“Do construction workers feel this tired every night?” I asked my wife, after the fourth straight day of installing our new kitchen.
No, I haven’t disappeared into the dark, dripping wilderness–well, actually, I sort of have. I’ve taken a couple of weeks off to remodel our house, which includes assembling a certified shit-ton of Ikea furniture and installing a bunch of cabinets. Oh, and then there’s the flooring that came yesterday, and the plumbing work for the sinks….
Taking a break from writing does have its upsides. For one thing, 12 hours a day with a drill set and a measuring tape do give the mind time to wander (except when I have to do math, which requires painful, brain-numbing focus that leaves me wanting to take a nap). A major plot element of The Book of Ever crystallized for me while doing my weekend warrior thing, which will speed along the writing of the two sequels to Exile. For another thing, 12 hours a day on one’s hands and knees, drilling, hammering, sawing, measuring, and lifting gives one an unprecedented appreciation for the comparatively luxurious idleness of a day spent writing fiction.
One also begins to appreciate odd things that might otherwise go unremarked upon. The peaceful, quiet companionship of the few solitary wanderers who populate Home Depot on rainy Tuesday nights. The compelling satisfaction of realizing that one might be ready for a larger toolbox, that the poetic process of acquiring tools over a lifetime of home ownership has reached the end of its beginning. The realization that one is no longer entirely unskilled at home maintenance and repair–that one knows how to patch a hole in a sheetrock wall, and how to install a faucet, and how to mill out a replacement part for the Ikea base cabinet that one broken by kneeling on the wrong part.
There is lots of writing not being done, and lots of episodes of Arrow building up in Netflix, and Guardians of the Galaxy is just waiting, temptingly, on On Demand. But it will wait.
Life goes on, gentle readers; make sure to have a hammer handy.