Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Update: Writer's/Artist's Oasis or How to spend your life savings

Ok, so I didn't spend my life savings but a big chunk went out to the contractor for final payment. Yea! The construction is done! I have a door to the outside, always nice in case of a fire. But mostly convenient so I can do yard work and come in and write, rinse and repeat. Mostly I'm talking about setting out the sprinklers on my big trees and then going out every hour or so to move them. And getting up from the computer or drawing table every hour or so, at most, is good for us.

All the heavy furniture has been moved back in. Only half the garage is taken up by my junk as apposed to all the garage filled when the room was emptied. I'm still computing on a shaky card table that makes the monitor vibrate every time I hit a key. I have to finish, as in stain and varnish some shelves behind the desk where my printer, scanner and supplies will go before I can move my computer back in the room.

Here are some before and after pictures.
Too much furniture, not enough light. The ceiling is 9ft, the window was above my head, frosted and barred! The previous homeowner had designed it as a gun room for his hunting gear.

Furniture removed, popcorn ceiling removed, ugly green '70s commercial carpet removed.

Yeah! I have a door and windows.

Wow! Look how big the room is. It's all done. Note the floor. Sanded, stained and sealed concrete. It looks like a cross between stone and leather. It is the original floor which extends from the garage. The cracks also extend from the garage. The floor guy put a darker stain in the cracks so they show up, which help make it look like stone. Several colors of stain are used to give it the varigated look. My contractor came in and sealed the cracks so creepy-crawlies can't get in.
And there's my Peacock pendant light which I blogged about before.

This is the other end of the room where I've created an "alcove" with paint. The chocolate color extends from the corner onto the side walls and ceiling by 2 feet. I love the feeling it gives the room. Here the pendant is too low, I had it raised to match the light at the other end of the room. The contractor call the Peacock light my "dolled up" chandelier. I'm planning to paint the baseboard radiator and curbing the same brown. I had told the contractor not to paint it, but now I want to carry the color all the way to the floor.

The pendant cost me $5 at a rummage sale, then another $50 in paint and beads to "doll it up". The feathers were free courtesy my neighborhood peacock flock.

Now I am in the process of moving my stuff back in but NOT all of it! This is were the sentiments will be tried. I have artwork I created as far back as college, maybe even some from high school. And all the treasures I've collected because they tickled my fancy, were beautifully made, or remind me of a spacial occasion or trip. I have to decide who gets to stay and who goes. Working through that process will help me write better characters as I will have a deeper understanding when they have to give things up.

Since I started writing seriously nine years ago I have found that I will move out of my comfort zone more readily so that I can experience something new and add it to my Life Experiences Catalog to draw from when one of my characters needs it.

What are some of the things I've done outside my comfort zone? 

  • I toured a brothel out side Reno, Nevada (I was invited by a friend of a friend to join their club outing, so there were about 20 women on the tour). 
  • I joined Sisters On The Fly and have traveled the Southwest in my vintage trailer. 
  • I spent a lot of time caring for my father during his last days. Well, that wasn't out of my comfort zone, I loved helping him. It's just that I've never been the nurse-type but it's different when it's someone you love. And therein lies the writer's lesson: what will one do for someone they love, how far will they go?
  • I joined the authors' night at my local library. Me? The shy introvert? It was a meet and greet, so I didn't have to speak or anything as terrifying as that. 
  • I attended our local sheriff's office Senior Law Enforcement Academy. A week-long introduction to everything law and emergency related in our county. You should have seen the weapons they let us examine and hold! More on that week here
  • I volunteered to have gall bladder surgery! I wanted the "patient" experience. I had gall stones for years and they seldom bothered me. But I knew one day they could. However, I would say adding the experience to my Life Experiences Catalog was the big decision maker. 

Have you done something out of your comfort zone to add the adventure to your Life Experiences Catalog?