First--thank you to everyone that came out or offered 'wish I were there' vibes for the signing last night. I appreciate it. I loved visiting with everyone that came--it really is a fun moment to have your friends around you and saying how cute the cover is and how excited they are to read it. I have the best support!
Now, back to my issues.
Because so many of my books deal with contemporary issues, people sometimes think that I have dealt with some of those particular challenges in my own life. Thankfully, no. That's not to say that I don't love a couple addicts, that there isn't mental illness in my family tree, or that I'm always nice to my husband--but overall, no, I've never been sexually abused, addicted to pain pills, married for convenience, had my identity stolen or my daughter kidnapped. I've never been divorced, or held at gun point or so sick with my pregnancy that I might die. But that's not to say I don't have issues.
One of them has reared it's ugly head today and I am trying very hard to stay calm, filling myself with positive affirmations, and keeping things in perspective.
Alas, I might lose the battle.
So, here's the thing. A couple weeks ago, Northern Utah (where I live) got drenched with rain. We already had a bunch of snow on the ground and then it rained for almost 3 full days, turning us into a cold soggy mess. But, a mess that stayed outside so it was okay. A week later I went into our spare bedroom downstairs and found the carpet was wet. Apparently, the rain gutter had been draining into the window well of that room during all that rain, and the water had come through the window, drenching the floor. We called a disaster clean up place who sucked out the water, pulled back the carpet, and put blowers on it all to dry it out. That's all good--well, okay, it's not GOOD as in wonderful, but I can handle minor household disasters like that from time to time. It's good for my blood pressure to spike under the "This is so not fair!" dramas of such things. I can handle it and move on. The plan was to dry it all out, replace the sheet rock affected, and then re-stretch the carpet.
And then Lee says "Maybe we should just replace the carpet."
"In the whole basement?" I ask, wondering where he came up with five thousand dollars.
"No, just that room."
My mouth goes dry and I clench my teeth. "We can't do that," I say.
"Sure we can, that carpet is crap anyway."
"Yes, and if you put good carpet in one room, the rest of the basement will look even crappier."
"No, it won't."
"Yes, it will! You know how I feel about floor covering, Lee, don't push me."
See, I believe all floor coverings should be the same. Since carpet is impractical in kitchens and bathrooms, I've accepted that it's usually necessary to have two types of floor covering in a house--but they should all match and all the carpet should be the same and all the tile or linoleum or hard wood should be the same--and only one of those options! Yes, the basement carpet is really lousy--but it matches! It's hard enough for me to accept that upstairs and downstairs doesn't have the same carpet, that we have TWO types of tile, and that we, gulp, re-carpeted the living room a few years ago because off white right off the kitchen is just no good. Luckily, the new carpet only touches tile, but just because it's not as bad as it could be doesn't make it right!
Do you see it? Three types of floor covering in four square feet. I know, it's horrible, isn't it?
Here is the current carpet in the basement--it's a commercial grade, very tight Berber.
The seams are coming apart, there are a few spots that are totally unraveling but I prefer it to the nauseating aspect of carpet clash--you know, where two different types of carpet touch each other. Shudder. I just hate that. I mean, I really, really hate it.
And yet, I might not have any choice--Lee's afraid the carpet won't be salvageable after we finish the repairs. So I must pull on the fortitude inspired in me through my faithful ancestors, I must absorb into my soul that life will go on. I'm sure I'll grow from the suffering, but that doesn't mean I'll like it.
And so, you can see why, when it comes to fiction, I choose those things that are detached from my personal pain. Sadly, there are some things, such as carpet clashes, that I hit a little too close to home to write a story about. Every author has to draw the line somewhere.