Update July 1, 2014

July 1st, 2014

Progress continues, but slowly, ever so slowly. My personal life always takes precedence, and lately my wife and I have been making a concerted effort to spend our free time doing things together.

This past weekend, we undertook to build a raised, tiered flower bed from landscape timbers, eschewing help from the male half of the species. When it comes to a lot of things in our life together, we have a symbiotic relationship. Each of us has strengths and weaknesses, we understand what they are, and we generally avoid the tendency, which seems concentrated in the male gender, to think being less than fully capable of doing everything is a sign of weakness. The raised bed project is a perfect example of this.

I borrowed my a battery operated saw and drill from my son (“Make sure to count your fingers when you’re done,” were his wise ass parting words), and we set to work. My wife is a precise, meticulous person. She also has the ability to see in her mind’s eye how things fit together. Such being the case, she did all of the measuring. I’m not especially meticulous (except in my writing), and I have a difficult time visualizing how things mesh together – I’m the one who sees the bigger, broader picture, not the minute details (again, with the exception of my writing).

So my wife inherited the task of measuring and marking everything. She’s not especially fond of power tools, and I’m not the least bit bothered by them, so naturally it was my job to do the cutting and drilling. The moment of truth came when it was time to hammer the rebar through the holes. I’m pleased to report, her measurements were correct, and each metal rod fit perfectly in the holes I drilled. The bed is now securely anchored, filled with nice, loamy soil, and a spray of colorful annuals have been given new homes in our completed project.

On the writing front, I haven’t been quite so productive. Time spent building flower beds is time not spent writing. It’s made worse by the unavoidable fact that I’ve been grabbed by Chapter 16, and I must – must – finish it before I can move on and refocus on Chapter 15.

Chapter 16 started out as a brief sketch to focus my attention of Karen around the time she was Laci’s age. In the process of writing that, and while looking for answers to some of the conundrums I’m facing, I had another of those moments when the muses reveal the path I have to follow.  That path is not pretty – it’s filled with anguish and heartache, emotional agony and questions about death. Once I started writing, I realized I can’t finish chapter 15 until I finish Chapter 16. And because of the anguish, because I share the emotions of my characters, I find myself weeping as I write. Some parts are very painful, and I can only write so much before I have to stop. That said, I’m very close to having a rough draft of Chapter 16.

On the other hand, Chapter 15 is actually pretty far along. I know what’s supposed to happen. Once I can get back to working on it, it should be a straightforward case of writing it out. Again, I have much in my life demanding bits and pieces of my time, so juggling everything presents a challenge. I hope everyone can be patient. There are so many variables in my life, that I can’t make concrete promises on “when.”

All I can do is ask for understanding. I will get it out as soon as I can.