Friday, March 8, 2013

The Perfect Fit

This winter, when I've dealt with rewriting and fleshing out chapters in my novel or when a rejection letter from an agent I've queried has arrived, I usually redecorate my house. It's as if I must get a hold of myself and make myself happy in some way and I've always loved redecorating, painting and moving furniture around in my house. I view it as a mental health must. I take control back and make sense of my world.

In spring and summer, I usually go into the garden and dig in the dirt when I need a mental break. I find working on my old house and gardening very meditative. The activities reground me after losing balance and my footing which is what it feels like to be rejected by an agent you've queried. Not a great feeling. I simply tuck the letters and emails away and forget about them. I've never received a rejection with any advice as to what to change in my novel, so I shrug my shoulders and improve my chapters.

Last week I visited a used furniture shop in town and found an old wood fireplace mantle painted black. I've been searching for one for quite some time and there is was, propped up against the wall. I instantly fell in love with it and was excited that it was in my price range -- cheap! I couldn't write my check out quick enough. The shop owner said he recognized me. He'd fixed the fence next door to me that runs alongside my garden and he complimented my garden. How nice! He then kindly offered to walk the fireplace mantle around the corner. I was thrilled to finally place the mantle in the place I'd chosen and stood back to admire it as I removed decades of dirt. It's a perfect fit.

I didn't receive any rejection letters from agents last week, but I was at a tough place in my novel that might require rewriting. I instinctively knew I'd need a break before tackling the chapter and felt it was time to paint something. I decided to paint the interior of my front door black. Of course, that led to moving furniture around! Redecorating is like standing dominoes in a pattern and then, pushing the first tile forward and watching them all fall. Removing the Art Deco coat rack by the front door and replacing it with my oak secretary meant that other things had to be moved.

Moving the coat rack out of the way led to assembling my pine armoire in the kitchen and moving the pine hutch to the little nook in the hall way that leads out of the kitchen. The perfect fit. Of course, paintings had to be moved and I am so pleased with the results. My 106-year old, quirky house is taking shape, moving to a place where I'm happy.

Once that was all done, I looked at the before and after photographs I shot and was pleased. I am satisfied. I love my house again.  Now that the redecorating is done, I can sit down in my beautiful living room and rework that chapter.  I just needed some grounding, self-confidence and motivation.

One agent has the first 50 first pages of my manuscript as we speak. He asked for an exclusive, so there's not much I can do but work on that chapter and pray that he wants to see the entire manuscript.  All I need is the perfect fit. Much like my house, I've tried this agent and that agent and won't be dissuaded because I know the end result will be beautiful. 

I can visualize that perfect fit.

Happy Friday to you!

Peace and love,
Ellie


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