I’ve figured out the…

I've figured out the secret of my success -- stupid things make me happy.

Okay, maybe not stupid, but really minor.

For example -- yesterday, Kevin and I were supposed to go pick up Karina after she went to the gym, but we got there early, and she wasn't ready yet. So we stopped by some used furniture stores in the neighborhood that I really like (Elemente and Ec-lec-tic), where I managed to find not only a very cool nightstand (which I've been wanting for ages -- now I can have a glass of water by the side of the bed, and my alarm clock, and a place to put my book) (and it probably wasn't really meant as a nightstand, since instead of a drawer it has a little door that opens to reveal a copper-lined interior (any ideas what that might be for? Kevin's betting mailbox but I think it looks like a kitchen-thing, maybe for keeping bread warm? It's also got a handle on top)) but also a wrought-iron spiral staircase plant stand.

The plant stand serves multiple purposes: a) it lets me have a spiral staircase, which I've always wanted, b) it gets my plants off the wooden chairs some were sitting on (and dripping water onto), c) it gets the jasmine up to nose level, so I can easily smell it, d) it helps divide the sunroom so that it almost functions as two rooms -- sunny plant room and functional study. This pleases me.

After we picked up Karina, we stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I hadn't intended to buy anything, but actually found a large square picture frame. I have this Lee Stranahan photographic print that was starting to warp a little from just sitting perched on my sewing machine, and I knew it needed framing if it was to survive. But it's square! It's hard to find cheap square frames! I thought I was going to have to go get it framed, which is always ridiculously expensive; I don't know why. But instead, there was this beautiful frame just waiting for me, of almost exactly the right size (I just had to cut down the sides of the print a tiny bit) and a reasonable price. How can you beat that? And the wood frame is pretty much the same shade as my closet doors, which means that the print looks awfully aesthetic hanging on the wall now -- as if I'd planned it that way. This also makes me happy.

Okay, I know you're probably bored to tears by all the home decorating stuff at this point, and I admit, it's not as if it's my life's passion to create House Beautiful. But there is definitely something very satisfying about a) having an attractive environment to live/work in, b) being able to afford (with care) a few nicer things than I could as a student (like picture frames), c) designing and putting it together myself. It's another way of satisfying the creative impulse, and in a way that my mother can actually appreciate and approve of (though I think she'd prefer a more...ummm...I want to say "busy/cluttered" but I'll settle for "complex"...approach to home decor).

I'll be gloating over that nightstand, plant staircase and picture frame for days.

***

One other note -- I finally sold "Esthely Blue"! After six rejections, it's found a home in a British anthology, Wicked Words 3; perhaps the coolest thing about it is that I'll be paid in pounds instead of dollars. (Yes, eventually I'll undoubtedly think that sort of thing is a nuisance, but at the moment, it's cool). So once it's published, I'll put it up here for your pleasure (of course, those on the readers' list already got a sneak peek...

I also realized that I didn't link "Johnny's Story" yesterday, so you might not have realized that it's available on-site -- sorry 'bout that. And looking over the list, apparently "Kali" hasn't been up there -- but it is now. :-) Enjoy!

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