Memorial Day 2015 has come and gone and without very much fanfare at my house. The weather was lovely, warm but not humid and a long holiday weekend was the perfect time to get in some final writing on my upcoming trilogy, Whetstone. It was a working holiday, but even though much of it was spent on my computer, I definitely cannot complain about spending some time indoors doing some editing. Embroiling myself in my novels rarely gets tedious. Once the idea has been clearly formed in my mind, as well as many of the phrases and conversations between the characters, the writing begins. At that point all of the people and situations are three dimensional in my mind and the writing is simply letting the descriptions of it pour out onto the paper. Then I write and write and read and write and read some more. By the time I have read my story over a dozen times I feel like I have been at Stavewood or Whetstone long enough and it is then that the book is ready. That's when I feel the book has said all it needs to say and it is time to finish it up, sit down with my editor, get it formatted and uploaded, approved by the publisher and off to the printer. And then I start to form my next novel and the excitement begins all over again.
Spring roses in my garden
I love to write and I am always thankful that I love every aspect of it and after all the hours and work it's time to order a proof. A proof is the first copy of the new novel. My book is finally printed on paper and beautifully bound with a cover and now I can hold it in my hand. It still gives me the most incredible thrill. This is my last chance to be sure the book is as perfect as I can make it, the final check for any mistakes. There are always things that can only be seen when the book is that close to its final form. With my first novel, Stavewood, I had to do five proofs before I was happy and now, after several more novels, I could even polish it up more, but as with any kind of art there is a time to set it aside and move on. Now one proof usually does it, shows me anything I might like to tweak and with a word from my wonderfully patient editor it goes to print and up for sale. Then I can get excited again. As I get close, like I am now with the Whetstone trilogy, I think about a quote from Edmond Mbiaka, “Wishing for something without tirelessly working for it, is like trying to drive a car that has no fuel in it.” I am always thankful that I have the natural motivation to devote my full efforts to my dreams and that as result many of them have come true.
But alas, now and again I do put off things I could and should do every day, and so it was again with my funny little kitchen. It has taken me a couple of years and a rather general plan but I have finally finished everything I set out to do. My original dream involved contractors and knocking down walls and adding long expanses of counters. Now my life is different than when we bought this house and one day I decided to accept the challenge of making it the best itty-bitty-city kitchen I could. I took everything out of the cabinets and thought about making it work no matter the size. I pulled out the spices (I have lots) and got back that space by lining them up on shelves beneath the cabinets, as I showed in an earlier post. I made many other changes as well but the one thing that remained that made me completely crazy was the wall behind the stove. It is painted with flat paint like the rest of the room and it is impossible to keep clean. I scrubbed it and repainted it several times and was never happy. It looked terrible and was far too much work to keep up. I needed a back splash.
Now I didn’t want the same thing that is on my counters and sink surround. It would have been a lot of work and wouldn't have been the right solution. I considered tile, then tin and finally a sledge hammer. All of these ideas seemed like an awful lot of work for just a little thing. Then I found this stuff:
A bundle of wainscoting
When I did my spice shelves I bought a bundle of wainscoting to use for thin shelves. It worked great, but the bundle had many more pieces than I needed. I put them away in the basement. A few weeks ago I pulled out all of my holiday decorations for a good sorting and found the bundle. I decided to wainscot behind the stove. (Is wainscot a verb? This is why I love my editor).
I should have done this years ago! It took about two lousy hours and I love it! I got industrial glue sticks for my industrial glue gun, pulled the stove out from the wall, scrubbed the floor underneath because… well you can imagine… and went to it. I only used the glue gun, glue sticks, a level, a pencil and a small hacksaw.
The pieces have a nice groove along them so that they fit right into one another and it is not much harder than building with Legos. I drew a level line along the wall, right above a crack that had been annoying me anyway, and put glue on each strip, fit it into the piece before it, and held it against the wall for several seconds.
The wall before:
I had to make a few cuts, not many, to go around an outlet and light switch and then I painted it with four coats of very high gloss white paint. That’s when I kicked myself for not getting moving and doing it a long time ago. It is so glossy it practically says no to spatters, wipes right off and brightens up my cooking area. I’m happy. Now back to getting Whetstone on the shelves out there for summer reading!
The installed strips with a piece of molding along the top edge:
Please come again!