Wind-up Author Doll

A rather busy week. In fact, it’s been a blur. I am writing this from a library computer… I’m afraid if I wait too long to update, I’ll forget everything.

It’s already beginning to fade…….

Thanks to everyone who came to Moravian College Tuesday night. It was my good fortune to sit on a panel with David Lubar (one of the funniest guys on the planet) and new author (also a great guy), Paul Acampora. The highlight, of course, was hanging out with my daughter, Stef.

A couple of packed days and nights of school and library visits have followed. Today I am at the Agnes Irwin School just outside Philly. I spoke here a couple years ago, and it has been a delight coming back. When I’m done, it’s back on the road to Lancaster, PA, where tomorrow’s school awaits, as well as daughter Meredith and her friends at Millersville.

I’m still anxiously awaiting word on the condition of my computer. Maybe I should start a vigil. Oh, and there is a case of bubonic plague in Los Angeles. This is the kind of thing that freaks me out.

In honor of National Poetry Month, a quick haiku:

The bubonic plague
infecting with tendrils gray
Powerbook weeping

Not great, but it’s a start.

Happy Easter/sick computer

Happy Easter to all who celebrate!!!

(end of happy part of post)

So the good news about my computer getting sick? It didn’t happen until after my last presentation in Ohio. And it’s an Apple Powerbook, so we just drove to the store straight from the airport and the EMTs took my poor baby out of my arms, started CPR, and promised they would do their best.

More good news – all it needs is a new power port, the thingie where you plug in the electric cord. Given how many thousands and thousands of miles the computer has logged this past year, it’s amazing it lasted this far. Even more good news – I should be able to pick it up on Wednesday.

Bad news – I leave Monday for a week-long speaking tour in PA. Without my computer. Without my computer that has most of my notes and emails pertaining to this trip.

So Easter Day for me is being spent pulling together the fragments of info I have (hotel reservations, contracts, etc.) to figure out what I don’t know yet and writing lots of pleading emails on the computer I am using right now (which belongs to BH, who is busy cooking Easter dinner so I can do all of this scrambling. Yes, he is the best husband on the planet. No, you can’t have him. I have a lifelong warranty on him. Mine. Mine!)

And before you yell at me, yes, I have everything backed up. Of course I do. But there is no way to access the backed-up info because it is all Mac OS X based and BH’s computer is a Microyuck Windows-based operating system. And I couldn’t afford to buy a new Apple just to access those emails.

So I probably won’t be posting much here this week. I look forward to seeing whoever can come to the Moravian College gig on Tuesday (call their library for details). Also, I’ll be speaking at the Northeast branch of the Philly library on Wednesday night – call them for the time, too. The rest of the trip will be at schools, plus I get to hang out with daughters Stephanie and Meredith!!!!

::dances wildly across the floor, causing rabbits to flee in all directions::

I’ll be home a week from Tuesday night, leave Wednesday for Rochester.

(I can’t wait until I grow up because then I’ll be an author and I will stay home and write every day.)

But really, Happy Easter.

A rant-free post

No, really. I promise. Because I am in a good mood. A great mood. Georgetown won yesterday and SUNY Albany almost beat UConn. I love UConn, but come on – how can you not root for Albany in that situation? I love March.

Another reason for feeling so great today? The farmers down the road from us have started boiling their maple sap. It doesn’t matter how much it snows this week, Spring has arrived.

This means it’s time for me to hit the road again. Tomorrow I catch a plane to San Diego. (Tough, I know. Just pray that the Stinky Guy doesn’t sit next to me again.) I’ll be speaking in LaJolla on Monday, at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I’ll be giving a public presentation at the Cerritos Library on Friday evening. I come home a week from today.

One of yesterday’s highlights was a trip to the library that resulted in an armful of books for the trip. A lot of them are fantasies – it’s about time I read more of those. So I have the perfect Saturday lined up: writing, reading, basketball, and packing. OK, so it would be really perfect if I didn’t have to pack. But nobody gets a perfect life, so I can deal with it. I’ll get BH to build a fire in the fireplace tonight. That will balance out the sadness of packing my suitcase again.

What are the ingredients of your perfect Saturday in March?

In which the author recounts disaster and searches for her suitcase

It’s time to pack again and hit the road. I leave tomorrow for a long flight West. If you live in the upper left-hand corner of America, you’ll find me here:

Thursday – on an airplane all day
Friday morning – Mt. Baker JH/SH, Deming, WA
Friday afternoon & evening – preconference activities
Saturday – 2006 Bond Children’s Literature Conference, Western Washington U., Bellingham WA
(Here’s a nice article about the gig, and the wonderful woman who runs it, Nancy Johnson.)
Saturday night -Sunday – red-eye flight home. Ack.

Yesterday was horrible. Why? Background first: I am an Apple (PowerBook G4) user, one of the crazy drooling fanatics who irritate people condemned to use Microsoft. But in order to communicate with the rest of the world, I use the Word and Powerpoint (Microsoft products) – the versions which were specifically designed for Apples. So far, so good. I keep my AutoRecovery set to back up every 3 minutes, so in case of disaster, I would at worst lose only 180 seconds of work.

My computer had a seizure yesterday (yes, this happens to Apple users… about once a year). “No problem, I have AutoRecovery,” I chirped. I rebooted, humming a happy tune, and waited for Word to reopen my document. When it did, eight hours of changes, including three new scenes, were gone. Vanished into the ether. Forever. Poof!

We’ll skip the details of what I said at that point, and what I said for the next hour as I combed through files and logs in a vain search for my lost words.

What happened? AutoRecovery had gone on strike eight hours earlier. Why? Who knows. Maybe because I called Microsoft, “Microdweeb” a couple days ago. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. I really went over the edge, emotionally, fell all to pieces and thought Very Dark Thoughts. It had been years since I felt that bad. Decades, maybe. Thank goodness for my incredibly strong and loving husband, who calmly went around the house picking up all of the shattered pieces of my soul. He wrapped them into an afghan and brewed chamomile tea. When I emerged from this coccoon, he gently suggested I get back to work before I forgot everything.

Moral of the story: Choose your significant other wisely if you are going into the arts.