Early in 2007, I entered a contest sponsored by the “Room Of Her Own Foundation”, which was inspired by the words of Virginia Woolf: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write”. The contest required two samples of my work. So I wrote my very first short stories. I didn’t win the contest, but each time I read the stories, they still surprise me.
On the way home after being fired from her job, a divorced mother buys a mysterious box.
In another universe, in another time, a woman faces the challenge of choosing which career to pursue now that her children are grown within the comfort of an age-old women’s ritual.
For this part of the contest entry, we had to pick a quote, from the three Virginia Woolf quotes supplied, and write something based on the quote, with a 5-page maximum. The quote I picked was:
“Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics.”
At the time, I was also neck-deep in preparing the Láadan dictionaries to be put online, and I woke up about 2am one morning with this story spinning in my head. Eventually, it’ll be a series of short stories, spanning Angela’s life. Many thanks to Suzette Haden Elgin for both the Láadan language and helping me create a whole set of new words. And thanks to SF3 for giving me permission to put the original Láadan dictionaries online.