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.

My Recent Epiphany

I know that I’d love to write for a living. I know that I’d love to make residuals on my writing, but I’ll accept being paid enough upfront to be able to invest the money and get an extra income that way. I’m flexible.

I’m afraid of trying to write fiction again. I have had two main fiction-writing eras. The first was when I was a child and adolescent and the other was my marriage. Now, I just don’t know if I have it in me anymore.

I mean I have ideas. I have a steampunk novel about an inventor couple who are currently halfway across the country from each other and have developed a steampunk version of the internet. Sort of. The father, who has the first prototype, sends his adolescent kids across the country with the plans to their mom, and they’re being followed part of the way.

I have . . . something that defies genre. It started out as a sort of alternate history thing but gradually became a fantasy-without-magic world where women run the world.

And I love these ideas. The only thing is that when I try to write them, I hit the wall. Every. Damn. Time.

And my plans to translate kids’ books would require me to learn again how to write fiction. Because, ideally, a translation is kind of word-for-word, but also involves choosing the best and most natural way to say it in the target language. And I feel that it might be hard for me to do.

But the other night it hit me — since I’m writing non-fiction pretty much exclusively, why not translate non-fiction kids’ books from my target region (Mexico? Central America? Germany? Italy? China? Switzerland*?) — books on historical figures and events, geographical points of interest, cultural holidays, etc. I think that I could do a real service by opening these things up to the English-speaking world.

It’s not impossible that I could be back to writing fiction by then, as well. I do have ideas, I just have no follow-through at this point. But we’re talking about something like 11 years in the future. Most anything could happen by then.

*70% of the population of Switzerland speaks either German or Italian. And guess who else does?

Argh!

November 30, 2020 3 of 3

It’s 10:30 and I need to get to bed soonish. I’m also 15 words short of hitting 30,000 for NaNoWriMo.

As a result, I will be just blathering more than usual. I realized that I posted a lot about my Goodreads account, but not much about the books I read this month. I guess that’s because it was a lot of comic book rereads and such and not really something I really had much to say about.

I’m rereading The Glass Sentence (yay for germane Amazon links), which I recall really enjoying when I first read it five years ago, but not really the details. I guess I could write about that once I get away from “I need words and I’m panicking!” mode.

I have made a nice habit for myself of sitting down to write every day. I hope to continue that, maybe in a more considered way for December and January.

I’m already two weeks ahead on posting at one post per day. If I can keep this up, I should stay two weeks ahead, which will be nice if/when I catch COVID. I’d probably be out of commission for two weeks at that point.

I’m going to continue reading and come up with more content creators to feature in posts and we’ll see where we are when my first practice NaNoWriMo for 2021 hits in February. Maybe I really will make it to 8 posts a day then.

Or maybe not.

NaNoWriMo Update

November 28, 2020 3 of 8

It’s 6:27 pm on November 28, and I’m not even to 30,000 words yet. I think this is definitely a personal best for me, as the last time I registered at the website, I only got in the 15,000s, but I’m not going to make it to 50,000.

I also have 16 scheduled unposted posts. I was scheduling them out a week, and then for some reason, I did several days of scheduling for November 30. So I just spent half an hour straightening out my future schedule. I think they’re technically out of order, but I’m pretty sure that I have Alex’s suspected COVID case (his test was negative) in order, so there’s that.

Now since I have 16 unposted posts, I’m too far ahead to schedule them for a week out without messing up my schedule, so I’m scheduling them for Christmas now. This is scheduled for 1 am on Christmas. I’ll go in later and move it to the . . . 8th, I think?

I was also going to start socializing with the other WriMos, but that never worked out either. Variable work schedule, stress from Alex moving out this month, COVID, Thanksgiving. Yeah.

I think that writing a bunch of posts in a row and scheduling them ahead of time will work pretty well, though. I don’t think I can do an unofficial NaNoWriMo in December or January, but February might work. I may have to go back in and spread my scheduled posts out to one a day or one every other day to fill in the blanks of December and January, though.

Now for our Gratuitous Amazon Link. We’re back to Discworld today with Reaper Man, a book featuring Death.

I Really Need to Stop Procrastinating

November 12, 2020 1 of 8

Although what I’m doing while procrastinating is kind of helpful for the long haul, I need to literally and figuratively get off my butt and do something more immediately productive.

I’ve basically spent the whole day reading comic books so that I can fill in those blanks in my Goodreads page.

Meanwhile, one of my friends has a sick dog and her paycheck was short this month, so I’ve just offered to spot her some money so she can take him to the vet.

