Dream Journal

Last night’s dream was a doozy. As a bit of background, my dad’s family was never really close. We saw family members maybe once a year, once every two years, things like that.

My uncle died in December. The first we heard of that was when a . . . what’s the probate version of an ambulance chaser? Basically, it’s a company that will get money from the probate court for you, but will take 33% of whatever you inherit.

My dad thought it was a scam of some sort, but eventually he was able to ascertain that my uncle had, in fact, died. Now my dad is trying to figure out how much my uncle left. My uncle was childless and died intestate. By our calculations, my dad stands to inherit 1/3 of it, then my aunt’s kids will get 1/6, and my other uncle’s kids will each get 1/9. That may be nothing or it may be quite a bit of money for each of his surviving relatives.

So. Dream.

I dreamed that I had two friends over for dinner and was making steaks. I don’t really “speak” steak, so my brain was, like, “steak?” and threw in something that looks like halibut steaks made from beef. I mean, they’re . . . steaks, right?

Sometime before I started dinner, my dad, who had been out of town, came home and brought my recently-deceased uncle with him. Now, my uncle didn’t look like my uncle looked in real life, and I even acknowledged that in my dream. He looked like my dad looked 15, 20 years ago.

I’m putting dinner on and I realized that I only had four steaks and that I’d need a steak for my uncle. I head to the store.

When I get there, one of my coworkers walks through the door right behind me. I get stopped by the manager, who tells me that my shoes aren’t acceptable for their store. I may have been wearing open-toed sandals, I may have been barefoot. I think it changed back and forth.

I told him that I just wanted to buy one steak and I’d be out of there and he said that he would turn a blind eye to the state of my feet as long as I would buy a pair of shoes in the store and so I went to the shoe department, which had all of the shoes hanging from a kind of a rack, I think, and grabbed a pair of ankle-high slippers. Not wanting to take any more time than necessary, I took the tags off and put them in my pocket, so that I could pay for the slippers with the steak.

I never made it to the butcher’s department, though, because then the head of store security stopped me to tell me that my footwear still wasn’t appropriate and then she demanded to see my back under my shirt. I turned around and lifted my shirt so she could see it and she did something. Touched it? Rubbed something on it? And said that she thought I was okay, but that I couldn’t come back into the store until I got a clean bill of health from my doctor, and then they escorted me from the store.

I texted my coworker to see if she was still in the store, but didn’t get an answer, and finally decided that we’d just order a pizza.

Oh, and as I walked back to my car, I put my hand in my pocket and felt the tags in there. I knew that I’d have to get a clean bill of health, because, even though I hadn’t been given much choice, I felt guilty about “stealing” the slippers.

Today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link is Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi. There’s a lot to like here, though it wasn’t perfect (like, how come no matter how fast they traveled, they couldn’t get any kind of lead on Inan?). I’m still working on the next book in the Legacy of Orïsha series, Children of Virtue and Vengeance, which, for some reason, is nearly not as interesting to me.

Harry Potter, Part 1

I need words for Camp NaNoWriMo and so I guess I’ll free-associate for a while about Harry Potter.

I loved that series. I mean, loved it. Until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. That’s about when I started to come out from under Rowling’s spell. Actually, that’s not really true.

I found Half-Blood Prince to be underwhelming but I still loved the series. A group of us got together to “spork” it. I’m not sure where the term “spork” in this context came from. The original “spork” is actually pretty much a runcible spoon, which is a spoon with pointy bits on the end of the bowl of the spoon. The biggest difference, apparently, is that a runcible spoon is fork, spoon, and knife. The original runcible spoons had a sharp edge for cutting.

Anyway, somehow the term “spork” came to mean. Never mind, I found a possible explanation on Fanlore.com: The term comes from the expression “It was so bad it made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.”

I really thought that HBP would be the low point in the series, but then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out and, ope. Somehow, the last two books threw the weaknesses of the series as a whole into sharper relief.

I’m going to hopefully dig up a couple of thousand words on what made me love the series in the first place and probably eventually go into why HBP and DH were such a letdown for me.

Wow. Why *did* I love Harry Potter so much?

I found Harry to be a very sympathetic character in the first few books. An orphan living with abusive relatives certainly had a British kids’ book feel to it, and I felt very sorry for Harry.

He also made an excellent point-of-view character for the audience. We also knew nothing about the wizarding world and seeing it all through the eyes of an abused child was emotionally gratifying.

