I just don’t have the time or energy to put up a Saturday Snippet excerpt this week. Let me explain by giving you a follow-up “State of the Author” post, following on from earlier this month and in early April.
Our new utility/garden/storage shed was erected in mid-May. The electric power has since been installed, along with air-conditioning, and the garage door has been fitted to its frame. Next week the insulation will be sprayed in, and the concrete floor sealed. That will complete the shed, and I’ll begin the long process (probably taking several months, a little at a time) to move all our bits and pieces from the garage and a storage unit into the shed, sort and discard what we don’t need, and put the rest in some semblance of order on shelves along the walls.
Previous aspects of our renovations have included an upgrade to our electrical circuit-board, a new HVAC system, a patio (slab and roof), ordering an insulated garage door (which won’t be ready for some months yet, thanks to supply chain issues), and other minor elements. It’s cost us about 30% more than I’d budgeted, thanks largely to electrical problems we didn’t know we had, which were uncovered during the renovation process and required immediate (and expensive) attention. Still, I’m grateful we found out about them before they developed into, or caused, something really nasty. I’ve also taken the advice of those who commented on our shed insulation, and committed to spending money on 2″ of closed-cell foam instead of the 1″ I’d planned. It’ll cost more, but like the proverb says, “Buy once, cry once“. The insulation contractor strongly endorsed your suggestions that 2″ would be far more efficient and effective in the long run, given our hundred-degree-plus Texas heat during summer; his own utility building has 2” on sides and ceiling for that reason. (Our winters are relatively mild compared to further north, with only a few days every year at or below freezing point.)
Of course, getting multiple contractors (more than 15 so far) organized, and arranging their visits in a logical sequence so that preliminary work was completed in time for each of them in turn to build on that foundation, has completely occupied my time for three months. I’m greatly looking forward to a slower pace of upgrades over the rest of the summer. We’ve hired a young man to take care of finishing some paint work, sealing some concrete, and doing handyman stuff for us (my fused spine and damaged sciatic nerve make bending and twisting an “interesting” exercise, in the sense of the fabled Chinese curse). I’m planning on spending an hour or two sorting boxes and shelves each day, and several hours in (hopefully) uninterrupted attention to my writing.
Current plan is to have Maxwell Volume 6, “Venom Strike”, published by the end of June. It may get pushed out into July if there are any more alarums and excursions, but it’s well under way, and with time available to devote to it, I think it’ll be out soon. After that I’ll take a deep breath, add up the other manuscripts awaiting attention, and tackle them one at a time.
So far, so good. Onward!