Not only are the stairs to the attic of different heights, but they don't go the full width of the closet, either. Nor are their depths the same. The first step up from the hallway is nearly 11 inches in rise and around 18 inches in depth. The top two steps are shorter (only about 4 inches high) and deeper (nearly two feet deep for the second from the top). Those first steps are the full width of the doorway, but two steps up, they narrow and there's a "shelf" of sorts that is stuffed with insulation and spiders.
Of course, this oddity of a staircase takes up room out of the closet. From the peeling wallpaper that covers the drywall used to smooth out the surface under the stairs, I suspect this work was done in the 1920's, at the same time other major upgrades were made to other parts of the house (upgrades that were then upgraded in the 1970's. I wonder if the workmanship on those other parts was as...interesting...as that of the attic stairs?
The heavy pipe was left in place, running the full length of the closet, although the last foot and a half run in the six-inch space left by narrowing the stairs (why didn't they take out the rod and widen the stairs? It's a question for the ages...). And the old wallpaper from the latter part of the 19th century was left there as well. Only the "new" section of drywall was covered with new paper - and it ain't new anymore.
This was the condition we found the closet in when we moved in all those years ago. Long, narrow, dark, with a pipe running along the side and a rickety shelf above it. A painted wooden floor and the backside of a staircase cutting a diagonal from just over the bedroom door all the way down to the far end. And guess what?
It still looks that way.
I know, you were expecting me to speak of some major makeover and believe me, thoughts of turning it into a pretty space have run through my head on several occasions over the last 24 years. I've thought of taking off the door and lining it with more shelves for books (because, have you seen my study? I don't have nearly enough shelves). I thought of making it reading nook, an efficient storage space, and a playground for the kids (although their grown now and that one's off the table).
But the reality is, it's a storage closet and the place where Mommy (me) hides all the Christmas presents. Funny thing is, the kids have always known there were presents in there. Sometimes I'd post a note on the door that said so and that they shouldn't peek. I asked them a while ago if they did. Peek, that is. Both of them said the same thing. "No, I didn't want to spoil the surprise." I love my kids.
It holds more than Christmas presents, of course. All the physical copies of my books are there - the copies I sell at booksignings when I bring my own books - as well as all promo items that I give away. It also holds boxes of photos I don't want to put in the attic with its extreme temperature variations, spiral notebooks that are only slightly used, folders, binders and assorted puppets (don't ask!).
My hubby and I went to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this summer (you can read some and see some pictures here and here) and not only bought souvenirs, we also bought Christmas presents. And then we made a day trip to Corning, NY and walked Market Street - and bought some more. And I've seen some things online, and I recently bought new copies of some of the newer print books, and...you see where this is heading, right?
My book stock currently stands at:
|Title||# of copies||cover price|
|Getting What She Wants||4||$10.00|
|Hardship and Hardtack||6||$10.00|
|Love and Learn||4||$10.00|
|Table for Four||5||$10.00|
|Tales from the Temple III||6||$10.00|
Yep. I'm selling them all at ten bucks a piece plus shipping and handling ($3.00/book). I don't have an online store set up, but I do use PayPal. You'll see some older, EC titles on there as well as newer ones. Two more titles will be added to the list before the end of the month.
If you'd like to place an order for a signed print copy, email me at email@example.com with BOOK SALE in the subject line. Include the titles you want to purchase, the number of copies you want, and the address you want them sent to and we'll go from there.
And I promise, I'll look into setting up a decent, easy-to-use, online store. If you know of any, drop a comment below!
So I've taken stock - and put it all up for sale. Merry Christmas!