Part #2 of my plan to become a published writer in the children’s genre. Part #1 was finally admitting in print that it was my dream to be a writer. (See march 15, 2009 post on ‘ a little confession’ or ‘following a dream’ in the tags)
Still reading, organizing, and sorting in my office/studio. I don’t really know if anybody is listening (or reading as the case may be); to catch my venture on the road to becoming a children’s book author. But just in case someone is; here is my second post on my progress.
I have joined a writers group in an online ‘clubhouse’ which is a new site from Write4Kids. I am searching out all my notebooks with half-formed stories, and trying to collect all of them in one place. I am sure that many will be different angles of the same theme; and once I have had a chance to sort them – I will probably have at least 50 ‘starts’ to begin a few really good ones from. So a lack of material is not an issue, finding it and polishing it is!
At this point; I have to paint a picture of what I have to do while accomplishing that ‘collection’ of story starts! To be brutally honest; I have been beginning stories, or at least writing down the main ideas of stories since I was about 9 or ten years old. Before that I would tell outlandish ‘fairytales’ made up by me; to the very thin air – sitting in a swing or in my favorite perch – the limb of a young chinaberry tree in my yard. My brother & uncle would tease me un-mercifully much of the time – so that was my escape from reality. Funny; now that I am thinking back – I also sang songs in made up languages to my dolls or to imagined babies, as I swung in my seat in the wooden swing with my arms wrapped around the chains and looking down at the ground. I sang them quietly, as one might sing to a baby, and often in a lullabye kind of sing-song. Perhaps in a modern psychological viewpoint – I was singing to my inner little girl; or perhaps in a spiritual viewpoint – I was singing in a language from a previous life to a baby from another time & place. Well it is time to move from imagining to action.
Back to the present for now. In order for me to find all those half-written stories, I had to begin the herculean task of cleaning out my office. Moving furniture has always been my first step to spring-cleaning, sort of a ‘biggest task first’ thing I guess. So to that end – I am completely rearranging the whole 20′ x 20′ room; to make it much more functional for researching, planning & working on several different projects at once.
Here is the PLAN! A little more than half the space available is to be my office space (about 200 sq ft). About 1/4 is for my sewing & craft area. And the last fourth is for the twin bed & a nitestand with a rocker/recliner for reading which is to be my grandchildren’s guest bed area. They LOVE being in the middle of Granny’s craft materials, digging around in there even when I would rather they not sometimes – because then I can’t get them out to take a nap, a bath or eat their dinner, until they have finished searching for treasure! :() So I decided to include them in the planned space, then maybe I can take back some control in how & when they use it.
It is a great sized big room for separating into functional spaces. I have a LOT of furniture in there – but now it will all serve new purposes for at least one of those new functional areas, with some pieces serving two purposes. A large dresser with a tri-mirror will house all my craft supplies and some sewing items. The mirror will help to reflect light onto the table & chair area right in front of the dresser for sewing or crafting. An upright 5-drawer chest is now the main sewing items repository. They flank a wide but shallow closet where I have stashed my Barefoot Books business equip & materials, plus my camping gear.
The office section is going to really be expanded from what it was previously (was about a third). I am going to bring the main desk into almost the center of the room to take advantage of the great light from the wide east window, with the north window becoming the backdrop for my file cabinets and two tall towers with a light bridge surrounding the file cabinets. That used to be with a queen-size headboard (which I have now re-purposed to be a side bar behind the twin bed for books and a nightlight for the babies), it has a great pull-down for a little table height space for their snacks and drawing on. Then of course my computer desks (I have two) will set on the east wall beside the window ( big computer desk – to block the glare from the main window ) and small one in the NE corner respectively. The small one will probably be changed to be a printers space, once I have dumped some stuff from my old compter to the new one. then of course I have one tall bookcase ( today I emptied, moved it into the new spot and re-filled it with more appropriate child development, business, and writing parapheniela [sp?] volumes). This should make a very large l-shaped production area for the business of writing, with the best use of natural light in the room. I have a couple of more pieces which will serve for office supplies and more files. Then I have a large tall entertainment center, which I haven’t decided what to use it for – at least for now – since I took the tv to my bedroom when we hooked up another dish antenna for movies. I think I’ll just let it simmer for now.
As soon as everything is in place — then I will tackle 2 more phases.
1) Re-painting the room for the display of all my Native American collection of art pieces.
2) Sorting & organizing all the papers (30 years of teaching materials, cookbooks, craft books and collecting stuff from my now-grown children’s lives)
Will report later — major storm is crackling all around me!
I’m BACK! Last night’s storm was loud and messy; caused several electrical & cable outages – none of which lasted very long. The lightning show went on for about 5 hours. So I didn’t try to bring the computer back up till this morning, although more thunder storms are forecast for later today and it is very overcast right now. Just saying cause I might have to jump of the air again. Methinks lightening and computers don’t mix very well – how about you?
Back to the plan! PHASE 2 – Painting the room – will be done to surround me with soothing colors to accent my collection of Native American art pieces. My native pieces are my creative inspiration and I have never really displayed more than a piece or two at a time. It is going to give me great pleasure glance around my office and see the beauty of my ancestors for dancing with my muse. And since i have such a strong spiritual connection to both my Native American and Irish ancestry ~ I expect they (all of them) will feel totally welcome to visit, and of course give me advice; as usual. I haven’t totally settled on a color yet – but I will be letting that simmer, also as I finish setting up the room. My color pallet wiil have to include the existing carpet (a burnt orange/desert sand mix) the furniture is a cream white-wash finish. Before i started on the room – I had thought to use a pale nature’s misty green – but now I am leaning to a pale turqoise or the same color as the furniture (to just let the furniture secede into the background) and let the art work speak more clearly. Many of the pieces have a strong balance of turquoise in them, some just a touch of it.
PHASE 3 ~ sorting, organizing, and dispensing of my papers. This is no week-ends work! I could probably fill a dump truck with all the papers I have in there. Left overs from classrooms I have taught in, conferences I have attended, workshops I ran for teachers, research for parents on their child’s issues, games I have created for classrooms, craft books for classrooms and many I still use for my grandchildren, half-finished sewing projects & materials, drawings my children did, report cards from their school days, photos of children in my classes & of my children and grandchildren (I will be hanging many of those)…but I think you now can picture it quite well!!!! My plan is to sort last, since I can do a small box at a time while watching a movie, etc. , once it is down to what I cant just throw out.
OK – I guess that is enough stalling for today – I’d better go make some of the above happen!
Funny little note here; I was clicking categories to tag this post and I saw “Teacher’s Gifts” – and I thought about what all I have stored in those papers & books — It really is a “‘Teacher’s Gift” that is in all those papers — my gift of knowledge to thousands of children over the years! That makes me smile, although it may make it harder to part with some of it. Alas; it must be done to move into the next part of my life – becoming a writer!
Watch for the next report soon; as i will have to take a break from all the dust & sneezing! Ta – Ta from Talula.