Sorry to be posting late today…we had some minor excitement in the Dare household last night and it threw everything off. And I do mean minor. As in, our washing machine stopped draining, and Mr. Dare and I (okay, mostly Mr. Dare) embarked on fix-it mission that involved much googling, cursing, and mopping of floors, and the eventual recovery of enough spare change to buy a latte. It’s working now. 🙂

It was actually a pretty fitting cap to my week. I have revising for days on end, wrestling my book two (SURRENDER OF A SIREN) manuscript into submission. There has been much googling, cursing, and drinking of lattes involved.

A major revision is not unlike appliance repair, really. When something is just plain not working, sometimes you have no choice but to rip the book open and start fiddling with it. There is that terrifying moment when you’ve pulled the whole darn thing apart and all you see is a mess of spare parts, and you wonder if you’ll ever be able to put it back together. Yeah, I had that moment. But I just kept at it, one piece at a time, and now I think I’ve got it working again. And actually, I think it’s working better than ever.

What about you, are you handy? When something breaks in your house, do you try to fix it yourself, or just speed-dial the repairman? Have you ever torn apart a manuscript and wondered just how the heck you would fit it back together?

(BTW, those are my own two kitties, both passed onto kitty heaven now, marveling at said washer when it was first purchased. *sniff* I miss them!)

12 comments to “Handy (Wo)Man”

  1. terrio
    · June 10th, 2008 at 7:57 am · Link

    I’m a do-it-myself gal, but it depends on what it is. I live in an apartment so one call to the maintenance dude means things get fixed (sometimes) with no charge to me. Now, if I have to pay, then I’ll do my best to fix things first.

    I like to take things apart and put them back together. Though I’ve yet to have to do this with an MS. Mostly since I don’t have a finished MS. It doesn’t sound like a fun thing to do.

    Sorry for the trouble but congrats on getting the machine back up and running. I love the amazement shown by the kitties. It’s so funny what they’ll find entertaining.

  2. Santa
    · June 10th, 2008 at 10:05 am · Link

    I dial 1-800-HANDYMAN because my man isn’t handy and I have no desire to learn how to do it.

    The same does not hold true for my manuscript. The dismantling of it and the recreation process are ones I have to go through myself – even if it’s the most painful, annoying, exasperating, frustrating, disconcerting experience of my life. But do it I must and do it I will.

    Sorry to hear about all the work you’ve had to do both on the home and writing front! I am very happy to hear that everything has been set to rights!

  3. Tiffany Kenzie
    · June 10th, 2008 at 10:13 am · Link

    Those are the cutest kitties ever!

    I’m not into hard labour 🙂 That’s what a man is for–and mine does everything, which is good because I tend to break things and trip over things, and well… you get the picture.

    And call a stranger into my house? I’m totally antisocial. God, I won’t even pick up the phone and order out (this is part of my shyness) my hubby has to do it.

    Do I like taking my stories apart and putting them back together? sometimes…

  4. Alice Audrey
    · June 10th, 2008 at 11:27 am · Link

    I miss my kitties too. My mother just got a kitten, and he has everyone in the family grinning.

  5. skirbo
    · June 10th, 2008 at 12:20 pm · Link

    Tessa, I’m so not handy that it’s not funny. I have determined that I have to change, though, so I did buy my first cordless drill this weekend, to put my raised garden beds together. Hopefully I won’t kill myself with it later on. (Florida Panhandle Woman Loses Eye in Bizarre Cordless Drill Accident, Film At Eleven.)

    I can help you with the cat-less state, and you could help me, A LOT, if you would take one or two cute kittens off my hands. See, an almost-but-not-quite foster daughter brought me a pregnant cat, who had four kittens. Then my first accidental litter happened when my daughter’s calico got pregnant and had three kittens.

    Many kittens to choose from, no waiting. Special rate for authors and/or librarians who are professionally obligated to own cats but currendly do not: Adopt one, get one or two or four free. Free shipping. No, really.


  6. Elyssa Papa
    · June 10th, 2008 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Am not a handy woman whatsoever–thank god I live in an apartment where a handy person is readily available.

    But if need be, if I had a manual, I think I could figure it out. Maybe. *g*

    And a major revision? Ripping out parts of your book? Wondering if you’ll get through it. Um. Yes. I know exactly what you mean.
    And so do Kate and Sam. *g*

  7. Janga
    · June 10th, 2008 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Since my attempts at do-it-myself repairs always cost me more money than if I had called an expert in the beginning, I have learned to wait for one of my nephews to say “I can fix this” or “You need to call X.” My skills at tearing apart a mss are much better. I’ve had lots of practice. 🙂

  8. Maggie Robinson
    · June 10th, 2008 at 4:14 pm · Link

    Both John and I are hopeless. Whatever we try to put back together, there are always extra screws or parts left and we have no clue where they should go. I did, however, attach the dryer cord without electrocuting myself, and because the computer cords are color-coodinated, I managed to set it up, too. We have handy sons-in-laws and daughters who take pity on us.

    Glad Surrender has not made you sink!

  9. Maria Zannini
    · June 10th, 2008 at 5:44 pm · Link

    I’m sorry about your kitties. I still miss my guys too.

    I am not terribly handy, but that’s never stopped me from tearing anything apart to see what’s making it NOT tick. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. :o)

    Luckily, I do have a husband who is remarkably handy. It’s actually one of the things that got my attention. I had never met anyone who can visualize the inside of things. He’s amazing.

    I come from a long line of unhandy people. What little I know, I learned from living 30+ years with a mechanically inclined Renaissance man.

    Maybe that’s what makes me so fearless. I know (and always hope) he’ll be there to fix my messes.

    And in answer to your other question about manuscripts–I am fearless there too. But I’m on my own if I mess up. He won’t do fiction. LOL!

  10. La Belle Americaine
    · June 10th, 2008 at 9:25 pm · Link

    I’m pretty much a novice engineer. I have a ton of fun looking at a broken item and figuring out how to repair it.

    When it comes to writing, I have an editors eye (sans the grammar–hopeless with that) when it comes to evaluating a manuscript. Other people’s that is. I need to finish a few of my own. *g* But I’m confident that I can write a terrific story from rough draft to polished.

  11. Darcy Burke
    · June 10th, 2008 at 10:06 pm · Link

    What a fitting post today, Tessa. Did you write this just for me as I struggle to reassemble chapters 1-5? Ah well, they are the better for it (I think), but it’s like emptying out the messy closet and putting it back in an organized fashion. Takes some doing, but you’re glad you did it.

  12. Marnee Jo
    · June 15th, 2008 at 6:00 pm · Link

    I’m pretty handy. I’ve done electrical work, including instaling light fixtures, changing electrical outlets, and changing lightbulbs. I’ve done plumbing, including installing a faucet, installing a garbage disposal, and removing a furball from the bathtub drain (eewww…).

    Though some things are beyond me. The cords behind the TV. Clueless….

    Cute kitties!!! And glad the MS is working again.