I could see why Harry took an instant dislike to Draco. I am an adult, though, and I have missed out on what would have been good friendships because they rubbed me the wrong way the first time I met them.

I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction and I’ve used this meeting a couple of times. Full disclosure: I also used to write Harry/Draco relationship fic. Nothing sexy though — just hand-holding and first kisses and things. They’re kids and I’m ace. I had one story where our Harry switched timelines with a Harry who accepted Draco’s offer of friendship and things were very different.

But I digress.

Well, not really a digression, come to think of it. I had a lot of friends in the Harry Potter fandom and that probably made me more devoted to it. My Harry Potter friends were also my real friends. I knew that they had my backs and I hope they knew that I had theirs.

We’d talk about our Harry Potter Houses like it was a real thing. I’m a Hufflepuff, thank you very much. And even though I don’t love the series as much as I did 20 years ago, I still have a lot of fondness for it, and wear a Hufflepuff necklace that Alex got me in 2019 to work nearly every day.

The first few books were full of wonder and magic and had just enough disappointing things or confusing things or plot holes to hang fanfiction on. When I’m happy with canon, I have a harder time coming up with what we referred to as “plot bunnies.”

There were engaging characters starting with Ron and Hermione and going on to include Luna, Neville, Fred and George, and so on.

One of the other things that made Harry Potter appealing to me is the translations. Harry Potter is such a phenomenon that there are something like 100 translations of it, official and unofficial. As a wannabe polyglot, that is very appealing. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Mandarin, and understood quite a bit of it. I also have it in Italian in hard copy and in German as an audiobook. My original plan was to get all of the books in all of the languages. This plan ended, being replaced by all of Rick Riordan’s mythology books in all of the languages.

This is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it is quite a few words, so I’m going to set this up to post later and will come back and start a new Harry Potter post later. Maybe tomorrow, maybe after I’ve reread a couple of books so I can try to pinpoint exactly what the magic was.

Augh! I Need to Go Somewhere!

I have a three-day weekend coming up, and Deimos has a vet appointment on Friday afternoon, but that still gives me two days to go . . . somewhere.

Maybe I’ll go state parking again. Choke Canyon State Park supposedly has 9,999 reservation slots. I highly doubt that, but I’m very curious. Maybe I’ll go out there. It’s not like they’ll run out of reservation slots.

Or maybe I’ll just do what I’ve done most weekends and hide in my house.

In Gratuitous Amazon Link news, we’ve finally hit 2020. I know this because today’s link is the first book in Jenny Lawson’s Fantastic Strangelings book club, Follow Me to Ground, by Sue Rainsford. This was a creepy one, but obviously one I’d recommend, based on the fact that I’m including it as a Gratuitous Amazon Link. Neither Ada nor her father are human. They were constructed from twigs and branches and placed in the Ground, a patch of dirt with healing properties. Ada’s father is training her to use the Ground to heal, plans that suffer a major setback (to say the least) when Ada falls in love with one of the local humans, whom she and her father refer to as “Cures,” because almost all of their contact with them is when the humans come to them to be cured of an illness or injury. Apparently this book is magical realism, but I saw it more as something post-apocalyptic. To each their own, you know?

Guadalupe River State Park

I probably have written about Guadalupe River State Park, but just figured that since that was my outing today, it can’t hurt to write again.

Back in the misty dawn of history, I used to go to Guadalupe River State Park up US Route 281 to State Route 46. This, combined with its mailing address in Spring Branch, made it feel like it was way out in the boonies (is boonies racist? I’ll leave it here for now).

So, when we wanted to go to a nearby state park, Thomas, Alex, and I used to go to Government Canyon State Park, which has a mailing address of San Antonio.

Then, at some point, it may have been due to my next-door-neighbors, I realized that if I go up Blanco Road to State Route 46, it’s not nearly such an arduous trek.

I just checked Google Maps, and Government Canyon is ever-so-slightly closer, but that route is way more inconvenient. As a result, I’ve been using Guadalupe River as my “local” state park.

There are a few places to walk there, but the biggest draw is the Guadalupe River, just like it says in the name. Today, Evelyn and I took the dogs up there to start to expose them to swimming. We got each of them to swim a bit, but none of them seemed really enthusiastic.

