the perfect fit for you. As for the empty space, have no fear. You'll fill it with stuff soon enough.

(and yes, I know my reputation's on the line with that * instead of the letter i, but ... sometimes, a little bit of conformity carries you a long way. Right?


spyscribbler 8/31/2008 01:53:00 PM  

Edie, just give me time. It's only neat because I'm on a quest to get rid of everything. Like, everything. I'm just sick of stuff.

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 01:54:00 PM  

Lainey, I got the idea from someone years ago, but never had a chance to implement it. I love it.

Not pseudo's success, actually, didn't mean to mislead. Just... how do I put this? One of my tiny pubs is definitely stepping up to small press status. :-)

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 01:56:00 PM  

Susan, big window, right in front of my desk! See? LOL. I've been writing at Borders until now, sometimes on my front porch. It was time for a space of my own. I've written well over a million words without one!

About the *, I have one question for you: would Trevor conform?


Heather Harper 8/31/2008 02:44:00 PM  

I am so excited and happy for you! Verra cozy and cat friendly. Can't imagine not having kitty company when I write. ;-)

I have space, but no privacy unless they are in school. And I have to sub in the afternoon on Tuesday, so that day will be a wash. :-(

spyscribbler 8/31/2008 07:03:00 PM  

Heather, believe it or not, cat company was on my pro/con list when it came to deciding whether or not I would start writing at home! I have one cat sleeping behind my computer, one cat wedged in the window in front of me, and a cat in my reading chair.

I do love the cat company. :-)

Robin 8/31/2008 11:34:00 PM  

The room looks wonderful! Very cozy! (But the empty bookshelves look sort of sad.) I'd say some silly nick nacks are needed, but you're trying to get rid of stuff. How about pictures of loved ones?
I like to write with my laptop, in the middle of the house. All the weirdos running around inspire me.

Barrie 9/01/2008 04:22:00 AM  

Very impressive!

I do not have a room of my own. I do have my own desk, which I rarely use. Mostly I write at the kitchen table or in the La-Z-Boy.

spyscribbler 9/01/2008 09:02:00 AM  

Robin, they do! No worries, I have plenty of books to fill the shelves. No knick knacks, though. Getting rid of all knick knacks!

spyscribbler 9/01/2008 09:03:00 AM  

Oh, Barrie, a La Z Boy?! So cool! I've always wanted one of those!

Aimless Writer 9/01/2008 05:09:00 PM  

Your room is beautiful! The drapey walls give it a surreal look. I love it! Go through the house and collect all the things you absolutely love and that make you smile and decorate with them.
My writing room is forever being taken over. There's a hot tub in there. that takes up most of the room. My writing desk is actually a cut down workbench where I also paint. A file cabinet, bookcase and a couple of tall cabinets where I store my art supplies.
When we have parties I hide my stuff because I can't stand people pawing through my desk and canvases (why do people think they have the right to paw my stuff?)

Angie 9/03/2008 12:24:00 PM  

That's very cool, and I'd love to have a writing room or office or whatever just for me. :)

I'm in the computer room, which I share with my husband. Most of it's his; I have an eight-foot table which is covered with stuff, most of it in utter turmoil from when my husband set up my new computer, and then more recently my monitor. I had all sorts of notes (most of which were scribbled on paper towels -- hey, they were there) plus a bunch of print-outs and letters and other paper detritus, and it's was apparently all tossed into a tumble-drier, then very loosely stacked and plopped back down onto the table when he was done with the tech set-up. :P One of these days I'll go through it piece by piece and reorganize.

The next bedroom over is the library-slash-craft-room, although at this point I think fewer than half our books are in there, not even counting my husband's old books which are still in boxes in the basement. (In our old apartment, his books were out on shelves and mine were boxed. When we moved here, we switched.) There's a pile of stuff in front of the library door, and a floor-stand fan in front of the pile of stuff (no AC upstairs), so getting in and out of the room is an adventure. The door must be kept closed so the husband's cat doesn't decide to chow down on sewing needles or embroidery thread or glass beads or whatever-all else she might get into.

When I lived alone, my computer was in the livingroom, with a huge wall unit -- half bookcases and half cupboards, with a drop-down desk -- right next to it. All my nonfiction was right there, so if I needed to look something up it was easy to reach the right books.

Ideally, I'd love to have a similar set-up, but with floor-standing bookcases (the cupboards were always underused), positioned so that the books I look stuff up in most are just a lean away from my computer chair. I want all my nonfiction books in the same room with my computer. I want enough extra table space to be able to lay out family tree diagrams and population charts and maps and floorplans and timelines -- I use those things much less in my writing now, because I don't have room to keep them near my keyboard, and they don't do me any good anywhere else.

I want a writing room that's mine alone with a door I can close. My husband's computer is against the other wall -- we sit essentially back-to-back -- and if he wants to watch a video or do anything else noisy on his computer, I can't really tell him not to, but that doesn't stop it from being distracting, or even aggravating. And there are times when just having him there is annoying; I like to talk things out to myself, out loud, and I feel horribly inhibited when he's there, even if I know he wouldn't laugh. :P

OTOH, we read each other funny bits off the computer, and often fall into conversation about whatever when we're both up here. I'd miss that. I just need a separate place to work, and it has to have my computer in it. [laugh/headdesk]


spyscribbler 9/03/2008 04:19:00 PM  

Wow, Aimless, if I had a hot tub in my room, I would never get any writing done! I'd get lots of reading done, though!

But people pawing through your stuff, that sucks. Just like when I'm writing, people feel they have the right to come and look over my shoulder and read what I'm writing.

How nosy is that? SO not their business!

spyscribbler 9/03/2008 04:21:00 PM  

LOL, Angie. It sounds like the saying! Men: can't live with them, can't live without them!

Now that I've got an IV constantly hooked up to the internet, I don't use nonfiction materials much, but they sure are handy to have at the fingertips!