Wednesday, June 8, 2016

In My Estimation

Well, I did it. Finally.

The first draft (AKA: fast and loose version that needs MAJOR editing) of Reckless Mind is done. Finito! Complete!

As a matter of fact, lots of stuff has happened over in my little corner of the world since getting back from vacation. Hence the long-ass absence (and right after I said I’d be writing over here more frequently, of course).

Today I was supposed to celebrate and reward my hard work by taking my 40% off coupon and doing some shopping. So, obviously, I’m sitting here writing up a blog post.

I’ll get to the store eventually.

When we arrived back on U.S. soil, my fingers were so ready to start typing again. For months I’d been struggling with that book. I’d literally started and stopped three times before opening a blank Word doc back in March and rebooting the damn thing starting over from word 1.

Now the manuscript is written and falling at just under 33K words.

Since returning from our tropical beach paradise vacation in early May I’ve penned 42,989 words of fiction across two completed draft 1 manuscripts.

Can I get a fuck yeah?

Normally I’m not one to rah-rah myself but I am mother fudging proud of myself for the first time in a long time. Because, no matter how much this story was sucking when I first tried writing it, I wouldn’t let myself give up on finishing it. And that means more to me than just about anything else right now.

Last night Matt said I was doing my own version of NaNoWriMo and he was right. I got all those words out in roughly 18 days of typing.

What the whaaaaaaat?

To be honest I didn’t even realize just how incredible this accomplishment was until I started doing the math. And I’m shooting to have both books edited, completed, and out by July/September. Plus, I have 2 other half finished manuscripts I plan to get to ‘The End’ before the end of this year.

Because my dedication level to myself, my work, my career is through the roof right now and I couldn’t be happier!

I woke back up while we were away. Or, at least, my inspiration was revived after a very, very long slumber. Because I can’t seem to stop now that I’ve set myself on this path of completion.

Ideas and words are flowing as smooth as the water in my pipes.

Speaking of which, in the midst of all this real work I’m also meeting with contractors because Matt and I are getting our renovation on again this summer.

We’re bringing the laundry inside and out of the garage (finally), installing a whole house filtration system, rebuilding our covered patio as a screened in porch, renovating the kitchen (FINALLY!!!), a shit-ton of landscaping and other yard stuff, and anything else we can fit into the budget.

Something I’m discovering about AZ and contractors though? Very easy to get call backs, not so easy to get someone to show up.

Matt called landscapers and handymen – all kinds of excited to come out and bid the jobs – and after 2 missed appointments we’re moving on to new landscapers. The handyman? Eager to talk about the job then poof! Disappeared before even setting an appointment.

As a girl who grew up in the land of General Contractors, has a GC for a dad, ran a faux finishing business, this attitude mystifies me.

Back in Boston the guys always showed up to a least look at the job. It was common knowledge that if a contractor looked at the project and they found it would be too much for them, that they didn’t want the job for whatever reason, they’d quote some outrageous price to do the work. But they never, ever didn’t show up to bid.

At least in my experience.

But out here? Matt and I have asked for estimates from numerous contractors in various specialties and have been met with the returning sound of crickets.

I don’t get it. We’re not talking installing a garbage disposal here. I don’t want someone to trim my 1 palm tree. We’re talking thousands of dollars’ worth of work, possible referral business, possible future business.

And, nothing?

That lack of responsiveness makes us want to do most of the work ourselves. But, frankly, I have a life to live and a job of my own. That faux finishing business didn’t involve roof repairs, patio rebuilds, skylight installs or irrigation line digging. I want to pay someone to do their job so I can continue doing my own.

So why is it so damn hard to find a contractor worth a damn anymore?

You remember we had the plumbing debacle back in October 2013? Well those plumbers did such a good job we asked them to come back and quote on this new work.

So the same guy showed up the same day I called and came out to look over the job – move laundry water/gas lines, install slop sink, loop hot and cold water to run through a filtration system. He sent me the quote with 2 different options (a softening system, or, a conditioning system) within a few hours of coming out.

Matt and I did some research on installing the loop, how it would impact plants if it tied into irrigation, as well as the systems he’d indicated they could install.

We weren’t sold on the need for the loop or system at this time. We researched more. We found a filtration system with lots of great ratings for water in AZ. One that was listed at about ¼ of the price of the very specific model they quoted. The filter system was discounted during a Memorial Day weekend sale so we bought it.

The same day, I wrote the plumber to ask him to hold off on the loop and system, just quote the rest.

Sure, he said. The pricing for individual items could change due to not being a “package deal” anymore, he said. I’ll get that quote out in the next day or so, he said.

I’m still waiting for that follow up quote.

The one I’ll likely never see from Mr. Rooter. Because I undercut the initial job by probably $4000. So, what? The job isn’t “worth it” to quote anymore? Is that it?

He saw the job numbers shrink by a lot and apparently lost my email even though he’d been mister responsive before when our job ballparked in at $6000. (yes I’m using ballpark as a verb)

Funny thing is that if he’d just done his job and got me the new quote like he said he would, Matt and I would have considered talking to them about doing the master bathroom.

But he blew it.

And that job would have put you back up into the 6k range, probably would have garnered referrals and who knows what else.

New contractors have been called, appointments scheduled, and no feelings of ours were hurt in the process.

Now, can I edit my books and release them before we get someone to actually show up and do this work in our house?

The race is on.

• • • • • • • • • • •
In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.

1 comment:

Launna said...

Rah rah rah... it's so exciting to hear how happy you are that you have your inspiration back Jenn... I am glad you found it, I never thought you wouldn't... sometimes we just need a break away xox

I hope you get the renovations done too... Here in Halifax they show up ... they need the work xox