Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Variety of Caves

It’s 8 days until Christmas – at least that’s what the Christmas countdown banner on my personal blog says – and I don’t have anything ready except some unwrapped gifts. If you’re expecting me to say it’s because I’ve been working on Emma’s story you’re going to be disappointed because I haven’t been. It's on my mind throughout the day but that's as far as I've gotten. And I know it's because my writing space is gone, again, albeit for the last time.

Put your hand up if you remember me blogging about finding the carpet wet under my writing armoire? Then came the 20 sq ft hole in the wall to fix the leak and remove all the ruined and moldy wallboard, etc. It stayed like that for 3 months. During that time, my writing cave was moved into the sunroom until it became too cold to type in there, even with the plastic over the screen windows.

It was probably around mid Oct when I moved into the garage we’re in the process of renovating into a rec centre which will house my office, and exercise area and an activity/game room. I really liked my cave out there as long as I went out each morning and put the furnace on to warm it up first. Then about 2 wks ago, the temp dipped and it was just too uncomfortable. My fingers stayed warm from the typing but my toes were freezing in their slippers even with a rug between them and the cement floor. And I just couldn’t concentrate on my story when my feet were cold.

It was now the beginning of Dec. The workers came back and patched up the hole in the wall. Yay, oh yay, privacy at last! With the walls wallpapered and painted, we just had to await the carpeters. I love my new burgunday wall! Hubby put a small table in the corner where my writing armoire was originally but now that I was back in the house I saw all sorts of things that needed doing and Christmas was just a breath away.

This past Monday the carpet layers said they’d come on Wed. Everything had to be moved out of the living room including my new little writing table. Then yesterday they came and put down new the new carpet. The only thing left is the baseboards and then my writing armoire can be moved back in the original corner and I’ll have my cave back. I can’t wait.

But I still see trouble ahead. In the next 5 days I have to make 3 trips into the city as family members fly home. At least I’ll have help to decorate now that the carpet is down. But there’s still taking the kids shopping, attending Christmas concerts, baking and wrapping.

The thing is, although I love my cave in the garage, I always feel the need to dress before going outside. I need to put the heat on and let it warm up. I need to pack my laptop, power cord, mouse, house phone, hot drink, etc. This all takes time.

When my writing armoire is in the living room, I often start writing as soon as I awake and then I write late into the night after everyone has gone to bed. It’s because I’m warm and comfy and can allow my mind to concentrate on my story and not my physical discomforts. I believe this will keep me in the writing spirit during this holiday season when it’s so easy to get distracted.

What are your writing plans for the next couple weeks? Are you going on writing hiatus or are going to try to keep writing albeit at a reduce number of words?

And if you're a reader: Do you like reading Christmas books just in Dec or throughout the year?

Anita Mae


DebH said...

Hooray for home getting fixed finally, Anita. I've no real writing plans - but crafty, art stuff plans I want to do for family. Most, of course, is for Christmas. I've a tradition of making egg ornaments for all the family (haven't started yet...eep!)

I'm also adjusting to little Nathaniel being around and learning how to blend his care and my goals together. I've discovered mommyhood is a cool thing. *g*

I'm feeling writing ideas formulating in the back corners of my mind. I'm hoping that early in the New Year I'll be able to tap into those back corners and leak them onto written pages.

Wishing you Godspeed on your revisions...

Jana Richards said...

Hi Anita,
So glad your house and your writing space are almost back to normal. I can relate to the house being in upheaval. We are renovating our basement bathroom, and you wouldn't think it would disrupt the whole house, but it managed to happen. Our oldest daughter is coming home this Saturday so we need to get the bathroom, and her downstairs bedroom, habitable by then.

I'll be busy with work and baking and cleaning until Christmas Eve when we go away to visit family so I'm not likely to have writing time until after we get home. I've got a few free days before I go back to work and I've already warned family that they'll have to fend for themselves food-wise. I'm going to be holed up in my writing cave! It'll be a great start to my new year.


Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Deb, you sure sound chipper and confident even with a 2 mo old baby and the hectic Christmas season. I like that you're thinking about writing because you had some good stories over at the eharl challenge board. And now if you want a baby in your story, you'll have some real-life experience to draw on. Make sure you take notes on Nathaniel's activities because if you're like me, you'll forget as soon as he goes onto his next new discovery.

Always a pleasure when you drop in. Merry Christmas, Deb.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey that's right, Jana... you mentioned hubby was renovating the bathroom and you expressed your doubts. But it sounds like it's coming along now.

Yes, you're being assertive and preparing your family. I can see that writer's mind working. That's good. You give them quality time now so you can ignore them later. They'll probably be too busy playing with new gadgets, anyway. And as long as there's enough leftovers...

Yay, Jana.

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Glad the long ordeal is nearly over, Anita. You must feel a big difference in your mental state as you sit down to write now, knowing your workspace won't get whisked away again of a sudden.

As I've remarked on earlier blogs, I'll basically just be writing as per normal straight through the holiday, as Hubby's doing one looong stretch over Christmas. The hullabaloo will be limited to the two of us, so fairly minor in terms of festive catastrophes. We'll try to fit in some baking and such at least, but the holiday never gets too complicated around here.

Also since we're talking caves, thought I'd share my cave which I posted up a couple weeks ago.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hi there Hayley, that part about telling this on earlier blogs - my face is so red...

