"Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing." — Laurie Buchanan

Carriage House Journal

You may remember our recent relocation from Crystal Lake, Illinois to Boise, Idaho. Upon arrival we enjoyed a three month lease — a stepping stone to find a home to purchase, or lease long-term. Last week we had the move-out inspection at the previous address because…

…we long-term leased the carriage house of one of the mansions in the Warm Springs Avenue Historic District. It perfectly suits our needs! We even donated our yard maintenance equipment because everything — and I do mean everything — is meticulously cared for.

Office View

My writing space is phenomenal! In addition to nonfiction work, this gorgeous view has triggered a spurt of fiction writing. My work in progress is titled Carriage House Journal — a series of short stories told in first person through the eyes of a mail carrier.

Office Windows

If you wrote a fiction story in first person, who would the main character be?

© Laurie Buchanan

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Comments on: "Carriage House Journal" (90)

  1. Cindy Kellogg said:

    Awesome! So excited for you and Len and the girls!

  2. Your excitement is clearly palpable Laurie!! And the mail carrier first person idea is a revelation!! So fantastic that this new place had impressed you to sign up for a long term lease!!! And further that it has given you the writing inspiration to move forward. To be sure I’ll be the first in line to read it upon completion! As far as the person I’d use as the device in a first-person narrative point-of-view, I’d have to think hard on that one. But I really do love yours!! Best wishes in your new paradise! :)

  3. Nice place. How’s the traffic on Warm Springs?

    • Coldhandboyack — A week or so ago there was a construction detour on Warm Springs.

      Our carriage house is behind the mansion that faces the street. Nicely, we don’t hear any traffic. The short lane that leads up to the security gate is off Walnut, but we don’t hear any traffic from that side either. We’re tucked away in a landscaping paradise :)

  4. Laurie, I’m delighted with you news. Your new home looks wonderful and I’m looking forward to reading, Carriage House Journal. It sounds great.

    If I were to write a fiction piece in first person, my main character might be my grandmother. She came to this country from Poland at the age of 16, by herself. She was a complete mystery to me and someday, I’d like to invent a story for her.

  5. You seem to attract perfection of place, Laurie. I rejoice with you.

    Your question has been in my unconscious, but not long enough yet. I think my fictive character would be a college student in the 1960’s.

    Have you heard of Fred? He will inspire you, I know: http://www.fredfactor.com/meet/default.aspx

    • Shirley – Go for it! I think everyone would enjoy that read, but especially people born between 1946 and 1964 — baby boomers!

      Thank you for the link to Fred. I’m heading over there right now :)

    • Shirley — Oh my gosh, I just got back from the link and I LOVE IT! Thank you so much for introducing me to Fred :)

  6. Oh what a gem you have found Laurie! Hum, while traveling on the trains in Europe I made up a story in my head about a modern mystery. The narrator was an detective disguised as an artist. She was very autobiographical I am afraid and I never wrote down a word of it. But the story did keep me company as the tracks clicked along.

    • Terrill — Oh how fun! Maybe on a day when you don’t pick up a paintbrush, you’ll pick up a pen instead and capture your wonderful story on paper! I, for one, would be tickled to read it :)

  7. I’ve always dreamed of living in a carriage house!
    I once learned (or felt I learned) an awful lot about my father, by writing a series of family stories in his voice. Just to place myself there, seeing events unfold as he might have seen them, was eye-opening to me, and garnered a new understanding of him.

    • Cindy — There is tremendous wisdom in what you just shared. Instead of “walking in someone else’s shoes,” you painted a word picture through their heart and eyes and gleaned understanding at the same time. Wise woman, you!

  8. Your new home sounds like a dream come true, Laurie! Living in a carriage house is the stuff of wonderful stories.

  9. What a lovely writing spot. I’m sure insightful and engaging stories and thoughts will emerge from within. Thank you for sharing your journey, Laurie.

    • Dorothy — There are five 5-foot tall windows in my writing space. When I open the windows (which I do regularly) I smell the heady perfume of gorgeous flowers; and one day a week I get treated with one of my favorite scents — freshly cut grass :)

  10. Great writing spot, Laurie!

  11. This carriage house is surely alive with dreams that you will put on paper. Wow! I feel like you’re living in an amazing place.

    • Kathy — It’s small. A perfect pairing with my minimalist heart and lifestyle; plunked right down in the middle of what the Garden of Eden must have looked like…

  12. Oh, Boy! I feel like we are in for a storm of imagination to unleashed! I can’t wait to read them and who better to tell the story than the post man? After all, until the age of computers and modern technology, he carried the stories of their lives in his hands. Just think, letters from afar, bills to be paid, birth announcements and resumes going out, funeral notices and college acceptances coming in. All fairly short, a rental house sees a lot of Hellos and Goodbyes. Plus the fact a Carriage House almost always guarantees a good story! As for a fictional Character to write about, possibly my GreatX3 grandmother who lived here during the Cherokee removal and Civil War period. I am afraid that if I don’t write her story it will be lost to her descendants.

