Friday, May 28, 2010

Ready, Willing and Able -- well, sort of, anyway


So I have a rare, long, lovely weekend in front of me. And I plan to fill it with a long-overdue date.

With a paint brush.

Sometime in the early fall, I decided that I should tackle my ugly kitchen cabinets and fix them up. They were plain flat doors, and I wanted to make them look Shaker style. The Sister, ever the creative one, suggested that I use screen door molding (big, wide, thin molding) and attach it to the doors and drawers.

It was quite a process for The Husband and me. But I got over my fear of pneumatic stapler/nailers and we conquered it. I felt oh-so-empowered.

You have to understand: I'm so not a DIYer. The Sister will call me up and say, "Turn on your TV! Weekend Warriors is on!" I flip on the tube to see two supposedly sane individuals ripping out their bathroom on a Friday afternoon -- knowing that they've got to show up for work in a reasonably hygenic state on a Monday morning.

While The Husband and I did complete the mechanics of the renovation, we didn't do the cosmetic stuff -- the painting. I bought the paint, but then it turned into the rainiest, coldest winter in Georgia history, and we kept waiting.

Presently, it happened. I forgot all about those lonely cans of paint. (See what happens when you don't OHIO?)

But now, the weather is warm, I have a Monday off, and I'm breaking out the paint.

The excitement I feel now is strangely akin to opening up my Word document list of story ideas that I keep. I have no problem coming up with stories -- it's just the getting 'round to it that causes me grief.

But like my paint cans, each story idea waits patiently for its turn. Once I write them down, they no longer hiss, "Psst! Over here! I'm a much better story than the one you're working on!"

I know other writers who juggle more than one WIP at a time. I can't. It drives me almost to the brink when I have to do revisions on one book in the middle of writing a contracted MS. I manage it, but not without a lot of sputtering.

So how do you manage to resist the siren call of the Next Big Story Idea? And what will you spend Memorial Day Weekend doing?

19 comments:

Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

The weekends are family time for me. I take a break from writing. No DIY projects for me. I am SO not inclined that way.

As far as writing, I also can only stand to work on one WIP at a time. But I have TONS of ideas for new projects. And often my mind will wander to those. I try to capture big picture/high concept ideas down to at least let the idea live. But I don't start a new project until the current one is finished.

Piedmont Writer said...

*heard over the intercom* Calling Cynthia to report to Anne's kitchen!

I have been just dying to paint my kitchen! Right now it's brown and cream with an ugly border (not mine). I want red, super white, and sunshine yellow. Alas, not on the d-i-y list until next spring.

I can juggle a couple mss. at once but then I get lost. I end up putting the wrong plot or character in the wrong story. If I do juggle, I have to at least stay with the same ms. for at least a month at a time.

Linda G. said...

Oh, let me know how the painting project goes! I've been wanting to paint my kitchen cabinets for ages, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe if I "enjoy" your project vicariously, I won't feel compelled to do my own. (That's how it works when I watch cooking shows, anyway.)

I'm messing with three different books right now, and finding it...confusing. Don't think I'll be able to keep the balls in the air much longer. Gotta settle on one and just do it.

KarenG said...

Painting stresses me out so bad! That siren call just motivates me to finish what I already started so I can start the next. This weekend will be gardening out outside relaxation! Have a good one!

Mary McDonald said...

I work this weekend, but I still have several parties and a funeral to attend. Not sure how I'm going to manage.

I'm not a DIY either. I would rather imagine a beautiful kitchen in my main character's home, than have to actually create one. lol

Tawna Fenske said...

Back when I had a day job, weekends were reserved for writing. I've completely flipped that now, and writing IS my day job during the week. That was the plan, anyway. Somehow I always seem to write on the weekends, too (which is probably a pretty good indication that I like my new day job a whole lot!)

Good luck with the painting, and enjoy your long weekend!

Tawna

Lydia Kang said...

I'm putting all other ideas down in a folder and working on my WIP.

This weekend will be a lot of playing outside with the kiddies!

