Object Lessons: Rantings of a Lone Pamphleteer
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The Fact of a Door Knob

Getting resettled at home is not as easy or inviting as it sounds when your home is under construction. Despite my secret, fervent hope that some friend (or husband) had entered our home on one of those remodeling shows that remakes your room while you're gone, I did not return from La Jolla to find a completely finished set of rooms. No, after 2 months away, our home is just as we left it.

It's a mess.

Bread Loaf got in the way of any serious remodeling during August, though my Lead-Paint contractor did come in and finish most of the doors and windows. Gohr's upstairs, right now, completing the final bank of lead-painted windows. We did delay him slightly yesterday by requesting he reinstall the door knobs on our master bedroom and main-floor bathroom. The knob's make all the difference. Today, he may even have left-over time to finish skimming the mudwork in my kitchen and dining room.

Ah, mudwork.

My other contractor (LS) has dissapointed me once too often, never showing to finish the seemingly easy job of reparing cracks in the front rooms. Most recently, he did not even reply to my email request that he retrieve his vacuum and pole sander. But Gohr, one of two contractors I can depend on to show (the other being Dave Shapiro, electrician), has agreed to finish touching up those rooms so I can get painting. If I could just get one room finished, the morale boost would carry us through a month. That, or we'd end up living in that one room.

Of course, there are always contractors who show two or three days late. My plumber is one. I was very surprised to see him the other day, because he said he'd be here. Of course, I forgive Dave (the plumber) anything, because he doesn't charge me an arm or a leg, and he does fabulous work when he gets here.

But I'm beyond forgiving myself for starting this whole mess. It's going to be gorgeous when we get done, but at this rate, we won't be done for years.

Years. Maybe longer.

Oh, well, I have dreams of being published to keep me happy. In November, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review will publish my poem, "Reversal." The bigger news is that, while at Bread Loaf, an editor became interested in my book, Families, which is the story of my great-grandparent's. I even have an agent, I think. It's all very confusing. But encouraging.

Essentially, they want to see "some samples" and a treatment of the unfinished book. I should have pitched Manana Girl, which is already plotted and ready to write, but since this particular editor had seen (and rejected) a piece of that last year, I intuitively pitched Families. Of course, all I've got on Families is a story idea. Nothing on paper.

So, I'm planning a trip to visit my last-surviving great-aunt to record the whole story. Off I go.



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