Tiny Housing for the Homeless

One of the reasons I wrote my novella “Big Love,” was to play around with the idea of using tiny houses to address the issue of homelessness in our country.

Now, I don’t want to pretend my story is something it’s not, because it is mostly a humorous “will they fall in love” type story. But my protagonist, Berly Charles, builds tiny houses for a living. One of the key scenes in the story revolves around a community-wide build, similar to a Habitat for Humanity build, where Berly and her friends come together to construct tiny houses for homeless citizens. Her interest in tiny houses and the homeless stems from a key childhood incident.

So that’s one side of the love equation. The other side is Nathan Rafferty, a prestigious journalist for the architecture industry, who thinks reporting on the tiny house craze is beneath him. He looks down his very upturned nose at the idea of tiny houses—also for reasons that stem from his childhood.

When they come together, they are undeniably drawn to each other. So, there’s plenty of conflict, misunderstanding, and humorous mayhem to go around.

Bookmark TH Ehret

Since writing the novella, I’ve remained connected to parts of the tiny house community and have been interested, particularly, in ways to use tiny houses to address the issues associated with homelessness. Recently a story from HuffPost’s “Road Trip: Listen to America” series caught my attention. Watch the 7:55-minute video below.

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A solution to homelessness?

Here’s another interesting possibility that was featured on the Tiny House Talk website—stackable tiny houses built out of concrete water pipes that “measure just 100 sq. ft. and cost about $15,000. They can be stacked and therefore be used as a temporary housing solution in places like shipyards, under highways, or even in-between buildings.” (Tiny House Talk)

What do you think about these ideas? Do you have other ideas for how to address the housing needs of the homeless? Share in a comment.


Contains the novella Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, which contains “Big Love,” is now available. If you’re intrigued by the idea of using tiny houses for the homeless, or about tiny houses at all, this would be a good time to pick up the collection. All seven novellas feature tiny houses as part of their stories.

Michael Ehret’s novella, ‘Big Love’, tackles the hard topics of homelessness, revenge, how memories change you and finally the biggest of all: forgiveness. — From an Amazon reader review.

 


Mike-9Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as the author of “Big Love,” a novella within Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, he is enjoying his playground. Previous playgrounds include being the Managing Editor of the magazine ACFW Journal and the ezine Afictionado for seven years. He also plays with words as a freelance editor and has edited several nonfiction books, proofedited for Abingdon Press, worked in corporate communications, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.

My nomination for Coolest Tiny House Ever

 

Contains the novella

Stumbled across this video of an amazing tiny house called the Escher (named after both the owner’s child and M.C. Escher, one of the world’s most famous graphic artists). If my main character in “Big Love,” Berly Charles, lived in a tiny house it would be something like this.


(Read “Big Love” in the novella compilation, Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection.)


There is much more to Escher than just his impossible constructions, but those are what he’s most known for. No doubt you’ve seen a couple, even if you didn’t realize who the artist was. My oldest sister introduced me to Escher when we were in high school. With Salvador Dali, he’s still one of my favorites.

If you’re entranced by tiny houses (I am), you’d probably enjoy “Big Love” and the other six novellas in the book. I’d love for you to give it a try and let me know what you think. If you have a link to another cool tiny house, feel free to share here in a comment. I will definitely visit.


Mike-9Michael Ehret loves to play with words and as the author of “Big Love,” a novella within Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, he is enjoying his playground. Previous playgrounds include being the Managing Editor of the magazine ACFW Journal and the ezine Afictionado for seven years. He also plays with words as a freelance editor and has edited several nonfiction books, proofedited for Abingdon Press, worked in corporate communications, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.

A Book Lover’s Christmas

jollyholiday_2000pxBooks are great Christmas presents. No, they really are. Because unless you’re last-minute shopping and grabbing the first thing you see (been there, done that) a book is a personal gift.

Giving someone a book indicates you’ve taken the time to find a present specifically for them. A book says, “I saw this and thought of you. I think you’ll love it.”

We all have book lovers on our lists. My wife is a librarian. If I pick a book for her, I just about can’t lose. My mother likes biographies. My sister appreciates unusual cookbooks. If I can find a book that mentions Purdue University, then I am “in like Flynn” with my father-in-law.