Additionally, back in 2018, I found a pair of sandals I really loved (Earth Origins Nellie) and so I bought a bunch of them. By the time I found out that I was going to love them, the local DSW was sold out, so I had to scrounge what I could online. I ended up with one pair of black (the one I got at DSW), and one pair each blue, red, and brown. I wore the blue ones until they were just about worn out and the red ones until they were completely worn out. That means I wore the red ones for running around the house and things for a year or thereabouts. So the insole finally completely fell apart last night and so I’m changing to the brown ones.

Since I’m used to the sandals being red, every time I look at the brown ones I feel like my eyes’ color balance is off. It’s very disconcerting.

Since I realized how old these shoes are, I decided to see if I could still get them. I was very, very surprised to see that I actually still can. I honestly thought that my current pair was the last pair in the world. The store at Amazon.com has both black and white in my size, so I’m getting three black and two white. That should hold me until, well, if they last as long as the ones I got in 2018 did, 2022?

Boy, that added up fast. But for two years’ worth of comfortable sandals? I think it’ll be worth it.

I had to go back and look over all of my soon-to-be posted posts to see if I can figure out where I left off on Gratuitous Amazon Links. It looks like I was on the first Squirrel Girl compilation so, I bring you: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True, by Ryan North, Dan Slott, Erica Henderson, Matt Haley, Kieron Dwyer, and Ty Templeton

One of these days I need to go back through my Gratuitous Amazon Links and make sure that they are still good and that they lead to the books that I’m intending them to. That day will not be today, because I’m trying to focus on writing. Maybe I’ll do NaNoEdMo this March and do it then.

I Had So Many Writing Ideas . . .

November 9, 2020 2 of 8

Earlier when I was walking, I was, “When I get home, I’m going to write about this, and about that, and . . . .”

And then I got home and it all disappeared.

I was going to write about the recipe I invented by accident, but I’ve pretty much been writing about cooking while making the dish itself. I just texted Alex to see if he wants to have dinner tomorrow. If so, I’ll see if he wants that dish. If not, maybe I’ll stop and get chicken tenderloins on the way home and make it tomorrow night anyhow.

Oh, I was going to post about the weird dream I had last night. It was weird enough that maybe it could make a post of its own.

I also need to post about the two parks I went to yesterday.

As I said, I went for a long walk today. I think I’ve already posted about my greenway picture-taking project. Evelyn and I are looking for shady places to take the dogs for walks, and so I’m taking pictures every 10 minutes while I walk and am going to make movies of them so we can get an idea of which trails/parks are the shadiest. I’m up to 11 photos (the greenways are out-and-back, and I don’t take pictures on the way back. So 11 photos is 3.67 hours of walking.

Oh, and I’m working on my last? Next-to-last? hour of continuing education for my pharmacy technician registration. I need to knock those out tonight so I can get that together.

Since I’m on a Ms. Marvel roll with my Gratuitous Amazon Links, next up is Mecca, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Technically, this should have come before the one I used for my first post today, but since there’s no continuity here, I don’t think it’ll matter.

Home from My Errands

November 2, 2020 4 of 8

I went to the seamstress’s shop and dropped off my purse. I’m getting a new lining with the internal pocket and everything for a very good price. I hope her work is as good as it looks like because I will promote her services to all and sundry if it is.

Then I went for a walk and played Pokemon Go for a couple of hours. I also started a new (slightly imperfectly implemented) project. As I think I mentioned earlier, when Evelyn and I went walking with the dogs this summer, it was hot. Like hot-hot. Like “surface of the sun” hot. And the dogs weren’t fans.

So we’ve been looking for the most shady paths to take. It’s all pretty subjective, though. I mean, “Hey, that place we went walking last week was pretty shady.” So we go there and it takes X amount of walking in the sunshine to *get* to the shady place.

After I dropped off my purse, I hit the Leon Creek Greenway. While I was walking, I took a picture every 10-ish minutes (I missed one and took it three minutes late, so the picture before that was 13 minutes before and the next one was 6 minutes after). I stopped right after my sixth picture and the next time I have time to walk on the greenway (mid-November, probably), I’ll start from where I took that picture and then take pictures every 10 minutes.

This was the most shade I photographed on this outing. We’ll see what happens in future trips.

Then I’ll do the same thing on the Salado Creek Greenway and make movies of each greenway and see which areas of each seem to have more shade and next summer (if there is a next summer), Evelyn and I will take the dogs here.

Now, as I said, this is imperfectly implemented. Ideally, I’d take these pictures from, like 11 am to 1 pm or something, but I enjoy having a job. I don’t have the time to visit the greenway every day during that two hours in order to get a perfect view.

So, the shadows will be longer in some pictures and shorter in others. Maybe if my dad wins the lottery, I can buy a drone and zip the drone down a greenway at noon on a weekday during the summer when there aren’t many people on it and get one perfect shot of exactly what the shade on the greenways look like at noon.

