Sunday, November 20, 2011

What Happens While You’re Making Other Plans

The last couple of months have been less than productive, at least from a writing perspective. I ended my summer hiatus and got about ten chapters into the next project when basement leakage demanded my attention. The Bouchercon trip was cancelled, the basement was emptied, and the floors were dug up with jackhammers to install a water management system guaranteed never to let water into the house again. (It has better not, for what it cost me.)

Then the damage done by the water people had to be fixed. Since The Beloved Spouse had been trying to make her basement craft room fit her needs since we moved in over five years, we bit the bullet and had that job done while the basement was empty. About halfway through that project I rolled over in bed and poked myself in the eye with my thumb, resulting in a corneal abrasion that required an eye patch for a couple of days. (I had a clear plastic eye guard from my cataract surgery, but the only dark patch we could find to shield the eye from light was a Halloween costume pirate patch.)

Dana with Eye Patch

(Photo taken at Subway, where I requested, and was denied, a Pirate Discount.)

Both projects took longer than expected (of course), and everything that lived in the basement is boxed up and jammed into every square foot we could find in the living area of the house. We’ve been living in a place that would repel the hosts of one of those hoarders shows on cable.

At first I tried to write, and what I wrote was, as my friend Declan Burke would say, shite. I tried to re-write, and all I did was re-shite. My Happy Place had been destroyed. Nowhere in my house could I sit and not see work waiting to be done, except in the upstairs bathroom with the door closed.

Things started to get better a couple of weeks ago. TBS and I have painted, rebuilt shelves, laid tile, and generally done our best to qualify for poster children on DIY network. Today we laid the carpet in her craft room and deployed the furniture. The beginning of the end is upon us.

About the same time as we were able to start work, ideas started climbing out from under the rocks where they’d taken refuge. The beginnings of two of the mob stories I’m to write for a collection with Charlie Stella are on the disk now, with the format of a third. A good premise and the beginnings of an outline for the next novel, as well. To prime the pump, I’ve put myself on a schedule of blogging every other day, either here or From the Home Office. Over the long weekend, I hope to have time to look into formatting a novel for Kindle myself. (E-Book Architects did a great job at a very reasonable price for me, and they may still get this one. I’m curious about the process and want to see how close I can get.)

I expect to be back in the swing of things well before Christmas. This is yet another reason I’m glad I stopped worrying about getting a contract. Life intervenes, and life is more important than writing. It’s certainly more unpredictable.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I think that's the first photo I have ever seen of you. And it suits your chosen work.
I am going to take some time off myself. Hope we both are productive.

Mike Dennis said...

I left a review of WILD BILL on Amazon, Dana, and also on my Facebook author page.

Dana King said...

Thank you, Mike. That's a very gracious review, and very nice of you to put the link on your Facebook page.

Photographe à Dublin said...

The stresses you have experienced reminded me to share some tips on using essential oils.

Winter here is so tiring I got some German camomile oil recently and thought it might be useful for other posters as well.

It has some contraindications so best to research it on the internet or talk to a pharmacist before using it, just to be on the safe side.

Here's to a restful Christmas season all round...