Tag Archive | writer

A Dumb White Collar Writer

Garfield and MondayDid you ever endure “hardship” because it was the weekend and you didn’t want to call a repairman and endure the weekend double-time charge? I did. Yesterday.

The thermostat for the furnace pooped out, so we relied on a little space heater to keep us warm. It does an adequate job to warm the living room. Our beautiful autumn weather has turned cold enough to fire up the furnace.

All day, Ken and I huddled under warm fleece blankets while we sat in our comfy chairs and enjoyed a full day of football games. In between keeping our body masses warm, we dared to venture down the hallway for a couple of bathroom breaks and into the kitchen for lunch. By suppertime, the heater had warmed the room to 68 degrees, so we watched “The Good Wife” in comfort.

Needless to say, the first thing I did this morning was pick up the phone and dial our heating and cooling professionals to see if someone could come out and fix whatever major catastrophe we had suffered. Much to my surprise the woman who answered the phone said, “We can be there in twenty minutes.”

Twenty minutes! I was still in my pj’s and hadn’t had my first cup of coffee! Like somebody who just had a fire lit under her bum, I jumped up, pulled on some jeans and a sweater, ran a comb through my hair and next thing I knew, Ernie was barking and the repairman was on our porch.

I let the repairman in with a bright smile and showed him the thermostat. He took off the cover and said, “Do you have a couple of batteries?”

I was puzzled. “Batteries? Really? That’s all that’s wrong with this thing? I thought, “I could have replaced the batteries. Even I’m capable of that!”

Sure enough, Jason the furnace man popped in two new AA batteries and the damn furnace fired up and heat started pouring out of the vents.  I felt so stupid. Two AA batteries, honest to God!

I think he felt a little silly charging me $70 for a trip charge to just swap out a couple of batteries, so he took a quick look at the furnace in the basement. He reported everything looked good except we had a dirty filter. After a trip back to the store and a return trip back to our house, (The store is about ten minutes away.)  Jason installed a new filter and only charged me $84 for the whole enchilada. If anybody is looking for a fair furnace repair service, call Kiernan in Racine.

So, my Monday was full of surprises. Not only did I get the furnace “fixed,” my day also included a trip to the doctor. Because I haven’t had insurance for over three years, and my doctor moved out of town, I had to break in a new doctor. This time around, I’m opting for a female doctor who thinks I have carpal tunnel inflammation going on in my hands, but I also have to have a series of blood tests to check out other possible maladies. I won’t know anything for sure for two weeks, but she gave me two wrist supports at no cost. Between Jason the furnace guy and the new female doctor I saw, I know there are fair caring people still left in the world. My only regret is not paying attention when my father tried to show me how to fix stuff around the house. Being a dumb white collar writer can be very costly.

Teamwork at Home and Other Places

puzzle piecesToday is a sunny day — again. Three in a row; it must be a February weather record.

One of my chores today is making a “drug run” for Ken medication. So, guaranteed, I will get out of the house. His doctor receives Ken’s medication through the mail and all we have to do it run across town to retrieve it. Not a big deal, but it does cut into my self-appointed chore of reading FINDING GESSLER again, looking for inconsistencies — like do I have all the characters with the right color eyes, hair, and other minor details.

I haven’t received my editor’s edits yet, and I’m getting a bit antsy. I know the publisher is going to want the final manuscript ASAP, so I’m feeling a little bit of pressure. I also want to pass the manuscript under the nose of a proofreader before I send it off, too.  This is my writing team. As all writer know, a piece is never “done,” until you either have a deadline or you get sick of it and don’t want to fuss any longer. In this case, it’s the former.

While I sit on my butt, with my nose to the screen, Ken’s busy doing household chores. He’s emptied the dishwasher; now it’s my job to finish the chore by loading it again. Now, he’s cleaning the cat litter. (Today he’s on his own there.) And after that, he’ll probably sort the laundry and my stronger legs will run up and down the basement steps to complete the chore.

We’ve been a team since we first met. Like my writing team, we’ve never kept score as to who’s doing what; we just do what we can at the time and the other person picks up the slack. It’s a happy situation that has worked well for 17 years.  As I watch him wither away from day to day, I marvel at his determination and strength to keep going–to hold up his end of the bargain. He’s my everyday hero. And I tell him so, often. What I don’t tell him is about my worst fear. When this team will consist of only one.  I’m not sure that will ever work.