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Wide Boy Eddie and the wall of doom

So Wide Boy Eddie, who I think I like very much despite all his typical diamond geezer patter, arrives to put in the bathroom yesterday morning. I was in a fairly foul mood at having to get up at 8am when I'd been up until 3am the night before (although to be fair this is because I was reading rather disreputable fanfic, the love of which dare not speak its name *g*)

Does anyone else get to this point where they're not doing anything but they just don't want to go to sleep? Or is this just me? I meant to log off two hours ago, said goodnight to C and everything. But I don't want to go to sleep.

In other news, I cannot stop listening to Black Lab's "Keep Myself Awake".

The Anvil Of Dramatic Irony plummets towards my head.

Anyway, the fragrant and lovely Eddie calls me down from my deeply intelligent morning activity -- lying in bed half-asleep, actively encouraging a dream in which my hallway is twice the size it really is and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen is painting my floor in pink swirls -- and points to the wall.

"Seedat," he says, in the tone which all householders come to dread.

The wall, from which he has removed the uber-ugly avocado-coloured tiles is a horrid grey, ill colour. He pokes at it. A lump of what is meant to be cement crumbles off. It's like marshmallow. There's an eggy fug of drains and damp in the air. There's a worm INSIDE the wall.

It dawns on me that I am beyond buggered.

Long story short: I have to pay to get the wall replastered and the FUBARed plasterboard wall must be boarded over with plywood and painted with resin. The person who owned this house before me was a jackass. I have to give Wide Boy Eddie 415 quid in cash tomorrow. Ouch.

* * *

Someone made the most kind, lovely offer to help me out yesterday. Shame I can't take them up on it. Some people really are wonderful.

* * *

I am reading a really good thriller -- "Forty Words for Sorrow", Giles Blunt. Set in Quebec, about a smalltown killer, possibly bent hero with a wife in the madhouse, smart, sparky heroine. I'm about 120 pages in and I like the atmosphere and the characters.

If this book pulls a "Wire in the Blood" switcheroo, I shall be miffed. I loved 'Wire in the Blood"s twist because it was so audacious that it took my breath away but I don't want to see it again.

It also probably broke a million rules on POV but -- confession time -- I think all that fic insistence on rigid POV delineation as anything other than a very rough rule of thumb is specious bullshit, to which people cling in order to point at other people and feel superior. A million and one excellent books shift POV within sections, chapters, and even paragraphs. I'm not advocating ping-pong POV, but all this stuff where people point it out when it switches and get all sniffy is just bollocks.

Before you got into fic discussion did you notice persistent POV switches in books you read? Honestly, I'm interested. I didn't notice it hitherto, but I do now -- although it really doesn't bother me. I'm more annoyed that I notice it. I was wondering if this was something that was taught in schools as a "bad thing".

* * *
I think maybe I was talking arse about Bad Blood yesterday.

Eh. This often happens.



Jan. 17th, 2002 10:52 am (UTC)
POV switches and your bathroom wall
Bathroom wall:

First of all, it's plenty easy to fix it yourself if you just have: a) a measuring tape b) a hammer and c) a spatula-thing to spread joint compound with.

Trust me. I fixed Heather and Geoff's bathroom which had the same problem as yours right down to the bugs in the wall, I might add, while I was down in Memphis for the weekend. Water had leaked all in there from cracks between the tiles and had totally fubared the wallboard.

What you want to use is this kick ass cement-based wallboard that is specifically for use near water and under tile called wonderboard. You can see the difference between it and regular wallboard becuase it is a) gray b) very cement-like and c) has wires inside like chickenwire to support it. It is heavier than regular chalky wallboard, but it's what you should use. Then you don't have to do the weirdo sealing thing you were talking about because this should not allow damp to creep anywhere.

Your local home center should cut it for you on the big paneling saw for you. Just know your dimensions. An entire 8x 4 foot sheet of this stuff cost us $8 at Home Depot. Figure twice that for England as they rape you all on prices.

Tiling is pathetically easy. You can do this yourself and do not need your wideboy friend. Plus, then you can be all stylish and make it lurvely as well. I am filled with tiling enthusiasm these days after having done the aforementioned bathroom and my fireplace surround. I have to get pictures of the fireplace up. It is groovy, if I do say so myself.

POV shifting.

I have been officially ass-raped over this issue by Ordover on the rec.arts.sf.written newsgroup under my real name. He told me that my novel which uses POV shifting as an integral part of the plot sucked. This without ever having read a word of it, mind you.

It hasn't sold, but it didn't suck. At least DAW didn't think so. They read it twice before deciding it was "too long for a first novel from a first time author" and "doesn't have a big enough payoff to justify the length". Not a word about the POV shifting.

So, fuck that noise. If there's a REASON for the POV to shift, then it's as it should be. If it's handled skillfully and doesn't make your head snap around with POV whiplash, so what?

I am currently reading some romance novels that do it VERY BADLY. And then it is terribly jarring. But it also can be done well and seamlessly, or if not seamlessly, then rationally so you know why the POV has suddenly shifted during a scene. I, personally, use POV shifting in my novel to tell you what happens in different parts of the same battle or how two people with fairly opposing viewpoints are viewing events without having to talk about the events twice.