Busy, busy, busy

I’ve been working a lot lately, and doing tons of projects at home. This leaves me very little time to write, which makes me slightly bonkers. To help with this I got a copy of The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler. As a reference, it’s been a wonderful book. Chocked full of good ideas that is helping my plot out Angel of Death. So I’ve been enjoying that part immensely.

But this is also pointing out to me the obvious, that I need to do some more research, especially on Catholic mysticism especially in rural Mexico. Anyone know a good book?

Thinking outside the wall

Did you ever stop to think about how stupid our walls are?

A typical wall in a family dwelling in North America is a custom built piece of rock, set in place upon either side of a wooden frame. Ostensibly they keep moisture from crossing from one side to the next, and ideally they are airtight. If they are of modern construction, then  they are insulated as well. Every opening, which are frequent (think of it, every window, door, electrical outlet, etc.), much be carefully constructed to maintain this solidity against air and moisture.

That all well and good, but then we also run most of important bits of electrical and plumbing through them, with no way to access those bits when the eventually break down. How stupid is that? You not only have to custom manufacture these walls on the spot, but then if there is anything inside them you need to get at, you have to break them apart (a difficult process all on its own), and then repair them again. That’s like running the break and shifter cables for your bicycle through the inter tubes on the wheels.

Walls should be built with at least one side completely and easily removable. I’m thinking no more than 8 bolts per 4’x8′ section. The edges should mate up so they are air and water tight with neighboring sections, and the borders with other walls, the floor, and the ceiling should either do the same, or at least have a way of applying trim to them which provides this same function. That way if I have a plumbing leak, or need to rewire an outlet, I can just unscrew the trim and wall pieces as needed, do the repairs, and then simply reattach the panels back into place. An added benefit of such panels would be that I could take them out, one at a time, to the garage, to paint or clean them. Much easier than dirtying up the whole house.

Darn that life thing, it so gets in the way.

I’ve been very busy for the past couple of months, and have neglected my poor blog. All two of my fans are now obviously despondent. Sigh.

The reality is my Father-in-law passed away a while back, and we’ve been spending all our free time out at the Davis Ranch (where my lovely Mother-in-law lives) trying to help her get a handle on the drifts of interesting stuff he left behind. And I do mean drifts.

The main priority has been to get her a running truck so she can drag stuff to the dump, and generally be more independent. Of course, because it is this family, the beater truck is a 56 Ford with a big back window. Like the photo below, only more beat, and with a hood that open the proper way. Just working on it is pretty cool, and the luxury of all that space, and the absence of computers makes it a project perfect for a poorly trained shade-tree mechanic like myself.1956 Ford F-100, big back window

A real blessing is the ability to work with my delightful brother-in-law, Rob, on this project. He and I have always clicked, from the day we met, and we seem to work well together, which makes the process so much more fun. He also knows about a billions times more than me about cars and such, growing up with his hot-rodding father like he did. I got some of that growing up, but not nearly the same super sized helping of advice and tool use.

Father Juan and the novel is going a pace, I’ve got two new chapters, and a few corrections to put up. I also last week, put together a time line in which the whole novel plays out. The was needing a backbone to help locate the various bits in time and place, and I think I hit just the right mix of structure and open endedness to make it work. This will mean minor structural changes to all the chapters, adding in some details early on to fit the story to that backbone. The basic story will remain the same, but now much of it (hopefully) will benefit from a more concrete context. time will tell.