What Do I Want To Be Good At?

I see lots of women my age trundling craft supplies into the clubhouse:  lace making, quilting, scrapbooking, card creation. I pass by hearing them laughing and having a good time.

I live in a tiny mountain village in the mountains a good bit north of the Los Angeles sprawl. No movie theater, no other canned entertainments. Move here and you need to know how to amuse yourself. Fortunately writing crime fiction shapes my daily life.

Buying a house here in 1999 that needed work, I thought laying floors and painting sounded like fun. As my own boss, I can be a terrible slave driver, or on the other hand, allow myself every sniveling excuse I can think up to quit for now. So all my DIY projects were at my own pace.

I discovered that a good use of money is to pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do work you haven’t done before.

My father used to say I didn’t have a lick of common sense when it came to practical things. In a way that’s true.  But his common sense was founded on a lifetime of experience in mending, fixing, finding work arounds, and knowing which corners to cut.


Painting is satisfying. You can see how far you’ve come and the ways to go. Unlike writing.

You never know exactly where you’re at when you’re writing. You can always pick at a paragraph and make it better.  A word change here and there does make a difference.  Painting a ceiling you can get away with pretty good.  Or good enough. Yet I have endless patience word picking and sentence shininess.

I’ll never be good at DIY.

You might like to browse through my website since you’re here. Countless hours have gone into buffing it up and it’s still not perfect.  Know the feeling?

This entry was posted in Crime fiction, Editing, Finishing, Giving Up, Mar Preston, Mystery eBooks, Storytelling, writing craft and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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