• Barbara Conrey

I’m Not Just A Writer…



So here’s the thing about writing: there’s time for other things. Small projects. Something to take my mind off my main character and how to get her from what is sometimes referred to as the soggy middle of a manuscript to the end where she throws off her self-doubt and her enemies, and, you know, wins the day.


Redecorating can be a small project. It can. But I’ve found that small redecorating projects blossom. A few years ago we replaced some switch plates. Total cost: $12,500. Switch plates led to paint, paint led to floor refinishing, floor refinishing led to a new sofa and two new wing chairs for the family room.

It’s the domino theory, and it’s reinforced by floor plans meant to flow from room to room. What flow really means is, once you start there’s no bloody stopping. Personally, I think it’s a construction conspiracy. And the people who manufacture paint and carpet and furniture—and switch plates—laugh all the way to the bank.


So, now, all I want to do is replace the doorbell. After all, there’s no flow involved. I’m just looking for a simple note or two to announce family or friends or the occasional door-to-door salesperson who is never deterred by the ‘No Soliciting’ sign at the entrance to our neighborhood. I don’t need chimes or musical melodies. Just ding-dong.


I thought I was safe. And then I walked out my front door to look at the front of my house. I don’t know why. I got to thinking about someone standing on the porch, ringing the doorbell, listening to the pleasant ding-dong of the new doorbell, and I wondered what they saw while they waited for me to answer the door. And that was my mistake. Wondering.


In case you’re curious, or you find yourself standing on my front porch, ringing my doorbell, what you will see while you wait for me to open the door is shutters that need some sprucing, a front door beyond blah, and a sidewalk section with a big crack running through it. Not to mention the privet hedge…And what about brick to replace the siding…


So, now, I’m thinking about not replacing the doorbell and getting back to my office where I can safely write my characters through soggy middles without needing a bloody mortgage…

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