Sunday, January 02, 2011


I can't remember what I resolved to do last year, but I'm pretty sure I did it. Building on that success, then, I'm moving forward with something bigger and more life changing: a multiple year resolution. Even though my friend Mike, who builds things for a living, says that this project could be hammered out in a weekend, I think it's worth at least three years worth of planning and saving and mistakes and deferring.

Basically, the plan is to build a house like the one you see in the picture up there. This one is Michael Pollan's, and he wrote a book about the process of building it, an 8' x 13' place behind his house that he uses for writing and daydreaming, as he puts it. I had the idea before I knew that he did, but after I knew that Mark Twain and Roald Dahl did. So it's kind of original to me, a little.

My story started with the idea of a small wood stove. I wanted a place where I could go just to light a small fire. I wanted to tend it, to walk into the room and say "stove's running hot today" or "stove's not drawing too well today." After thinking about the little house that would hold this little fire, I realized that I have almost an acre of land here in the city that for years has been used mainly to hold the branches that fall from my trees after wind storms. And then the word "reading shed" came to me.

So that's where I am now. Mike told me about Pollan's place, and it's front runner for inspiration right now. I don't know what the plan is, though. I guess my resolution is just to talk about it all year long, basically. And then who knows what 2012 will hold in store.


Maureen said...

Hope you get it built. I live in a townhouse and so have nowhere I could build a writing shed, much as I'd like to have one to call my own. Good luck!

Mr. Hill said...

Thanks, Maureen! I plan to live in the anticipation of it for a little while, and then try to make it happen when I'm off for the summer.

I don't know how people who aren't teachers get their dream homes made. Well, maybe they pay other people to make them.