But for now, as long as I’m doing this with shoe leather and a cell phone camera, we’ll get what we get.

For our Gratuitous Amazon Link this time, we have The Authenticity Project, by Claire Pooley. Julian Jessop, a fairly well-known artist, decides that most of our problems stem from an inability to be honest about our true selves. So he writes his truth in a notebook and leaves it in a coffee shop, inviting the person who finds it to do the same and leave it somewhere else. In the course of the book, six people find the book, and then they find each other and their lives become more intertwined. I really enjoyed this one and hope that by putting this here, someone else will also find it and enjoy it like I did. This is the Kindle edition.

Writers’ Block

November 1, 2020 3 of 8

So I just had a long conversation with Evelyn and came up with a number of things to write about. And now I can’t remember one of them.

So here’s my list of topics:

  1. travel
  2. writing
  3. reading
  4. crafts
  5. “content creators” (i.e. YouTubers, podcasts, etc.)
  6. medicine (I’m a medical librarian, after all).
  7. adventures in cooking
  8. walking
  9. pets
  10. games
  11. languages
  12. childhood trauma (because why not)

This looks like a good place to start. I can pick eight of these every day (I don’t know if I’m going to really go into my childhood demons or not here in public. But God knows it’d be a fertile topic. I could ramble about that for pages.

This list is just off the top of my head. In future posts I may take this list and rank them from most to least useful. Or maybe I’ll just randomly choose one based on my mood. We’ll see what happens as the month progresses.

Gratuitous Amazon Link time! Using my latest idea, to go in reverse chronological order through my Goodreads list, next up is The Tower of Nero, the most recent book in the series (is there a term for a series of series?) that Rick Riordan started with The Lightning Thief. I’m never sure if I should do this as a Kindle edition or hard copy. I opted for Kindle this time. If I ever get a critical mass of readers who do buy these books, I’ll crunch the numbers and see which goes over better then edit as necessary.

Warmup Post NaNoWriMo 2020

11/1/20 1 of 8

I don’t know how long this is going to be. I’m not even sure what it’s going to be about. Maybe I’ll just ramble for a couple of hundred words and then post. I know that I’m normally up until, like 1 am or whatever most nights, but I’m already pretty punchy and will probably go to bed soon.

Do I need to do any laundry tonight? That’s a good question that I should research once I’m done with this.

I think that my first post once I’m actually, you know, awake should be a real introduction post like I did in 2015 when I started this blog and then once I finish it and polish it and whatever, I should take Facebook up on the credit that they’re always offering me to promote that post. And if there’s no offer like that now, I guess I’ll wait until there is an offer like that.

It kind of sucks that the first day of the first year in a long time that I’m really putting the effort in on NaNoWriMo I have to work. It’s a short-ish day, though, starting at 10 am and ending at 6 pm. I’ll have to throw together post 2 of 8 during breakfast. Unless I oversleep, in which case I’ll just have to punt.

I should probably try auditioning some more speech-to-text apps. Then I can write while I drive when I need to. I guess that would count as writing, right?

Ack! I just realized that if I’m going to write 240 posts, I need 240 photos and 240 Gratuitous Amazon Links. Maybe I can press my Goodreads account into service here. I’ve shelved 270 books and I’m still digging more out of my subconscious. Maybe I can post 240 of them in reverse chronological order by date written. Well, kind of a hybrid chronological order would be better, I guess. The book that I just finished last night was Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger. The one before that was Tower of Nero, which relies on things learned in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus and the first four Trials of Apollo books and skipping those would be counterproductive.

On the other hand, the posts aren’t going to be read in any particular order, so would it really matter which order I post the books in? I don’t know. It’s almost 12:30 am and I’m not thinking really well at the moment.

This would mean, of course, that the very oldest book I’ve ever read (right now the oldest books I have there are the first three Nancy Drew mysteries) would never be a Gratuitous Amazon Link this month.

Thinking of my Goodreads account, I just realized that I’m really far behind on updating them. I just took a break to update. And so now my Read shelf has 274 books on it and so now I have a bunch of Gratuitous Amazon Links lined up, but not anything like 240.

First up, the most recent book I’ve read, Keeper of the Lost Cities, by Shannon Messenger. It was published in 2012, and there are eight more books in the series so we’ll see how this goes. I really enjoyed this book and some not-quite-spoilery things I’ve read make me think that I might enjoy the rest of the series.

Maybe I’ll write about it later today for my first book blogging post for the month.

Now, let’s see how many words I’ve racked up so far.

Word tells me that it’s 592. That’s a respectable number. Not nearly enough for today, but enough before bedtime.