Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dry Erase Adventure

Sorry I've been away. I've been working like mad. Both driving carriage and writing. Last week I finished the rough draft of the third installment of The Carriage Chronicles; The Accidental Star of the Dog and Pony Show. This is the last of the Bill/Carlos (Carlin) saga. However, I did leave a little wiggle room to write some other linear tales, such as Nora's story and the romance between Marlin and his fiancé. So at least there's that.

I have no less than three other novels percolating on my laptop, and I would like to get started on those soon.

After finishing the first draft of The Accidental Star, I set it aside and, with the exception of going through and fixing typos, for which I am legendary, I went to work on a couple of other projects I've been meaning to get to.

One of those, the project I have made my priority, is a new dry erase board. The one I currently use is typically overrun with notes. And when I run out of room on the board, I write notes on Post-Its and plaster them all over the white board. Which defeats the purpose of the dry erase board, since you 1) cannot read the notes I wrote there and 2) it messes up the dry erase ink so they are virtually unreadable anyway. 

So, my solution was to buy a Dry Erase Kit by Rust-Oleum and paint a 4x3 section of the wall where my dry erase board used to hang, effectively doubling  the space I use to write notes, plot arcs, character arcs, and witty snippets of dialogue before I forget them. Because I guarantee I will forget them if not written down. Where I can find them. Because sometimes I write stuff down and forget where I wrote it down. Yes, I am a forgetful mess.

Now, a note about me: (Okay, another one... since you already know I have the remembering capabilities of Ten Second Tom*) I am probably the single most impatient individual you will ever encounter in your life. Seriously, I'm worse than a Golden Retriever waiting for you to throw tennis balls. So the two hour window  kind of chaps my ass. I'm also cheap frugal. I believe in getting my money's worth out of a product. Okay, reality check: I believe in squeezing every last dime from whatever it is I purchase. So... I rushed it. I only waited twenty minutes between coats, and I put on four coats. So what I ended up with was a saggy mess reminiscent of parts of Southern Utah. So, while waves and sags in red sandstone are beautiful, they would not be appropriate for properly applied Dry Erase paint. So, I sanded the sags, ripples and drips down and bought another kit.

Now, since I already had a 'dry erase' base, I knew wouldn't have to apply as many coats the second time around.  So I only mixed half of the kit. I measured out 9.5 ounces of the base in a mixing glass, and only added 4 ounces of the activator. I set the timer on my phone for two hours, and applied a thin coat of paint.  30 minutes later I applied the second coat. That seemed to work out much better.  Then I waited 45 minutes to apply coat #3.
It turned out all right. And it fit in the spot I wanted, so that beats buying an enormous Dr-Erase and trying to mount it in too small of an area.

I also wrapped the foam roller with plastic wrap between coats. I do this all the time when I paint a room because it keeps the paint on the roller or brush from drying out between use. I've kept them wrapped (with regular, non-dry erase paint) for up to a week to facilitate touch-ups. Then I throw the roller/brush away, because I'm too lazy to wash it out and I don't have a utility sink. My kitchen gets enough rough treatment without adding paint splashes that make it look like Jackson Pollock is using my kitchen as his studio. Although that wouldn't happen anyway since he's dead.

By the way, I have a love/hate relationship with Frog tape. For those of you not in the know, Frog Tape is a special (read expensive) type of masking tape that forms a bond between the paint and the wall. It's supposed to stop bleed through. I used it when I painted my office and it worked okay.  It worked all right for the white board project too. But you have to make sure that the paint that gets on the Frog Tape isn't really thick, or else when you peel it of you get a ruffled effect. So while you may not get bleed through, you can get bleed over.  Of course, 1) I'm not a professional and 2) your mileage may vary.

Here are the step by step photos:

My old Dry-Erase. Too crowded...

 It's called a Dry-Erase, not a Post-It holder...
 I measured using a laser level and Frog Tape, marking off the area I want;
It's the camera operator, not the area, that isn't level...

 This gives you an idea of the new size compared to the old Dry Erase. Much more spacious
 I filled in the holes from the old board and sanded the wall to make it a smoother surface. Dry -Erase ink gets 'caught' in crevices.
 First coat; Kind of thin. It would have been better if the wall was white, but my office is blue, so...
 Second coat, getting better...
 Third coat,
 And here we go. You can see that it covers the blue. The camera on my phone isn;t good enough to show you the sags and drips, but after allowing it to dry, sanding and re-painting, it looks pretty much the same. And it works well, too. I'm satisfied. If I was a little taller I could actually reach to the top and write up there without it going all skewed
                                                                                                          kattywompas and


So, now I will be getting back to The Accidental Star of the Dog and Pony Show. So far for tag lines I have:

When did Happily Ever After become so perilous?

Insert blurb here, which I haven't fully written yet, so blah, blah, blah...

And then,

He never wanted to play a hero, but now he has no choice,

They still need some work but I'm going to finish editing then worry about it. I hope to have a January release. And I'll be working with Wattpad in conjunction with the new novel. 

(*Ten Second Tom: a character with short term memory loss from the movie 50 First Dates)