The Challenge of Finding a Perfect House

The Challenge of Finding a Perfect House

As previously established, I’m bad at life updates. Confession: a big part of the reason I so rarely write these is that my personal life feels pretty boring. I worry no one really cares about what’s going on during my day-to-day. Especially since I don’t have cats.

I figure people would rather hear about Domerin’s latest antics. Or how I tease details from my quieter characters, like Azmih. Or even if Rose’s story is ever going to take a solid enough form that I can write it.

But I have been reminded recently that people care about what writers are doing, even when it doesn’t involve words. And just because I think I’m a horrible bore doesn’t mean someone out there doesn’t think I’m a total rockstar. So here’s a glimpse into how things have been going for me on the other side of the word processor.

The House Hunt Continues

I mentioned back in October that my husband and I had just started looking for a house. As of this writing (I write my posts a month in advance), we’re still looking. The search has been slow. And we’re okay with that; we don’t want to be in a hurry. Our biggest concerns are 1) finding exactly what we want and, 2) getting a good deal. We still love the house we live in, so we’re in no grand hurry to leave it.

The first few times we found houses to seriously consider, something stopped us from writing the offer. The first time it was the layout – which is hard to change on a limited budget. We couldn’t fit an ensuite bathroom into the house. Which might sound like a weird reason not to buy a house. But, for the price point where we’re hoping to sell someday, it’s the kind of thing that could matter.

The second house was just in bad shape. Upon second viewing, we realized that every wall needed to be sanded and re-finished because people have probably been banging furniture into them for five years or so. Not to mention that every bathroom needed to be re-done, so the showers could be properly sealed. At the price point, it just didn’t feel worth the extra work.

For a long time after we started looking, my husband thought our list of ideals would be impossible to pin down. He referred to the house we were looking for as the unicorn house. As in, it will never exist.

And it’s true that we expect to have to compromise at some point. His desires for our new house and mine don’t always mesh, especially where the level of remodeling we’re comfortable with is concerned.

Our Ideal House Does Exist

But then we found it. The unicorn house. It was move-in ready, had exactly the amount of space we needed, with options to expand if necessary. And included the basement suite my husband hopes to use to supplement our income. (Because, let’s be honest, I’m still in the early stages of making money as an artist.) And it was exactly within our price range.

We instantly started asking what was wrong with it, but nothing revealed itself. So we decided to go for it. We put in an offer on the unicorn house.

Of course, since I already said we’re still looking, I’m sure you can guess how that turned out. Someone else noticed the unicorn house and wanted it as much as we did. Probably more.

You see, my husband and I have been around the block a few times. We decided not to develop an emotional attachment to our unicorn because we knew there were several points in the process during which it could still slip through our fingers. And so it did. We don’t know exactly why the other offer beat ours, but the unicorn disappeared back into the forest and our search has continued.

The thing I always tell my friends who are looking at houses is: if the one you think you want gets away, it’s because there’s a better house out there waiting to be yours. My husband and I both agree that a better house is out there, even if we don’t know what that’s going to look like.

The biggest bummer about losing the unicorn house was actually the timing. We could, hopefully, have moved over March Break, which would have given us a chance to unpack and settle without having to work around two work schedules. C’est la vie.

The Search Has Affected My Writing

In the mean time, the length of our search has got me thinking about the future, both house-related and otherwise. For example, it seems foolish to push a book out the door when we might have to drop everything and move around the time I need to manage my first big marketing push. For that matter, I’m woefully underprepared to run a marketing campaign that I probably should have put together three months ago.

The more I think about releasing Dreamers Do Lie, the more I realize I haven’t properly prepared. I want to make a map, for instance, but I never managed to sketch the concept for the artist I was talking to. And whether I like it or not, the text is going to need at least one more pass before I send it to my formatter. Plus my cover artist is also in the midst of moving house.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is listen to the signals the universe gives us. I wanted this to be the year I started big releases again. I wanted this to be the year I nailed marketing from day one. But, I just don’t have the knowledge yet. I’m painfully aware that I need more time to get my ducks in a row.

Sometimes, Change is Good

The good news is, my research is going well. For the first time I read articles about marketing and, instead of my eyes glazing over, the information clicks. I finally understand why things aren’t going the way I want them to, and have some ideas for how to improve.

The more I think about big releases, the more I realize that pushing Dreamers Do Lie back by six months will allow me to do all the things I know I should. I want this book to have its best chance, which is why I’ve been holding onto it for so long. If six more months will give it that, it seems prudent to change the plan. Especially since I never specified a release date anyway.

So here we are, less than two months (as of writing) into the New Year, and I’ve already had to make a major modification to one of my plans. I keep telling myself there’s no rule saying I have to put out an entire series in a year. And that if I really want to, there’s no harm in making that next year. But sometimes you set your heart on something, and changing it becomes a bitter pill.

Still, I’m optimistic. For once, I feel like I’m on the right tracks. After all, we usually move out of necessity, forcing us to choose from the options available at the time. And I usually feel my way through this career with a great deal of uncertainty. There’s something to be said for gaining confidence. And in my line of work, you learn to celebrate small victories.

And don’t worry! I’ll be sure to let you know when we find the house of myth!

2 Replies to “The Challenge of Finding a Perfect House”

    1. Thanks! I appreciate it. It was a bit of a blow, and we’ve had a hard time finding anything that compares. We may have found something worth our efforts, but it’s proving a bit of a sticky situation. I want to see how it pans out before I say too much ^^;;

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