The Book Nook Inn coming soon to Spanish Fork
In a nutshell: I want to convert my basement into a literature-themed Air BnB to become self-sufficient.
I love books. My love of stories began when I was a small girl sitting on my father’s lap as he read to us on Sunday afternoons. I don’t remember learning how to read, it just seemed that one day I could do it. Heidi was my childhood favorite, vying with The Wizard of Oz, Black Beauty, and The Little House books for the honor. From those beginnings I became an avid reader, reading thousands of books. Literature has always been my way of relaxing, and learning, and experiencing other worlds. I love what literature has done for my life, what it has done for my children, and what it can do in the lives of others. My home is filled with books, just about in every nook and cranny. In fact, I am going to build a Book Nook.
I love helping other people. My house has been a home to my family of six kids for over twenty years. In that time, I’ve also taken in many other people. From my husband’s musician hippie friends, to teenage artists who needed a break from their tumultuous lives, to a Mexican immigrant looking to improve her life by going to college, to an entire family who needed a place to set up their yurt while they saved money for a down payment for a new house. Now that my kids are all grown up and moved out, I have an empty nest that I’d still love to share.
I love my job. I get to write all day every day. I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I’ve been on a long, difficult personal journey to simply be able to hold down a full time job, and now that I have it, I love it, and I don’t dread going to work on Monday mornings. The problem is, even with a full-time job, it’s challenging. In our current economy, my single full-time income is not enough to keep up in a double-income world, and I’m not an extravagant person (in fact, my husband always said he was grateful he’d married a “low maintenance woman”).
The bottom line is that I am grateful to have a job doing something I love. After I was widowed eleven years ago, I went back to college and earned my degree while I finished raising my kids. (Having four teenagers at home is not for the weak hearted!) After many long hours, late nights, and blood, sweat, and tears, I graduated in 2008, and spent the next five years working multiple part-time jobs to make ends meet, until I simply couldn’t anymore, and had what you could term, an almost literal, meltdown. I could barely function, it was difficult to even leave my house, it took Herculean effort to do anything, and that’s where I was for over two years.
Through the grace of God, and with help from some close friends, family members, and especially my six children, I have worked my way out of that deep dark abyss. Seven months ago, I was blessed to finally land a full-time job, writing (which is what I went to school for), and I love it. But, it is an entry-level job, with entry level pay, and is the challenge.
My income almost covers everything. Almost. So I have a monthly income gap, which is not getting any smaller or going away. My children are amazing, but I can’t keep asking them for money to make up the difference every month. (I COULD, and they would, but I simply don’t want to anymore.)
As I have thought about this, I have come to several conclusions: 1) I am not physically/mentally capable of taking on a second, away from home job. 2) I need to find a way to use the assets I have to become self-sufficient, and 3) I want to keep offering my house as a place for people to stay.
With those things in mind, I have come up with a plan, which I am working (and making slow progress) toward, of converting my basement into suitable lodgings so I can become a host for Airbnb (Bed and Breakfast). Airbnb is a website for people to list, find, and rent lodging. My Air BnB will be literature-themed with a Secret Garden room, Three Musketeers room, etc.. I want to provide some of that lodging for vacationers, conference attendees, and people simply traveling through the area. Eventually I’d like to offer writers’ retreats here, as a place where writers can network, get feedback, and learn from guest writers, editors, and agents in a relaxed and friendly environment.
In order to do that, I need to raise enough money to convert my basement to a functional Airbnb, because unfortunately getting my kids raised, and life in general has depleted my resources, and I don’t have the $$$ to completely cover the conversion, mostly because I need a new roof, too. The Air BnB will have a separate entrance, three themed rooms (based on literature of course) with one being a bedroom/sitting room, and two additional rooms, one with a king, and one with a queen bed. The work that needs to be done includes painting, redoing the flooring, putting in a kitchen (I already have the stove, refrigerator, and sink), and furnishing it all. I have bed frames, but need mattresses. I have some linens but need to add additional ones. I need to move a fence and add a gate, etc.
My children have been good about helping me, and I have family members who are willing to help me with the necessary work. I just need to come up with the supplies to make it happen. And that is why I am requesting help: so I can become self sufficient and give back to the community.
If you feel so inclined, I would indeed be grateful for any help, you can provide, be it financial, (Link to my Go Fund Me campaign) goods, services, prayers, or just positive thoughts and well wishes. In this post I have provided the details of what I still need to be up and running.