New Year's superstitions: wear red for luck and do whatever it is you love to do and want  to be doing throughout the coming  year. Fortunately, the Metropolitan Opera shop had a red 2011-2012 season tee shirt, which I wore New Year's day with red undies and carnelian earrings. And that afternoon I started sketching a new design for my house. The design I came up with at Yestermorrow in September 2008 was rectangular. But lately I've been thinking about building a round house. When I told that to my friend Manuela at dinner this past December 1, she told me that was the kind of house she'd always imagined me in.

I started researching round houses. Apparently they hold up better than square or rectangular buildings during storms, and are more energy efficient. If you stop and think about it, so much in nature is round or curved. I found some round house floor plans on the web, and began thinking about how to divide up a round space.

Then, on December 31, I had a dream in which I heard the words: "The library is the heart of the house."

I've been planning for a library all along--what writer and/or devoted reader wouldn't?

And so on January 1 I sketched a house plan where the library would be in the very center of the house--a long room with shelves on both sides, and an arched opening--no door.

I'm excited about my house plan. And I've given my home-to-be a name: Grove House, for the grove of pine trees on the land.