How Frozen Pipes Can Help Your Writing
Let's face it, I am not the most disciplined person on the planet. I want to do what I want to do, and I don't like being scheduled. I get enough of that at work. So plunking my butt down to write only happens when a) I get a row of days off where I don't have a trip planned; and b) I get some inspiration. That isn't really the way to do mass production but..it works.
After Geography was published (November 2015) and Fire in the Heart was sold (July 2016) I set a goal of having a new manuscript to my agent by November 2016, my bookiversary for Geography of Water. I had a couple of nebulous chapters written about navigating the ocean in Southeast Alaska. It would be another Alaska book, which I wasn't crazy about, because, diversity, but enough people were fascinated by my kayak ranger tales during my book readings that I thought it was worth a try. And, more importantly, I still had mixed feelings on the whole Alaska experience that I wanted to write about.
But it was haaaaaaaard. I didn't want to write, I wanted to be outside. November came and went with only 40K words, some terrible at that. However, in December, I had to cancel a backpacking trip for financial reasons. This made me very, very sad. But it also created an opportunity. I have never had a week off where I didn't travel somewhere, and so this created the space to charge on the ms. This must be what real writers do! In two weeks, I wrote 35K words.
I was almost ready to send it to my agent. Today I bounced into my house after staying in the country home (trust me, we are not rich, it is a shack) and prepared for the day. I was going to ski, etc etc etc. After all, it was Saturday! Then I turned on a faucet. Nothing! The horror ensued, pushing a heavy doghouse off the crawlspace, putting a space heater under there, watching for flames. It has been four hours and I now have cold water in the kitchen, but nothing anywhere else.
The good side? While I babysat the pipes, I finished revising for the last time, created a pdf, and sent the ms to my agent. She responded right away saying she was excited to read it.
Sometimes good things can happen from frozen pipes. I guess. Right now I am wondering where my next shower will come from (the country shack, I guess).