12 Aug 2015

Red Nails and a Toolbox can be a Girl's Best Friend by D. C. Legendre

I'm delighted to have the amazing Diane Caron (aka D. C. Legendre) with me today. Diane has written a fabulous guest post...

Every girl should have a toolbox. You know, one of those plastic fishing tackle boxes with all the neat little squares and rectangles where you can fit spare pins, nails, screwdrivers, a tube of mascara, nail files, and even a bottle of nail polish (and let's make it a bright red)! Underneath the top, you can fit a hammer, bungee cord, blow dryer (if you're lucky), a hair straightener and, most importantly, a pry bar.
The main character, Hunter, in "Red Nails" finds out how valuable tools are as she learns to live alone in her home in its unfinished state.
I thought I'd take you behind the scenes as she journeys through her story, when she is away from her computer not playing "Halley". At every turn, there is something to be fixed, or ripped off the wall. When she needs a tool, Hunter goes scavenging through the tornado of a mess all over the garage floor and yells "Yay!" whenever she finds something that will work. When she keeps dropping her earrings down the bathroom sink, a vice grip wrench saves her life. There is nothing like getting that twisty thing unscrewed under the sink to let the contents of the pipe pour into a bucket and sift through whatever is there to find a tiny diamond stud. Before he left, her husband could find an earring anywhere, whether it was in a mound of maple leaves or in a pile of sand near a building site, besides dealing with the drain pipe fiascos. It's not easy for her but she gets on with it with wild abandon.
Not only does she deal with the use of every tool imaginable (including a five pound hammer to pull up and close the garage door that has been disconnected from its electrical opening device), but she confronts a piece of machinery that stops her in her tracks. The lawn tractor. That mysterious machine that makes your lawn look better than if goats chewed it down. (But, the goats would definitely be much cuter.) Hunter must find a key and a rubber drive belt which are conveniently missing so that she can restore the yard to its previous lush state, if that is even possible.
After finding a key and having a new belt installed under the mower, a five minute lesson and she is let loose to attack the raggedy wreck of acres of grass left behind. The farmer and the bushwacking man had already done their part in helping get rid of the hayfield that used to be green grass. On her first pass down the lawn as she is doing her best to sit as far back on the seat to keep the mower mowing, she hits the side of a tiny birch sapling. If not for her hands gripping the wheel so tightly her knuckles turn a deathly white, Hunter would have been sent flying and the tractor would have headed straight down the lawn and into the evergreens. At this point, she decides to tape the button under the seat down and see what happens. The mower won't stop and the tractor halts with gray smoke billowing from the engine. As she sits in the middle of the lawn, it's starting to rain and in a drenching downpour she removes the tape and the tractor starts. Off to the garage she goes to hide and allow her heart to stop hammering in her head.
As Hunter sorts, organizes and tries to decide what to do, it's time to deal with the bookcase that is a massive two tier monstrosity that was a birthday gift, built for her. Only a few screws show so she takes the trusty electric drill she found and successfully removes them. Unfortunately, the bookshelf won't budge a bit. Up close and personal with a flashlight, Hunter discovers nail after nail driven in randomly all over the back of the top tier. The nails with no heads. Even worse. The only way is to hammer the nails further into the wall through the back of the bookcase with a pointed nail setter and then go for it with the King of Tools - the pry bar. After finally figuring out which direction to put the end of the pry bar, she pushes gently and it begins to creak away from the wall. Once the top tier is off, she is left with over thirty nails, with some so deep in the sheetrock that the only option is to hammer them in more and cover them with joint compound. The hammer won't work on the nails that are sticking out so, once again, the pry bar rescues her from total disaster. The pry bar becomes her hero but after sitting and staring at that massacred wall, she lays back onto the floor and stares at the ceiling. There, she notices the embossed ceiling adornment and her clouded brain wonders how to remove that too.
When Hunter finally leaves her home, into the car goes the plastic box with an array of adopted tools, screws, nails, red nail polish, and, of course - the pry bar. Secretly, she hopes to never have to use it again eventhough she knows the search for the truth led her to realize things about herself that would have lay hidden forever if not for her crazy year alone. As time flies by, Hunter realizes that maybe she should have left with just her suitcase of clothes and a small vase (or in her case - a small, round wooden box), like the character in that movie. Instead of deciding what to take, ripping things down and working so hard to organize everything, Hunter could have just moved away, bought a deserted cottage (or villa) and spent her time restoring it and filling it with everything she could find at T.J. Maxx (or T.K. Maxx?). It might have been more fun? Perhaps, she could have met her true soulmate in that far away place and never looked back. One that would keep her away from machines and tools? There's still a chance. Her story hasn't ended yet.
Just know that if you are ever faced with a "hurricane" in your life, consider getting out the red nail polish, pack your suitcase and stay away from the tools. (Oh, away from the computer too....except to buy an airline ticket!)

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