Mila swimming in the Guadalupe River. Will she ever like it? Dunno. But if I ever take her on, I don’t know, a boat or a dock and she falls in, at least she’s able to keep afloat. I played around with the levels on this photo, but ended up just leaving it as-is.

We then walked around in the park for a while to lessen the possibility of wet-dog smell in the car, and once the dogs, and my sandals, were dry, we headed home.

We definitely intend to take the dogs back to the river. We’ll being chairs and snacks this time (Evelyn has a canopy/pavilion thing we can sit under, too) and be prepared to hang out for a while. Maybe a few trips like that will have them more eager to spend time in the water.

Gratuitous Amazon Link time. Today we have Holes by Louis Sachar. I’d always heard great things about Holes, but couldn’t get focused enough to read it until I saw it in Half Price Books on my annual trip to buy myself a Christmas present. Unlike some of my annual Half Price Books books, this was definitely worth it.

Dream Journal

Since I’ve decided that my dreams might be a good source for possible fiction stories, I may decide to actually do a dream journal here.

My dad insists that all dreams mean something and usually I take that with a grain of salt and think that they’re mostly about my desire to be able to write fiction again or to have the money to travel the way I want to. This one, however, seems to be packed with at least three meanings.

I was visiting some kind of factory with Thomas. We did the factory tour and it was all very interesting. We left (the parking garage was my usual dream parking garage, in that it looked like M.C. Escher was the architect).

I decided for some reason to go back to the factory and this time the floor was quaking. I found out that the material the factor had been using was being quarried out from under the building itself and had destabilized the building.

Now, there is the obvious end-of-my-marriage interpretation, with everything being okay with Thomas and falling apart without him.

But another interpretation is something that’s been on my mind yet. And that’s. . . .

Okay, we’ll start in the last couple of weeks. In one of my Reddit communities, a poster said that they were struggling with learning to love themselves. They’d achieved all they wanted to, and they still felt unfulfilled.

My immediate reaction was that they were getting their self-esteem from their own achievements rather than from a feeling of intrinsic worth as a human being. And I realized that was a big part of my own problem. I feel like I can achieve my way to feeling better about myself.

And I haven’t achieved anything like my potential. I worry that I should push myself harder and achieve more, but there’s a part of me that recognizes that I should love myself despite not achieving what I had hoped to.

And I think that I might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. I craved love and acceptance from my mother, and she gave me her attempt to make me an Überkind instead. If I can base my feelings of worth from who I am and that I am a human being who deserves love, maybe, just maybe, that will lead me to a place where I can achieve what I feel is my potential.

And that’s what I see in that dream. Building the factory on top of the source of its raw materials destabilized the factory. If the factory stood on its own, with the mine somewhere else, then it wouldn’t be threatening to fall into the hole that is now where the mine used to be.

Also, I shouldn’t hire M.C. Escher to design a parking garage.

Gratuitous Amazon Link time. Today we have the first book in Margaret Petersen Haddix’s Greystone Secrets series: The Strangers. Chess, Emma, and Finn Greystone find out that three children also named Chess, Emma, and Finn, and having the same birthdates have been kidnapped. Soon afterward, their own mother goes on a business trip and the three Greystone siblings begin to search for their mother and to find out what, exactly, is going on.

I have bought the second book in the Greystone Secrets series, and downloaded it to read by cellphone light during the snowstorm, but haven’t quite gotten to it yet. And, since I read The Strangers in October of 2019, even if I were to read it tonight, the Gratuitous Amazon Link is way far away. Also, it feels very weird having a two-paragraph Gratuitous Amazon Link. I don’t think I’ve ever done this before.

Yay!

I finally finished my taxes last night (April 10, 2021). I’m getting a slightly larger refund than I did last year, so that’s nice.

I usually get right on my taxes, but this year I sold a bunch of stock to pay for critical care vet bills for my poor Phobos who died of hyperparathyroidism, possibly secondary to cancer. I opted not to have him necropsied because I wanted to know that I’d done everything I could for him and if something that I could’ve fixed would turn up in the necropsy, it’d haunt me. So definitely hyperparathyroidism (the fix for which is surgery that he couldn’t’ve had because he was very low on platelets).

Anyway, as I said before, I sold a bunch of stock and I remembered from the last time I (well, we, technically) sold a bunch of stock Thomas needed to take a crash course in tax accounting to figure out if we sold it at a profit or a loss and by how much.

