A Profound Look Back at the Week: April 5-11

It has been quite a busy week and not just with walking the cat on a leash because this is how he gets his fresh air now, since he can’t be trusted with complete freedom yet. This will change in June but for now, it’s walks on a leash, like some sub-cat life form. What goes around comes around.

The joy of new beginnings

I’ve never built a single thing myself and when I say “built” I include “repaired a house or a room, or designed an enclosed space”. I did tell my husband what colour I wanted for the walls in my study and former storage facility (a tiny one) for everything that couldn’t be fitted anywhere else. That’s been my total experience so far.

At the same time, I’ve always dreamed of a large kitchen and we happen to have the right size of space. It just needed to be converted into a kitchen. And this week we finally started taking it seriously.

We called a plumber to make an extension to the water pipe and he said he had a friend who lays tiles, so we’re covered on both important fronts. We’re also covered on the third important front—kitchen cupboards—because I have a friend whose boyfriend co-owns a furniture factory.

It’s how things are done in the country. In the country, you don’t go shopping for a plumbing company or a tile-lying company. No, you get a plumber, he knows a guy who lays tiles, and that guy might just know another guy who makes roofs because we need to have that fixed, too. If we didn’t already have a kitchen cupboard connection we would’ve expected a guy who knows a guy who makes kitchen cupboards. And we would’ve found one.

Construction of any sort can be superfrustrating but there’s a major difference between construction you are forced to do and construction you want to do. The latter carries a lot less frustration potential because you’re focusing on the end result and that makes you readier to meet the challenges of noise and dirt, not to mention bills. So here’s to new beginnings even if they’re just one kitchen.

The frustration of unfinished jobs

The other day I opened a manuscript I’d started about a year ago and after fifty or so action-packed pages the inspiration drained away. I blame pandemic-induced stress because I wouldn’t dream of blaming the fact I had just finished another whole manuscript in two months and there was the slight possibility I was tired.

Whatever the cause, I had an unfinished manuscript on my hands and that’s always an unpleasant thought. Since the inspiration shortage continued for months, it was only this week that I braved what I’m calling Fang in Fang Ltd. I read all sixty-one pages I’d written and was left with an even more unpleasant feeling than the inspiration drain. I wanted to know what happened next and I couldn’t because no one had magically written it for me.

It is out of this frustration that the strength arose for me to continue the story. I really, really wanted to know what happened next. So far, this “next” part has included a double murder and an arrest threat for my main character and I have yet to figure out who’s trying to frame her for the murders and who put a snake in her freezer and whether they know she’s a basilisk or are fishing but at least I’m writing again. Incidentally, I’m also editing the earlier manuscript, so my hands are as full as I could hold. Frustration can be a great motivator.

The torture of anticipation

Unlike frustration, anticipation is not a great motivator. What it is, is great torture. I planted my garden, if you remember, about a month ago. Carrots, courgettes, radishes, and onions, along with half a dozen potatoes, some yellow beans and, due to temporary confusion, three rows of lupinus. Which is a flower. Anyway, I planted them – and a few herbs – and I started waiting.

The onions came out and so did the radishes. That was it. What’s more, not all of the radishes came out because a neighbour’s dog has got in the habit of taking walks across our garden and had stomped on my rows. No potatoes, no courgettes, no carrots, and no yellow beans. Also no two kinds of basil, parsley, and savoury. And I won’t even mention the dahlias I planted everywhere I could because I want to have dahlias and that’s that. That plunged me into the deepest depths of despair.

Of course, the weather might have had something to do with this. It’s been quite cold for quite enough now, thank you very much, so if we could have some spring that would be greatly appreciated. In the meantime, nothing grows because it’s bloody cold.

The parsley made an appearance the other day and made me almost as happy as Little C.’s first tentative step. Some carrots came out as well and the first of the lupinuses because of course they would since I planted them in the wrong place and would’ve much rather they didn’t come out.

No courgettes yet, which made me furious and in a state of fury I planted a dozen more courgette seeds between the rows. It’s what the package advises, anyway, to plant several batches of seeds a couple of weeks apart so you have a longer supply of courgettes. If they come out at all. I see no reason for them not to – the seeds are too big for ants to steal unlike carrot seeds, they have had enough water courtesy of the climate, and I don’t think we’ve got moles. They really have no excuse. I’ll just keep planting seeds until I see some results.

The eternal wisdom of nature

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I almost forgot to market my books: if you’re in the mood for some dragons and vampires, or mysterious vanishing planes, try The Lamiastriga (which you can’t read for free on this blog) or Sky High (which you can read for free on this blog or on Kobo).

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