This week has taken a huge load off my shoulders. The wedding dress went off to the bride on Friday, and on Saturday Ash and I attended the Mid Ohio Indie Author Book fair. It was a lot of fun, particularly when a little girl saw Ash’s sign for drawings-on-demand and asked how much it would be for a drawing.
“Well, that depends on what you want,” Ash replied.
The little girl thought long and hard. She carefully examined each of the pieces on display. We both thought she would ask for an animal of some kind. A kitty or a puppy maybe, or a bird (Ash paints a lot of birds).
“An emoji? How much would it be for an emoji?”
It took everything we had not to laugh. And that is how my highly trained cover artist wound up drawing emojis and ninja turtles (the girl had a brother) for $1 each.
The other thing we did–last weekend, actually–was assemble my new computer. I’ve been needing a new computer for a while. I finally admitted my Mac mini is too out of date to be useful. Even with a ram upgrade it was so slow I couldn’t even write on it. And my laptop has been limping along for a while now. I got most of the hardware/software issues sorted out, just in time for one of the hinges to go bad. I expect the screen to snap off any day.
With Ash still looking for work (p.s. she does freelance!), there’s no way I’d be able to buy even a refurbished computer before Nanowrimo, and as we all know, November is when my machines like to go bad. It doesn’t matter how well I prepare, they will inevitably have a massive OS failure on November 10, or something will stop working and I won’t be able to create a backup, or something. This year, I decided to prepare in advance.
I now have a “new” desktop, using parts from 3 old computers–and all it cost me was a $15 refurbed hard drive and a $5 power cord.
It’s actually nice to have a desktop again. Nice big screen. Comfy keyboard. Ergonomic mouse. All things I missed with my laptop, though nothing beats it for portability. The biggest change is the operating system. Because money is so tight, we installed Ubuntu, which is a form of Linux (you can’t beat free, either).
Up until last Saturday, I’d never even seen a Linux computer in person before. So far, the learning curve hasn’t been as steep as I thought it would be. Ubuntu is supposed to be the most user friendly version of Linux (or so I’ve been told) and it behaves a bit like Mac and Windows 7 had a love child. The trickiest bit has been figuring out which parts are going to be more like Mac, and which are going to be more like Windows. By and large, however, it’s been pretty intuitive, and if you need a new OS on the cheap I highly recommend it.
There have also been things that have increased my stress level this weekend, obviously, but I’m not at a point where I can talk about it yet. I process events like Charlottesville very slowly, and there’s nothing I can say right now that hasn’t already been said. It’s horrifying. Tragic. And unfortunately all too common, not just today, but throughout American history (Don’t believe me? Read America’s Hidden History by Kenneth C. Davis. It does a really good job of highlighting the way the oppressed people who came to America pre-1770s became the oppressors). I haven’t yet formed a response, since I don’t have any money or time to give right now, and the words haven’t come.
I think I’ll just sit here and work on my next book, and see what comes out.
P.S. I also did my first ever live interview at the book fair! You can see it over on my facebook page.