Category Archives: writing

A new favorite word

It seems I’m living like this, these days.

See here: Definition of zugzwang

atomic-bomb-test

Amazing! Much more concise than “between a rock and a hard place.”

I love adding to my vocabulary when it’s pertinent to what’s going on in my life!

J

Dear Pollsters:

  1. Yes I am registered to vote.
  2. Nothing you say, no matter how you load your wording, is likely to change my vote. (I’m a writer/editor, I play with words for effect too!)
  3. I will NOT watch the debate tonight. Why? I don’t have a TV.
  4. You do not know what 2 minutes is, or 4, for that matter. You really ought to buy a stopwatch, or use that function in your cell phone.
  5. I will vote, if I have to do it from my death bed.

 

I Wish…

  • I had heart-warming stories to tell about my family, or
  • Warm, funny, ironic stories about the holidays, or
  • Charming things I’d made, for sale, or just owned.

I don’t have any of that, well maybe the last one. I have some wonderful things I’ve bought.

I don’t know how to do emotions in words. It has just occurred to me that the reason I’m afraid, yes afraid, of writing the middle of any story now is the “rising action,” that is, the emotional start of the tension that makes the plot and thereby a story.

I know all too well how to express my own, but my life has also taught me that I don’t do emotion from the same perspective others do. I read Nora Roberts or other romance authors and frequently my reaction to the complications which heap upon the hero is to think  –“Run!” And, of course the characters don’t. Partly because if they do, there will be no story. But partly because that isn’t really an option people, most people, entertain and also partly because “regular” people just don’t get overwhelmed as quickly as I do.

More, also, there’s the thing about if I put *my* emotions in it? My default/brainwashed brain says: “No one will read it!”

Goodie. Another wall to break down — just what I wanted!

😛

 

 

Chore Status 9/19

to do list 1

Living Room:

  • Spackle wall board prep is complete, at least for everything but the hall, which we are NOT doing right now.
  • Primer, 2nd coat: (as needed)
  • Caulk/chinking: Remaining: Clean up
  • Trim pieces cut, painted, installed between beams
  • Final Paint: entire room (street, oak, kitchen, bookcase wall, hall walls (closet, bath, pantry), stair wall, entry, stair interior wall, and stair rail.
  • Cull/clean: get fabric to Jeannie’s for reupholstery. Window replacement on north side (trim removal done).
  • (long term) Replace window interior trim and mod hall door trim to match front door (and get rid of those F’n ledges!!!). Replace baseboards for same reason. Sand and redo floor. Move kitchen door?

In broad terms what remains in the living room prepainting effort:  clean up full primer on front wall.

We need to finish the clean up and primering. THEN we paint! I thought it was 2 coats of primer the manufacturer recommended. It’s two coats of paint!

Blue stickies on the door (meaning job has been completed): 20 21

Measure furniture. Make a floor plan so you move the furniture and books ONE more time, not more than that!

Hall: Replace smoke detector (future).

Kitchen: (Cull/clean) Get the 2nd Hoosier into the kitchen.  Dismantle the f’n 30 square foot counter and redo it to something saner!!! (long term) Pull the windows, put in the new wall and windows. Finish the sink window trim.

Laundry: (Cull/clean)  (longterm) Get the switch thing set up so you don’t have to pull the dryer out anymore!

Bathroom: (Cull/Clean) corners, window,  clear out.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. When reupholstered chair returns, put it here, not living room.

Attic: Get the remaining  base cabinet in there (or elsewhere) and the cabinet which came from the storage [cabinet  in attic 9/22]. Get the bookcases from office 1 into the attic.[1 base cabinet used in kitchen 8/20] Get doors on the cabinet. Decide what from attic to sell: wrought iron tables, wallpaper lamp, other hanging lamps, plate rack, etc.

Office 1: . Get the counter cleaned. Remove everything from the bookcases on the north wall and get the cases moved into the attic.  Bring in the new dresser currently in the wood shed.

