Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fricassee

Today I will attempt to write amidst chaos.

Yesterday, our upstairs toilet overflowed. As in, water flowing through the ceiling downstairs.

Yeah. Imagine how thrilled I was when, just as I sat down for my writing time (I kid you not; it happened JUST THEN), I heard water where water shouldn't have been.

And there it was. Pouring through the ceiling vent in the downstairs bathroom. Dazzling its spectators by ripping open a seam in the guest room ceiling and producing a third spout inside the closet.

A breathtaking display.

The insurance company is now our best friend, and today the repair work begins. First step? Drying everything out. Which means lots of big, industrial fans and a couple of dehumidifiers. Running constantly for the next three days.

Did you catch that? Running. Constantly. On two floors.

Now, picture me trying to write. Picture me trying to think, for that matter. Or chat quietly with Mr. A. Or, um, sleep.

My favorite coffee shop is only six minutes up the road. And it's calling my name. Screaming, actually.

Except. It's too cold to move. I don't even want to go outside to fetch the mail.

So. Noise? Or freezedom?

And no, I don't have earbuds for my Sansa.

Guess I'd better figure out what to do, yes? At any rate, I'm looking forward to Monday's brouhaha (I mean Secret Agent contest). I know there's going to be a mad (mad mad mad) rush, so PLEASE, dearest fellow authors, PLEASE don't enter unless you are confident that your manuscript is in query-able shape.

Have a warm-as-you-can-be weekend! (And if you live in the tropics, don't tell me.)


  1. This happened in our house in July. Water in 3 bedrooms & a hallway. Our bedroom got up to nearly 100 degrees, with blowers in our bedroom, master bath, and hallway right outside the door. The air conditioning couldn't touch it. The Clean Master guy became my friend. I am very sympathetic to what you are going through. Thankfully, and this is what we focused on every time we started complaining, nothing was lost or permanently damaged (wood flooring, carpet, walls - all fine). Hopefully you can find a positive in the mess, because it will help you retain sanity with the constant blower noise!!

  2. Yuck! I cringed at the image of the overflowing toilet. And I thought it was bad when one of my kids flushed a toy down a toilet. Apparently I was wrong.

    Looking forward to Monday's craziness. I mean contest. I already have my guesses as to who the agent is. :D

    Have a great weekend. Or at least try to.

  3. Yikes! Good luck with the writing, though I'm very glad to hear the financial aspect of it isn't contributing to the worry.

    Times like this, I think authors need a superhero or headphone-rental service. "Never fear, Headphone Man is here! Have you tried the new Sennheiser noise-canceling headset? It comes with plus, pampering earcups!"

    Don't suppose you've got a scene where the heroine is left alone in a room, surrounded by loud noises?

  4. *hugs* You have my total sympathy for the water damage and the noise. I have to have quiet to write and sleep. Thank goodness you were home when it happened.

  5. Indoor, unexpected waterfalls, are never a good thing . . . nor is stepping on the carpet and finding it soaking wet and realizing the water heater has gone out in a bad, bad way! Ah, the joys of homeownership.

    I say make a run for the coffee shop. However cold you get, some nice hot coffee will warm you up!


  6. So sorry to hear about your overflow problem. I used to work in claims for an insurance company so my best advice-keep every receipt. If you have to go out for coffee because you can't work from home, keep the receipt. If you have to buy earbuds, keep the receipt. Then try to get them covered by your adjuster. They may cover it, they may not, but the won't if you don't have the receipt.

    Yeah, so happy I can give you advice for a change. woo hoo.

  7. Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.--James Thurber, US author, cartoonist, humorist, & satirist (1894 - 1961)

    I hope you can use this situation in a future WIP. Meanwhile, I wish you the best of luck in the drying process. Were you not anonymous, I'd buy you the cup of coffee at the local coffee shop. You deserve it!

  8. Ahhh my parents just went through this! I'm so sorry--but they got a beautiful new floor out of it. :)

  9. Aw, that stinks, Authoress. It reminds me of my husband's college apartment - their toilet leaked every time you flushed it, and the resulting drippage happened to fall straight onto their kitchen table. Yum.

  10. I'm back a post or two...can you tell me more about the #askagent thing on twitter? Do I just put that in my tweet and it will magically get seen by agents? Sorry, I'm new to the sorry about your water situation! Yuk!

  11. Beth, If you type #askagent in your tweet, your tweet will be seen on the #askagent feed. Also, if you click on #askagent in your tweet, it will take your directly to the #askagent feed, where you will be able to follow all comments with that hashtag. If you're not already following Colleen Lindsay, do so, because she always announces the #askagent sessions (they are sporadic).

