life, writing

Camp NaNoWriMo Prep

I’ve started a new project and I’m fighting the seat of my pants that wants to take off and just get on with writing, and am madly prepping and outlining in anticipation of Camp NaNoWriMo in April.

Last July and November, I was working on a project about chronic, invisible illness for the writing challenge. Well, that project now needs to percolate so I can gain perspective on it again.

When my husband and I were in our West Coast paradise, I finally screwed up the courage to ask him to read the first chapter of the first ‘book‘ (I use this term loosely) I wrote back in 2015. Two reasons for this: 1) he’s an English professor, so – pressure, and 2) it’s a rough (ahem, creative) interpretation of the story of how we met.

So – pressure.

Well. What the hell did I wait so long for? His response was so motivating, I jumped into that project, determined to mold the existing 20 chapters into some kind of proper story structure. As I tried to tweak it though, I realized that I was resistant to change anything. Not because I don’t think it could be better, but because those were stories I needed to tell.

But they’re not necessarily stories I need other people to read, not my personal stories anyway. What I ultimately realized was there is definitely a story that needs to be told, outside of my own personal experience, about that era and what it was like growing up as a girl in the Wild West (haha) in the 1980s. Particularly as an introvert at a time when that was not only unrecognized as a legitimate personality characteristic, but frowned upon as a social defect.

Besides writing any and every thought about the story on index cards, I’m also rereading Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell and using K.M. Weiland‘s excellent outlining resources to help get this whole puzzle sorted out in the next few weeks so I’m ready to crank out 50,000 words in April.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll end up with an actual novel.🤞🏻


Anyone else tackling Camp Nano next month?

Here’s my writing space. The pair of hummingbirds that live in our yard have built their nest in the tree to the right so they flit in and out all day. I used to hate that tree! This is the eating area in our kitchen, too small for a table and five chairs, so I ‘built’ a window seat out of Ikea refrigerator cabinets. Storage, seating and a lovely view of our backyard. Gotta love Pinterest! My other writing space (below) is weather dependent but it’s gorgeous right now so out I go. Thanks for reading! ❤️

Window seat writing space

Late winter garden on a warm sunny day. Perfect writing space.

Bathroom Renovation Part 3: Now that’s a tub!

You can read Part 1 here, and Part 2 here

Unlike the hobbit tub that was first installed, this is the tub I was after. Besides being much deeper, wider and longer than the flimsy all-in-one unit suggested by the bathroom place, it doesn’t have the non-slip bottom that asks for grime to build up. Hallelujah!

Best part, even though the bathroom store refused to take responsibility, my designer and plumber wanted to make it right, so they charged no fee for the initial demo, are paying for the tub and will sell the other one, to be applied to the next invoice. At least some people take accountability seriously.

The shower tile (blue accent tiles next – weee!) should be finished on Monday, then he’ll grout the shower and floor tile before building the vanities. Hopefully by the end of next week, we’ll have a mostly functioning bathroom again.

I had a momentary freak out when I saw the floor tile because it read really grey, and thought they’d ordered the wrong tile. Seeing it against the bright orange tile mat made the colour read grey instead of sandy brown. Seeing it in bright light reassured me, then once it covered the floor, all was well.

The most interesting thing about having a major renovation done, is seeing the images in your head take concrete form. However, it doesn’t always come out the way you imagine, or the picture may need to be tweaked along the way.

For example, I wanted the floor tile to run lengthwise into the bathroom, to match the hardwood in the hall. The tiler explained how tile needs to flow into a room, and should run the length of the room. Also, I wanted two inlay soap dishes but they couldn’t be centred on the wall because of where the studs are. So, we compromised on a big one with two sections.

I think having a chronic illness helps with the inevitable hiccups and delays that go along with a renovation. We’re used to readjusting our expectations on a continual basis, so we can handle the bumps with flexibility. Usually anyway. 😉

Out to the sunshine I go. After our freak snowfall and deep freeze, it feels like spring out there again!

❤️ Amanda

Last remnants of the old bathroom
Poof! Gone! The room feels huge!!

Ready for tiling. How many animals can you find in the drywall mud?
Now the tile looks the right colour. Phew!