I usually use TurboTax, largely because I have so many bank and investment accounts that it’s nice that TurboTax makes sure I don’t miss anything. I have three investment accounts, and CDs in three different banks.

I’d hoped that TurboTax would be able to do the math for me and it swears to me that it did, so I went ahead and filed. I also buy the Audit Defense package because I’m always scared that I missed something. I don’t think I’ve ever made a “you’ll go to jail for this” mistake, but still, it’s nice to hope that the Audit Defense thing will work for me.

I filed it last night and then today got notified that the IRS accepted my return, so everything should go smoothly from here. I hope.

For today’s Gratuitous Amazon Link, we’re back to one of my favorite YA/kidlit authors, Ally Carter. I don’t know if I have a read date for the first book in this series, and I haven’t read the third book yet (dang life getting in the way!). So, today we have the middle book in the Embassy Row trilogy, Take the Key and Lock Her Up. The premise of the series is that Grace Blakely has moved in with her maternal grandfather, the ambassador to the small Mediterranean nation of Adria. She makes new friends and discovers long-held family secrets along the way.

Let’s See If I Can Make this Quick Post Quick

Ha! That’ll never happen. I have to be up in nine hours, so I don’t want to spend all of it writing; I’d like to get *some* sleep.

Let’s think. I guess that last night’s dream will take up some words towards my 35,000 word goal.

I was at the movies? Watching a movie on television? Something like that. And the movie that was playing was one of the Harry Potter movies. I don’t know if they were the original Daniel Radcliffe ones or newer ones. But as the movie progressed, I found myself actually *in* the movie.

And the longer I was in the movie, the less Harry Potterish the movie seemed. I met a man with a small child and the man told me that he had a new wife, not the mother of the child, who, when he said her name, I recognized it as the name of a woman who had figured in a video that had gone viral in which she had been behaving badly. I don’t know what she was doing; I think she may have been mouthing off to a cashier or a waiter or something.

The group I was with ended up inside Malfoy Manor somehow, and while we were snooping around, it occurred to me, like a memory that I already had, not like something that I’d been told, that the guy I was with had a twin brother who’d died somehow.

We ended up inside Narcissa Malfoy’s wardrobe and I remembered a scene where Hermione was wandering around in there and that the very back of the wardrobe is where the most beautiful of all of Narcissa’s beautiful clothing was located.

I seem to recall having an ongoing theme of beautiful dresses in my dreams. I swear I had a dream where my mom had a hidden wardrobe of gowns in the back of her closet (or was it in our basement? dreams are weird).

This, in turn, may have been influenced by having seen a wedding gown dressing room at my local Sears when I was a kid. I didn’t know what I was looking at. I only saw a room with mirrors all over and a platform in the middle. In fact, I never saw another one until I was getting ready for my own wedding.

Anyway, Narcissa’s wardrobe was a room full of shoes and purses, laid out more like a shoe store than anything else, and then a small closet at the back. You open the small closet and there’s another type of clothing in there, like, pants and skirts, maybe and an even smaller closet. Then you open the even smaller closet and there’s another type of clothing, like tops, and a smaller closet. And then eventually you come to a very tiny closet about the size of the knee hole in a desk and that’s where the gowns were.

Something happened there and we ended up in some kind of danger and someone rescued us. It was a person of indeterminate gender dressed up in a way similar to a sandperson from Star Wars. They were wrapped in brown fabric and had some kind of mask on their face. I got the impression that the person who rescued us was the twin of the guy in our group.

When we got safely out of Malfoy Manor, we bumped into a woman who was a kind of mother figure for our group and we ran to her and I hugged her.

When I first woke up, I realized that the place we were was less like Hogwarts and more like New Rome from Rick Riordan’s mythology books. There were entire families living there, not just students.

And now that I’m thinking about it again, I realized that the entire dream took place in some kind of shelter, like maybe a cave or something.

One day fiction will come back to me and I’ll be able to parlay at least one of these dreams into a book and maybe, just maybe, be able to make enough money to survive on my own. Maybe.

I know that my Gratuitous Amazon Link should be a less gratuitous Harry Potter or Rick Riordan book, but I think I’m going to continue to go through my Goodreads list like I have been doing. So, today we have The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, by the Try Guys. In The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, each of the Guys takes an area that they feel insecure about and sets a goal for improving that area. We watch their journeys and get to enjoy the humor that the Try Guys are famous for along the way.

