Thursday, May 22, 2014

A room of one's own

Everyone knows Virgina Woolf's idea of what a writer needs - basically, money and a private space. Well, I don't have much money - but I am now the proud inhabitant of a gazebo, now known as the Writing Pod.
I was having trouble writing in the house because it's a relatively new house (built ten years ago) and it has no character. I grew up in an old farm house and I've always chosen apartments and houses based on their age, style and personality. A house has to have stories just like people do. At any rate, where I live now doesn't have any stories to tell yet. The gazebo was transplanted a few years ago from my sister's property out in the country, and it's been languishing in the garden unused since my parents bought a cottage and are now away during the summers. So I swept it out, added a marvelously oversized chair, et voila!
It's the perfect space for me, and I started Book Two (title TBA) a few days ago. Three chapters in and I'm feeling the thrill again, so that reassures me. I was nervous going into this one, afraid that this was going to be another of my famous one-offs (I'm notorious for doing a thing extraordinarily well once and then flopping on the sophomore attempt) but I think because it's a continuation of the story and characters, it's not like starting an entirely different project. I'll worry about that sometime in the distant future when Captain Millicent has run her course.
Yesterday my dad and I cleaned out the fish pond in the garden - it was so thick with algae and muck that you couldn't really see the fish. That's no way to live. So we drained it, scrubbed it, powerwashed and refilled. Maybe some people think fish don't have feelings, but it's obvious to me that happy fish now live here:
Last night we had a tremendous thunderstorm, complete with hail and tornado funnels, and I was trapped in the pod (alas, for the wine was in the house). I've never been a storm-lover, and since having a dog for six years who had severe anxiety during thunder and fireworks, I like them even less. But I could appreciate the ferocity of Mother Nature in that short outburst (and not having a panic-dog with me certainly helped). The sun came out again after. That's spring in southern Ontario for you.
Speaking of spring in southern Ontario, the apple trees have blossomed and the smell in the air is intoxicating. I stopped on the way home from town to take a picture at my favourite orchard:

And today the sun is hot but the wind is still cool - no paddling yet for me, but I think I'll go out on the trails for a long hike, to see what's blooming and growing. Walking helps me percolate too, so by the time I get back I might have a few more ideas.
Every day I'm grateful for my decision to return home from Whitehorse. I'm sure it's beautiful up there right now too, but I love my life here.
It's good to know where one belongs.

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