I've just re-read Karyn's questions and this time noticed I practically copied hers. Blech!

About your hubby working - mine starts his shift the 22nd which is the day our eldest daughter flies in and his next day off is the 1st. I believe our eldest flies back on the 31st. *sigh

Thanks for the link to your site. Your desk is so streamlined as opposed to your full bookshelf. Nice effect and I love the chair!

Anita Mae Draper said...

So there I was skimming through the posts this week but not taking time to commment. And somehow I missed Karyn's questions yesterday - actually that's not true - I read the one about the recipes and martinis but missed the writing ones. *sigh* Sorry Karyn.

Janet said...

The living room is looking great, Anita. A lot of time, but so worth the effort, eh?

Puttering away here with writing, work, baking, decorating, parties - Christmas is such a busy time. But it's such a great time ;)

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your writing cave after it all gets put back together. Squeeze whatever writing you can get in - but enjoy the holidays with friends and family :)

connie said...

Hi Anita
I love your burgundy wall too - because of the colour and because it signals the return of normality! Isn't 'done' the nicest word ever? It's the kind of toilet talk I can really appreciate.
I don't have a cave;I have a den of iniquity. I couldn't possibly move it. I'd have to stop and read ever little piece of paper of which there are many, many, many - about the same number as grains of sand (or rocks) on Janet's beach. Heck, the entire coast of Nova Scotia.
Sorry to hear your husband will not be home for Christmas! At least one of our sons is among the absent too. A book I once skimmed said July is the only month in which Christ was NOT born so I don't feel badly about having a 'moveable feast' each year.
Glad to hear your family is coming home.
Write over Christmas - not until the 27th or so and only is my son hasn't gotten the next of Jack Whyte's Eagle series.
Wishing you the very best for Christmas and a New Year that is 'write' for you

JoanneBrothwell said...

I can appreciate how being physically uncomfortable totally disrupts any creative flow. I write in my living room and during the cold snap my fingers kept getting so cold I was not only unable to generate anything creative, but my fingers were literally moving at about half the speed of my brain.

Thank goodness your cave is nearly good to go.

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Sorry Anita, wasn't intending it as a redfaced remark :) Just didn't want to seem like I keep talking about myself!

Hope your Hubby can portion off a decent amount of time to spend with the family amid his workload.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Janet, I've just been over to your blog and I can see how busy you are - supervising the men as they decorate you mean. LOL

And I'm glad you said parties. That implies you've made friends in your new location. Always a good thing.

Yes, I'm very relieved the reno's are finally done. Jessie flies in tomorrow so now she can help decorate on Sat. Extra hands. I'll finally have my tree up! Yay!!!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Connie, you'd be surprised what you can do when you have to.

So you write in the 'den of iniquity' eh? Sounds like you write erotica. LOL

Hubby will be home for Christmas - just not during the days. And his supervisor said he'd come in and help out on Christmas Day so it should only be a half day. This has happened before and the kids are very patient. They receive toys, etc in stockings and can open those as soon as they awake so that usually holds them off until Daddy gets home.

All the best to you, too.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Joanne, I thought that was you but when I read about your cold fingers in your living room I clicked on your profile to see if you were another Joanne from a warmer climate. But no, it's you.

And much as I love my regular writing cave corner, in the winter it gets so cold, hubby gave me an electric blanket last Christmas to keep me warm on those nights I write until the early hours of the morning. It works, too. Just goes to show you - I can write as long as my lower extremities are warm. :)

Nice blog, btw.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Nope Hayley, we're good. I had just discovered it myself so I knew what you were talking about at least.

That's one thing about hubby - he really enjoys spending time at home with us. Watching movies, playing Pictionary, etc.

In fact - our 33rd wedding anniversary is on Sunday (cripes already?) and this season is taking me back... I remember when we'd only been married a few weeks. He was always home and that was strange to me because my dad never was. Plus, hubby used to spend time with his friends at the mess before we were married. So I asked him why he was always home and he said he liked staying home. And then it dawned on me... most wives were trying to keep their men at home and there I was asking mine why he wasn't out. Duh. That's the last time I made that mistake!

Thanks for helping me remember, Hayley.

Helena said...

Very little writing being done these days, but I decided after NaNo that it would be important to do some of the research I let go by in November. Then I'll get back to the rewrite, synthesis, edit, or whatever the next draft will be called. I'm almost scared to read what I wrote, afraid it might just be a pile of garbage!

But whether this is just a lull for Christmas or a true post-NaNo blue period, I'm looking forward to getting back to it after all the festivities are over. Even tho my 'cave' has not been disturbed, at least until the little fibre-optic tree goes up in my gable window, it doesn't seem possible to write just now, other than short obligatory things like blogs and Christmas emails.

Seems like a familiar theme, doesn't it? Anyway, so glad to hear that you are so close to getting your cave back!

Anita Mae Draper said...

Helena, sounds like you have a healthy case of fear. LOL. But it's a good kind of fear - like a surprise pkg - you're hoping it's going to be good but you're prepared for the worst. Here's hoping your ms is mostly good, eh?

Doing Nano can wear a person out if they keep at that frantic pace. You deserve a break from your wip. And it's not like you're quitting. Blogging, etc is still writing.

I like your plan. And I'll be one of those checking up on you after the holidays to ensure you're getting back to it. :)