Monday, February 22, 2010

Shaking Things Up

What I'm reading: Dark Rider by Kathrynn Dennis

The Move has become all encompassing. Garage Sale Day went well, although we weren't quite as organized as I'd hoped, mostly because there was just no room to put all the "stuff" until it was time to stage it for the sale. Early birds were out in force, cutting into our available time to set up, which meant that after everything was done, I found "stuff" I'd meant to put out.
However, none of that "stuff" was significant, so at most, we might have made an extra $10-$20. The "stuff" will get donated, and our tax writeoff will be more than what we'd have made had we sold it.

As far as the sale itself, the Hubster and I were of different mindsets. I didn't have the energy to price each piece, so I had a sign saying people should gather everything they wanted and make one lump-sum offer. Of course, they didn't pay attention and asked pricing for each little bit.

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Hubby took the "get rid of it" rather than "make a little money" approach. I found that where I might have suggested a price of 50 cents, people offered a dollar. If I thought two dollars, hubby would jump in with one. Or he'd say, 'Just take it.' He told me to ask $5 for the lawn mower. A neighbor said she wanted it, but had to confirm with her husband. I told her I couldn't save it unless she paid, and she was okay with that. So, when someone else asked about it, I said I had an offer (leaving the amount out), but that it wasn't binding. He came in at $25, so my system was the more lucrative.

What didn't sell were our two heavy desks, and hubby's office bookshelves. The desks were a royal pain to deal with, as they were the sort that you put together inside. We ended up taking off a door to get one out, and they were major muscle strainers to get outside. Then, when the sale was over, we had to move them back into the garage, and they'll have to go back out again for pickup.

What I've discovered is how disrupting it is to have your surroundings changed, and how much you take for granted. We no longer have the family room couch or the chaise in my bedroom, or my recliner in the living room. I still haven't adjusted to there being no furniture in our bedroom and keep wandering in looking for the dressers when I need to get dressed.

With no television in the living room, I can't watch tv while I fold laundry or write my blog posts, two routines that have become ingrained. We still have a set in the den, but there's no couch to sit on, only a pair of bucket chairs, and they're not very comfortable.

Our offices are deskless, which means my PC is on the floor, and there's no comfortable way to sit and work. I have a lot of files on the PC, so I do need to access it as long as possible, but I'm now working on the laptop, The keyboard's a different size, the screen is tiny, and the kitchen table isn't the same height as my desk. I have a different mouse, one without the handy buttons for copy, paste, and open a browser buttons – all these details that one never notices until they're changed. And it won't be long before we have cancel our cable and our modem will disappear, taking our in-house Internet along with it.

And we now have no dishes, no silverware (except the good stuff, which I'm not using), hardly any pots, and I had to snag the last frying pan out of the donation pile because we bought eggs this morning for breakfasts – and on and on. We're using what's in the fridge, the freezer, and trying to get rid of as many pantry items as possible, but there's definitely nothing remotely resembling "cooking" going on.

Do you throw changes at your characters? How do they deal with them? No need to have everything be of earth-shattering proportions. Does your hero have to borrow a car, one he's unfamiliar with? Does your heroine have to start her day without her usual caffeine fix? What if a character needs something delivered on Tuesday, but that's the one day the company is closed? How to they cope?

As for stress reduction, I'm getting better at getting things done in smaller stages. Today was "get out everything for donations." Tonight we're going to make time for our usual Sunday visit to Stonewood Grill, just as we had time for our last Sunday morning Panera get-together with friends. I think we've met them there for coffee most Sundays for the last 3 years. Tomorrow night we'll have dinner with hubby's colleagues.

During the day, I'll deal with the next phase, which will be separating what the movers will put in the van, and what we'll need to take with us. I have a Wednesday deadline for that step, because the movers will be here first thing in the morning to pack up all the stuff I don't want to deal with (or risk breaking).
And how does this relate to the writing process? Sometimes you have to shake things up a bit. Try a new technique, like when I started my idea board. Write at a different time of day and see what happens. Try writing a chapter without going back to edit. Or, if you don't edit, try fixing it as you go and see if that makes a difference.

Tomorrow, my guest is author Mary Eason who's going to talk about dealing with writing the dark side of dark romantic suspense. I'll be packing!


8 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great ideas, Terry! I really hit a wall with my WIP this past weekend and, while I have some ideas what to do about it, I'm not exactly sure what direction I'm going in. I'm thinking about writing the end of the book today and then work backwards. Right now I'm about 2/3 of the way through it, so maybe that will help. Let's hope!

Those early birds are a pain, aren't they? At what ungodly hour did they drop by?

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

darkangelauthor said...

Oh, Terry, I feel your pain! We started renovations in June and finished in December...for three of those months, most of the contents of our main floor (my office, the living room, and dining room) were out in a portable storage unit in the driveway. I don't know how many times I had to go out in the dark or the rain to find something we realized we needed, and in the meantime we were living in a construction zone! After a while, I was convinced I would never have a normal life again. Interestingly, I was rewriting a manuscript at the same time...the parallels in the process are undeniable!

All the very best with your move...hang in there, it will get better and your sanity really will survive! :)

Empathetic hugs,
Linda

Jess said...

But I always LIKED those bucket chairs. :)

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth - I've been able to plot backward to some extent, but never to write backward. But maybe I'll try it if I need to.

Linda - we had the POD, but not in the driveway. It's coming back today, but I think 90% of what's on it will simply go on the moving van.

Jess - that's probably why they're so shabby! But the new owner wants them, which is why we still have them. Thank goodness they wanted to keep a decent amount of our furniture or we'd probably have moved to a hotel by now.

Mason Canyon said...

I don't see how you're managing. With everything you're doing - yes, but throw in moving and oMG. Moving in itself is a nightmare. You definitely have all your "ducks in a row" so to speak. Good luck.

Vivian said...

It's nice yet sad to be one of your "lasts". My Sundays at Panera will never be the same.

I'll definitely continue to be a "lurker" on your blog, keeping up with both your life & writing. Instead of being hand-delivered like your first 3, I suppose I'll have to order book #4 on Amazon.

Bon Voyage!

Vivian & Ray

Terry Odell said...

Mason - What I'd like to do is shoot all those ducks!

Viv - I'll definitely miss you too. And, for the record, you should already have 4 books. If you don't, stop by and I'll autograph whichever one you're missing. Next one is #5.

Terry said...

Moving is a Royal Pain. I sympathize.

Great ideas though. I always edit and revise as I go. Might just try not to one day. I bet it will be really hard though, I'm neurotic about it:)

Good Luck with the move.