My wife and I bought our first house in 2008. After 15 years of renting. It is very likely to be our last. A rambler in need of substantial fixing up, it has the requisite luxuries we wanted when we moved from Washington State: air conditioning, two wood-burning fireplaces, and a quaint kidney-shaped in-ground swimming pool, which we’re enjoying for the first summer in 2011. We’re also making substantial progress on my writing office in the basement — the space for which has been designated since the beginning. Even if getting it remodeled is a project of many years.
Below are some clickable photos of the office as it looked when we first moved in, in 2008. Observe the lovely vintage wood paneling…
…which I happily ripped out. Along with both of the old, single-pane windows. And the studding for the old, too-small closet. We had the north window space enlarged, new double-pane insulated vinyl windows put in, along with an actual window well. Then, in 2009, we set to work studding the exterior — there had been none before, nor insulation either — among other things.
Come 2011, and we’re finally getting the drywall up, after previously doing lights and insulation in 2010.
Through the end of July and into August, my wife and I will be mudding, taping, and sanding the drywall, prior to application of primer and latex satin paint. We’ve got the flooring and closet accoutrement ready to go as well, so after a long wait, it seems we’re poised to finally get the office to a usable state — including a nice new desk from Ikea.
Of course, it’s easier to justify spending time and money on the writing office, now that the office can actually pay for itself. In 2008 and 2009, being a paid author was still just a pipe dream. Now? Well, today I collected two checks — for my most recent Analog sale, and a reprint for a previous Analog story from late last year. Such events aren’t uncommon, and my income spreadsheet tells me I’ve done remarkably well through the first half of the year.
It’s going to be easier once I can sit in that office, however. A space of my own, after living like a hobo for the last 8 years — forever carting everything important around in various Army backpacks, including the all-important laptop, on which every lick of fiction gets written. I will have drawers — drawers! — and a desk — a desk! — and I can close the door — the door! — which will be my signal to the world that I am busy and not to be disturbed. Because, you know, this writing thing is making money for the household budget. Glorious.