Oscar coughed and shifted in his recliner. Felix checked his watch then stared out the window, dying to open it and let air into the dark room. Silence the whole two hours he’d been there. He hoped that by remaining where he was, he might do some good, even there.
I haven’t done one of these for a while but I’ve missed them. It’s a great writing warm-up to pare down my writing before I get some words in for Camp NaNoWriMo. I failed at Camp in April because I was M.I.A.: Lost in the Garden so I’ve lowered my word count goal in the hopes of getting my writing moving again.
So far so good, but fingers crossed…
Kristian from Tales from the Mind of Kristian is hosting this week.
• Find the muse within the photo or line provided and follow where it leads. It can be a story, anecdote, poem. Anything!
• The Story must be between 50 and 250 words, in 50 word increments. (so 50, 100, 150, 200 or 250 words)
• Link back to this post with the tag 50WordThurs so that everyone can find it, or post your response in the comments on his site.
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! ❤️
I am sure there are things that can’t be cured by a good bath but I can’t think of one.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
It’s a bird… it’s a plane…it’s a… tub on my front lawn. I should have sat in it.
It didn’t take long to rip out the old slime tub. Happily, there was no damage from the leaking. So, straightforward, right?
The new tub was supposed to be ready on Friday and I pictured myself having all weekend to enjoy it. Of course, there were complications and they had to come finish on Monday. So I had to wait until Tuesday, and the anticipation was killing me.
I got out my new bath pillow, tub caddy and even bought season 4 of Outlander. Bliss here I come…
And then I got in. And I tried to enjoy it, I really did. The Outlander was great, but it was hard to concentrate on it because I could hear the water dumping down the overflow. It eventually stopped, unless I moved in any way.
By the time the water finally stopped escaping out the very low overflow, I was hardly submerged. Not to mention, I have never been accused of blocking anyone’s view in the theatre at 5’3″ on a tall day, but I couldn’t fit my body into that tub in any comfortable way that would keep at least 50% of me covered.
This is how much water was left when I got out.
Ummm… yeah. Awkward.
This is not a tub, it’s a stub.
The problem was, I had been diligent in going and planting my butt in every tub in town. I finally picked one, went with the designer to order it and everything else. It was only once they sent the estimate that they mentioned the tub unit would take 6 months to arrive!
So the designer got on the horn and asked them to recommend a similar tub that wouldn’t take so long. Out of the two options, I picked the one I liked better from the pictures. I didn’t go see it, or sit in it.
TIP: Always sit in the tub. Always. Always. Always.
I have been dealing with overwhelming depression and anxiety for the last few weeks, so the thought of speaking up and telling the designer I wasn’t happy was almost impossible. But the thought of accepting a sub-standard, too small tub after waiting for so long was creating even more anxiety. Good times.
TIP: Hiring a designer is worth every penny.
I tried the tub one more time then I emailed her. I got all trembly and stupid because my MS goes haywire when I get nervous, but at the same time some of the anxiety was alleviated even before she responded.
Instead of swirling in the ugly of ‘should I?’, I moved into action and it helped.
What helped even more was that my lovely designer got back to me right away and said exactly the right things. She got the bathroom place to start scouting out longer, deeper tubs in stock close by. She asked if I would consider tiling because that would give us more options. I had originally wanted tile but thought I wanted to avoid cleaning grout. Truth is, I cheaped out.
I was prepared to swallow the installation cost in order to get things done right, but she’s also getting in touch with the right people to get a refund. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible. Go back and read that last tip again. 😊
So, I didn’t really want to call this part 2 because it’s more like 1.5. But there is no terrible renovation story here, really.
1) She had the foresight to only demo the tub, the rest of the bathroom was left intact.
2) We have a working tub again, for the first time in 3 years. I’m really happy I didn’t sit in it on my front lawn or I might still have a big hole in my bathroom.
3) There is no damage from the old leaky tub, the pipes had just separated from the volume of sludge (read part 1 here) so when the tub had the weight of water and a person in it, the water would leak out the seams and run down the outside of the drain pipe.
4) My designer is taking on the battle for me, dealing with all the logistics. It’s off my plate but I will end up with a bathroom that we’ll be happy with for years to come.
5) Using the tub and handheld shower with no curtain, reminds of when I lived in Paris in 1994. So many fun memories, I had to dig out the pictures.
Talk about a tangent. Anyway, all is well that hasn’t ended yet. Wait, that’s not how it goes. 😋 Right now, we’re in limbo but with a mostly functioning bathroom until I pick and order a new tub then wait for it to arrive. All of us spoonie warriors are experts at the mental limbo, it’s where we live our lives. I got this.
As far as the mental health, I gave myself a few days to rest and read and nothing else, now I’m back to pushing myself to get out of bed and accomplish one minor task, which usually leads to a bigger one.
For example, I really didn’t feel like writing this blog post so I told myself to just upload the pictures. I started with that, and then the words came. They didn’t want to when I just tried thinking about it.