Up to the end of August everything was going swimmingly. I was putting the finishing touches to the manuscript for Rapture for Ravens and feeling very good about it. Also, I had started work on my third novel Eugenica, which has nothing to do with Saxons or Vikings whatsoever. The writing was flowing, I was feeling all creative, everything looked good, and then September arrived!
The thing about September was that we had to have some building work done by a company called Bricks and Mortar, local builders. Our house was built in 1910 and needed some serious maintenance and these guys came in and did a fantastic job, absolutely no complaints there. They were totally professional but the thing about building work is that it causes disruption by its very nature.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for sympathy here, I knew what we were getting into when we started, I just didn’t realise that the work would go on for so long and have such a massive impact on my writing!
The same week that Bricks and Mortar finished work on the exterior of the house the carpenter arrived to rip up the floorboards in three downstairs rooms and replace them with something more structurally sound and do the job properly. He only finished last week! Again, that is not a complaint. Les the carpenter is a very skilled craftsman and a very amiable gent, he took his time because he cares about what he does and he does it to a high standard. Also my wife kept finding him extra little jobs to do, which delayed him somewhat.
As Les was finishing the woodwork Jim the painter arrived. He’s also a great guy who takes pride in his work even though it is not what he wants to spend the rest of his life doing. Jim is still here working on the hallway, the last room to require his attention.
Since September we have lived in a house that had furniture moving around as if beset by hyperactive poltergeists! We spent a lot of time living in the bedroom because there was no room downstairs! It was by accident that we disappeared to Barcelona for a break in the middle of all this, but a happy one at that.
During all this time my writing simply dried up. There was not a lot of time to begin with but when I did get the odd hour here and there I found everything covered in dust, the rooms felt cold and cramped; I lacked inspiration! I also started to feel disillusioned because I hardly wrote anything; sort of a Catch-22 situation I think.
Today, however, marks a change in all this. The woodwork is mostly finished, just a few odd jobs left. The painting is also almost finished. New furniture is now arriving and we are reclaiming the rooms back in time for Christmas. Suddenly I feel like writing again and my wife understands, in fact she wants me to sit down at my keyboard and start work once more. There’s one big clean up to do before Christmas and then when I sit down to write again it’s going to be in a warm, comfortable, clean, family environment without a builder or carpenter or painter in sight!