Writing: Unfinished Business

Whenever Kevin asks me how writing went at the end of the day, I give him a sour look. Even if I wrote a whole new scene or turned something from a disaster to a tour de force, I can almost never say I had a good day of writing. I’ve always felt weird about that. Why can’t I just say it was great? Everything’s great!

Then we experienced some plumbing issues at the Whidbey cabin, and now I know exactly why my answer is always an irritated, “I don’t know! Why do you keep asking that?!”

We went to replace faucets in the kitchen and bathroom. Should be easy. A no-brainer! We’ll have it all fixed up in no-time!

(Note: This is the same way I feel when I open up a scene to edit.)

But then things wouldn’t come unscrewed, and then leaks showed up, and then bigger leaks showed up, and then tubes wouldn’t hook up, and things broke, and things turned on when they should have been turned off, and there was black mold on the baseboards and it appears the hot water tank needs to be replaced.

We went to solve two problems and ended up with 20 more, and by then it was an hour past Kevin’s bedtime, so we just left it like this.


Okay, so the kitchen sink doesn’t work, but don’t despair—we can wash dishes in the bathroom!


Oh. Right.

It actually still works, so don’t freak out. If you want cold water, use the faucet above the sink and if you want hot water, use one that’s dangling upside-down in the cabinet. It works! I promise!

If we were talking about my novel, this is where I’d say, “I tried to make the beginning shorter but it got twice as long, and chapter 16 completely disappeared–I’m TOTALLY FREAKING OUT–and I realized that I have 4 denouements and all of them have to be there but I can only keep one, and I have to change all the colors in the book to numbers.”

This is also where Kevin would say, “But that’s great! You made progress!”

This, folks, is what progress looks like.


It’s a lot messier, a lot uglier, and a lot less satisfying than I ever imagined progress could be. But it works. Kind of.

It’s also why, when Kevin asks me how writing went today, I tell him I DON’T EVEN KNOW.

Still, as much as I hate answering the question, I love that he keeps asking because it shows he’s not afraid of me, which is good because I am often very afraid of myself.

If you’ll excuse me now, I have some dishes to wash in the swimming pool, which is decidedly color #2 today.

And if you know the name of a good plumber, send it my way—I could use some help with the novel.

Ginger-glazed halibut
Scalloped potatoes
Chocolate layer cake

One thought on “Writing: Unfinished Business

  1. It’s Ok Rachel.
    Everything will be all right in the end.
    If it’s not all right, it’s not the end.

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