Stuck in the Middle--Don't mind the Dust. Still reworking the blog.

I'm in the middle of remodeling my son's room.

It's needed to be done for years, needed the dark maroon and gold wallpaper stripped off (Honestly, what was I thinking? I hated it as soon as I finished the job 20 years ago). Only two walls were papered, so I thought this was a project I could handle. The half-wall took me ten hours to strip--that's right--a big, fat, 10! The regular wall was not as bad as the paper came off a little more easily, but I would estimate at least five hours on that one. Due to the damage that I inflicted on the walls, it took me at least seven hours to patch and sand. I can't tell you how much I want this to be done.

The half-wall.
Both walls--paper free.

But I'm not done. I still have all the painting, which is much easier except for the masking, but I keep telling myself I can handle that. Just breathe, Shantal. This, too, shall pass. And none too soon!
Close-up of all that sanding:(

I wish I could remember why I chose that horrible orange/mustardy color. 
What bothers me about this whole dumb thing is that I feel trapped. I feel like I can't do anything else until I get this done. It's really hanging over my head. Summer is slipping away from me already. I feel the regret of losing half of June to my stupid work ethic. It's summer! It's time to make wonderful, fun, sunshiney things happen, and I haven't done that. I worked hard all through the month of May getting my yard planted, then came my son's graduation and a party and a cake and all sorts of good things happening for him. Not surprisingly, I came down with a vicious sinus infection after all that effort and it set me back a bit. My youngest son and his dad spent a week in the west desert working on his eagle scout project and my husband is now on a business trip. In my moments of sanity (or not), I figured getting this project done while he was gone was a good thing.

Now, I'm not so sure. My teenage boys are busy with their friends and trying to make the most of their summer without me planning anything just yet, and I just feel stuck . . . and alone. Mostly, it's made me wonder. Do I really have a life outside of my family, the house we live in, and the yard I slave in?

I'd like to think I do. I'm a writer. I've published a book about six months ago. Presently, it's an e-reader on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and I am trying desperately to get it in paperback form for places like Costco. I think it has the potential to sell nicely in that forum, especially in Utah. I'm also working on another book that's been stirring in my mind for several years. It has a great beginning, an awesome ending, but I'm definitely stuck in the middle. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to make this story move forward in a way that will meet up with its most outstanding ending. Most of the writing workshops I've attended and writing blogs I browse always say to write your ending first and then you have direction, but it's just not happening. The sad thing is, I don't even have the time to open up the files and think about what could happen in my story. I'm either stripping (wallpaper), patching, sanding, or painting. And then I'm just plum tuckered out. I can't think.

Help! When you're working on projects, do you feel the need to plow through and just "git 'er done" as quickly as possible? Or do you take your time and do other more pleasant things in between the ugly jobs? I'm pulling my hair out here.


  1. When it comes to projects around the house, I tend to procrastinate as much as possible. When it comes to writing, I feel your pain. The first book was done in bits and pieces, and as I read it now it's very obvious which pieces were the filler, inserted at an editor's request to meet our page goals or to get from that last part to the next thing.

    As I write the latest, I'm trying to write sequentially. It's taking me longer because I don't act on bursts of creative energy when I get an idea. I'm writing things down to save for when I get to that part, because I am trying to structure this one so I have a tiny cliffhanger at the end of each chapter as I build to the climax. My goal is not just to write a story, but to write a page turner.

    And my house is always a no pressure there!

  2. You might invite some friends over to help, feed 'em pizza, and get the thing done in one day. No one says you have to do everything alone!!

    1. Thank you, Tristi! Note to self, get some help (probably the mental kind), learn to delegate and don't do this kind of stuff alone again. Now, that I can do:)


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