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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

"Shag hides dirt."

I remember a canopy bed of white with a white dresser and bookshelves and a hutch. I had so many childhood bedrooms because we moved all the time.

In each room, I would fix it to look like the last so it felt like we hadn't moved. I could pretend anyway even if the accents and scenery changed outside my window.

I had a Philco record player/radio that had been my mother's. During one of the moves, I claimed it for my bedroom. On it, I played Jesus Christ Superstar, Janis Ian, John Denver, and who knows what else?

That room was my private space. I got to be alone in that room. There was always a shag rug. Plum or harvest gold.

"Shag hides dirt."

I had books lots of books and odd things like rock collections and little jars of rose soaps that I would get for birthday presents but would be too pretty to use.

My brother like to come in and pick up the objects in my room and examine them and occasionally sniff them. He loved to sniff rocks and books and little statues.

There was a crucifix on my wall and lots of friendship plaques and Kahil Gibran poetry and at one time, a giant picture of Robert Redford. I remember in one of my rooms I plotted and schemed for ways for my parents to adopt Laurie Partridge as I desperately longed for an older sister. I hated being the oldest and the one who carried the mantel of maturity. There were three younger than me.

The walls were white and it drove my mother crazy when I stuck thumbtacks in the wall to hang my posters.

In one of the rooms, I forced my new doll, "Baby First Step" to sit down, which broke her legs, but I was glad she could rest.

In another room, or maybe that same room, I had a goldfish for an afternoon, and I kissed it during every commercial, and by suppertime, the fish was floating.

I loved my rooms in North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee...There were states before those places, but I can't remember, and there were states after those places, but by then I had grown up and only came home for visits.


My sister had claimed my white furniture, and I slept in the guest-room.

My first room of my own

Four across or three in the attic