It’s Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out To Get You

Remember when I posted pictures of my office that I built out of plastic storage bins and blankets?



Well, this is my office as of yesterday around lunch time:


Let’s back up a bit, shall we?

On Sunday, I posted what we’ll call my best-laid plans for getting a certain book ready for publication. I was getting back to my office (which had been too cold to work in since January), I was organized, I had a GAME PLAN.

On Tuesday evening, I went downstairs to work. I was moving the laundry over when I noticed a small pond near the dehumidifier. There was a wee “dangit!” moment when I thought the unit was leaking, but I got to cleaning it up before it could spread.

…and then I noticed a separate pool in the play room.

Half an hour later I was standing in freezing water that covered the toes of my rainboots in low spots, and that was slowly creeping toward MY AREA. It was also encroaching on the space occupied by our brand new, purchased-because-emergency washer and dryer.

What happened in the hours that followed was a frenzy of me following The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘s advice: “DON’T PANIC.” Really. If there was any doubt that my depression is improving, this was proof that I really am feeling better. Sure, I freaked out a little, but I delegated everything involving phone calls to AJ* and took over whatever else I could. When we moved beyond Shop-Vac territory, I got to work moving stuff upstairs and above the ever-rising water line. By midnight we had a neighbour’s sump pump going, and the water level seemed to have at least stopped rising.

By morning we were at six inches of water in spots. I FORMULATED A PLAN (come on, I deserve a few caps here), got AJ to help me implement the parts that involved getting the washer, dryer, and freezer up on to plastic bins, delegated more phone calls (to insurance and the landlord-type-people**), and took more stuff out of my office and hauled it upstairs.

Yadda yadda, contractors came late yesterday afternoon, we found out we’re on a septic system (would’ve been good to know) which is having issues with the insane amount of snow that’s melted in the past few days, there are other problems, and it might be three weeks before we can move back into our house. Oh, and insurance won’t cover contents of the basement that we lost.


So about those best laid plans.

If I were the type who thought in a certain way, I’d say this was a sign I wasn’t meant to get this book out. SOMEONE or SOMETHING in the universe is throwing up roadblocks! It’s not meant to be! I don’t think that way, and I know the timing is coincidental, but it sure feels like that.

If I had another way of thinking, I might decide that if I can just THINK POSITIVELY, all of the problems will go away and the house will be toasty warm and smelling like roses in no time.

I’m taking a slightly different course of thought and action.

I’ve decided that this is the story I’m going to be telling in ten years when people ask about publishing my first book. I’ll be able to laugh about it by then, and I’ll talk about how this was important enough to me that I took my work wherever we went. Right now that’s my in-laws’ house, but in a few days it’ll be on vacation at my parents’ house at the other end of the province, and after that it might be in a hotel 45 minutes away from home. I’ll say that I had to drive the kids back for school every day, but I worked in the school library, the still-kinda-stinky house, wherever (my kingdom for a local coffee shop!).

Stephen King wrote Carrie when he lived in a trailer with two kids and had no money. JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter as a single mother and lost her job somewhere in there. How can I offer my future fans anything less than all of my determination and the hardest work I’ve ever done on anything? Damned if I’m going to say, “Well, things went to shit and I took a few weeks off.”

That’s not to say that I’ll be sticking to my ROW80 goals exactly, because the kids are going to need a lot more hands-on time in the next few weeks, there will be a lot of driving time, and other things are sure to come up (God help us).

The point is, I’m staying thankful (more on that in a later post), and I’m not going to let this stop me.

After all…



Oh, but if I’m slow at responding to comments or e-mails, and if I drop out of the A-Z challenge after my scheduled posts dry up, you’ll know why. 😉



*If I’ve learned anything else from this, it’s the extent of my phobia. RIDICULOUS.

**Our house is owned by the government, who is Andre’s boss. It’s… interesting.



About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with six cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

13 responses to “It’s Not Paranoia If They Really Are Out To Get You

  • Celine Jeanjean

    You poor thing, that’s the worst luck! Well done you for staying positive and not freaking out – I definitely would have had a small breakdown.

    Keep at the book, this will definitely be an awesome “first published book” story that you can look back on and laugh at!

  • Dave

    Ugh. You’re definitely going through a tough spell. Way to take action and handle everything, and great job with the positive attitude. Nothing like necessity to help pull oneself out of a depressive state, you know? Best of luck through this tough time, Kate. Hope life gets back to normal for you soon …

  • kebirch

    Yikes!!! That does NOT look like a fun mess to clean up, but I completely agree with you about looking at it as a good story to tell some time in the future. That’s exactly how I try to look at life too 🙂

  • madlaura

    Make a great tale for your release party. (C’mon, gotta have a party of some kind)

  • sknicholls

    What a horrible mess but a great attitude. Your title is my mantra, but still…this is the stuff that gets documented for posterity’s sake.

  • Phillip McCollum

    Yikes, hang in there Kate (looks like you don’t need anyone to tell you that). Hope you can get back into your house sooner rather than later.

  • L. Marie

    Arrrrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!!!!! As Phillip said, hang in there, Kate. We’re all rooting for you.
    You know what’s weird? Yesterday I watched a DVD on J. K. Rowling’s life, which really helped me appreciate her phenomenal success. Someday, we’ll look back on this post and remember this time in your life. Maybe a DVD will be made too. 🙂

  • Eden

    It really is sucky timing, but then… things do seem to happen in spurts, both the good and the bad. And really, each one does its time, you recover from it and… the next one comes along. Hopefully in ten years this will be a small footnote among many stories, some god, some frustrating, some… Well, you know.

    I wish I could send you a cafe.

  • Beth Camp

    Persevere! Your commitment and creativity to overcome this disaster shines through your blog. Keep writing! I love that you’re looking at this emerging story as a foil for how your novel came to be. So, yes, persevere. Everyone is rooting for you!

  • change it up editing

    Kate, that which does not kill us makes us stronger . . . and you’ll be a behemoth by the time your book is published! Your positive attitude is inspiring!

  • ROW80 Update- Receding Waters Edition | disregard the prologue

    […] we’re home. Just two weeks after I first posted about our basement flooding, we’re pretty well back in business. The problems with the septic system were far more […]

  • Hey, You Found Me! | disregard the prologue

    […] pool rusted from bottom flooded basement insurance won’t cover – Damn, that sucks. I feel your pain. It was our septic tank, not a pool, but I get the insurance thing. I can’t help, but I get it. I do. I posted about it here. […]

  • The Great Christmas Tree Debate (Help!) | disregard the prologue

    […] then the basement flooded last spring. Remember that? Well, my office wasn’t the only thing destroyed. The guys who did the clean-up (bless them) […]

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