Sunday, May 12, 2019

An expletive deleted children's story

The weaving project in progress
My big news this week is that I got shortlisted for a prize in children's lit. Actually happened over a month ago but I was sworn to secrecy until they published the official list, which just happened. It's terrible to be sworn to secrecy on something so exciting, and the release was palpable. I immediately fired off emails to friends and family and all of the friends—every last one of them—was just as excited as I was.

Deafening silence from family. A prophet in one's own land sort of thing I guess.

Eventually one brother, the one with the awful diagnosis, broke silence and the three sons one by one also chimed in over the next few days. Have not heard from brother #2, but I believe he does not check email regularly, or so I tell myself.

Anyway, I won't know till the end of the month whether it goes any further than being shortlisted and I don't really expect it will, but the shortlist is exciting enough. There's going to be an awards ceremony (multiple prizes in different categories) which conflicts with my weaving class and I almost feel like skipping the awards but that wouldn't really be kosher. Show up and congratulate the winners, hobnob with 'real' writers. Risk not finishing my weaving project due to too many skipped classes.

Being a 'children's writer' was not really what I was aspiring to but hey! I'll take it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The new couch
In other news I have rearranged and refurnished my living room. I was at a local building supply place a month ago to purchase a tool that was on sale and happened to see a couch there that interested me. It was in the paint and flooring department and there were a couple of customers sitting on it contemplating some flooring samples. I sat down beside them and decided it was comfy. My only issue was whether it would actually fit in my living room which is small and already overcrowded with furniture. So I took measurements and went home, took some more measurements and concluded that if I got rid of a couple of furniture pieces I might be able to fit the building supply couch in.

The old table
One of the furniture pieces that would have to go is my large dining table. It's a good table but it is too large for the small room and really only gets used for piling books and papers on. If it had a leaf that I could remove it would be fine but it doesn't. So I did a bit of moving stuff around and bought the couch. Huge effort to get it home and set up but worth it, I love the couch. Then some internet browsing to find a smaller table and thought I found the right table at the IKEA in the city. A trip to the city with a friend to look at it in real life, combined with a browse of the best Chinese grocery store in the city (or that's what the newspaper review of Chinese grocery stores said) and I came home with a Norden gateleg table (and dark dark soy sauce, noodles and dried mushrooms). The table's principal feature is that it has two huge hinged leaves so that it folds down to almost nothing.

This week I assembled the table. I had forgotten what IKEA assembly projects were like.

The instructions have no words, only pictures. There was a whole separate document of warnings, all in pictures only and some of them quite incomprehensible. At a certain point I was stymied, the hinge screws would not screw in. I tried an electric drill/driver but that did not help. The warnings document had a picture of a person phoning the IKEA store (as opposed to standing there with the manual in hand and a big question mark in a balloon above their head) so I did that.

The person with the heavy accent (I had to get him to repeat what he was saying numerous times because I couldn't understand him) told me to try harder. After huffily telling him that I had already done that (I think I used the F-word) he then told me to bring the table back to the store. I thanked him for his assistance and ended the call. The question mark was now multiple exclamation marks.

The electric drill was lying on the floor next to the offending hinges so I picked it up and selected an appropriate bit and reamed out the pre-drilled screw holes until the screws would go in. I may regret that in the future but for now it works.

I am happy with my new smaller table and the building supply couch. Hapi on the other hand is not, she hates change. She comes into the house and stands at the doorway to the living room and looks around with a big frown, then she turns and goes back outside. Aside from two brief inspections of the living room she has stayed outside ever since. Doggy disapproval is clearly communicated.


Rain Trueax said...

How exciting for you to be shortlisted. Good luck that your story goes further-- for the fun of it but also encouragement to do more writing.

Wisewebwoman said...

Huge Congratulations, Annie, what a great achievement. I rode for days when I was shortlisted a while back for an entry, I didn't even think of the win, just the nod from the universe that my writing was worthwhile.

And I hear you on the fam. A deafening silence on the publication of the book and I sent off a copy to 1 bro and that was joined by another deafening silence. Not even acknowledgement. I used to find this painful but now I laugh as the surprise would be in them acknowledging me. I gain so much support from friends and Daughter and Grandgirl, that's all I focus on. But it used to hurt.