When we bought our house nearly four years ago, one of the little details that charmed us was this outbuilding. There are two outbuildings; I find the other one significantly less charming, mainly because it is dark and creepy and full of spiders and chipmunks who knows what all. It’s where we keep the garbage can and lawnmower and garden implements and snow tires and ice melt. No, as you’ve inferred, we do not have a garage. Every year we talk a little more about the garage we plan to have. It’s one of the things we talk about. But that’s another blog for another time.
When we bought the house, the owner was using the charming little outbuilding as a pottery studio — she had a wheel and some supplies in there. Apparently, the outbuilding was originally supposed to be a sauna, but those plans got waylaid. It’s about eight feet by eleven feet. And, finally, last fall, we had some work done tidying it up a bit — putting in a proper ceiling, new flooring, and some linoleum on top of that, and buttoning up certain rodent-sized cracks around the outside and inside. It’s not encased in kryptonite or anything — but it’s much improved. (There are definitely some critters living in the wall/ceiling, but we do live in the woods, and so I am going to try to deal with that with a minimum of drama/carnage.)
So I’ve been working to get the little house outfitted, with the idea that it will be a kind of three-season writing retreat, and possibly a summer/early autumn bunkhouse if I put a daybed in there. The place has electricity (!) with two plug-in outlets, two vanilla ceiling fixtures, and even a little “porch light.” I haven’t spent any significant time there in the winter, and don’t plan to, but it will certainly work for spring/summer/fall. So far I’ve just got a few of the very basics in there — a writing desk and chair, a big wicker reading/lounging chair (still needs another cushion), and a little side table. I think I need some storage — a shelf and/or bin and/or drawer situation. I believe I’ll be laying down this old oriental carpet I haven’t used since we moved here. I’ve got a little desk lamp, but may keep my eyes open at the yard sales for a floor lamp as well. And the daybed. Along the back wall. Chaise lounge? I got the writing desk and wicker chair at a great yard sale in Peterborough — $27 for both.
I was down in that part of the state to attend a poetry reading by Marilyn Annucci and Pat Fargnoli at Toadstool Books, and hit half a dozen or so yard sales along the way. It was a great reading, and somehow fitting that two major pieces for the writer hut (writing house? writing shed? retreat?) were acquired on my way to hear them read their outstanding poems.
I haven’t tested this theory yet, but I believe that one of the slight disadvantages of the location of the writer hut is that my wireless internet will work out there. If I get into a routine of going out there to work, I should probably plan on turning off the router on my way out. Yes, internet trolling is a legitimate part of the writing/research/thinking process, but it is also a distraction, and I think that having an internet-free space (at least SOME of the time?) is probably a good thing.
So, yes. The writing hut. Any suggestions about what all I need in there? What have you got in your writing space? What has helped to lure you into your writing space and what keeps you there?