Just to Complicate Things

Posted: November 2nd, 2015 under Life beyond writing, Revisions.
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Roofing Begins

Yes, those are roofers tearing off shingles at the house my mother owned when she died.  Our son lived there awhile and stays there on weekends, as do guests.  It’s where we have parties, too, as it has  more room than our house.   It will soon have a metal roof, which should last longer, given that we have hail storms and branches that fall on the roof and squirrels who think getting through roofs is a lot of fun.

Meanwhile NewBook is being stretched, squeezed, prodded, having bits ripped out and bits inserted, and being–as books often are in their last 29 days of revision–a PAIN about it all.   “I have enough words in me to be a book–why are you torturing me this way?  Let me ALONE!”

To which the writer’s answer is that of the most control-freak personal trainer you can imagine: “You have the wrong number of words there, and you should have more words here, and besides those words aren’t the right words, and these words are better words.  And you, Plot Daemon, did you really think you’d get away with some of this?   That part is entirely too flabby and at the same time too stiff;  either it goes or you beef it up with some complicated gymnastics.  More weight in this section wouldn’t hurt–in fact, it’s necessary.    Give me eight more pages, right now, faster, faster.  Whaddaya mean you’re tired?  Quit complaining and get back to work!!”

It’s due in Editor’s in-basket on December 1.   In between now and then is also Thanksgiving for a crowd.   And the roof being done.  And new carpet laid in that living room and hall over there because the old carpet was kind of shredded in places.  I have to move the remaining furniture in the living room before the carpet’s laid.  Oh, and choir practice & church and…no, of course I’m not overloaded.  After all, I’m not up on that roof doing the work.  I’m down on the ground listening to the distant (thank heavens) banging over there.  And writing.



  • Comment by Kaye M — November 2, 2015 @ 1:34 pm


    I have been wondering whether any of that terrible weather and the fires in the Austin area had affected you. Metal roof: great idea! I had one laid over a damaged shingle roof on my house in the Piney Woods area (when I lived there.) It was not loud at all when rain/hail fell, and I felt much safer.
    Looking forward to reading NewBook!

  • Comment by Iphinome — November 2, 2015 @ 7:12 pm


    December 1’st…

    Oh m’ghosh! You’re doing NaNoRevMo.

    *places a dollar in the bad joke jar*

  • Comment by Nadine Bowlus — November 2, 2015 @ 10:50 pm


    New roof system with rigid foam insulation added to our home ten years ago. Best $6000 we ever spent.

    NewBook sounds like a tired eight-year-old I know. 🙂

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 2, 2015 @ 11:38 pm



  • Comment by elizabeth — November 2, 2015 @ 11:40 pm


    We had eleven inches in a week…the first five, in a mostly slow, gentle rain over several days, then a gap without rain (good for septic tank) and then the deluge Friday & Saturday, another six. But not nearly as bad as those who’d had earlier rain of 4+ inches and then got the 12-16 inches in the deluge. Really hoping they get the first layer of water proofing on the back room before the rain starts again this Wednesday. The leaks during the deluge were…impressive.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 2, 2015 @ 11:41 pm


    A non-leaking roof is a wonderful thing.

  • Comment by ellen — November 4, 2015 @ 2:11 am


    Amen to that! Our roof leaks during prolonged torrential rains, it’s a pain!

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 4, 2015 @ 1:36 pm


    Some years back we could finally afford to put a metal roof on the first house. At that point it was leaking into four or five rooms (it was not yet leaking into the living room, or utility room) with multiple leaks in some rooms. There was a leak right over the bed, and sleeping with a bucket on the bed was…difficult. Three leaks in the study, two in the kitchen, and I forgot the one in the hall (which isn’t a room, I guess.) The second house, that my mother had bought, so far has leaked only in the dining room (a room built onto the back of the house by its former and original owners, who paid no attention to the need for grade on a flat roof.)

    That house has a shingle roof on the original house, shingle over planks, not plywood. Do not even…

    Right now, the shingles several layers) have been taken off, along with the original tarpaper, and it’s “wrapped” in a waterproof covering (you’ve seen this kind of thing–white with lettering on it–on houses under construction) until the metal panels go on. Today the back room is getting insulation board and a cover over it today, and will have a sealed membrane over all that. Late tonight the next round of storms comes in. I hope it does not include large hail (for us) or a tornado, as either could undo everything and make the whole place a wet soggy mess. Or a flat mess.

  • Comment by Butterwaffle — November 4, 2015 @ 4:28 pm


    If you do get foam insulation like Nadine suggested, you might also consider spray-foam insulation (Icynene is super-awesome). If you get it done by a good outfit, they will make sure the foam completely covers the truss members attached to the roof; since wood conducts heat better than the foam, covering the wood improves the insulation even more.

    I know NewBook and PlotDaemon complain a lot now, but they’ll look back fondly on their drill sergeant when they’re at the front line.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — November 7, 2015 @ 10:25 am


    Hope your roofing project has been helpful with all the latest rain and in all the storms of life that will inevitably come.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 7, 2015 @ 1:10 pm


    Daniel: We lucked out on the really bad storms–no hail, no tornado, no super-high winds, and only 0.7 inches one day and 0.9 overnight last night

    More importantly, the other house stayed dry, including the back room where five buckets are still arrayed on one of the tables, plus one on the floor. Dry. Table: dry. Etc. All dry. The roof should be finished on Monday & Tuesday of this coming week, metal on the main house and the finishing of edging and so on for the back room. Then it will be all tight & right & be OK for years to come. But just having no rain pouring in that back room Wed-through-today has been great.

    Everything is out of the living room and hall over there in preparation for the carpet installation coming on Monday (predicted to be NOT raining). Our son, home on the weekend, helped R- move the last two pieces of heavy stuff (which we’d previously unloaded of their contents) into one of the bedrooms. And then…finally…new furniture can go in that living room.

  • Comment by Genko — November 10, 2015 @ 7:17 pm


    Last year, when we were getting the new roof put on to the new building, before we had the waterproof stuff put over the plywood, we tarped the roof in preparation for doing our first Sunday ceremony in there. On Saturday, high winds shredded the tarp. It was impressive — you could hear the sound of the flapping 2-3 blocks away. And, after the wind, of course, rain. not only did it rain buckets overnight, putting some inches of rain all over the floor, which we pushed out with brooms, etc., but then it rained DURING the ceremony, making the programs hard to turn pages as they were getting soggy, getting our robes wet, etc. Afterwards, I had to dump water out of my shoes, which I had taken off in order to kneel to play the drum. Ah, well, it makes a story to tell for years to come.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 11, 2015 @ 12:49 am


    Wow. As you say, a story for a lifetime. Nobody’s going to forget THAT one. My sympathy to you and the others who got wet, and congratulations on continuing with the ceremony regardless.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — November 11, 2015 @ 8:14 pm


    No Armistice Day Blizzard this year, just a Veterans’ Day thunderstorm.

    Virtually no rain in October, but we made it all back today I think.

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