I suppose I should be telling you about my next book, but there are several things up in the air at the moment (most importantly the cover and the release date), so instead, I’m going to talk about my birthday present. Anyone who follows me on Facebook already knows about this, but I’m still tickled and eager to share.
In 2018, my friend and I travelled through Scotland, Wales, and England for fifteen days. We stayed in a castle, manor houses, and B&Bs and toured Chatsworth. Upon returning home, I walked into my living room and was inspired.
For years, this room had been a catch all. The television is in the family room, so the only time anyone went into the living room was to be alone. Because it was so under used and near the front door, things accumulated there. In addition, several times over the years my husband had mentioned the number of bookcases strewn about the house in nearly every room (some which did not have the space to accommodate them). In one day (while he was at work), I relocated all the books and two of the bookcases to the living room. When he arrived home, I pitched my idea of turning the living room into a library. As he is not the manic reader that I am, he couldn’t see it and did not understand the necessity. I went ahead anyway.
Inspiration (not that I could match this, but you get the idea.)
Coincidentally, the friend who introduced me to Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen married a carpenter. In that first year, I commissioned him to make two pieces with the intent to complete it over the next year. Those two pieces (a corner unit able to hold a computer and a lower printer table/shelves) stood alone with books stacked around them for the next two years. Finally, at the beginning of this year, I determined I had had enough of the clutter and was going to finish it. Of course, the price of wood had gone up since I began this thing (thank you COVID), but I would not be deterred. Everything came together and on April 17 (the day after my birthday) it was installed, and my husband finally understood what I had been talking about three years ago.
Of course, Jane has her own shelf (well, she and I share it with the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, but she is the first),
along with all the doodads people have given me through the years and memorabilia from some of my book covers.
It took about a week to get things the way I wanted them and then I had to go shopping for a new rug, but it was so worth it. Several neighbors came by to see it, my husband talks about it to everyone, and for about a month I stopped in the doorway every morning before going to work just to smile. My husband said he would always know where to find me, but he is probably in there as often as I am. The only problem is, after making this room so grand, I ended up having to paint the hallway . . . which led to the hall bath . . . oh, and the kitchen is on the list. My daughter, who is headed to college, wants to know why we waited until she and her brother were out of the house to fix it up. My son says I have set the bar to which he will inspire. I’m just happy.
Are you like me? Do you have those annoying unfinished projects? Which one are you going to finish this year?