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I've had a busy and yet simultaneously lazy week - taking some time "off" after handing in the Fiddlehead draft, not really by choice but by necessity. I've been too burned out to write anything, and besides, I've had a million and one little things I'd been putting off in favor of wrapping up this round of that project. So I did some of those things instead.

If you really want a detailed rundown ... a rundown with a ridiculous number of cat and dog pictures, that is ... you can go scroll through my twitter feed and/or facebook page.

But by way of a general recap, well, let's see.

I went out to Woodthrush on a drive-by, stopping-in basis, to hang with Mary Robinette Kowal and the folks at her writers' retreat; I'd offer you a bunch of links about who I saw and high-fived or hugged, but here's a picture of me giving tummy-rubs to the family dog instead. I also went out to Reflection Riding for a picnic and shenanigans with some foxy friends and the husband; and then the Steampunk Scholar named Boneshaker in his must-have list of primary sources for academics - and as a retired academic myself, I was tickled by it. Later, I went out for pizza and drinks with a couple of old coworkers, which was a blast.

During my absence, I did a couple of widely publicized chats via headphones and webcam. The first was for the very fine folks at Sword and Laser; the second was for the Story Board. The first link is an interview, essentially. The second is more of a round-table conversation with Brandon Sanderson, Terry Brooks, and yours truly - moderated (and augmented) by Pat Rothfuss.

But in between those events, I had a moment of derp and cracked my head open on an old cabinet door which sprang silently free in our back room whilst I was playing with the dog. In short, I'm clumsy and I don't see very well. I wish I had a better story to go with it, but that's all there is.

[Aside: This is why in the Story Board conversation, I'm wearing a Band Aid over my right eye. It's a Muppets Band Aid with Beaker on it, saying "Meep." It felt appropriate.]

Hmm. What else?

My dad and stepmom stopped by, using my place for a hotel on their way down to Florida. Greyson was overjoyed to meet some of his dog-grandparents, and I was happy to see them too, of course. They'll be coming back through tomorrow night, as they make their way home to Kentucky.

And the only other thing I can think of off the top of my head is kind of lame, but I'll regale you with it anyway: I did some minor renovations to the house - specifically the laundry nook. It's too small to call a laundry room, but it was dark and kind of awful, and I wanted to do something with my hands instead of a computer screen.

Once upon a time the nook in question was a storage/potting/etc. landing with a door that led down to the cellar (apparently) ... and by "once upon a time" I mean "back in the 30s." This thing had the History of Paint upon its bones, and green permanent marker scrawled across the newer cabinet faces - courtesy of the toddlers belonging to the previous owners.

So I changed it up a bit.

First, the top cabinet doors needed to go. You could barely open them without hitting the dryer anyway, and they just made the place feel even smaller. I didn't need cabinets up there; I needed shelves. Next, I removed as much of the paint as was humanly possible - then I put down glass tile mosaic for a countertop. Finally, I painted everything else white (though I left the green walls - as it matches the kitchen, and looks okay) and changed the hardware on the bottom cabinets.

Voila. New look for the nook.

And with that, I think I've brought you all up to speed. But if you're DEEPLY NERDY about old house before/afters on a budget without any proper demolition or anything ... feel free to either scroll down (if you clicked directly to this page) or poke the jump below. (Click anything to go to its main page, and view larger.)

The nook before - with its amazing putty-colored top paint job.

Laundry nook: before

The nook after - feels much brighter and bigger, IMO.

Laundry nook: after

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