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Slice of Life 22: On Writing and Renovation

By Janice Ewing

The quote of the day on the Two Writing Teachers’ site: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour

I recognize this as a metaphor, but it has some literal connections for me as well. My husband and I recently had two bathrooms renovated. I had looked forward to choosing colors, vanities, and accessories, and thought the rest would be left to the experts. It did not turn out that way, entirely. We have an old house and apparently were living with lots of old problems, which had remained peacefully behind the scenes for years.   It seems that uneven floorboards, a gradually sinking tub, and a myriad of other imperfections can escape notice until tile is removed, floors torn up and all is laid bare. That’s when the project became less about appearance and more about parts and construction. I found myself, of necessity, developing an understanding of the language of the trade. On trips to Lowe’s, my most frequented aisle switched from the fun ‘Fashion Bath” to the more basic “Plumbing Supplies.” I guess it’s a metaphor after all. Although some of the ‘drafts’ were a bit challenging, and lots of revision was needed, I did get to choose colors, vanities, and accessories, and we’re happy with the final ‘copies’.

 

* This “Slice of Life” post is part of a larger blog series, hosted by the blog site, Two Writing Teachers: A Meeting Place for a World of Reflective Writers.


???????????Janice Ewing is an adjunct for Cabrini College and a co-director for the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project. Janice co-facilitates PAWLP’s “Continuity Days” and this blog. She is an avid reader and writer, and especially enjoys writing poems.

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tori Silvano #

    Janice,

    The quote you begin with is powerful and eye-opening. As a future educator, I am beginning to see the importance of writing everyday and I truly believe getting students to write at the start of class allows them to open their mind and they will be more engaged throughout the rest of the class. As you explained your connections to the metaphor, I also was thinking of the drafting process of writing. Writing entails constructing and deconstructing pieces, similar to the underlying problems you found within and older bathroom, while it also entails cosmetic touches of editing a piece, similar to the painting and faucets of redoing a bathroom. I really enjoyed your perspective on the quote you used and it helped me to see the connections we have to writing in everyday life.

    Tori Silvano
    A Student of West Chester University’s Middle Grades Educational Program

    Like

    March 23, 2015
    • janiceewing #

      Thanks for your response, Tori. I’m so glad that this post resonated with you. I can’t take credit for the quote, though. The teacher-writers who are facilitating the Slice of Life daily writing challenge that I’m participating in post a writing-related quote each day for inspiration, and I decided to “write off of it” because of the connection it sparked. I definitely agree with you about the value of students’ writing every day, even if it’s for two or three minutes.
      Check in on the blog again – we have lots of interesting posters!

      Like

      March 23, 2015
  2. lynnedorfman #

    Janice,I love the way you begin with a quote! It seems like a worthwhile project, and you learned so much! What a great way to show our students that they do have so many things to write about – he daily ups and downs of our lives can offer so much material. All we need to do is pick up our pen (or sit down with our laptop or ipad) and write!

    Like

    March 23, 2015
  3. woaca2008 #

    I really like how you took a metaphor, read the literalness back into it, and then turned it back into a writing metaphor. Lovely — and I’m glad the bathrooms have turned out nicely as well.

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  4. rosecappelli #

    Liked your metaphor, Janice! And glad it all turned out well.

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  5. This made me chuckle, as a fellow resident of an old house! We keep asking each other when we’ll get to do the FUN house projects – thanks for the reminder that the rest is all part of the process!

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  6. I’m glad your happy with the final draft!

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  7. I really enjoyed reading your piece and can totally sympathize with the hidden-behind-the-scenes aspects of old houses. I love your metaphor and the witty tone of your piece. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  8. Nice metaphor. Isn’t home renovation tortuous? At least the first 90% is. I’m glad it’s done and you finally got the chance to shop in the Fashion Bath department!

    Like

    March 22, 2015
  9. ritasorrentino #

    Janice, your analogy is wonderful. In one way or another, many of us have drafts of home projects and/or repairs. It will give me comfort to see something unfinished and consider it one of my drafts.

    Like

    March 22, 2015

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