It’s Amazing How Much Carrying Rolled Up Carpet Looks Like You’re Carrying a Body

“I should have known this was going to be hard the second I said it was going to be easy.”

That single quote, uttered by yours truly, summarizes just about this entire day. We started a little after 7:30am and wrapped up around 7:30pm.  Twelve straight hours of electrical work, ripping up carpet, padding, and tack strips, installing a new fan, running a network cable through the house, and even more painting.  Few things went according to plan but despite all that, we managed to get all but one item on our checklist complete.

Fortunately, Sunday is going to be a short day.  Steph plans on painting the rest of the living room and I plan and taking out all the counters and the last remaining cabinets (which are basically just shells now).  Then we’re going off to Empty Bowls with my parents who are coming up from Dubuque and relaxing the rest of the day.

Not a single tear was shed in tearing up this carpet.
Some people tear up their carpet and find beautiful hardwood floors or intricate stonework. We found ... this.
Rolled up carpet is wonderful for disposing of unwanted guests ... er, I mean, things. Yeah, that's it. *shifty eyes*
As naked as the day it was built.



Wrecking Ball

Took the day off of work to get a jump start on the kitchen demolition.

My original goal was to take out half the cabinets.  Turns out that went a lot faster than I expected and we ended up removing all the cabinets and about half the doors in the house.  Right now the counters are still in place (we need something to prepare meals on) but those will be removed on Sunday.

Saturday’s goal is to get the carpet up and all the staples pulled out of the floor.

The Before Shot
Oh, how I have longed for this moment ...
The noise caught Steph off guard.
Every home needs a panic room. We're making up for the lack of a door with makeshift weapons.
The After Shot




Break All The Stuff

We received official word this morning that our kitchen remodel starts next Monday.  There’s a lot of work we have to get done between now and then – pack up all the dishes, move appliances and furniture, empty out the fridge, etc.

The most important, however?

I get to take a sledgehammer to the kitchen.

How I Suspect I'll Feel Once Demolition Starts

Paint the Town

Steph decided to do some painting of the house this weekend.  Historically, my best contribution to painting has been to get the hell out of the way and let Steph do it.*  That’s boring though so I took a few pictures.

White is the new color for the ceiling; the yellow (w/glaze) is the old.
New color is on the left; old is on the right. Very similar but new is a darker orange vs the old yellow.
Living room wall; orange is new, white is old.
Tucker doesn't like change. Or he really wants to go to Paris. I'm not quite sure.
First coat done, starting on the second.


* I did help with prep, clean up, and put up one of the new light fixture so I’m not totally lazy.

The Abandoned

In my short near-career as a writer, I have completed two novels and I’m working on a third.  Not bad considering most people that say “I want to write a novel” never even bother to buy the pen and paper.

However, like any writer, I’ve got a bunch more ideas percolating in that gray mass called a brain.  Some of these have seen the light of day, others have recoiled from it and are quite comfortable staying out of the limelight.  A couple are just waiting around for the right time to step back out.

Since I’ve been a bit short on blog entries as of late, I thought I might share a few of them and wither or not I’ll return to them or not.

Carrionhove: The current project with a tentative title.  This one is based off an old Dungeons & Dragons campaign I ran with some friends back in 2008.  And by based off of, I mean I kept the villain and the world and scrapped everything else to come up with an entirely new plot.  Fantasy with some twists. A stand alone with possibility of a trilogy.

Status: Looking to finish late this year.

Asymonte: Night of Whispers: Not so much as abandoned as waiting for the right home, Asymonte earned me a handwritten rejection from Wizards of the Coast during their open call back in 2005/2006.  It was an epic fantasy, sprawling over multiple books (I had plans for 5 or 6) and the first novel I attempted and first completed.

Jennifer Aniston lost a marriage to these two, I lost a novel.

Status: Will be revisited and released into the world yet again.

Confidential Vows: I’m pretty disappointed about this one.

Seven or eight years ago, I read an article that said ‘Married couples keep at least one major secret from their partner – not like buying something and lying about the price but something major and serious’.  I mentioned this to Steph and she said, “You got me.  I’m a spy.”

Boom, plot idea.  I didn’t approach it very seriously – at the time I was working on Asymonte – but I put together a rough outline and wrote four chapters.  Six months later, Mr. & Mrs. Smith with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was released.  I had to shelve the book.

Status: Unlikely to be revisited.

Far Reach: Futuristic sci-fi novel set after Earth has lost a major war with an alien race and is once again looking to reclaim the stars.  I started this right after finishing Genie Memories and had written 7 or 8 chapters when I realized that it was growing out of my control so I trunked it.

Status: Will be revisited at some point in the future.

Limbo: A man is stuck between life and death.  I wrote two chapters of this, then sat back and went “Uh … okay, now what?”  Sometimes a great idea doesn’t just pan out and I think this was it.

Status:  Unlikely to be revisited.

Patron: A sci-fi novel based off my NaNoWriMo novel for 2006.  It revolves around a down on his luck guy who is also a prodigy when it comes to a futuristic style of motorcycle racing.  I had some good scenes in there but it felt too cliched.

Status: Maybe but unlikely to be revisited.

Favors: In an effort to save his brother’s life, a man pledges his soul to whomever is listening.  Too bad it was the most foul of demons.  Now after decades of being the demon’s champion, he’s found a way out.

I liked the premise of this one.  It had a lot of potential with a man being forced to do things he didn’t want to, lots of tension and stakes.  Unfortunately I just couldn’t bring it all together into a full novel.

Status: Very likely will revisit.

Oath Bound / Shattered Skies: These two were very closely related.  They were both epic fantasy and shared a some of the same concepts, even a couple of the same characters.  One was told from the perspective of one character, the other from another.  It soon became apparent though that it was becoming too cliched.  I did snag some of these ideas and am using them in Carrionhove though.

Status: Unlikely to be revisited.

Clean Slate: Sci-fi.  Takes place in a dystopian future where a cop kills the man who savagely attacks his wife.  Unfortunately for him, that same man was also the son of a very influential politician and the cop finds himself in prison.  He’s given a chance for a clean slate (hence the title) by participating in an ultra-violent game.

I was worried a bit when planning this that it would end up too much like  The Running Man but after a while, I realized that playing a game for your life isn’t exactly new in fiction so I stopped worrying.  This one went through a lot of iterations and I trunked it because I couldn’t figure out which one I preferred.

Status: Likely will be revisited.

Untitled Fantasy to Earth: Man capable of wielding magic (using blood) arrives on Earth and needs to find a way back.  I didn’t write an outline for this and simply dove into it after a NaNoWriMo year.  That was probably the downfall since I lost interest in it.

High School was *just* like this. I swear.

Status: Unlikely to be revisited.

TFOS: Believe it or not, I had a premise for a novel based on the role-playing game Teenagers from Outer Space.  I thought it pretty clever but you know what?  It’s really freakin’ hard to be funny for the entire length of a novel.

Status: Unlikely to be revisited in novel form; perhaps short stories or novella.