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Our solution: two apartments


License to Weird
V.I.P Member
We're moving. And... we're not :)

Knowing I have Aspergers Syndrome turned out to be absolutely vital to understanding a serious writer's block. I have been working on a book about understanding cats for ten years now. First, no publishers or agents were interested because I'm not a vet or a celebrity. (Gee, had I known back when, I could have been BOTH.) So I started a blog, which became pretty popular, and I learned a lot more from interacting with my readers. I wrote bunches of stuff I wanted to put in the book, which I could now publish as an eBook, by myself. The road ahead was clear and level.

But I was stuck, over and over. Turns out, it was because I did not have what Virginia Woolf famously called A Room of One's Own.

Mr WereBear (NT artist and musician) and I live in a 1.5 bedroom attic apartment, on the third floor of a grand old home. It has a lot of plusses which have kept us here through our entire relationship; great location on a lake, walking distance of downtown and even my job, great neighbors, reasonable rent from a landlord who does keep the place up as needed.

But Mr WereBear's serious, chronic, illness imposes an erratic schedule on him. When I get home from work, ready to destress and enjoy my own creative impulses, he might be in the bedroom sleeping or resting, he might be in the .5 bedroom working on his creative projects; but generally he wasn't in the living room, which became my domain. But while it's great that he's feeling better lately, it has also made him "mad to paint" again, and for that he needs the living room, which he has been retrofitting for such purposes.

Which leaves me nowhere to call my own. I thought I could just take my lap desk and laptop and go anywhere, but it hasn't worked out that way. I have music in the living room, but not in the bedroom; and if I go in the bedroom, he could show up any time, then I move. Theoretically it shouldn't matter, it sounded like it would work, but I can safely say we have tried it, and it has not.

So when a first floor one bedroom opened up, I grabbed it. There's only four apartments in the whole place, it's the cheapest one, and they don't become vacant very often. My rationale was simple: we absolutely had to have more room, and this was the cheapest way to do it.

We aren't going to be moving very much at all, for one thing. Mr WereBear's abilities are highly dependent on a smooth routine and everything set up the way he needs; it would cost a lot of money and time to relocate. Now, he doesn't have to. We've bought some minimal furniture to set up the new place (we needed a new bed anyway) and that will be delivered free; we're hiring movers to move a few bookcases, a couch, and a hassock into the new living room. That's all we need to do.

And I will have my Writer Cave; the new living room downstairs. We can move between the two apartments via an internal staircase in the house.

In addition to Mr. WereBear getting all the room he needs at the old apartment (part of that living room is already converted to a recording studio for him, where I will record podcasts and an audiobook version) he can do all the things he needs to support our business and pursue his creative endeavors; which we hope to make money from, as well.

Yep, we are financing this with some of my "retirement" money, because it's not nearly enough to retire on, but it is enough to jumpstart a small business. Which is our goal. Which was definitely not going to happen in our current tiny place. I shared this on a prior thread but wanted to give it one of its own as we are actually doing it over the new few weeks, and I can bring up things as they occur.

Understanding that I don't have the energy to move around and screen out distractions while I'm trying to create has been absolutely vital to my figuring out why I haven't got the energy for creative work. Because of our limited space, we were burning up that energy just in preparing to work... and then had nothing left to fuel the actual work.

Just knowing we are taking this step seems to have helped un-stress both of us already!
Well done....! Creativity can take place anywhere....! Its just being in that right mood.... Jimi hendrix used to practice his guitar on the toilet...! Hope all goes well for you both...!
Thanks for telling about this in detail. It's uplifting.
I see it as positive affirming work of the two individuals who want to be together and also need to fulfill their journeys.
Congratulations on the new space and on being able to grab the opportunity when it was presented. :)
One of the most enjoyable things about this process of anticipation is explaining it to our most intellectual cat, Tristan.

Everything flows from his head.


When we finalized the plan, there was much excitement in the house as we went around making arrangements. Tristan showed signs of stress, so I had to sit him down and explain the concepts.

While the three other cats hadn't really noticed, seeing these as "human concerns," (and having four cats makes renting somewhere else problematic,) Tristan is different. He wants more information to work with.

I explained it well enough that he went to our door and demanded to have a look at this new place. We got as far as the new apartment door, because the landlord is still fixing it up from the last tenant.

He seemed satisfied.

Just the other day, he followed Mr WereBear downstairs to get the mail, led him to the new apartment, and asked him, "Do you know about Door?"
Actually a short story about the process including/featuring Tristan would be highly readable, in my opinion.

I have already started documenting his reactions on my cat blog, as an illustration of how to deal with cat challenges.

One of his nicknames is the "William Shatner of cats." He's got charm to burn, that's for sure :)
It's settled.

The third floor apartment will be known as the Aerie. (treehouse type, remote location, great views)

The first floor apartment will be known as the Shire. (tucked under many trees, sort of Hobbit House, smaller, and not going to pay any attention to whatever else is going on in Middle Earth!)
It's settled.

The third floor apartment will be known as the Aerie. (treehouse type, remote location, great views)

The first floor apartment will be known as the Shire. (tucked under many trees, sort of Hobbit House, smaller, and not going to pay any attention to whatever else is going on in Middle Earth!)

Good for your new business venture. Check.
Good for your personal space to retreat to. Check.
Good for your landlord to spread his risk to fewer tenants which he already knows. Check.

Well done! :cool:
We have started "camping" in the new place. Furniture moving & delivery not until next weekend, but I can certainly work in the new space, and I am. Got a couple of camping chairs, soap and towel in the bathroom, doing cleanup, figuring out where we will put things, and letting Tristan figure things out:


The wifi reaches this far, but I have ordered a repeater, which is commonly needed in a house this size. We aren't going to have any more devices running than we ever did; we just need the signal to reach further.

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