birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Penrice Avenue

A lot of light comes through the windows of my bedroom. Can't really remember the curtains, but I have a brass bed frame - white and brass. I love this bed. Back then, I didn't know the size. Now I know it was a queen sized bed. For an 11 year old. Frilly bedding. I can still feel the decorative pieces of the bed frame. I would count the knobs on the headboard at night to help me fall asleep.

Oh, the soft shag carpeting. No cold feet on this floor. My favorite place in this room was the corner by the window. I had a corner bookshelf with various sized shelves. I had quite an extensive doll collection and I would put the dolls into their "condo" unit: each doll had her own shelf depending on how big or small she was. Or how ornate her outfit was. I had a Spanish Flamenco doll given to me by a Spanish dignitary. She was almost 2 feet tall in a beautiful, red lace dress. Even a comb in her jet black, shiny synthetic hair. I wished, wished, wished she would come to life and dance for me. Her upstairs neighbor was an Eskimo doll in real leather and fur. Complete with a baby papoose. The fur was so soft. The Brazilian doll was "interchangeable" meaning that you could flip her skirt up and over her head to reveal another doll wearing a different outfit. If I got tired of one doll, I could play with the other. Both "sides" were tan and colorful. I had barbie dolls who were show offs. Skimpy dresses and yearning for the Barbie Winnebago so they could go exploring. I had a Southern Belle doll made out of handkerchiefs. She was always gracious to the other dolls. I created dialogue between all these dolls and would play for hours and hours with them hoping upon hoping that they would come to life. Just once. Just one of them. At night I could lay in bed and watch them. And boy did I watch them, just in case one moved or waved. I'm still waiting. I have only a few of these dolls left in an old suitcase. Maybe they are waiting on me now.

The Tennis Ball

My Childhood Bedroom