October 29, 2013

McKinley FAIL


Fiona was here again today—she was here one day last week on the same task—sorting and packing up backlist in the attic at Third House.  Last week she was here on a day when the ME had me more or less nailed to some sofa or other with occasional totterings outside to allow hellcritters to stretch their legs and perform certain functions.*  Today I was at least upright and mobile–and downstairs gazing despairingly at bookshelves full of other people’s books.

I’m getting Third House ready for rental.  Yaay.  Not.

I realise it’s not the end of the world.  It’s not even not the end of the world as I know it.  But it’s the end of a little piece of the world as I want to know it.

I’ve earned my living as a free lance writer for—yeep—nearly thirty years.  But I’ve never been a best-seller** and I don’t write frelling fast enough.  I managed to buy Third House during an uncharacteristic little flurry of getting out a book a year for about three years.  For which I am devoutly grateful.  At least I do own it.

But at the moment I can’t afford to own it.  I didn’t have enough money to do a really thorough remodel;  I went way over budget as it is to get the frelling weight-bearing, which is to say backlist-bearing, floor put in, because of the building regs about weight-bearing floors.  And it turned out fine for someone who mainly wants space for lots and lots of books, but it’s not at all laid out for normal people with, you know, kids and families and things.***  So while I’ve been watching the bottom of my bank balance get closer and closer and plainer and plainer† I’ve also been wondering if it was even worth trying to let Third House, with its peculiar floor plan and paucity of bedrooms.  Eventually I went round to our nice local realtor . . . and the answer is yes . . . just.  By the time I’ve paid to have an assortment of small annoying problems scolded and told to pull their frelling socks up, frelling broadband installed, the (frelling) garden thumped into order†† and all that extra-frelling backlist and a few bits of furniture flung into storage . . . I’ll do very slightly better than break even . . . after about a year to earn back what I put into making it up to rentable standard.†††  But I think it’s probably worth it to have someone else paying the shockingly unhilarious council tax on a small not-all-that-old house that happens to be inconveniently located in a quaint village downtown deemed a Conservation Area.

Meanwhile . . . storage will be slightly cheaper if there’s less stuff to store and if I do some of my own packing.  Hence staring at my bookshelves and hence Fiona, bless her many, many times with yarn sales of extraordinary splendour and a satnav that is never wrong.

But I’m still not feeling exactly chirpy about the whole thing, so you’ll excuse me if I go to bed early with a good book.  One of the ones I brought home with me from Third House. . .  sniff. . . . ‡

* * *

* Days when the ME is bad it would be very nice if they were taller.  I can rebalance myself delicately with fingers resting on an alert hellhound head.  The hellterror, however, is probably roping my ankles together with her lead or using my knees as a rocket-launcher.^  It’s not that she can’t hurl herself six feet into the air after a squirrel, it’s that she can’t maintain it long enough for me to lean on her.

^ I was on the floor this evening being a hellterror-toy and Fiona said, are you aware that your right rear pocket is parting company with your jeans?  Yes, I said, that’s because the hellterror sticks her hind feet in that pocket when I’m carrying her under that arm.  And a good thing too, what she weighs.+

+ I had occasion to be carrying Chaos a few days ago.  He weighs barely more than she does.#  It’s just the long trailing legs make it harder to get him over a dog-unfriendly stile.

# Of course she eats, which might have something to do with it.

** Yes, I’ve been on the list a few times.  But these things can be both mutable and evanescent.  I’ve never been a best-seller like Ninety-Eight Shades of Chartreuse is a best-seller.

*** All three of our current houses together would be about half the floor space of the old house—and about twenty per cent of attics, outbuildings and garden.  Granted that was a big house, and bigger than we needed.  Still.

† Is it more distressing to have your monster super-global corporate bank jerking you around when you have a lot of money in it, or only a little?  Discuss.

†† I hope my future tenants like roses.

†††This is not the wild American back of beyond, but hopelessly over-civilised southern English village society.  Rose Manor wouldn’t get a booking in New Arcadia.^

^ But KES is going to make my fortune after all and then I can have Third House back.

‡ And I’m NEVER HAVING OVERNIGHT GUESTS AGAIN.  The sofabed at the cottage isn’t going to have room to open any more, after the twelve more boxes of books imported from Third House. . . .


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