I told myself growing up that I wouldn’t be someone who is busy all the time. I’m here to tell you I failed.
I have a talent for coming up with make-work projects. Cars, guitars, bikes, and repurposing random things into furniture. Books fall into this category as well, but more on that later. My list of projects has been shrinking of late, but I’m sure I’ll come up with more soon.
The latest build came about because I wanted a new corner shelf near the entrance of the house. I’ve built a couple other crate shelves before, but this time wanted to try something different. We found the crates at Ikea. Because they need to be assembled, I thought it would be easier to refinish. I have a quick and easy refinish method that has become my go-to. Paint, distress, stain, and poly. For most projects, it’s a straightforward process. This was not one of those times. It was a pain because of all the slats and nooks and crannies. When we finished, I swore I would never do this again, but I’ve said that before. When it came time to assemble, I wasn’t happy with simply backing them into the corner, so I came up with an arrangement that I think works well. Once in place, washers and bolts run through the slats keep it together and minimise the worry about it shifting or tipping. The finishing touches came from all over the house. The J is in memoriam of my mother-in-law, Jane Arams.
The books came from my Paternal Grandma. She joined a book club in the 50’s and recently decided to pass them along. The camera is something I picked up at a garage sale years ago, but it shows my appreciation for photography and old things.
I purchased the log vase about a year ago, but it never really found a home, until now. The sunflowers are for my wife, Alicia, because they are her favourite flower.
The side tables I built last year were more straight forward. The wood came from the attic of an old shed on my Maternal Grandma’s property as we were readying it for sale. After moving our main floor living room around, I knew we needed some sort of table for coffee cups and books as we sit by the fire, and of course I would rather build than buy. They aren’t perfect, like most things in life, but that in itself reminded me of a few things. Slow down, pay attention, and eventually, things will get better.
My desk was the project that started this whole situation off. I’m not sure how I got the idea, but after finding a pommel horse for free on the local buy and sell, I tore it down and made a plan. It doesn’t get used as much as it should, I tend to sit down on the couch and do much of my work and writing in front of the TV, but it’s something I’m proud to say that I made. It’s unique, and functional, which to me is a win-win.
The anniversary of my first self-published effort is fast approaching. It was intended to be practice for my first novel, but as that project blew up into something more complex, a lot of time has passed, and I find myself more than a little out of practice. At least that’s what the anxiety is telling me. Somewhere along the line I decided to put together a companion, a short-short compilation. After realizing the amount of work I was creating, another project on top of a number of other projects, I decided to add the new stories to the original compilation. The book now benefits from new and better stories, a refined edit, and a few small tweaks to the cover. It also looks a lot nicer, thanks to a little program called Vellum.
Traditionally I format for print using Word, and for ebook using a program called Jutoh. There’s nothing wrong with either, but I’m a huge fan of simple and intuitive. As I write this, I have approved the interior file, and ordered test copies. The plan is to relaunch on its anniversary, February 21st, but it will be a quiet affair. I wanted this effort to bring it to the level I had hoped for it initially. It’s never too late to be better.
If you want to learn more about Vellum, click here.
In other news… Into the Storm is officially in the copy edit stage. If I haven’t upset my editor too much, it should be ready for another pass soon. The cover is coming together, and I’m excited for the final product. The launch. Is planned for April, and it’s a little weird being so far ahead of schedule, but we have an ambitious launch plan so. I know we will need all the time we can get.
My focus for the moment is going through and making revisions to Surviving the Storm. I haven’t looked at it in a while, not really since I chopped the first 2,000 words or so after I realized it wasn’t starting in the right place. I thought it was in pretty good shape, that opinion quickly changed. As you can see, there is a lot of red pen to deal with, or in the case of the first few pages, a lot of pencil.
It’s daunting, but I know I’ll get through it. I need to, I’ve been working on this book for almost three years now, and I’m ready to move on to any one of the eight other projects that I have in the queue. I know I’ll be proud of it, but it’s a moment in time. To some extent I’m ready to show how I’ve grown, how I’m better as a writer.