Well, Autumn is in full bloom here in Chicago. The trees are ALIVE with THE most brilliant of reds, golds and oranges. It's crisp and clear and all I want to do is go out and play in the leaves .... Ah, to bit a kid again and make a big pile, rev up the keds sneaks and run like hell leaping. I can still smell the damp leaves now as I am writing this post.
But today I am here, at home. Trapped. BUT for an excellent cause. My new writing/illustrating studio is being created as we speak. For years, I've wanted/needed a space to call my own, but as we all know, especially us city dwellers that space is at a premium. It's not like I can add a room ... wishful thinking. BUT I could recreate the space I have.
When I bought this condo, the major factor in my decision was that it featured a HUGE, and I mean, Huge living room. Back then I wanted an elaborate French Salon style room. It features five windows overlooking Lincoln Park and in the distance downtown Chicago. Gorgeous view. So I managed to pull it off, silk drapes, oversized STUFFED down sofa's, antiques galore(Thanks to my great uncle), and the ultimate hand-made Pakistan rug. It cost a fortune, needless to say, but I had to have a stunning space to attract the right cliental for my Interior Design business.
IT worked. I had invited many of the residents in my building and managed to start work right away. This was back in 2004 when real estate was BOOMING and everyone wanted their spaces remodeled with the highest end finishes. I was MORE that happy to oblige.
Then the unthinkable happened in the fall of 2008 .... I cringe at the thought. A major economic collapse and I had just invested over 60,000 dollars in my kitchen remodel. Two of my scheduled clients pulled out of their contracts. NO one was using a designer. Contractors were scrounging for work and only wanted free advise from me .... HA. So what was I do to.... FREAK of course! Thankfully I had savings but I still needed to do SOMETHING with my time. I was going NUTS. When you are so used to be INSANELY busy and then all of a sudden you have all this time. What do you do?
Well, my answer was WRITE! Yes, that is when I began my first fantasy novel. I had planned to write and illustrate a monumental Harry Potter like story, but instead of magic I went for the elementals. I penned out a story in three months. 125, 000 words for a middle grade novel. I hear you ALL laughing now. It was quite the accomplishment, don't you think? I was so proud and ready to sell my fantastic story..... again, I hear the laughter. When I think back ..... What was I thinking? A dream never-the-less.
A few months later, a friend told me about the ABNA contest, so naturally I entered with great hope. I created the pitch and MIRACULOUSLY I got through the first round. YAY! Waiting, oh-so-patiently to see my name listed on round two ..... I was stamped out! Crushed by my reviews (one critique called my writing amateur ... well, HELLO ... it was!) But I was highly offended and a new writing friend offered to help me with grammar and structure.... BOY DID I EVER NEED IT! She also introduced me to the blogosphere.... I will ALWAYS be grateful for that.
And now three years later, I have hundreds of blogger friends, who I ADORE and respect so much. What would I have ever done without all of you?
So, here I am writing, waiting patiently for the workers to finish my new space. If you haven't guessed by now I decided to take my huge living room and create two rooms. One living room and one stunning space for me to work in. I will have my very own space with four window facing southeast, the park, pond, and downtown. Talk about inspiration. No longer will I have a formal space, but now a casual, clean contemporary space. Gone are the overstuffed sofas to be replaced by low profile linen ones. In comes the large screened TV I SWORE I would NEVER have in my living room. Funny how our tastes and needs change.
I will post pics of the new space .... It will be, of course, up to my high design standards even though it will be modern and much less grand. Been there, done that. I need function. My design business is FINALLY picking up a bit again and I have lots of stories to write and illustrate.
How about you? Do you have THE perfect space to create in or were you like me and write on the sofa, or in bed or at the kitchen table?(That's where I wrote my first novel all 125,000 plus words... Still having a good laugh on that one...)
Let me know where you write ....
So now I will leave you to enjoy your Friday and I hope you all have GRAND plans for the weekend. I will be painting my French door and closet door for the contractors to install on Monday .... But today I am inside and hope to work on editing....
Here is a pic I took of the skyline the other day.... isn't it gorgeous?!
HAVE AN AWESOME WEEKEND EVERYONE.