The last few days I have been mostly relaxing, and meditating on the new place. In some ways, I feel like I’ve finally come into adulthood: this is the first time since leaving for college that I’ve actually lived in a house! Not an apartment, not the bottom floor of a townhouse, a real live house that is just mine and Mike’s. No shared walls, no worries about the upstairs or downstairs neighbors, entirely ours. It even has a front and a back yard! I love it. I’ve even started planting an herb garden.
It is also wonderful having a room entirely of my own, for my creative pursuits. I don’t think it’s essential to the creative life to have Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own” in which to create – I haven’t, for most of my life – but it certainly makes things a lot easier. Partly it’s having the space to have each tool in its correct place and enough table space to work in, which Heaven knows is wonderful enough – but it’s also about having the mental space to ignore other thoughts, other people, and just create. Or be. It’s like having a house – not an apartment, but a house – within a house.
And I’ve started reading fiction again. We Never Talk about My Brother, by Peter S. Beagle. I consider Beagle to be one of the best ever authors in fantasy/SF – he has a mastery of imagery and story that I have seen only rarely elsewhere. Consider this:
The unicorn was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but the color of snow falling on a moonlit night.
I loved that phrase when I first saw it – as a young writer I collected and memorized the best writing I could find, and this one I took with me – and I still love it. Or the “skeletal clench” of a hawk’s talons, lovely.
At any rate, Beagle is in top form with his latest book, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it won a Hugo or a Nebula (one of his last short stories won both! a rare honor indeed). I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Finally, the never-ending tale of muslins has FINALLY come to an end. I drafted the collar, cut a half-muslin for it (from the waist up only), sewed it up this morning – and I like it! The cut of the collar is exactly what I was looking for. So, today I will start the “practice” garment, to learn the techniques of construction and to test the look in a heavier-weight fabric. Still a slow process, but worthwhile, I think. I’d rather make my early tailoring mistakes in a throwaway project than in my precious handwoven. And it should go a lot more quickly than all these muslins!