Your local indie bookshop
I suspect every bookworm dreams of owning a bookshop and spending their days surrounded by books, talking about books, and recommending books. Over the last year I’ve actually experienced the fulfilment of this dream. I own the cutest little used bookshop in the Snoqualmie Valley in Washington State. It’s rural. I mean it’s legit farm country. My shop is located in what we call the ‘lower valley,’ in the town of Carnation. Population is about 2,000, and there is one gas station and one traffic light.
How did this dream come true? Well, I’m lucky. That’s number one. When my beloved father died, he left his business to myself and my younger brother. My brother runs the business and I sit on my ass and collect a salary. I’d rather have my father, but here we are. When my dad died I was in the midst of job-hunting, and with 25 years of experience in tech I had come to the point where I had too much experience and–hard as it was to admit–had aged out of tech. No one wants to work with someone who looks like their mom. I’m just going to leave it there.
So the “upside” of losing my favorite human on earth was that I didn’t have to keep banging my frumpy old head against the wall trying to convince twenty-somethings that I had skills to offer. I retired.
And soon, like everyone, found myself in a pandemic with nothing to do and nowhere to go. The upside? For the first time in my long life as a world-class worrier, I was forced to live in the present and just worry about the right now.
I took up embroidery and cross-stitch and earned a certificate in World Art History from the Smithsonian online program. I enrolled in a Private Investigation program, and lasted about 3 weeks before admitting that I didn’t want that kind of darkness in my life, and writing about detectives was more fun than being one.
So, back to writing, right? I hadn’t written a book since my bout with breast cancer, but way down deep since the third grade, I considered myself a writer. So it was time to get back to book writing. I couldn’t seem to make it happen. I just didn’t feel the compulsion to tell stories. Maybe I needed a different laptop, or I should switch to longhand-on-a-legal-pad. Nothing worked. I had ideas and I’d write a few paragraphs, but… Finally, I took myself on a Writing Retreat of my own design. Checked into a little cottage at Cannon Beach with just myself and every writing tool I could think of.
And that’s when I realized it. I wasn’t a writer anymore. And if I wasn’t a writer, what the hell was I? Cut to some serious angst. Luckily, I’d been seeing a therapist since Dad died and she assured me that this was a metamorphic phase. That I was in a cocoon becoming something and I needed to trust that something would emerge and I would discover what that was in good time.
What emerged, clear as day was: BOOKSHOP.
More next time… ❤
This is amazing. Can’t wait to read more.
I can’t wait to read the rest of the story!
I love this so much — so wonderful. I love everything you write but when you blog I feel like you are sitting right there with me.