Monday, April 4, 2016

When Just "Getting There" is a Challenge

Hi there! I'm back!

Not that I was totally absent from the internet for the last eleven days, but I was blockaded from using the desktop in my office for over a week, so wasn't able to blog last Monday. (For some reason, my laptop no longer lets me access the blog dashboard. *grumble, grumble*)

Why was I desktop deprived? Because we had a major project underway here at the house. We had all of the carpeting in the living room, dining room and main hall replaced and porcelain tile installed. I like it?

In the beginning, there was carpet...
Holy smokes, I LOVE it! It turned out beautifully, despite being a very aggravating and frustrating process.

You see, it was supposed to be done in two days, three tops, to allow for any unexpected circumstances. It ended up taking six days. Six days of having contractors thumping, sawing and stomping around in my living areas while I tried to camp out in the master bedroom. (Really! It was like camping. I packed a cooler with juice, water, food and snacks so I wouldn't starve or dehydrate while sequestered.)

Six days! And that was with us relocating all the furniture to the garage or other rooms, and my former construction contractor spouse removing all the trim, carpet and pad himself (a major undertaking) prior to the tile contractor even starting.

Carpet pulled, rolled, ready to go.
But it's done now. Relax! Right? Actually no, the job still isn't complete. Because along with the comedy-of-errors that wasn't at all funny (problems with the subfloor that had us debating whether to cancel before they even started that ended up requiring an extra day of sanding [Ka-ching! Add another 10%.], the sawing of hardboard inside the house that set off my very loud, very shrill fire alarm...repeatedly...and coated every flat surface in the house with enough dust to mimic the lunar surface), the coup de grace was...they ran out of tile before the job was complete. Because the store had miss-measured the square footage. Perfect!

Now that may not sound like a big deal. Just get more tile, right? Wrong. Tile is made in lots, and our particular lot was sold out in every store in New Mexico. Buy a different lot and the color, size and sometimes even thickness is not the same. Once laid, the difference is glaring. Yikes!

And on the sixth day....Ta-Da!
After multiple calls to customer service and various supervisors and a regional manager, the store did manage to locate more of the same tile lot out of state, and now it must be shipped in. And, oh yes, we have to go to a more expensive grout so the colors match when the tile finally arrives and is completed at a later date.

So, yeah, after all these trials and tribulations, the tile is beautiful. All except for that corner near the sliding door that is still bare hardboard.

It'll be finished in another week. Or so. *le sigh*

But I know the end result will be worth it.

Oopsie. Outta tile!
So what does this have to do with writing? As it turns out, this became a lesson for me. Or maybe a reinforcement. As I was pondering all the foibles and fumbles of this project, I realized how closely it parallels my experience with my second novel.

Running way over schedule. Check.

Unforeseen problems with finishing the project. Check.

Having to rework the basic foundation. Check.

Getting "almost there" only to find it still needs more work. Check.
Like the tile job, this one has tested my patience and made me question my sanity--and my fitness as an author--many times. I'd been so frustrated I'd once considered scrapping it and moving on to book three (just like we nearly canceled the tile job). But then I remembered the Sci-Fi Romance writers motto: Never give up! Never surrender!

What I learned from this whole ordeal is that it's worth it to stick to your guns and invest the extra time and attention so that the end project turns out right.

Eventually both the tile and my novel will be finished, and all the struggles and obstacles will be behind me. Hopefully, I'll be very pleased with both. Sometimes you just have to take each problem as it comes and find solutions to make things work. In the end, it could just work out for the better.

Just ask Mark Watney. :)

Have a great week.



  1. Having renovated a year or so ago, I understand. Boy, howdy I understand. On the writing front, too.

  2. Unless you've been through something like this, it's difficult to explain the level of frustration and aggravation it can cause. But once it's done...YAY!

    Thanks for your comment, Greta.


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