Shades of house-painting blues

I hate painting.

I hate the way it disrupts life. Things that are normally in the living room are scattered throughout the house. The family room is currently resting in the kitchen. The office is in the bedroom. And all the walls are painted colors that startle me whenever I come in (It’s not beige but blonde, which doesn’t really look like the real color blonde, but that’s what it said on the painter’s card)

It is interesting to see parts of my house stripped to the barest bones. To hear my voice echo due to lack of carpeting. And to find things stuck in the oddest places (just how did Daniel’s underwear get there?!). But still, I’m not a home improvement type of person. I don’t like to mess with hammers or chisels. I hate having my house in such disarray. I hate having to do things slowly to bring it back to a semblance of normality. And there are so many things to do get it back to normal, I start to despair if there will ever be such a thing as normal again.

This whole renovation process, however, does remind me a lot about the writing process.

I take a whole different attitude when I start to ‘renovate’ a story. I like to write and rewrite, taking my time, seeing what works and what doesn’t. I start off with the barest bones of a story. It’s pretty ugly, lots of shift changes and misspellings and paragraphs that tend to ramble off in different directions. But I like it. I roll up my sleeves and get to work, molding sentences back into order, yanking out words, fixing on adjectives, coloring in scenes to perfection. It takes time, but when I’m finished, I got (in my mind) a perfect piece of work.

So maybe I should see the house that way. See it as a story in process. ‘Course, this is a story that has a deadline of sorts, which means that we gotta kick it up a notch. But I just need to keep the end product in mind. When all this is done, this house will look bee-yoo-ti-ful. I just gotta keep saying that.

Of course, rewriting a story doesn’t involve getting paint on the elbows…

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4 Responses

  1. Top Ten Hints Your Home Renovation Project Isn’t Going So Well…

    10. Your molding is molding.
    9. You can’t tell which is the paintbrush and which is the toothbrush.
    8. Your friends compliment you on the improvement they see… as you’re tearing down.
    7. You’ve financed your home improvements with your Burger King Rewards Card.
    6. Your worst nightmares about spider infestations all come horrifically true.
    4. Your ability to measure, calculate, or count disappears along with your hand-eye coordinsyopm/
    3. You imagine the house bleeding as you remove carpeting staples from the floor.
    2. That creak in the floor turns out to be Jimmy Hoffa.

    1. You blog about it to avoid doing it.

  2. So have you guys moved already? Or are you fixing your place up here in IL?

  3. Not yet. Still working on getting the house ready. Should be ready to go on the market soon. Now, if I can only keep sane until then…

  4. […] Just think–around this time last year, I had no clue what the year would be like. My hubby and I had just started working on our house, stripping out the carpet and painting the walls, while we interviewed real estate agents who could best sell our house in the quickest time. In fact, I’m pretty sure–yes–around this date, I sat in what was our office and bemoaned the fact I hated painting, I hated having my life in disar…. […]

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