  12. Beth, If you type #askagent in your tweet, your tweet will be seen on the #askagent feed. Also, if you click on #askagent in your tweet, it will take your directly to the #askagent feed, where you will be able to follow all comments with that hashtag. If you're not already following Colleen Lindsay, do so, because she always announces the #askagent sessions (they are sporadic).


    Gushing, and unwanted water through ceilings happened to me more than once. Not pleasant. But you're half way there. Right?

    Know what you mean about the cold out there. Got dressed this morning (bought a new top and wanted to show it off to all my coffee shop writing peers, who don't look anyway... ), and here I am still sitting in front of my computer. Oh well...

    Wishing you a more peaceful time soon.

  14. I feel your pain. I will finally get a quiet moment to write and the neighbor's dog will start barking. Happens every time. The dog is a marathon barker, too. Never gets tired.

    Good luck, and good luck on Monday. I'm so sad to be sitting this one out, but I think I let others have a shot.

  15. I'm sure you will look back on this day and laugh...blah, blah, blah. Oh, hell, laugh now. You know it’s funny when it happens to other people.

    My thoughts are with you and, yes, I am LMAO. Besides, it reminds me of when my hubby and I tried to fix the kitchen faucet.

    We forgot to turn the water off, a fountain shot skyward, and the phone rang. I yelled at the caller, "I'm busy flooding the kitchen," and hung up.

    They never called back.

    Take care.

  16. oh my goodness - we've had a toilet that keeps wigging out on us - three plumbers later it's finally fixed but it doesn't even compare to what you're dealing with.

    For what it's worth - I say you go to the coffee shop. You'll be warm once you get the coffee in you! Just order an extra hot refill for the return trip. ;)

  17. That's a lot of chaos.

    My poor plumber was supposed to come today to fix a leaking sprinkler system, but he's in the hospital right now as he crashed on his way here.

    I'll take noise any day, though it is hard to write with it.

  18. That sucks. I guess the coffee shop would have to be screaming your name for you to hear it over the fans.

    Look on the bright side - instant water feature! (Not a bright side?)

  19. That's a really really distracting thing -- you need to go to the coffee shop! I have fewer hassles -- just frozen pipes (it got down to near -50 with the windchill) and a bathtub that won't drain, but no water running through the floorboards so I can't really complain! Good luck and I hope everything is soon back to normal!

  20. That's an awful thing to happen at the start of a new year, Authoress. It happened to my son just before Christmas too. They are trying to sell their house, have a toddler and a new baby. The pipes behind the bathroom wall burst and poured downstairs into two rooms. They had no water and the insurance company said they couldn't claim it because it wasn't an accident. Bummer.

    You should put on your warmest coat, go to a coffee shop with a big open fire, and drown your sorrows in your manuscript.

    Add the scene of your burst pipes to your story. That will make you feel much better.

  21. Okay I won't say a thing about Sydney weather. I won't tell you that the sky is cloudless. And I definitely won't say that the temperature is between 25 and 29. Nor that rain is not forecast until Monday. Lucky you warned me or I'd have just mentioned my day will be spent in the garden with the laptop and listening to the crickets.

    I'm over having a second story. I'm over the whole BIG HOUSE syndrome. Tiny inner city with a back garden. I'm five minutes from the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

    Before I moved here I know the shower was a silent enemy to my downstairs. (but it was a laundry underneath so one tended to do a Scarlett and not think about it today)...


  22. Oh gosh.

    That happened to me during my first week at my new school. Except, we only had one floor, so it was more like a flood of water suddenly cascading across our floor. We then had a fan running constantly, except this was still summer, so I spent the week at the library. Sleeping? Yeah, that was a different story.

    There was also the time that something or other overflowed in the upstairs bathroom at home, and water came pouring through the vent. Which happened to be right above the printer. Yeah, we had to get a new printer after that...

    In short, *sympathies*. Good luck working through the situation. =]

  23. Oh wow, that sucks. We had a pipe leak in our place a year or so ago. It got under the floating wooden floor, which became a literal floating wooden floor. You'd step on the floor and hear a squelch, and water would shoot up from the gaps in the floor. Our floor was wrecked, so we had to rip it all up, which involved ripping up the skirting boards, which meant we had to repaint the walls. It was like the house that Jack built in reverse. Thank goodness it was covered by insurance. And it was, you know, clean water at least.

    So you have my deepest sympathies. I wouldn't care how cold it was outside, I'd be going to the coffee shop.

  24. Looking forward to Monday's craziness. I mean contest. I already have my guesses as to who the agent is.

    Work from home India

  25. First, bummer!

    Second, you don't like that white noise?? I'd sleep with two industrial fans blowing every single night if I could. I love them. In fact, I ruined the fan in our bathroom because I run it all night, every night. Le sigh.