Author Archives: Cheryl C

Fall is Coming

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Last week I finished my round of edits on the first book and sent it back to the editor. It didn’t take me as long as I though it would, which worked out well since I had such limited time with other things in the mix.

I ultimately had to admit defeat on the house project when it came to the drywall. I got the new walls installed, but the mudding/sanding part kicked my butt. So what do I do when I’ve been clobbered by a house project? Leave!

I bailed after work on Friday to spend some time with friends vacationing in Belfast before coming back home. I had so much dust in the house from the interior work, a deep cleaning was in order. Yes, I’ll have to do it all over again once the interior work resumes, but that’s OK. The dust bunnies were getting large enough to carry off small children. They had to go.

I’ve hired a guy to finish the drywall for me, and that is supposed to happen this week. I’m a couple of weeks behind schedule on that room overhaul, but I don’t really care at this point. Once the walls are mudded and smoothed out, I can start slapping primer and paint. The new flooring arrived last week, so I’ll put that in after the painting is finished.

And I’ll flip back over to The Monster Within work once I get the final revisions back from the editor, which I imagine will happen over the next week or so since I can’t seem to function without juggling multiple balls in the air at once. I’d compare myself to a clown in this respect, but let’s face it, clowns are creepy as hell.

The temperatures here have taken a significant turn toward fall, and I’m back to living in my hoodie. My apple trees are full with ripe fruit, and a few leaves are showing hints of turning. Good times! I am seriously loving this long weekend, and I hope you are too. Enjoy!

Photo taken by me, 2016, off the Golden Rd in northern Maine

I Need a Hard Hat

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After all the work I’ve done on my house (aka Money Pit) over the last 10 years, it has never occurred to me that I should get a hard hat. How I have missed out on this piece of important safety equipment, I’ll never know. (Thanks, Tom, for the recommendation! I will get one!).

Today’s plan was all house project work, nothing with writing since I was saving that for Sunday. Turned out I ended up doing a bit of book related stuff anyway. More on that in a sec.

I’ve posted before that I love learning new things. I’ll jot a few down for you that I learned today while demolishing one of the rooms in my house down to studs and plywood.

1. I have safety goggles, three pairs of safety glasses, several painters’ masks, a respirator, two sets of hearing protectors, and four pairs of work gloves. I use these things when I do house projects and/or use power equipment. I need to add a hard hat to the menagerie.  (I clearly need two sets of hearing protectors, one for each head ?! Maybe I need two hard hats.)

2. When removing nails from studs, do not put your finger between the pry bar and the wood. This hurts like a mother.

3. Do not lose control of the sucking end of the shop vac. It promptly attaches itself to your neck like a leech. I know this to be a fact.

4. Do not pull on drywall while standing on a ladder. When the drywall breaks free, the odds of you falling off the ladder increase exponentially. Now I know.

5. When pulling up pieces of flooring, do not lift them higher than your head. Pieces will fall off and peg you in the ear. If you have religion, you will certainly lose it after taking the corner of a board in the ear. Yes. Hard hat. I know!

6. When dumping debris from the giant garbage can into the dumpster sitting in your driveway, hold on to the garbage can. Thus far I only had to go dumpster diving once to retrieve my can.

7. I have a busted lip. I don’t even know what, when, or how that happened today. Probably another stealth attack from the shop vac. Sneaky bastard.

8. This is an 80 year old house. Eighty years of mouse poop is the stuff of nightmares.

Today was a good day. I clearly learned many things. I will announce it ahead of time the next time I do demolition so folks can pop popcorn and sit on my deck to watch the shenanigans. It’s a hoot!

Book stuff. The new cover for the first book, The Monster Within, to release it as a second edition is well underway. The editor sent me back his first round of comments on the rewrites that will make up the second edition. I need to get that room remodel a bit more under control before I can dive into his notes, but it’s on the to-do list (still hoping for lots of writing related stuff on Sunday!).

The new, new book, unrelated to the Burnt Mountain series is eyeball deep in the planning stages. I did some early writing on it several weeks ago just to feel things out, and those three chapters are getting scrapped so I can take things in a different, and better, direction. All good stuff.

 

Image from sxc.hu

Nail Gun Success

 

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If you’ve never messed with a nail gun, I recommend it (of course, that’s messing with it in the terms of reading the manual, safety equipment, proper use, and all that jazz). Around 9 this morning I plopped my rumpus in the floor next to the nail gun and the nail compressor with user manuals in hand. It didn’t take me long to (totally lying … took me longer than I want to admit) realize that I was missing an adapter for the air hose.

