So, as you can probably guess, all the househunting and moving business of the last few months has made me think about what I might want in a house and what my priorities are for when I eventually graduate college and move out on my own. The boring conclusion I reached from those thoughts is that if I get the job I want in the city or region I want and don't get married before I'm ready to buy a house, I'm likely to end up living in a townhouse (because it seems to fit my probable budget and my current priorities, which I'm happy to explain to anyone who wants to hear them) and I'm pretty ok with that, rather to my parents' disbelief (or possibly annoyance; it's hard to tell). The more interesting conclusion is what I call my "wish house"- not my dream house, because my dream house is Imladris but with WiFi and all the books I could ever want to read, but the house that would be maybe attainable, if I managed to save or acquire a few million dollars and the right resources. So today, I thought I'd share some of the major elements of that house.
The Wish House
1. Lots of trees . . . But also internet. As I said already, I'd be perfectly happy in a townhouse, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer to feel like I'm in the middle of a forest. Ideally, the trees would come as close to the house as is safe, because I have no use whatsoever for great stretches of grass, but trees are quite inspiring. (And when I get stuck, I can stare out the window at squirrels and birds instead of endless grass and empty sky.) A screened-in porch so I could be out among the trees (to a degree) without fear of stinging insects would be nice too. However, it can't be totally in the middle of nowhere, because I need internet for blogging and story research and I have no interest in driving to the nearest library or coffeeshop every time I need to know what the Pittsburgh subway looks like or whether or not a bullet/arrow/sword/dragon's claw can pierce chain mail or how the pumpernickel you cook fresh-caught turkey over a campfire. That's just impractical.
2. My own personal library. Naturally. The library would be the biggest room in the house and would include all the books I could possibly want, from classics to YA to epic fantasy and beyond. There'd be plenty of reading books, each equipped with a table and a lamp and a huge comfy chair or two- the sort that's large enough to curl up in but not so big that you can't sit normally. I'd have a writing desk in there, in one of the corners, or maybe in the very center, something large and solid with plenty of drawers to hold reference notebooks and hard drives with backups of my novels on them, and a sword hung on the wall above it. Between the bookcases, maps and paintings and occasionally weaponry would adorn the walls. There would possibly be a fireplace somewhere in there as well, but I'm not sure about that.
3.Fandom-themed rooms. I'm not sure whether I would base room on a specific fandom or if I would have a mix of fandoms in every room or if I'd have some specific and some mixed rooms, but you get the idea. Some rooms might also be more genre-based; for example, there would be at least one steampunk room (dining room, maybe? or game room?), and the library would definitely be inspired by the fantasy genre as a whole, as I already discussed. And some rooms, like any guest bedrooms and probably the kitchen as well, would be pretty subtle in their fandom-ness. (After all, non-fans might appreciate having a respite from the fandoms, and in the kitchen, practicality trumps all.) In most rooms, though, I'd- well, maybe not go completely all-out, but close to it. Making sure everything meshes well could be a challenge, as could finding or making some of the pieces, but I'm sure I could figure it out.
4. A tower. I'm not asking for a big house. Actually, I'd prefer something on the smaller side, just big enough for me and whatever family I have at that point and the occasion guest or two. However, I absolutely want a tower, even if it looks odd. It wouldn't be large, just one story higher than the house, with a spiral staircase and possibly a parapet and a roof that you could walk around on. I'd put a private study/writing cave in there, with a smaller, elegant desk and extra copies of all my very favorite books. What I'd do with the rest of the space, I'm not sure, but I'd figure it out. Possibly I'd have one room with nothing but a wardrobe in it, just for kicks. It's hard to say for sure.
5. Always another secret. You know how houses and castles in fantasy books always seem to be riddled with secret passageways and hidden doors? That's what this house would be like. I'd have at least one secret door leading outside, for starters. Then, within the house, there would be no fewer than five hidden passages and probably several secret rooms and cubbyholes. All of these would be protected by several layers of riddles and puzzle locks and hidden latches such, some fairly easy to solve, some quite complicated. Oh, and that tower I mentioned? Although it would have at least two entrances, neither would be obvious, and both would be hidden under more layers of secrecy than any other room or door in the house. In short, my house would be the perfect setting for either a middle grade fantasy novel or a Nancy Drew computer game, and it would be fabulous.
What about you? What does your wish house look like? Would you trade good internet access for surrounding trees? And, if you visited me in my wish house, how crazy would my tower with no apparent way in drive you?
Thanks for reading!