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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Furniture Removals for Dummies by Fiona Lloyd



We know how to have a good time in our house. Lured by the temptation of getting a “bargain” in the post-Christmas sales, we decided to invest in a new bed. The woman who served us was a cheerless soul who obviously thought it was unreasonable for customers to come and invade her privacy on a damp and dreary Saturday afternoon. Undeterred, we did that thing where you go round the shop and try them all in turn, as if lying on a mattress in a brightly-lit showroom for two minutes can really tell you whether it’s going to still be comfortable after you’ve been sleeping on it for eight hours.

The problem with having a new bed is that you have to get rid of the old one.
“Can I have it?” asked our youngest. No problem – except that we’d now have to move the bunk beds out of her room. These ended up in our lodger’s room, while her former bed is now in bits waiting to go to the charity shop. It felt like we lost a week of our lives dismantling and reconstructing beds (followed by dusting, hoovering and crawling around on the floor trying to find missing screws). I’d never land a job with Pickfords.

Right now, my work-in-progress feels like a game of musical beds. I’m in the process of moving a chunky passage from later on in the story to nearer the beginning, which has had a knock-on effect on other parts of the book. Suddenly, a section that flowed well doesn’t fit any more. An incident on page 26 no longer makes sense, and needs to be rewritten or even discarded. Writing a book has become much more complicated than I expected (and I never thought it was going to be easy in the first place).

What I’ve learned from my experiments in furniture Tetris is that it’s hard to see what the end result will be when you’re still in the middle of something: we had to have faith that somehow it would all work out. And while giving up halfway through isn’t an option when your lodger’s bed is in several different pieces in three separate rooms, a book is another matter. Although it would be easy to abandon my WIP I’ve realised I need to trust my instincts and keep going. It might look like the literary equivalent of a scrap dealer’s yard at the moment, but something, somewhere is telling me it will all be worth it in the end.

There's a spiritual lesson for me here, too. Right now, I'm in a season of change, and it's hard to see exactly what God is doing. I need to remember that he sees the bigger picture, even when I think I'm trapped in a divine obstacle race. And what I can do is trust that he will take the tangled threads of my life and weave them into something beautiful for him.


Fiona Lloyd works part-time as a music teacher, and serves on the worship leading team at her local church. She enjoys writing short stories, and is working on her first novel. Fiona self-published a violin tutor book in 2013, and blogs at www.fjlloyd.wordpress.com. She is married with three children. Fiona is ACW's membership secretary.





19 comments:

  1. This is such a good way of describing the middle of writing a novel. I know exactly what you mean.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy - it all feels a bit overwhelming at times, so I have to remind myself that the "mess" is part of the process!

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  2. Oh, Fiona, me too! I had such a beautiful detailed plan and it was all going well, until I realised that something huge had to be inserted, and now it doesn't fit together any more. I am at the piles of boxes in the hall and nobody can get anywhere stage. Then every time I move a box into a different room I stub my toe on it.
    Brilliant post. Yes indeedy.

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    1. Thanks, Helen - hope your boxes start behaving themselves soon!

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  3. Great post. That's such a suitable analogy, and a funny read. I wish you joy with the rest of your literary bed-moving!

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    1. Thanks, Fran - nearly mis-read the end of your comment as "literary bed-wetting" - not sure that would have quite the same effect...

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  4. Brilliantly written and very encouraging. My book isn't a novel, but it does have similar amounts of furniture removals that need doing.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Amy - hope things fall into place for your book.

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  5. Really enjoyed this. You describe it perfectly, and so funny ... and I can relate, it sounds like our house too! ('Happy' memories of when the kids were growing up, and we played not only musical beds but musical rooms many times back then!)

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    1. We've played musical rooms a few times, too. There always seems to be one room that still needs reworking. Thanks for reading.

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  6. Really enjoyed this. You describe it perfectly, and so funny ... and I can relate, it sounds like our house too! ('Happy' memories of when the kids were growing up, and we played not only musical beds but musical rooms many times back then!)

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  7. Yes, been there - both with the furniture and with the writing! On the whole, I prefer the writing. Moving things around isn't such hard work (at least physically) and it doesn't have to be finished that day so that people have somewhere to sleep!

    On the other hand, moving furniture doesn't leave you with that nagging worry that you've just created an invisible plot hole that will be glaringly obvious when pointed out by the first person to write a review.

    Good post! Thanks, Fiona.

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    1. Thanks, Paul - I'm a bit concerned about the plot holes / inconsistencies, but I'm trying to ignore them until I've at least finished my first draft.

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  8. A beautiful insight and an entertaining delivery with much to resonate and relate to! Lovely post, Fiona. Thank you. :) x

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  9. This is a great post - such great insight into the mess around us, in our work, home and spiritual lives. How wonderful it will be when we finally see the big picture.

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  10. Thanks, Tania - I sometimes get impatient because I'd like to see the big picture now - but I'm trying to remember that God's timing is perfect!

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