Writing In The Gray

So, the flood’s all dry, the floor is uncarpeted and gray, the walls are holey and gray, the ceiling’s gray (don’t ask–the previous owners painted it that way!), the sky’s most definitely gray (and most probably raining), and my mood… well, my mood is distinctly gray too. Meanwhile we look at paint colors, floor coverings (not not not not carpet, never again!), light fittings and more. Meanwhile time goes on.

I can scarcely believe it’s almost two months since our basement flooded. Two months since the panic of stepping into water while something (yet unknown) banged and roared and electrical outlets sparked (I know, what kind of idiot steps into water without checking, but I was running downstairs to investigate the noise and I didn’t see the reflections). Two months since incredible sons carried tons of wet carpet outdoors. Two months since incredible friends took charge and pushed us into action. Two months since incredible neighbors waded in to help. Two months since…

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And since then I’ve studied many many shades of gray. A good friend who knows about color suggested we try not repainting in the dreaded worn-out white. “How about white with a touch of blue?” we asked. But it’s a big room. Anything too bright and white is going to glare at us. She suggests we try gray colors–gray with a touch of blue perhaps. To explain, she took me shopping where we found a sample card covered in multiple shades of gray. It’s slightly disturbing how many of the shades sport names like “summer rain” or “winter showers.” Torrents and flooded basements come to mind…

So, the flood’s all dry, the floor is uncarpeted and gray, the walls are holey and gray, the ceiling’s gray, and we’re looking for better, brighter, more colorful grays to cheer up our lives.

But what about writing? I feel like all the words in my head are doomed to be colored gray till the tidying’s done. I’m working in the wrong room, with the wrong keyboard, with the screen in the wrong place. The desk’s too small. The bed’s too tall (piled high with rescued sheets and blankets). The phone’s too far away and I fall over boxes on my way to answer it, so my feet are sore without even getting the benefit of exercise. But my next novel, Subtraction, is already with the publisher. Who knows, it might get a non-gray cover. Divide by Zero is green. And Infinite Sum is red. (And Infinite Sum was in our local free paper, so it might be read as well! http://www.beavertonresourceguide.com/literary-corner-infinite-sum/) Meanwhile my critiquing friends remind me to send them Imaginary Numbers. So I’ll have to write, even if the ink and the mood remain at least slightly gray.

Imaginary Numbers–it all starts with a guy reading his mother’s obituary while he’s talking to her on the phone… Perhaps his mood would be slightly gray as well.

Sheila Deeth is the author of Divide by Zero, Infinite Sum, and the soon-to-be-released Subtraction, all published by Indigo Sea Press. She failed to blog here last month because she was grayly recovering in a world of damp boxes and wet stuff.


Filed under Sheila Deeth, writing

4 responses to “Writing In The Gray

  1. Nice observational piece, Sheila…good luck with redecorating!

  2. Interesting view over the situation.

  3. Oh my goodness, Sheila! Your account reminds me of my horror filled return from a Russian vacation only to find a broken water pipe had flooded my house. My deepest sympathies. I remember all too well the mess, insurance people not willing to pay replacement prices, remodeling, the dirt and grime created by that remodel and the infinite time and expenses involved. The inconvenience of it all. I feel your pain and wish for you a speedy recovery. I wish you immediate success with Subtraction and good luck in finishing Imaginary Numbers. Hopefully sunny days are ahead!

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