Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quiet Week in My Living Room

Sharon Wildwind

To paraphrase Garrison Keillor, “It’s been a quiet week in my living room.” Saturday I sorted my buttons by size and color.

No, really. A tool shop near us lost their lease, and at their closing sale I found some great multi-drawer storage holders, with handles, for a ridiculously low price. I bought three, not because I needed three of them, but because of the ridiculously low price.

It turned out I did need three of them: one for my sewing thread, one for my embroidery thread, and one for my buttons. Strangely enough, I’m suddenly using more embroidery thread and buttons because I can find what I’m looking for.

Yesterday I defrosted the freezer and counted packages of meat and vegetables. Then I made two huge pots of gumbo, had a wonderful lunch, and froze the rest. Cooking them down was the only way I was going to get 8 packages of okra and 3 packages of shrimp back in the freezer.

I cut out pants for my husband. I decorated a pencil tin to send to Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave as a door prize. (Note the use of thread and a button.) I played around with building a shrine from scraps left over from other projects. I read a book on folding origami greeting cards.

I read a heart-breaking book by a woman who had been one of the original nine Afro-American teenagers to integrate Little Rock Central High in 1957. She was fourteen at the time. As an anodyne, I read four mysteries in a row, staying up past midnight each night, dulling my senses (and some of my memories) to avoid thinking about desegregation and hatred. You know it’s a bad week when characters being murdered cheers you up.

My husband and I watched an episode of Dr. Who, with Tom Baker as The Doctor. It was the first time either of us had watched an entire episode straight through. Then we watched Ghostbusters I and II. Then we looked at each other and said, “Okay, that’s done. We don’t have to do it again.”

Last night, we settled down to watch and dissect an episode of Inspector Morse. We’ve been borrowing the entire series, in order, from the library for over a year; sadly we are almost at the end. I don’t know who or what we’ll miss most: Morse, Sergeant Lewis, or Oxford.

What I’ve really been doing this week is avoiding Chapter 25. There is a chapter in every book where I become convinced that my writing career ends here. I’ve battled Chapter 25 since May of this year. I even went back and rewrote a whole draft up to that chapter. Sort of the idea of if I could get a running start at it, the momentum would carry me into the chapter and beyond. It didn’t work. I sailed through the other twenty-four chapters, then boom, the brick wall was still there. Remember last week when I wrote about all of those tips for getting unstuck when a chapter wasn’t working? That wasn’t idle speculation. I’d tried every single one of those tips without success this time.

Today the block broke. Twelve pages, a little over 3,000 words and I’m happily sailing into Chapter 26. I can see the end of the book from here. So maybe sorting buttons, defrosting freezers and Dr. Who have some benefit after all.


Quote for the week:

Athletes recognize that two of the most difficult places/times in a process are beginning and 2/3 the way through. No matter what distance, about two-thirds the way through, the whiny inner voice will start complaining … or suggest that it really isn’t necessary to finish, or say that there is something else that really must be done NOW.

~Carolyn Kortge, The Spirited Walker


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, that sounds like a WONDERFUL week. Wish mine had been that quiet and peaceful.

Have you been watching the new Inspector Lewis shows on PBS' Masterpiece Mystery? Not as good as Morse, but very interesting.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Anonymous said...

We've seen the first couple of episodes. Since we don't have a television, we have to rely on what shows up at the library on DVD.

I agree with you that it's very interesting.

Jody said...

Sounds like work, but fun too. I wish my stuff was organized.
I'll be looking for that tin at the Great Manhattan Mystery Conclave.

signlady217 said...

I've not seen any of the Inspector Morse series, but I've really enjoyed the Inspector Lewis ones. You can go online and watch them on PBS (no television necessary!) I don't know if they have all of the episodes available, but they have quite a few.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip about the Inspector Lewis series. I'll go looking for them.

Jody, hope you have a great time at GMMC.