“Historic Homes of Alberta” Thoughts on writing a book

1920's house in Edmonton

A 1920’s home in Edmonton featured in my book. Photo by Corey Hochachka.

Writing, or should I say, completing a book in the summer is a bit like having a double edged sword. On one side there are fewer things that take up my time such as teaching and consulting and speaking at events. But on the other hand it is very hard to get down to business when you (OK, I) would rather be outside finishing our landscaping project!

It has taken me a long time to write this book – much longer than I ever thought it would. The problem is that it’s not a sqeaky wheel. I don’t have a publisher giving me a deadline because I am doing this myself. Having said that of course, there is a deadline of sorts – the one imposed by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. They expect to see this book completed if I want to get my grant so I must not disappoint.

I am in the throes of proof-reading for grammatical errors. Ugh… boring work. I hope the book isn’t as boring as looking for commas and spelling mistakes!

Wonderful combination of millwork and Lincrusta

Wonderful combination of millwork and Lincrusta in a house in Coleman Alberta

I have to admit, however, that as I am reading (and re-reading) the manuscript I re-live my experiences of going into the wonderful old homes that I featured in the book. Most of the houses are modest, although some are higher-end homes.

The thing is that…real people live in them.

By that I mean that they are not museum houses with large budgets and volunteers. They are the homes of every day people and as such are good examples of how 21st century comfort can co-exist with old-house character.

Of course, it also helps to know what to do before you make a decision about replacing, removing, repairing, or decorating, well… anything. That’s why I wrote this book. I was getting so many requests for information and advice because of the articles on my web site that I figured I could help a lot more people by putting this information together in one place – and “Historic Homes of Alberta – A Guide to Restoring and Decorating Your Heritage Home” came to be.

So if I haven’t spent much time writing on my blog or sending out newsletters – now you know why. I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on myself though. I was told that, out of all the people who say they intend to write a book, only 5 % actually do.