Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Busting Up The Chiffarobe

So on Saturday I did not do any writing, because Mighty Reader and I were driving a rented SUV to an antique shop out of town to fetch the 1940's-era china cabinet shown here. We managed to load it into a Honda Element despite the protestations of the antique shop's owner, who claimed it would be impossible. Those side doors on the Element? Brilliant idea. Anyway, here it is in our kitchen, loaded for bear. The picture frame above the cabinet contains a letter from Stuart McLean of CBC Radio's "The Vinyl Cafe," in which Stuart explains why he didn't make it to our house warming party in August. At least he sent the note.

Speaking of notes, while I didn't write any actual prose on Saturday, I did get out of bed at one point on Saturday night and, after rushing into the Designated Writing Room, made some notes about Chapter 13 and they were good notes so I'm pleased.

Sunday was also a no-writing day, though I had an epiphany about the climax of the book and have gained a new way of thinking about dramatic arcs and character development, so that's good.

Today at lunch I pulled out the notebook and the notes I made on Saturday night and managed to scribble out about 500 more words of Chapter 13. I'm not exactly sure, from paragraph-to-paragraph, what I'm doing in this chapter but so far it's following my large-scale structural intentions, so I'm calling it good at this point. I've got about 2500 more words to write for this chapter, I think, but I'm pretty sure those words won't fight back much, and after this chapter, the rest of the Second Act should be easier to get down on paper and my plan to have the first draft done by springtime ought to hold. Unless, of course, when I hear back from my agent he'll request more time-consuming and extensive revisions to the MS of "So Honest A Man." We shall see.


  1. Beautiful cabinet Scott. From the picture it looks as if the two bottom drawers were fronted from the same piece of burled oak? Maple? What is the inlay, it's gorgeous.

  2. Mostly the cabinet is maple. I think the drawers are fir with veneers on the fronts. Possibly the veneer is oak. I'm not really sure. The inlay is walnut and possibly birdseye maple. I have some fine woodworker friends who I'll ask about it. I really should look to see if there's a maker's mark on it anywhere. We fell in love with it at first sight and bought it with no idea at all how we'd get it home.

  3. Been there done that with a VW rabbit no less.

    Look behind the back of the drawers for a maker's mark. It might even quite possibly be on the underside of the cabinet itself. In the 40's they generally used a rubber stamp with an imprint of the furniture maker, or if it was a one of a kind piece he wrote his name on the bottom or the back of the cabinet. Although yours looks like it was part of a greater dining room set, your cabinet most likely would have been the bar, with a buffet, table/chairs and or another larger china cabinet to store ALL the china. Not mass produced but with maybe about 1000 sets to ship throughout the U.S. Very expensive at the time, especially in the 40's. It's the etching on the glass that makes it so valuable. It's beautiful that's for sure.

    Especially that veneer. Like I said it looks like from the picture the panels were cut from the same piece of wood. Something only a master cabinet maker would do.

  4. That's lovely, Scott. I love the 40's style, along with some other non-80's decades. The letter above sounds quite cool too!

    Glad you figured out the climax of your book. I'm still searching for mine. The climax for my nephew's novella was much more straight forward...and Michelle helped me with it too.

  5. I love that cabinet! Truly lovely.

  6. "Well, Scott, I love what you've done with So Honest a Man, and I only have a few notes. First off, how hard would it be to change the story from Hamlet to MacBeth?"

  7. "Well, Jeff," I'd say. "How hard would it be for me to break my foot off in your ass?"