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May 15, 2020Two Rooms of One’s Own

In her book, Virginia wolf argues that in order to be successful writers, women need a room of their own. The literal space allows for uninterrupted time to work, and the figurative space is indicative of the fact that the woman in question is financially well off in order to be in this space.

I inhabit two rooms of my own. I know that I’m fortunate because many women don’t even have one space. When we moved here, I gravitated to an empty cabin on our property. Then Pete expanded the loft so that we had two floors. I then took to working in our main cabin, upstairs. A bookcase separated me from our sleeping area and in fact still does. The lower cabin (as we called it) became a storage area for books,

Alys cabin under snow

knickknacks, and writing-based memorabilia. I also took in my good friend Bill Fuller’s archival material after he died. It takes up considerable space. He was a busy man and a prolific writer.

The lower cabin became a repository for . . . stuff. I also neglected to clean it. Pete’s brother once stayed in it – there were then a lot of dead flies on the floor. He said it was like the Amityville Horror.

Two months ago, I started a major reorganizational project. I began straightening up in the main cabin, upstairs. I sorted through files and reorganized my books. I then gravitated in the direction of the lower cabin. I started by rearranging my extensive horse magazine collection. I then began reorganizing the contents of 10 drawers in filling cabinets.

I’m still working in the lower cabin. I figure I have two weeks’ worth of work left. I have organized and catalogued my academic and personal essays. I have a drawer marked administrativa – this contains the history of my academic successes and failures. The scales are tipped evenly on both sides.

I am going to next catalogue my poetry. After this, I am going to go through my published work (it’s on one shelf) and make note of what isn’t listed in my vitae. I’m then going to go through my extensive list of reject notices and see which publications are still taking work. This alone is going to be an interesting task. Equally interesting, after, I am going to send them previously written poems and essays.

Next, I am going to clean up my email files and hard drive. I am not, as Pete is, conscientious about keeping my files organized. This way, I’ll be able to print up that which I have already written and send it back out into the world.

This all is a huge task but well worth the effort. Things just keep surfacing. And now I know where they are.

The strangest thing of all to surface was a string of pearls I found in my filing cabinet. I think they belonged to my grandmother. They are quite beautiful. I put them in a better place. I also found my baby cup, engraved with my name and date of birth.

The past few days I have found myself lingering in this, the second room of my own. It now has a really nice feel about it. It has been time consuming, but the time spent organizing things has been well worth the effort.

Next: 136. 5/17/20: What Routine?

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