Procrastination

I need to get back to looking for an app that will let me dictate my posts. I have had so many ideas for posts and now that I’m sitting down at my computer, zip.

I think I may be asexual. In the orientation way, not the reproduction way. Though if you’d ever seen Alex and me standing next to each other, apparently we look like I created him by budding.

I’ve never been in step with my peers regarding sexual matters. I was surrounded by budding allosexuals for years during middle school and just felt so out of place during their conversations about sex. I would complain to my mom, who I think was more than likely ace, because she never seemed to believe me. “Girls don’t talk like that,” she’d say. “That’s not natural,” was her response when I became friends with an allosexual who allosexed quite a bit.

I think that she thought that girls didn’t talk like that because she didn’t talk like that and I think that she didn’t think it was natural because it wasn’t natural for her. Her friends may have intuited that she wasn’t motivated by sex and didn’t talk about it around her as a result, as well.

Meanwhile, the situations I found myself in were *not* friend groups. There were the eighth grade girls talking about hiding naked guys in their rooms and the sex-obsessed budding allosexuals in my Girl Scout troop at about the same time. And, like I said, I’d go to my mom for moral support and get the aforementioned “girls don’t talk like that” that really gave me the impression that she didn’t believe me.

Then there’s the real sore spot on my soul — Doctor Who. I loved Doctor Who. I loved the patchy continuity, I loved the way the quarries of the UK could so convincingly play other planets, I loved the characters, and I really, really loved the “no sex on the TARDIS” rule. I could relax and watch it and be comfortable, knowing that random penises wouldn’t suddenly be popping out at me (thank you for that stressor, Stephen King).

And Doctor Who was the first thing that Thomas and I ever talked to each other about. It was very important to me during my adolescence. I always hoped to find a good Doctor Who fan club and actually, you know, have a social life. That never happened.

After the show was cancelled and resurrected as a novel series, I picked up a few of the Virgin imprint novels and there was sex on the TARDIS. Ick. No thank you.

When they decided to relaunch the series, Thomas said that he had heard that they’d pulled Virgin’s contract because the books weren’t family-friendly enough.

My eyes are stinging right now.

Deep breath, Olivia. Let’s do this.

I was thrilled. They were going to make the new series family-friendly. Yay!

We didn’t have BBC America, so we didn’t get to watch the show in real time. I don’t even know if my cable company even had it.

So several years passed of me being envious of people who could watch it. Then they started talking about how sexy it was. How clearly the characters were boning when the cameras were off.

I know that you can’t go home again or step in the same river or whatever. But I was crushed. I’ve seen a few episodes and Thomas would talk and talk and talk about them, but I just couldn’t commit. One time after Thomas and I divorced, a group I was in was just having a field day talking about all of the sex on the show and it drove me into a full meltdown.

Poor Alex had to talk me down. If I can avoid touching my investments until my death, Alex will inherit a million dollars from me and he’ll have earned every penny.

I’ve pretty much worked out most of my angst for right now, so I guess I’ll sign off with a Gratuitous Amazon Link. Today we have Tara Westover’s memoir Educated, which chronicles the development of Westover from the home-schooled daughter of survivalists in Idaho to earning her Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University. It’s a wonderful book and I was captivated by it.

Reduce, Reuse, Recyle . . . Embellish?

Back in the fall, I began a project of unraveling a cotton blanket in order to make a new blanket out of it.

I have always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. And I do mean always. When I was little, I would sleep in what my mom told me was 15-minute increments and it was driving her crazy. So she asked my pediatrician, who suggested she spike my bottle with whiskey. I . . . don’t even know.

When I was ten, I had an EEG. My third grade teacher had never had a child as distracted as I was. She thought I was having absence seizures.

Two years later, my best friend convinced me to join the girls’ summer softball league. I was not at all athletic and she assured me that it was all just for fun and I’d enjoy it.

I did not enjoy it. In fact, I didn’t enjoy it so much that the rest of the team invited my best friend to join them in ganging up on me. She took them up on it and so for however-many weeks it was, I was all by myself with no one to support me (my mom’s best friend’s daughter didn’t even support me). One of the girls decided to try to trick me into believing that I could be the hero of a game if I’d steal home.

For those who don’t know baseball/softball lingo, that means to just run towards home plate from third base when it’s not actually time for the people on the bases to move. I’d been telling them that no way was I going to do that, because I knew that I’d never be able to do it and that it would just expose me to more ridicule.