What should have been a quick jaunt to the hardware store ended up with a wee detour after finding someone’s phone at the end of my driveway. I live in the willywags. The road I live on is paved, but you have to go a bit out of your way to find it. I monkeyed with the phone, made a couple of calls with it, and tracked down the owner. After my side trip to deliver the phone in Hampden, I made it to the store to get my missing part.

I’m not sure what time I actually started working on the hall trim since I had to re-read parts of the manuals and refresh myself on the miter saw. I’m a writer. I type around 100 words per minute. I do that with all 10 digits intact. I intend to keep the aforementioned digits.

I trimmed out three doors and a partial fourth. The last one is going to be a seriously wonky cut because the door is against part of the ceiling so there are all sorts of stupid angles with it being an old house. Instead of a three piece door trim, it’ll be four. Lovely.  I’ll deal with that one later. The above picture is of one of the frames.

Nope, not perfect. BUT, I did not shoot myself with the nail gun. I did not cut any fingers or other body parts off with the saw. I did not blow anything up with the air compressor (though I will mention that it kicked on at one point to re-pressurize as I walked by, and I almost crapped myself). As for the door trim, I can fix the wee gap with caulk and paint.

I also grossly miscalculated how many pieces of trim I’d need to do the entire hall. I am sure I will have many trips back to the store to pick up more lumber. I think I worked on the trim for 2 to 3 hours. I’m sure a skilled carpenter could have done it in 1 hour, but that’s OK. I’m learning this on my own by reading user manuals and making mistakes. :) I don’t mind it taking a while.

In book news, the second edition of The Monster Within is ready for the editor as of yesterday. It will get shipped off once I have the green light to email it from Maine to California to go through a more rigorous meat grinding experience than what I can do with AutoCrit on my own. I’m all for DIY, but I also know when I need reinforcements!

Still the Best

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I still think this is the best meme ever. Still makes me laugh.

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend, hopefully it’s an extra long one too! I have vacation for the week, so I’m on the super extended version. This will be a good week of new experiences.

I bought a grill that arrived while I was still in MD. Yesterday I put the grill together and cooked food on it today. Didn’t even burn the house down. Burnt the veggies a bit, and the meat was under-cooked. I’ll throw it on the stove later. Hey, it’s all a learning process. Tomorrow I’ll experiment with grilling salmon. Should be interesting. Worst case scenario is I screw it up and have cereal. It’s a decent plan B.

For the house project, I got the painting done today and will start installing the floor tomorrow, after I learn how to use my miter saw. The thing is so huge I bought a stand for it so I could move the whole rig around. The assembled stand and attached saw is now sitting in my dining room. That’s where it’s supposed to go right?

It’ll live in the dining room for a while. I can easily use the stand to roll it out to the deck when I need to cut the floor planks and bring it back in when finished. Sure, common sense dictates that the saw should live in the shed where I roll it out there for the night, but that’s just silly talk. Saw lives in the dining room – check. (It’s of course right next to the nail gun I have yet to unbox).

Nothing like the impending arrival of company to get a procrastinated house project moved up on the priority list! So with that shuffle of painting/flooring moving up the list, editing has slipped a few notches. I’m almost half-way done with running the book through Autocrit, so I’m not panicked for time yet. Plus I’ll have time tomorrow and next week provided the floor installation is uneventful (I’m not holding my breath).

Happy 4th, kids. Don’t blow off any digits!

New and Interesting

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I’ve always enjoyed learning new things, having new experiences, and the like. I seem to be on a roll for doing new, bizarre, things that are far more interesting, and fortunately non-hazardous, when a little too sleep deprived.

Sticking both contact lenses into the same eyeball and wondering why everything looked so fuzzy had me stumped for more than a few minutes until I figured out the issue.  Two lenses in the same eye don’t make your vision twice as good. Now I know!

Last week I tried to open the hotel door with the car keys. When the hotel that I’ve been staying at with work travel for the last 2 years has NOT changed their key cards, for me to suddenly try to use a rental car key fob to open the door was just plain baffling. No shocker that the door wouldn’t unlock with that method. The good news is I figured out the problem before going back to the front desk to report the issue.

So after taking a couple of days off to regain a few wits to get me through to the end of this week, I’m hoping I don’t do something doofus-like in the near future. But things tend to run in threes, so I’m due for at least one more to come. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll laugh about it just like I did with the contacts and the hotel door.

Book update: Editing for the second edition is in full swing on The Monster Within, and I’ve pre-ordered the new cover for it to start that work in August.