Thursday, April 05, 2012

spring cleaning

My kitchen on life support.    
Still in the green room with my manuscript (THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES) patiently waiting on editor response, and sinking my teeth into my next project because, that's what you have to do, right? And because I truly want to approach the Empress freshly when next I pop in (hopefully after an editor has fallen in love enough to bite, and sends me editorial notes OR, less hopefully, if the editors pass and I go back in for major overhaul), this new project is quite different than the fantastical historical retelling I've been writing over the past year-and-a-half. I shall leave it at that, for the moment, but suffice it to say, I'm quite engaged with a couple of new characters and am venturing into the world of, dare I say it, High Concept.

A novel that can be boiled down to a compelling sentence. A potboiler, if you will.

In concert with my new project enthusiasm is emergency kitchen surgery. We had a slowly leaking dishwasher which quietly squirted water under the floor which, over time, resulted in a swollen mess. My kitchen has spent the last two days in ICU, and this morning was prepped for asbestos abatement. The floor is being wrenched from the house as I type, and placed in a tube, piece by piece, by a brave crew bedecked in Hazmat couture.

The patient is ready...
If you feel a metaphor coming, you're ding, ding, ding, right! Like my kitchen, I'm aesthetically between one state and another. Ridding myself of vintage bits, in preparation for the latest in market appeal. Think of my next project in terms of sustainable. LEED-cert, even. Travertine tile, bamboo cabinets. Energy wise appliances. New and spare and exciting.

But, unlike my kitchen, I'm not tossing my last project into a toxic waste dumpster. Far from it. No, if anything, when next I return to the Empress, she will be upcycled and glorious. Destined for new life. And I'll be re-engaging with her sitting at a granite counter top, gazing out at the late spring flowers, through tempered accordion glass.


  1. Love this as metaphor! Though probably less fun as a literal kitchen project! Hope the best with the editor!!!

  2. Thanks Yuvi. I remember when I would send stories out and the rejections -- they'd always prompt me to get on my hands and knees and scrub my kitchen baseboards. So I guess this is a proportional upgrade, this disemboweling my kitchen in anticipation of novel rejections?

  3. This makes me feel relieved that I still rent and terrified of the day I do own my own house. If something like this happened in my apartment right now, I'd have the onsite maintenance worker (who just might be the best person in the universe) fix it in an hour.

    Hm. Not sure what that says about my writing...

  4. This is a big fear of mine, right up there with the plane crashing on take-off or landing. Is the good news that you get a new floor? I can't even imagine how much work it was to move everything (everything!) out of your cabinetry to prepare for this. Of course you have no kitchen.

    Hopefully there's a cocktail cabinet in the house (other than the kitchen) and the martini can soften all that plastic. Wish I were there to admire that plastic with you. I'd bring snacks.

    (p.s. I'd like to note that I had to go back in this short comment and take out "And" and "But" all over the place at the opening of sentences. Fucking transitions.

  5. Laura and Teri,

    Thanks for weighing in on the disaster. I was just thinking how much simpler my life would be if I were renting a condo somewhere --- it's true. Now I'm all derailed, thinking about kitchen remodeling and how many hours I'll have to work to pay for it. Totally leapfrogging the writing. GRRRRRRRRRRR.

    Fucking transitions is right, Teri. It's all about the transitions. Working:writing:parenting:blah:blah

    The liquor cabinet, btw, is safely intact. While we're in limbo, with our cobbled together floor made of plywood, industrial carpet, and last year's homework assignment's from my husband's archives of student work (seriously--that's what he used to shim the unevenesses), the whiskey will be in reach.


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