Now I know a lot more about plumbing than I used to

These are the books that should be in the library:

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These are some classics — Jane Austen and Dumas and I don’t know what all — plus A and B genre hardcovers. Sarah Addison Allen, Gillian Bradshaw, Marie Brennen, Lois McMaster Bujold, Stephen Brust. I would definitely have been very very sad to have anything happen to these books!

Here is where all these books ought to be:

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You see the hole? Isn’t that a nice hole? We cut up too high to start with — I swear it sounded like the break was right at the top — but it turned out to be only about six feet up after all, infinitely easier to get to than we thought it might be.

Here is the culprit of all yesterday’s annoyance and today’s lingering dampness:

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I don’t know if you can see this properly? The pipe split lengthwise for about an inch. Amazing water could do that. I mean, I know ice cracks stone all the time, but you can’t begin to bend the metal back with a pliers. I tried, just to see. It just seems startling to see how what water can actually do. Dad says this is a terrible soldering job, so don’t be judgmental, right? It’s been years since he soldered anything, and his hands are not as steady as they used to be. He’ll be eighty in March.

Did you know there is this little thing you can hold in your hand that you use to cut a section out of a burst pipe? The things carpenters and plumbers come up with are so clever. Then you can splice in another section of pipe and there you go, water, poof! Though using a soldering torch in a library is a little nerve-wracking, I will say.

This morning, I’m glad to say, no such interruptions. I wrote 1000 words and finished the scene I was working on. Taking a break now. I’ll press on this afternoon. I should just barely make it past 50K written over this Christmas break, taking the ms. to nearly 90,000 words total — in other words, I should be close to a complete draft by the time school starts (Monday). That was my basic goal, so I’m pretty pleased with that and ought to finish this draft by the end of the month, just about when I wanted to. I do think it’s rather a mess, but it’s hard to tell when you’re in the middle of things. I will probably let it set for a month or so — it’s good not to have a tight deadline for it — then go back and read through it and see how it looks and start revising.

And eventually, somewhere in there, I suppose I’ll have to figure out whether a lot of insulation needs to be pulled out of the wall and discarded and if so how much of the wall will need to be taken out for that to happen. Sigh. On the plus side, not everyone has a Go-To Guy like my Dad to take their walls apart and put them back together again afterward, so I really can’t complain. Thanks, Dad!

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