Saturday, April 19, 2008


When two artists moved out of their workshop to a larger space, their wives decided they needed a clubhouse to call their own. So Charlotte and Daphne took over their husbands' former place behind Daphne's house. Zebra and leopard prints now cover the door to the shop. From the black and white toile ceiling to the painted rug on the floor, every inch now screams, "Fun lives here!"

The shop inspired their creative juices and they invited Daphne's sister, Debbie to join them. They became entrepreneurs. This weekend they opened the clubhouse for others to visit and shop. They sold their handmade items--beaded jewelry, toile jackets and stools, and much more.

Amazing things can happen when we carve out a space for ourselves. Virginia Wolf knew that. In her essay, A Room of One's Own, she states, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

When we first moved to our current home, I wrote at a table on the screen porch. The spot proved perfect until late June when the Texas summer temperatures could deep-fry a buzzard in mid-flight. I moved my work inside, squeezing a small desk into the guest bedroom. Six months later I switched the queen-sized bed for a twin, allowing me more space. When my first essay was accepted, I felt like I'd earned my stripes. I was now officially a published writer. I evicted the twin bed. The guest bedroom became my office.

On some level, having my own room, made it easier for me to write everyday. I had a place to create that had nothing to do with guests that might drop in for an overnight stay. The office allowed me the freedom to leave a project each night and meet up with it, again, the next morning.

Today, while shopping at the clubhouse, I asked Charlotte, "Did you have this idea cooking inside you for a long time now?"

"Not really," she said. "A month ago this shop had so much stuff. We took it over and then everything happened so quickly."

Their clubhouse had opened a door to their creativity by giving them a room of their own. Not everyone has a shop behind their house to retreat to, but we can carve a place for ourselves anywhere--a corner of a bedroom, an empty closet, the screen porch. Any space will do. Claim it, let it become your domain. Then be ready to follow the creative world that opens up to you.

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