Welcome to The Bump House

Monday, October 4, 2010

Too Many Cooks in the WIP

This weekend hubs & I started planning out our closed in porch off the back off our house. Hub's sister built a house a few years ago & her hubs is in construction. They came over to help with the planning. My mom-in-law also joined the party.

Measuring tape, pencil, graph pad - check. General idea - check. It's not going to be a perfect square, so there was quite a bit of discussion about how to square it up. Then, the roof has to slope naturally from the house. This means a .3 in. drop every foot in order to meet the outside edge. We need an outer entrance for the walkout; this generated a pow-wow on the benefits of inward vs. outward opening doors.

Mom-in-law has been terribly concerned that we will not have enough windows. And, because of the 16' across the middle, she decided we need a center pole or the entire roof will collapse. Of course, hubs explained that we have 2 different options to deal with that particular. However, a center pole would cut the space to unusable, so it's out the windows.

Bro-in-law, remember he's in construction, very quickly decided exactly how he is going to build this little structure of ours. Sis-in-law counted out the posts & supports; she also thinks we need to drill holes in the concrete & then secure the walls from there.

Me, I want a flower box. This means the half wall we are building will have to be tall enough to accommodate. After 2x4 vs. 2x8 discussions, my flower box is in the mix. And, hubs, he just wants a closed in porch where we can stargaze in the winter. Insulation, siding, design elements - they can wait until next spring.

So, here we are, drawing in hand. Wood needs in order. And, 5 divergent ideas on what this space should be. It's our house, so we get dibs, right? Well, kinda. We asked for the advice & we will need the labor aide because I cannot be counted on for construction. Hammer, screwdriver, wrench - I know what they are but that don't mean I know all the proper apps.

There has to be some give & take to get to the end result before the first snows fall. We will compromise on some things - mainly those we know little about. Like construction, gutter installation, connecting to existing electricals & roofing; all the important things. I will get my flower box however or this project is going nowhere!

This episode got me to thinking about critiques. Our vision, how it translates & when it doesn't, & how to apply the proper mix of fix without weakening the overall structure. These are the bits that go into the final product - from 1st draft to salable work. We had too many cooks in our porch pot & sometimes, in an effort to maximize feedback, we invite the entire cast of Iron Chef into our WIP.

This, of course, brings us to the question: How do you control your critique process? When you find a sticking point, how do you apply the philosophical rather than emotional reaction?

Happy Writing,



  1. Guess I've collected great critiquers. I give most of their comments a "why didn't I see that" reaction.

  2. I listen to everyone and ponder their words, if I have a consensus of what needs to be changed, I go with it. If there are conflicting views, I go with my heart.


  3. I love the comparison to Iron Chef, LOL. Critique is so helpful with the right mix.
    N. R Williams, fantasy author

  4. Thanks for all of your comments ladies. I will put all of your advice to good practice. And, I am starting to apply the perspective principle & listening with the philosophical rather than emotional side of my brain. It's not easy, but it's part of the journey; right??