Office 2: Clear off the blue desk. Sell/cull items awaiting that. (long term) Move the office function downstairs.

Dining Room:  Take down candlabra, sell. Paint china cabinet and relocate the 2 Hoosiers.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen.Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to 10 x 20 unit.

Garden: Continue, finish and keep up the weeding, so that the weeds don’t take over the yard and next year’s vegetable garden is a disaster accordingly! 9/11 was last time this was noted, but I’ve worked on it sporatically since.

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 44 9/11 “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.

Rugs: Almost nothing done.

Writing:

  • Memoir retype effort: 57.9% 61.4% 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.)
  • 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% now 9/9, 9/20
  • kitchen book: nothing new as of 9/5
  • possible future editing jobs: nothing new

More

More?

More culling and clearing out. Removed things which haven’t sold from the antique booth. Completely rearranged the booth. Took some of the culled items to two thrift shops as donations. Took others to the 2nd shop to try and sell there. Removed the doll bed from the 2nd shop (it was a display piece for my stuff).

Bought items at thrift shops — mostly china and glass.

More work on the living room. I fixed a few holes in the previously caulked logs and caulked the north wall to the baseboard. Also started caulking over the street-side window. Assuming that the window area is done today, that pretty much, except for touch up, should finish the caulking.

More work on the memoir. Just before I went to bed last night, I typed two more pages. Not a huge amount, but progress on the day.

So, I can say I made definite progress on all fronts yesterday!

I acquired, or was given: a retail basket display and a rug frame.

I Hate Smug

My problem with a lot of self-help blogs, house-decorating blogs, in fact many blogs these days, especially those written by most women is that there’s this cutesy “style” which is smug, deprecating, and I find obnoxious.

Sure, fine. It’s the way you and your friends write. As if  — I couldn’t figure that out? But I’m of another generation. If you were going to lecture people about how to do something in my time, you had to actually be an expert, not just moderately more accomplished than I am without any training or attempting to do what you’re talking about.

One of the people who reads this blog has worked in the financial sector for a long time, another has been a cataloging librarian for a long time. If either of them want to tell me something about their field, I try and shut up and listen. But because you can write an entertaining piece about cataloging/sorting things or money/financial matters, even if I read it, unless you have credentials or I know you in real life, I’m not likely to pay much attention.

I like entertaining reading. Honestly! I admire your skill. However, even if I try and make your “1 simple thing to make your home better” which involves 5 essential oils (none of which I own), a diaper (ditto), and a patio table big enough to seat 4 (ditto) and Gawd only knows what else, I will want to pitch something at the screen if I read about your perfect rehab of your “flat” in NYC you pay $100/month for, because you know how to shop, etc. ad nauseum (Look it up if you don’t know what that means!).

Every reader is certainly due entertaining writing. It IS possible to do that and not be smug. And I, for one, will be heartily glad when that notion occurs to the bulk of the blog writers! I read the stuff anyway, usually because I want the info. But walk away grinding my teeth.

If I’m smug — please call me on it! I hate smug.

J

For Those Who’re Interested

This blog isn’t going away. It will however, be modified a good deal.

The memoir, of the same name as this blog now has a domain name of its own (there’s nothing there right now). To purchase the book, you’ll need to go to http://www.teacupofwater.com . I’ll post a notice here when the book is available and when the domain is actually live.

In the meantime, if you’re someone who said they wanted to be a beta reader, please contact me. A comment here will be fine. I won’t publish these, but will keep the data private. I need your contact info (email will work to start) and then whether you want an e formatted copy or a dead tree copy. Sorry, no dead tree copies out of the US, too expensive to mail!

If you know me IRL, drop me a note on FB or email and we’ll get you on the appropriate list!

Just so you know, my “target date” for releasing the beta copies is JUNE, 2016 . It may not be a very long book, but there’s still a lot of work involved in getting it ready!

J