With Christmas coming I’ve been pretty distracted, and so I’ve slacked off again on the blog. Oops. So this post is a bit of everything.
To start with, the Friday before last I had a bit of a plumbing disaster. Our tub spout diverter had been finicky since we moved in, and after ten years it finally gave up the ghost. I couldn’t get the stupid thing to come up, and when I pulled hard enough to budge it, the control knob yanked right out of the spout and broke the whole mechanism. So it was time for a new tub spout. After looking up the nature of the problem I deduced this was potentially a DIY repair within my wheelhouse—I fixed our washing machine when we moved in and it’s been working fine since—so I gave it a go. Four trips to Lowe’s and one utterly destroyed replacement spout later, I got a new spout on. Problem was, it wasn’t on quite tight enough even though I was sure I did everything right, and so it was time to call in a pro (who also managed to fix a drip we had going since forever, so that was good). Everything is finally working the way it should, but boy was that an annoying situation.
I’m not a handyman by any stretch, so the above was something of a reach for me. I’m proud of the parts I actually got right, and annoyed by everything else.
Last week I finally finished the first draft of The Well of Moments, nearly two weeks after NaNoWriMo. I’m in the middle of a second-draft pass now, trying to improve the way things tie together and looking for any inconsistencies or typos that jump out. Already I rewrote one scene that had been bugging me, and now it’s just a matter of making sure everything feels right in terms of pacing and structure on top of looking for more immediate problems.
I’ve put in a little time on a cover for the new book, and I think I have a good design in mind. This one is going to mix some work in Inkscape and Photoshop Elements with a few stock photos. I managed to find a photo of a model that looks close enough to my goal to work with.
But of course the even bigger news is that Christmas is coming! Which you knew, of course. For me it’s a last-minute scramble to get everything together and come up with plans for what I’ll do over the break. This year I haven’t had to do any extended family shopping, just regular family shopping, so I’m basically done except for waiting for a couple of things to arrive and needing to find a few other things for my wife to unwrap. That last part is hard; both of us have reached a point where we don’t really need or want a lot, so filling a wish list has been hard. On the plus side, not needing or wanting a lot is a wonderful thing and one of the few upsides of getting older.
Cooking some of my favorite holiday meals is of course in the cards. This year I don’t have to worry about calibrating a new computer and getting that just right, so I plan to set aside more time for fun stuff. Obviously a teriyaki cube steak sandwich with bacon, mushrooms, Muenster, and mozzarella is going to happen. And popcorn? You bet! I also have some leftover pretzel dough I have a mind to use, and some mild cheddar to cut into chunks and stuff inside for cheesy pretzel bites. Maybe I’ll make some homemade mozzarella too; I haven’t in quite a while, and it’s something I always enjoy. My dad always makes stuffed shells for the holidays, but when my batch is gone I’m considering making a new batch of my own, hopefully much firmer than the last time I tried it.
So there it is: a bit of everything, as promised. I’ll try to throw in a few more posts soon because this is really my favorite time of year and it’s good to share the joy.