Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Missing in Action

I’m writing very off-the-cuff today.

Normally, when I write these blog posts I draft them in a Word document and edit them heavily, often over several hours or days. However, life has been such that even when I have an idea for a post, I rarely get to sit down and work on it. So, rather than delay, delay, delay, I just figured I’d do this right in the post editor. Mistakes? Typos? Glaringly bad syntax? Sorry!

Life has been a bit crazy for me. In the two months since Powerless launched, my life has changed. Not particularly because of the book, however. Sure, it’s been reviewed and rated very well (23 ratings on Amazon with a 4.5 average; >75% 4- or 5-star ratings on Goodreads), but it hasn’t made me a millionaire, or launched me to literary stardom, and that’s OK—it’s out there, it’s getting read, and I’m writing (sort of). It has been interesting, however, to have people I know mostly as acquaintances and have them say, “Oh, congratulations on your book!” I sat down for a meeting a couple of weeks ago and in the idle banter before the meeting, a colleague told me how much he was enjoying the book so far, which led everyone else in the room to ask about it. It’s kind of fun, but also a bit embarrassing.

The real craziness for us has been juggling home renovations and trying to live normally. About a year ago we started exploring the world of Home Equity Lines of Credit and Home Improvement Loans and the like, because we really, really needed to make up for about 20 years of neglect on our house. When we moved in 20 years ago, our contractor estimated we had maybe five years left on the roof. My advice? When someone tells you you have five years left on your roof, start looking for a roofer right away. Don’t let it go another 15 years!

We got the new roof last March, and that was quite exciting (also, if you’re getting your roof torn apart, forget about trying to work in it while the roofers are working on it—it’s very disruptive). We also started the process of going solar, getting heat pumps, insulating and redoing the kitchen. Like I said, we are making up for lost time. Naturally, everything ends up happening at the same time. The solar installation we expected to have by end of July just went “live” yesterday. The heat pumps that were supposed to be installed in September are maybe going to be installed starting next week. Or the week after. Certainly the week after that. The insulation can’t happen until the heat pumps are done, so we might have that by mid-November. And we’ve been without a functioning kitchen for the last three weeks (my wife would argue that we haven’t really had a functioning kitchen for the twenty years we’ve been in the house and I would not disagree)—we’ve been cooking on a hot plate, in crock pots, and using a Foodi Ninja. We might actually have to go out for Thanksgiving dinner this year, depending on the timing of everything!

It’s bigger than it looks

All of this is to say that’s why I haven’t been on this blog a whole lot. We’ve been spending a lot of time peeling wallpaper in our kitchen (the two previous owners of this house apparently believed there was not a problem in this world that couldn’t be solved with more wallpaper—we have found five distinct layers), tearing out old cabinets, cleaning out the basement, doing almost all of the things needed to make all this happen. It hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging, or for writing. The current WiP is progressing, but slowly, and in fits and starts. On the other hand, the largely mindless, purely physical tasks of scraping the walls does leave time for thinking, so I’m hoping I’ll have a breakthrough there. Anyway, that’s it for me for now. Thanks for dropping by, and I’ll try not to make it so long between posts next time. Cheers!

3 Responses

  1. Good luck with all the renovations! We’ve had a lot of that the last few years as well. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, keep those off the cuff blogs coming! Also, your solar panels remind me of the dek.

  2. Thanks, Lee! Yeah, it does kind of have that look, doesn’t it? I’ll bet it’s hell to run on in the rain, too!

  3. Dang real life!

    My hubby has finally started considering solar. Our daughter and her family live in Hawaii where utilities are SO expensive. They got Tesla solar panels and almost never have to pull from the grid anymore. And they run their AC most of the year.

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