What do you do when you’re about to begin a huge kitchen renovation project?
You also start writing a new book. Of course you do.
For the past several years I have been watching from the bleachers as writers got down there on the floor and dug in for the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge: 50,000 words in 30 days. Start day- November 1. End day- November 30. That’s not really a novel at 50G’s. More like a novella. But there’s no rule that you can’t write over 50,000. So I am. Writing over the amount that is.
It’s day thirteen of NaNoWriMo 2014, and I am currently 24,005 words into a brand new, adult paranormal romance novel. It’s happening, Writing in the early morning hours and late afternoons. Touching the Bones, is coming into focus and I am really having fun writing these characters.
It’s happening, in spite of my Olympic levels of distraction; ordering materials, fixtures, furniture and all it takes to transform a 1933 kitchen into something less; Katherine Hepburn stars in Little Women and more, well, me. Right now.
There have been three families before us living in this old house, and we’ve been here twenty two years. We’ve lived with the original pale yellow and black accent tile that looks like a diner Billie Holiday might have frequented for three in the morning breakfast’s with the band members.
A few years ago, an elderly woman and her friend were walking past the house while I was outside. She stopped to tell me that she had lived in our house when she was a child. I invited her in and found myself watching her face as she moved, room to room, lost in memories held in these walls for eighty years. She noted the tile in the kitchen being the same and most of the other features typical in an old Midwestern house; laundry shoots from the second floor, milk door that opens to outside to the drive way, small alcove in the front hall for the telephone-back when folks had only one.
As she stood in the doorway of the master bedroom, her hand flew to her heart and she whispered, “This was my parent’s room.” My full laundry basket on the floor suddenly seemed to defile the now, sacred space. As she left, she touched the Brass door knocker on the front door. I had painted the old door gold on both sides; for golden opportunities every where you look.She asked if I knew about the knocker. I didn’t. She said that back in the day, door knockers let people know if there was a specific crafts person or professional person living there-like a business shingle. This knocker meant a doctor lived here; her father. I had no idea and I’ve seen that thing every day for two decades.
It makes me feel a little bad as we take crowbars and hammers to the pale yellow and black tile that’s stood guard all this time in that old kitchen. But not bad enough to stop whacking it into dust and getting excited about the brand new space that I will [finally} have where I can create my food wonders.
So, as I am writing, writing, writing… I am also jumping at the loud sound of the doctor door knocker. UPS, delivering my new bronze pendant light.
My cat is hiding a lot. My dog is getting her cardio work in running to the door to greet/interrogate delivery and construction people; and I am falling into a schedule of trying to write before it all begins and after it ends…so… I’m a little busy. It’s a really good busy though.
And like all things that need to be born into the world or transformed, there is disruption. There is chaos. There is pain (hammer…thumb). There is exhaustion. There are tears. And then…there is something worth every minute and every stupid crappy thing it took to get there.
I’m smiling through the plaster dust and typing like a mad woman with band aides on my fingers.
Happy everything new.
On wings of words I fly into your heart…
P.S.: If you want to see a snip of the new novel, go to the home page and on the top you’ll see the appetizer menu- a taste of Touching the Bones. You can read chapter one there.