I think I’m going to add an entire page dedicated to procrastination, since it’s something I positively love to do. When I first finished the meat of my novel, I let my book rest before beginning the editing process. At present, I’ve edited front to back twice now, and I’m letting it rest again before picking it up to change the narrative mode (actually, I’ve already begun this process, but I stopped at chapter 4 to clear my head). For Mother’s Day, my procrastination “novel-resting” down time resulted in arts and crafts. We have segments of a privacy fence that’s about 6 years old and really weathered. When it was all said and done, I ended up with this sign.
It’s perfect for the back porch at my parent’s house and it made a fine Mother’s Day gift. I framed the finished piece with sticks from an overgrown oleander bush that we just cut down and it turned out pretty cool. I chose Lone Star, because it’s about as Texan as you can get, and it was the last 12 pack of beer we bought and I coincidentally needed an image as a starting point.
But before we get to my strange creativity, let me be the first to admit that I am the self-proclaimed queen of repurposing. I refuse to throw anything out, and will burn trash in my brush pile before letting it rot in a landfill. Three years ago, during one of our recent 100 renovations, my husband re-used material to build the kids a treehouse. The kids love it, and we are pretty proud of the fact that we built it at a cost of less than $20 for material. That particular episode marked the beginning of ripping and tearing out the nooks and crannies of a 40-year-old house and reconstructing it to better suit the needs of a large family. I still have a list of endless projects I’d like to complete before I can actually just enjoy living here. And since we don’t plan to live here forever, we have to eventually consider the fact that we’ll be wanting to sell the place and actually make a profit. Consequently, we have to be mindful of our neighborhood, and not overbuild… so the only answer is sweat equity and repurposing. It is possible to achieve functionality with minimal material costs that are actually cosmetically appealing as well, it just takes a bit of creativity and courage.
When I completed my novel in February, I started working on the house to clear my mind before editing and finally finished my master closet design… an achievement that would begin a decluttering episode that was badly overdue. When the closets were all complete, the weather started getting nicer, so I took my show outside. I spend a lot of time out there because I’m home with two small children everyday, and they simply bounce endlessly off the walls if they don’t go outside.
Several years ago, my husband bought a used hot tub that had a cedar plank surround. We didn’t get much use out of the tub before it broke, but I sure found a use for that cedar by turning this awkward, wasted space into one of our favorite places to sit. Salvaging material and actually doing something with it is very rewarding and needless to say, I have infinite plans for repurposing projects if I ever find the time. I’ll know when it’s time to pick up the novel and edit / write again, and I know that I’m not ready yet. I’ve done some spring cleaning and created some interesting spots in my house to practice my craft though, so we’ll see what happens.
Speaking of perfecting my craft, I’ve decided to write about topics that I actually have professional experience in to see how this exercise helps to develop my writing skills. I’m hoping to gain knowledge by “writing what I know”, and also exposure by engaging others doing the same thing that I am. I’m viewing the choice as a positive developmental exercise that actually uses my literary skill to articulate topics for which my experience stretches 20 years. The last time I really engaged my craft, my subject matter was too polarized for me to continue its message and I’m hoping that by choosing a topic that is as second nature has having children, that it will be as therapeutic as it is informative for anyone interested enough to read it. Admittedly, I sometimes wonder if I should have remained in that rhetorical circle and continued to engage others in spirited discussion because I often find that I become inspired after arguing my point to someone. That’s probably just a byproduct of the lawyer in me. Time will tell I guess. Stay tuned.