Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Where Oh Where Has My Writer Muse Been?

That title may be misleading. I have no idea if my Muse has forsaken me, been eaten by rabid monkeys, or just taken an extended trip to the Bahamas since I haven't even attempted to rouse her in so long the thought alone is shrouded in cobwebs. The truth is, for the past three-plus months, I've been ass-deep in Renovation Hell. Yes, I finally broke down and took the homeowner plunge. Again. Who knows, maybe the seventh time will be the charm.

Those of you who know me may be aware that I'm something of an old house buff, though truth be told, it's an obsession that began out of necessity rather than any desire to court history. When you raise three kids by yourself on a shoestring budget, you can't afford anything but old fixer-uppers. You also can't afford to have anyone else do the fixing up, so you learn to do it yourself. I was fortunate in that my dad was also a self-taught fixer-upper who knew how to do just about everything and passed his knowledge and expertise on to a very eager-to-learn me.

That being said, after my last foray into home ownership, during which I was foolish enough to try to sell at the height of the housing recession, an act that took three years and cost me $50K in losses, I swore off home ownership for life.


Just like my other obsession, antique roses. once you get a taste of it, you can't stay away forever. (I had an old gardener once tell me when a rose tastes your blood, it has you for life. Which, I guess makes them the vampires of the plant world. That's why I stay away from them completely now. That was one hobby that went from two antique roses in an urban front yard to a country acre stuffed with over 600. Believe me, Dracula has nothing on roses.)

So why the change of heart? For one thing, I got tired of staring at white walls and not being able to do whatever I wanted with my surroundings. That just doesn't appeal to the bohemian-gypsy-hoarder in me. And while I love, love, love old bungalows, the starving artist budget wasn't there for one at today's prices. So this time it's a manufactured home, which also has the advantage of being easier to maintain. That's a major plus for me, since these old bones aren't as strong as they used to be--something I've been made painfully aware of during this renovation. An added bonus is the location--it's on a canal that leads to a river that leads to the Gulf of Mexico just a short mile away. I've always wanted to live on the water but being a Floridian, didn't relish the thought of being evacuated every time the sea gods decided to get frisky. That makes this the best of both worlds.

That still didn't stop me from tearing the place down to the studs and moving/removing every wall in the place to remake it in my own image of salvaged, wabi-sabi imperfection. And now after three months of non-stop destruction/construction, I will be moving into my new digs this weekend.

So what does that mean for my writing? Well, for one thing, I can finally get back to it. I've picked out the perfect location for my desk--in front of a window that overlooks the water. How inspirational is that? And hopefully, after I get settled in, I'll be stopping by this blog more often, and--fingers crossed--laying down some serious wordsmithing on the third book of the Erebus Files. Laec and the crew have been pounding around in my head for weeks, telling me my days of denial are coming to an end. No promises here, but I might get something cranked out by the end of the year.