Housekeeping and maybe some other stuff, too

Featured image - kitchen destruction

Housekeeping might not be the right word. All right, housekeeping is definitely the wrong word! It’s more like…remodeling? Upgrading? Ripping up a bunch of old, obnoxious floors and installing a new one? Yeah, that’s a much better description of what’s been going on recently! It seems like all my time’s been divided between scraping up vinyl, prying up tack strips, and—my personal favorite—a multi-step test of perseverance for removing hardwoods installed by a sadistic contractor:

  1. Score flooring with a circular saw (try not to slip on all the sawdust).
  2. Rent a jackhammer because that’s what the Internet suggested. (And the Internet would never lie to meee!)
  3. Bruise…lots of body parts attempting to bend the hammer to my will.
  4. Fail.
  5. Return jackhammer and buy a heat gun.
  6. Slowly heat every strip of flooring and pry it loose with a 22 oz. hammer and a crowbar. No—really slowly. Make sure it takes daaays.
  7. Lose shoes to stubborn adhesive while attempting to “melt” it with mineral spirits, “floor adhesive remover,” and, lastly, bottle after bottle of De-Solv-It citrus-based degreaser. (I ran out of De-Solv-It’s “Contractors’ Solvent.”)

So…yeah. That took a while. Along the way, our stove died, and I discovered live wires sticking out of the wall with nary a junction box in sight. Frowny-face.

The good news, though, is that our downstairs—most of it, anyway—looks really good now! I’m including a few photos of the process. Just in case you’re into that:

But…book stuff?

Right. Housekeeping regarding the book(s)! When I can find or make time (!), I’ve been plugging away at Between the Lion and the Wolf (BLW). I mentioned in a previous post that Chapter X is complete, meaning Part I is finished! I’m making progress on Part II (Chapter XI): we’re sitting on roughly 4,000 words right now. A whole lot of stuff is taking place as I write this (instead of, y’know, the rest of Chapter XI), so I need to make sure I get certain details just so. I won’t say more than that.

I’m lying. I will say more than that! Here’s a paragraph or two:

“Dâethëthu!” one of the cultists roared. Zhalera yelped when someone slapped her, and Kalas’ blood surged with heat that had nothing to do with the corridor’s rising ambient temperature. He stopped: when one of their captors collided with him, he drove his elbow back as hard as he could. He stifled a laugh when he connected with what felt like someone’s abdomen: he grunted when, presumably, that same someone struck him on the nape with a blunt instrument and kicked him toward an unknown destination.

“Do that again! C’mon!” someone with a reedy, singsong voice wheezed.

“Enough!” another insisted. “The Iltshâdunas has designs on them! Let’s stop wasting time before we end up burning from the inside out!”

You’ve seen the bookmarks I had printed for Beneath the Vault of Stars, right? I figured I’d jump the gun a little and design something for BLW before it’s even finished. It looks like this:

As indicated, it includes a couple of paragraphs from Chapter X on the back. Super-exciting stuff, right?! I wish I could tell you more about what happens next, but, well…I can’t. (I have to write it first!)

Holly Springs Book Festival

One more housekeeping detail: September 29, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., the Holly Springs Cultural Center will host its next Book Festival. Sadly, I won’t be there, but I recommend you check things out if you’re in the area! I had a blast there last February, and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to participate in future festivals.

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