    • Sandi – With the way time whips by, winter will be here before we know it. You’ll be in from your beautiful garden and what better way to thoroughly enjoy the winter than capturing your great, great, great grandmother’s story on paper! Yes indeed — and I’m going to hold you to it :)

  13. Carol Ann said:

    How perfect for you…for most any of us, really. Post more pictures if this idyllic home…so we can imagine you creating there. I love old gardens…do they have rare old species of plants, too?

  14. chelharris said:

    To find a writing space , where you can be free creatively , is like landing on heaven itself .
    Will you publish your work? I would love to read it.

    I love the windows in your house , they look like sash windows , we have those in our half house …still waiting for a date to move …I can’t wait Laurie . I’ll keep you posted .

    I have wrote a series of novellas since the new year . I write every morning about five am for half an hour (don’t know if you remember me telling you ) it’s fun and it works .
    Cherryx

    • Cherry – I do, indeed, remember you telling me about your wonderful writing regimen. And yes, the carriage house is definitely like landing in a garden behind the pearly gates. As to publishing, my literary agent is currently working on finding a publisher for my nonfiction work. I still have a long way to go in the world of fiction, but I hope to have that published someday too.

      Please keep me posted about your move in date :)

  15. What a lovely place to be working on a story Laurie! Can’t wait to hear more about the mail man’s experiences!

  16. Laurie I enjoy your light heart and adventurer spirit. Congratulations!!!
    You’ve also given me an idea of an option once I retire (or as I reference it “refire”}. I don’t actually plan to fully stop working for at least another 5 years. However, I have a much easier life/work pace and balance at present.
    Fortunately for me, I enjoy the work I do.
    Many family members are building retirement homes in other states (primarily in the Midwest; our roots territory). So for awhile now I’ve been reflecting on where, when, how and type of abode. Recently a close friend/colleague shared she and her young family is likely to move west (south of you). Change (and related transition) is a constant.
    I listen to everyone’s ideas and plans and continue to reflect. I will know (in my heart) when I’ve come to a good decision. Enjoy!

  17. Congratulations on your beautiful new home and on your collection of fiction–very exciting news. I’m a fiction authors and so yes I have written first person stories–many, and the narrators have been vastly different.

    • Leanne — Isn’t it wonderful to be able to write with so many different voices?!

      By the way, I haven’t received any new post notifications from you recently. I have the sneaking suspicion that I need to head over to your blog, UN-subscribe with my old email address and then subscribe again with my updated one (Laurie Buchanan at me dot com).

      • Thank you for your interest in my blog, Laurie. I think the problem is at my end. I got too excited when I realized that I could change my blog’s url from sweatercursed (which doesn’t mean anything any more) to authorleannedyck (which does). And so, without realize the headache it would cause, I changed the url. Now I think everyone who wants to follow my blog will have to unsubscribe to sweatercursed and resubscribe to authorleannedyck. I really wish I’d weighed things more carefully–hopefully next time.

      • Leanne – I’ll figure out a way to follow you at your new URL. I researched the bajeebers out of changing my Twitter ID from @HolEssence to @TuesWithLaurie. I took a very calculated risk and fortunately didn’t lose a single follower.

  18. patricia60 said:

    What a great find and just right for you, Len and the girls. And shady – not so hot in the summer time. No garden work…well, I think I would be ready for just the enjoyment part and the beauty any time. We have been doing so much maintenance here lately and this past weekend my hubs was stung by yellow jackets while attempting to paint the deck. He is extremely allergic so we spent a large part of the weekend at the hospital with him on a drip line….He is much improved today thank goodness but I apparently brought home some kind of virus which is heavy duty and fatiguing.

    If I were writing a story – hmm….I write stories all the time when I am making applesauce and jam and specialized foods. For my early years they had a pioneering gal character in them – then they changed to having a woman who battles through and succeeds in her career. Now the tale would be about a woman letting go, about healing the spirit and the soul to a centered, relaxed focus…..

    I actually do not think about writing very much right now, I believe I need a vacation and massage more than writing….but I need to do my Liangong Journal as I am at camp everyday this week. :) Writing next order of business

    • Patricia – I’m so sorry to hear about your allergic husband being stung by yellow jackets (it sounds like it was multiple times, even thought it only takes one for someone who’s allergic) and ending up in the hospital. Do you guys keep an epinephrine pen on hand?

      I love the characters you used to write about — strong women, all. Including the one who lets go…that takes more strength and fearlessness than most people realize. Enjoy camp! :)

  19. Congratulations on the new digs! Yippee!

    Writing in the “first person” is a narrative device whereby the narrator is speaking for and about themselves. Fiction, huh? You always make me think, Laurie! It would probably be some form of tragic love story where I find love, lose it and then find it again!