Still, they kept on me. Every game, “This is the one where you’re going to steal home.” “Not going to happen.”

Finally, I decided that the only way to make it stop would be to just do it and let them laugh at me. But I wasn’t going to make it look like I really was going along with it, so I just walked off from third base towards home plate.

My mom thought that this was the result of some kind of brain malfunction. She didn’t ask me what happened or anything. She just called my pediatrician (a different one from the one who suggested she spike my bottle) and scheduled a brain examination.

Anyway, I needed to be asleep for the test, so she kept me up all night and then gave me . . . a sleeping pill of some sort before we left the house. They hooked the electrodes up to my head and left me alone in a dark room.

My mom says that the tests show that I was awake the whole time, but I really only remember waking up once when someone opened the door to look at me.

But still, between the sleep deprivation and the sleeping pill, you’d expect that not even someone opening the door would have woken me up, right?

And it wasn’t just those things. I always had trouble sleeping. I tend towards bimodal sleeping anyhow, where I go to sleep and wake up about four hours later, and then go to sleep after having been up for maybe half an hour.

I talked to my first psychiatrist about my sleep problems and he suggested that maybe I had sleep apnea, but I think that would’ve shown up on the EEG. My psychiatrist suggested that if I had sleep apnea I would snore, and both Thomas and Alex assure me that they’ve never heard me snoring.

So, my psychiatrist suggested that maybe I’m having trouble regulating my body temperature at night. He suggested that I try turning the air conditioning down a degree or two at bedtime and that worked really well.

My dad moved in with me ten years ago (!) and he gets cold way easier than I do, so we stopped having the temperature drop farther at night. Then my insomnia came back.

I have recently remembered the conversation about my body temperature, and so I started sleeping on top of my covers. That works really well.

I’ve also heard good things about the weighted blanket, but the only one I like, which is knitted out of cotton, is $200 for more weight than I need at my weight. So now I’m thinking that when I make this new blanket, I’m going to thread glass beads onto the blanket as I go. Probably one every other stitch and one every other row, so that there’s some space between the beads.

I will, of course, not be able to sleep on top of this blanket. It’ll be far too bumpy for that. But just maybe it’ll have that weighted blanket magic and sleeping under it will give me a good night’s rest.

I haven’t finished unraveling the old blanket, but I am starting to cast the new blanket on so that I can see how it works out. I’ll make posts once I have some pictures of the work in progress.

In Gratuitous Amazon Link news, we have The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson.

Hardware . . . Inventory?

Since I’m doing all of this writing on my computers, my hardware has been on my mind a lot lately. Additionally, every time I pause a YouTube video, it takes quite a while to get up to full steam again.

So. I got this computer in I think it was 2013? 2015? It’s hella old and running really slowly. I hesitate to replace it based just on that (I only replaced my first Android phone in 2019. I literally couldn’t install software on it anymore and now I use it to listen to podcasts and Chinesepod lessons in my car).

I had to have a new hard drive installed in this computer a few years ago because the hard drive just crapped out on me. I have a data drive, so I didn’t lose any data (hooray for data drives!), but the c:\ drive wouldn’t work at all anymore.

More pressing, in a odd way, is that I’d like to start using my most recent laptop (which, by “most recent” I mean I got it when Alex was a toddler). I booted it up recently and discovered that the BIOS can’t find the hard drive at all. I don’t know if my computer repair place can install a new one, but I just need to be able to write on it. If I could watch YouTube videos on it, that’d be nice, too, but not necessary. I’d like to take the laptop with me when traveling. I’m not planning on doing any traveling this month, so I don’t need to get it fixed for Camp NaNoWriMo. I do need to remember to call the computer people about it anyhow. Maybe I should get a new battery, too.

My phone is in good shape. I also have a tablet from 2012 that I literally can only run Kindle on anymore. Which means that I have a nine-year-old e-reader. I can work with that.

Gratuitous Amazon Link: In 2015, a friend gave me a copy of Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson, a steampunky science fiction novel set on a planet called Solace. I don’t have a read date for that one yet, so instead I’m linking to its sequel The Secrets of Solace. It’s odd for a sequel, because the characters from the first book aren’t even referenced in this one. But I really enjoyed the book and its look into the World of Solace. I just realized that I’ve never read the third book in the series, The Quest to the Uncharted Lands. I’ve added it to my Want to Read shelf on Goodreads.