I’m at work on a new old novel called "Tributary." This new old tome took twelve years of my mid-life, requiring trips to three university special collections libraries, reading stacks of historical info, driving a hundred or so miles of back roads in southern Idaho for site locations, facing personal and family religious demons, learning how not to tell a story in order to know how to, pitching to nearly a hundred agents, finding an agent, waiting for over two years for the agent to fail to place the novel, and a big pile of suffering sprinkled over the entire enterprise.
Now I intend to write the thing in a paroxysm of joy.
Do-it-yourself seems to be the theme that explains my efforts. The theme of my life, actually. If you want to lift yourself out of the realm of stuck, miserable suffering you have to do it yourself.
The negative events we face are the workshop for bravery.
Case in point: I've done so much remodeling work in the last twenty years I could almost hang out a general contractor shingle. I own power tools, a staple gun, chisels, knee pads, fume masks, sledgehammers and more extension cords than
"A Charlie Brown Christmas."
But a singing toilet had never crossed my path.
I let it sing for a month, enjoying the quaint soundtrack in my house. And then knew I couldn’t waste water any longer. Something was leaking and leaks need care.
The directions do not tell you how to fully empty the tank first, but my nephew did. Step one says only “remove old toilet fill valve” which of course would not remove and required a trip to the local hardware store for wrenches that fit the cramped space.
All alone, armed with curses and these wrenches, two screwdrivers and a constant fear of flooding, I did it. (Ignoring directions 7 & 8 as I could not understand the diagrams.) The forceful efficient flush makes me smile every time.
P.S. Did I mention that I burned all of the manuscript copies of this novel in pure revolt, so that (pulling my hair out at this discovery) I HAVE to do-it-myself, yet again?
Thanks to Dreamstime for the boot photo.
Charlie Brown drawings thanks to the amazing Charles Schultz.