  20. Wow. Love your new writing space!!

  21. How very lovely Laurie :-) I would love a creative room like that looking out on a yard like that.

  22. What a wonderful spot you guys have landed in! You sound so full of joy and inspired. Happy for you guys!

  23. Congratulations!

  24. It certainly has been a while. Nope, no main characters and such come to mind today. Happy writing to you Laurie. :)

  25. Laurie, your new place looks lovely, and what a great project to begin.

    Your question is perfect because I am in the middle of writing a fiction novel in first person. The main character is a time traveling heroine from thousands of years from now who must return to our time to save her twin sister.

  26. Laurie,

    Your new space looks amazing! I am glad it has inspired you to create a new character to share your vision.

    First person fiction character would be a mystic!

  27. “A series of short stories told in first person through the eyes of a MAIL CARRIER”. . .this should be a goodie. . .are there still “mail carriers”???? This could interest Hollywood, Laurie, seriously.

    • Alison – Here in Boise mail still gets delivered to individual homes via mail carriers. I’m glad you like the story concept – I’m having lots of fun with it :)

  28. Laurie, your pictures are stunning! You certainly have a knack for attracting paradise, keep listening to your heart♥

  29. Fantastic Laurie – love your new office – I am sure you will be able to create some great stories there. And I can’t wait for your short stories :-) So exciting!!
    I wonder who I would write about – it’s a great question. Maybe my mother….who died too young. <3

  30. You have a wonderful writing environment, Laurie. Good luck with your project. It sounds like a very interesting book in the works. I know it’s odd, but my “first person” would be my dog. I am always wondering what she’s thinking. She’s slightly neurotic with anxiety and I think some of it comes from her observing us–her crazy-busy family. LOL! I think she has stories to tell. :-)

    • Three Well Beings – Having two dogs of our own (or BEING HAD by two dogs, as the case may be), I think having your dog tell the story in first-person is an EXCELLENT idea! :)

  31. I maintain a Facebook page for my pet cockatoo, so I think she’d be the star of my fiction.

    My sister has lived in Boise for ~35 years, and I’ve enjoyed every visit I’ve made to the city. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to see that sweet carriage house in person one day! ;-)

    • Change It Up Editing — And if I’m not mistaken, cockatoo’s have l-o-n-g lifespans (maybe not as long as parrots, but long).

      The next time you know you come to Boise to visit your sister, I sure hope you’ll let me know! :)

      • Cockatoos do have long lifespans—about 80 years is what we’ve been told. To the best of our knowledge, Snowflake is ~35 (she was a rescue), and we’re hoping she’ll bond with a grandchild in the future so we know she’ll have a good home when we are gone . . . As for Boise, uou bet I’ll be in touch, Laurie! Can’t wait to meet you one day!

  32. Oh what a lovely spot to be in, Laurie! I’m looking forward to watching the seasons change outside your window. And I like the idea of reading stories told through the eyes of a mail carrier.

    • Barbara – You can be sure I’ll weave photos into future posts from this Eden-like spot! I’ve been receiving lots of comments requesting photos of the inside. I may well do photo post because at 600 square feet, the carriage house goes hand-in-glove with our minimalist lifestyle :)

  33. Ich mag grosse Fenster, wir bauten 1982 unser Haus. Neu waren die grossen Fenster, die vom Boden 2 Meter hoch sind. Wir haben keine Vorhänge, nur einige Pflanzen u. grosse Kakteen stehen im Licht. Wenn ich im Hause bin brauche ich den Ausblick und die Weite.

    Ich finde die Idee der Geschichten von Carriage House aus der Sicht des Briefträgers phänomenal. Wünsche dir viel Erfolg. :-) Grüsse Ernst

    • Ernst – The windows in your home sound beautiful. We pull the binds fully open during the day to get the maximum benefit of the lovely view outside.

      Ernst – Die Fenster in Ihrer Wohnung schön klingen. Wir ziehen sie der ungeliebten vollständig geöffnet während der Tag, an dem man den maximalen Nutzen von der schönen Aussicht.

  34. Good for you, Laurie. This looks like Paradise to me!!! I wish you all the best with your writing, yet I have a feeling you won’t need it. The Inspiration all around you will “speak” to you. As for me, who I would write in the first person, it would have to be something I have had experience as being. Hmmmm…… Perhaps a nurse or a teacher …. or a dancer …. a barmaid …. Martial Artist …. Synchronized swimmer …. an animal healer … humanitarian… a kid …. a bad ass rebel …. Tee hee. I could be just about anything and write about it. Sometimes I wonder how many lives I have had just in this one. (((HUGS))) Amy

  35. There is no place like home….especially when it is filled with those you love…

  36. Wow, no wonder — it truly is an inspiring view. Hugs!

  37. Late to the party here, but this is awesome! What a house, what a view, and your story sounds fabulous! As for my character… maybe a lobsterman named N?! ;)

  38. Inspiration just oozes in your new space. How wonderful!

  39. such beautiful pictures. vw

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