What kinds of books do your friends and family like? Check out “Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection” which contains my novella, Big Love. It’s a great collection of seven novellas, each one with a tiny house incorporated. There’s some romance, suspense, humor (okay, there’s lots of humor), and even some architecture!

 


MichaelEhretMichael Ehret loves to play with words and as an editor, he is enjoying his playground. Previous playgrounds include being the Managing Editor of the magazine ACFW Journal and the ezine Afictionado for American Christian Fiction Writers for seven years. He has also proofedited for Abingdon Press, worked in corporate communications, and reported for The Indianapolis Star.

Get Onboard for Adventure!

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Think “Tiny” For Your Holiday Gifts!

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Tiny Luxuries

Contains the novella

One of the preconceived notions I was disavowed of when researching tiny houses for my novella “Big Love” (which is part of the Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection, published by Penwrights Press), is that these small living spaces are Spartan, utilitarian, and basically cute. But certainly not attractive or luxurious.

Well, I discovered I was wrong. And, as my protagonist Berly Charles says in the novella, “If you think so, you’re wrong too.” (She has opinions.)

Tiny houses are, by nature, utilitarian. That’s part of their whole minimalist attraction. But like a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian style home (also part of my novella), that doesn’t mean unattractive.

LuxuryTinyHouseToday in my email I received another reminder of how jaw-droppingly beautiful these homes can be, if that’s what you’re looking for. If you click on the photo above you’ll be taken to a Tiny House Talk article about that house. Treat yourself and watch the video. It’s five minutes you won’t feel is wasted. Oh, and the inside is where most of the gorgeousity happens.

Then treat yourself further and check out the reviews for Coming Home (and “Big Love”) at Amazon. Give the book a try. I think you’ll like it. And with seven novellas in one book, it’s a luxury you can afford.


“Big Love” is one of seven novellas written around the theme of tiny houses. It is included in Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection from Penwrights Press. Available in e-book and print . Cover design by Ken Raney.

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Visit my co-authors: Ane Mulligan, Linda Yezak, Pamela S. Meyers, Yvonne Anderson, Chandra Lynn Smith, and Kimberli S. McKay.

Tiny House Living May Not Be For You—But Our Book Is!

My novella, “Big Love,” is just one of seven great reads collected here!

Me and my co-authors in the novella collection Coming Home (which contains my novella, “Big Love” and six others) were attracted to the concept of tiny house living for many reasons:

We’re fascinated by them! Tiny houses are part of a current societal trend we found interesting—minimalizing the impact we have on the planet.

They fired our creative synapses! There were a plethora of opportunities to creatively integrate tiny houses into our stories.

We’re romantics at heart. They are, gosh darn it, sort of romantic and intriguing and fun—especially as settings.

Some of us, myself included, have contemplated living in a tiny house but none of us currently do. For me and my lifestyle, I see them as a fun second home to have on lakefront property. A place to get away to.

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My wife waiting in line to see this tiny home. We could live in this on lakefront property some day.

Fortunately, readers don’t have to live in a tiny house to enjoy our stories. You just have to like great stories about fun people who live in tiny houses or, in some cases, work in the industry. But what if you’re seriously considering taking the plunge to tiny- or small-house living?

That’s great! You’ll enjoy the stories then, for sure. If you haven’t plunged yet, but are thinking about it, here are 10 things to consider—especially if you have children at home—that may take the romantic stars out of your eyes. Or not, if you are really committed to small house living.

Diane and Chris, who author the Small Home Family blog linked to above, have two children and live in a 400-square-foot tiny house.

What are your thoughts on tiny house living? Do you say “yes” or “no” or, like me, “maybe” in the right circumstances?


Buy on Amazon.

“Big Love” is one of seven novellas written around the theme of tiny houses. It is included in Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection from Penwrights Press. Available in e-book and print . Cover design by Ken Raney.

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Visit my co-authors: Ane Mulligan, Linda Yezak, Pamela S. Meyers, Yvonne Anderson, Chandra Lynn Smith, and Kimberli S. McKay.