Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Building a writer

You don’t really need fingers to be a writer do you? I’m thinking of becoming one of those writers who dictate things to their computers. Between splinters, squashed fingers, cuts, bruises and general aches, I am feeling quite sorry for myself. Add to that the fact that I am currently working on several writing projects for various community groups with which I am involved and my fingers would ache even if they weren’t already sore.

One of the problems with being able to string together a word or two, plus having access to computers, laser printers and broadband internet, is that you get co-opted every time any group needs “literary-type-like” help. I don’t usually mind, but things seem to be all piling up at the same time and multiple deadlines are galloping towards me. If I don’t manage to get my own writing done I feel miserable, but if I mess up other people’s deadlines then I feel guilty as well.

My delightful neighbour, he of the tractor and willingness to chase cows out of my front paddock (oh I haven’t told you that story yet?), informs me that I need to learn three words: “no” and “I’m sorry.” These can even be strung together, but are required to be said politely and firmly and in some cases repeatedly. I’m practising I promise.

As for the damaged hands -- they’re building related. Our builder, let’s call him Jim, has been leaving us lists of tasks to complete, none of which are things I have previous skills for or experience of. Over the long weekend I mixed up my first ever load of cement and repeated the process many times. We managed to get the three extra house stumps concreted in to our great pride. Last night you could have found us by the light of the reading lamp suspended from our washing line removing nails from the laundry demolition timber. Jim is willing to re-use this perfectly good timber as long as we remove all the nails. I sometimes suspect he is getting great entertainment from our, well at least my efforts, but we’re saving money and I at least am learning a lot. I really will appreciate the extension though when we finally move in.

At the moment, in spite of all our efforts, we seem at times to be going backwards. A lot of renovation work involves taking things apart and we have yet to get to the bit where things go back together again. Mr. Blithe comes home at the end of the day and in the gathering dusk looks at a process that seems to be going backwards. I assure him that we are indeed getting somewhere, but at times that is more wishful thinking than reality. My hands assure me otherwise.

No comments: