Books, Bookcases and More!

It’s been a productive weekend at OWS. After 3 hours in the cold drizzle yesterday in the name of soccer/magnet ball, I’ve spent most of the rest of my time inside – in the name of books.

I made excellent progress in finishing revisions to another chapter of my novel. I’m in the middle of The Big Scene, about 3 chapters from the end, and I daresay I’ve written an entertaining story, not a 300+page pile of crap like I had been thinking for the last few months. This change of heart is likely just another phase in the Writer’s Emotional Cycle, which all writers experience, when he or she emerges from a pit of creative despair and doubt. Or it could be because I’ve been breathing in vapors all day from staining the unfinished maple bookcase I bought.

I should have known finishing the bookcase would take longer than anticipated. This is always the case. This morning I thought it might take me around 3 hours to sand and stain it. I wish my friend C. had been there to say, “Put the crack pipe away, Susan!” because it ended up taking me almost 6, including nearly an hour of sanding and the rest of the time wiping on and wiping off the gel stain in all the corners and grooves, and in the cabinets on the bottom. It was like a scene from the Karate Kid, except Mr. Miyagi wasn’t barking orders at me, and I was dressed in a headband, paint-splattered green sweatpants about 3 inches too short and an old, red t-shirt. I looked more like a Christmas elf from the halfway house than Ralph Macchio. Then again, didn’t he wear something similar?

Anyway, I haven’t put on the clear coat yet; I’ll have to finish that one night this week when the kids are at their dad’s…the last thing I need are for my “helpers” to dip their fingers or toys or my wallet into toxic chemicals. I must say, the bookcase looks good in its farmhouse red stain. Yeah, I know: get over the red.

Would you believe that I was even able to sit down this weekend so I could read…for fun? (I gave up bringing work-related reading home years ago.) Well, I forced myself to sit down and relax. I knew there would be no point in treating myself to a manicure, since I would have my hands covered in polyurethane stain, so I kicked back with a book instead. I read a few more chapters of the interesting, funny and sometimes ominous story of The Cave, by José Saramago, a Portuguese writer and Nobel prize winner. I think I selected the book randomly at the store last year, or maybe I read a review of it somewhere first? I can’t recall how I found it, but I like it. The unusual punctuation in the English translation (commas separate the dialogue, so it runs together in one long paragraph), takes some getting used  to, but the story has kept my attention.

It will definitely look good sitting next to my book on the bookcase.

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One thought on “Books, Bookcases and More!

  1. Susan, it’s great you were able to set aside time to revise, and stain, and read. What a productive weekend. I love how the way you regard your writing has shifted, too. It must mean the story is really taking shape. Looking forward to reading it.

    Good luck with the polyurethane. Throughout my years in the research lab, I had inhaled a vat or two of the stuff — one of the lasting effects of being a chemist, I guess. As writers, the only fumes we breathe are from stale coffee and, oh yeah, sometimes stinky writing!

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