Sandy Shin said...

I think I am the least DIY person out there. Aside from writing and drawing and, well, studying, I am completely incompetant at everything else. However, the prospect of doing things excites me. Painting sounds like such a cool thing. Hope you and your husband will have fun with it! :)

Your question comes at such an opportune time, as I have just been struck with a Shiny New Idea last night. I have never seriously worked on two projects at the same time, mostly because I get little enough done on just one at any point. I've found writing down the ideas and taking notes for the new project does help me focus on the current one more.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I always "try" to work on another wip while I'm writing one but it never works out. I just end up with TWO stinky stories. LOL

Have a great weekend! No real plans here. Maybe some gardening and BBQing.:)

Cynthia Reese said...

Elizabeth, I'm like you -- gotta get that big pix down on paper (or tucked away on the laptop) and I'm okay after that.

Anne, hadn't you better wait for the AFTER pix before I tackle your kitchen??! And I'm amazed at anyone who can dive into two MSS without getting completely confused in a nanosecond.

Linda G, I'm sure the virtual painting experience will do the trick -- and thanks for explaining why I don't feel the need to cook after watching a re-run of Emeril!

Karen G, it's the set up and the clean up and the disorder that stresses me. The actual painting is kind of zen-like relaxation.

Mary, I like that! Imagine a character's home! Have you ever noticed they're always beautifully decorated and scrupulously clean? At least mine are1

Tawna, I'm so jealous of your day job. I still love ya, but I'll just say it out loud. I'm jealous! ;-)

Lydia, that's a great weekend plan ... got to include some of that, too!

Sandy, I don't know about FUN. My dearest hope is that we will get DONE with it. Good luck taming your Shiny New Idea into submission until you get to a good point to let him roar!

Jennifer, that's how it turns out for me. Heck, I go so long between WIP and completed MSS that sometimes I'll forget my characters' names! *blushing*

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love painting a room- it's a great pick-me-up for the house with relatively little money and work. Have fun!

Meghan Ward said...

I'm not a DIYer either. I can paint a room, but that's about it. I agree that it's empowering to do something yourself, but I just don't have the time. My dream is to landscape our backyard. Every spring I say, "This will be the year!" and every fall I give up on the idea. Happy painting and happy Memorial Day weekend!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I should spend Memorial Day weekend working on my sadly neglected household duties. I WANT to spend it writing (of course). And that siren call - sheesh! - I'm already working on multiple WIPs (one about to drop, one in final revisions, one I'm still drafting) and I had the foolishness to enter a contest that required me to dream up a new novel query+5pgs (Rick Daley's contest) that I'm now crushing on.

What is wrong with me? :)

About Me said...

For me the long weekend means Saturday and Sunday are going to be spent pulling up carpet so next weekend we can lay new wood floors in the living room and hallway. Yay me!

I swore I was done with the weekend warrior stuff too. I guess that joke was on me.

Monday we set aside to spend the day remembering our fallen comrades. For me this tradition has been in effect since my Navy days. And let's face it tradition is a good thing. Also it is another excuse to have a party.

I hope you have a great weekend and that the cabinets turn out exactly how you want them too.

BillRicksofSoperton said...

Your illustration was appropriate, but it also reminded me of the BP mess, like painting into the corner with no way out. But I know that Cynthia would never do such a thing.

Julie Musil said...

I wish you luck painting your cabinets! When I watch DIY shows, I always think I'll tackle that job, since the cabinets they paint always look so nice. Please let us know how they turn out!

My Memorial Day will be spent relaxing and catching up on "stuff."

Nishant said...

I want red, super white, and sunshine yellow. Alas, not on the d-i-y list until next spring.
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Yvonne Osborne said...

I can edit a finished manuscript while writing a new one and I can juggle short stories and poems but not new novel ideas.

I left something for you over on my blog!

Medeia Sharif said...

I read and wrote this weekend.

I've never painted before, but thought about it. I like the idea of re-doing my living space, and picking a color other than white or beige.