How Much Can You Squeeze Into A Week?

Some smatterings today, my friends, in place of the usual links. 

    I hope everyone met Arwen on Facebook Tuesday. Arwen is my new right hand, and she's been helping me manage my crazy life since August. She is a doll, and we have entirely too much in common, which means our work calls nearly always digress into long, detailed discussions of movies and books and television shows and everything else under the sun. Which means I couldn't be working with a better person, and I am so, so grateful to have her. So everyone leave a comment for Arwen today, say hi, tell her who you are, so she can get to know you!
    For my name day, October 13, my mother and father always buy me a little gift. This is what I got this year, and I love it - it couldn't be a better match for my lair. It came from The Lamp Store, and the owners, Marty and Laura, are HUGE readers, and now reading my Taylor series, for which I am very grateful. Isn't it gorgeous??? (And check out Skeletor - he's solar activated and dances! Thanks, Mom!)
    Deadline writing is hard. Some days are brilliant, and the words fly from your fingers, and the word counts rack up. Then you sit down the next day with all that story brewing and nothing comes out. And you don't have the luxury of nothing coming out. So you beat yourself up and eat some chocolate and read your RSS feeds looking for a kernel of inspiration and stand on the front step and stare at the sun, and go back upstairs and try again, and it's like air leaking from a balloon overnight to get the damn words down, but a few come and they suck so you give up and save everything and shut down for the day and at ten, when you're going to bed, exhausted, the flood-gates decide to open. At least, that's what it's like for me. Good days and bad. Creativity is weird.  
    I had to trade my beloved iPad in for a new one. The pressure point where I keep my thumb cracked, and splintered, and though I taped it down, it continued to grow, until I had a long strip of packing tape along the edge. Of course my Apple Care had just expired. And I really didn't want to spend $600 on a new iPad (the 3 & 4 are thicker and heavier and hotter than the 2, which is perfect, in my opinion) nor am I interested in the Mini, which I can't imagine being a big enough screen to write on, so I went to the Apple store and walked out with a new iPad 2 for $250. Seems like a bargain, considering I'd have paid $300 in Apple Care by now, and it's a brand new unit, not a refurb. I should get a few years out of it at least, and my thumb isn't being cut by the shattered glass. Win, win.
    Plus, I had a very cool conversation with my Genius at the Genius Bar, Nick, who was covered in seriously gorgeous tattoos and proposed to his fiancée at Harry Potter world in Flrida (too cool, dude). He was very fun and we ended up talking Potter and Plato's Cave and quantum physics. So all in all, an hour well spent.  
    But then I had to change my case for the iPad so I won't have my thumb in a sensitive pressure spot, and you know, it takes hours to comb the reviews to see what would be best. Finally deicded on a Snugg case, so we'll see how that works. That, and we're finally getting the kitchen finished up, and we're trying to get a couple of barstools, and black wood and gray seats in a 26" counter stool aren't easy to find. We may have a solution, so stay tuned. 
    On a very sad note: Jessica Ridgeway. Sometimes a case grabs you in the gut and doesn't let go, and this is one of them. Everything about it freaked me out. And the profiles were off. Way off. Except that they knew for sure it was someone close to the neighborhood that would be setting off alarm bells. I was right assuming he was too small to take down a grown woman so he went after a child, and that he belonged in the neighborhood and had a reason to be there and not be noticed, but a kid? A 17-year-old kid? Blew me away, and I lost several prime writing hours to the coverage, because I was just flabbergasted. 17. Such a shame, and so many prayers to her family and friends. And thank goodness he's off the street, and bravo to his mom for turning him in. I bet she wrestles with that decision for a very long time, but it was the right thing to do. And you know, the right things are always the hardest.

OK. Thanks for tuning in. I hope the rest of your Sunday is blessed. Go read a book. As my sister from another mother loves to say, It's Good For You!