Of Star Wars Novelists and Defunct Appliances

This year has somehow become my year of Star Wars novelists, despite the fact that I think I have only read one Star Wars novel, and it made such an impression on me that I can’t remember what it was called or anything else about it. I met my first Star Wars novelist two years ago, at the very first Realm Makers conference. Kathy Tyers was one of my suitemates, and I had no idea that she was a big deal. I just thought she was a very nice and fun lady, which she is. Then I went to her class and found out about her writing for Star Wars, and texted my son Spencer, who is kind of a Star Wars fanatic, and he was so jealous that I was rubbing shoulders with one of his heroes!

This year, as you might remember, I went to a writers’ conference in Dallas, and probably my favorite presenter there was Kevin J. Anderson, another big-name bestselling Star Wars novelist and another of Spencer’s heroes. I got a couple of his books and had him sign them for Spencer’s birthday. His classes were excellent!

Then I went to Realm Makers and signed up for the editing track, which was taught by David Farland, yet another bestselling Star Wars novelist! His classes were well worth the cost of the whole conference by themselves.

Finally, this past weekend, there was a con in a nearby town, to which I dearly wanted to go, especially after finding out that Star Wars novelist Timothy Zahn would be speaking. I just could not justify the time or expense, given the other stuff going on. However, Spencer and Kat did go. Spencer went to get a book signed by Zahn, and had a nice conversation with him, during which he mentioned that his mother was also a writer. So, without being asked, Zahn autographed a sticker for Spencer to bring home to me!

Yesterday didn’t turn out at all the way I’d hoped. We got all the potluck food together and went to church in the pouring rain. It was the biggest crowd there we’ve seen in years! We had a special speaker who is a missionary to Russia. His sermon was good, but longer than we are used to.

The potluck went well. I sat down at a table with the parents of a college student who goes to our church. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the wife was the college roommate of my husband’s cousin, whose name is also Linda! We had a very enjoyable conversation.

The kids and I left right as the potluck was winding down because I got a text from Spencer saying they he and Mercy were locked out of the house (they attend different churches). After we arrived home, I figured that I had time for a short nap before jumping into work on the independence day dinner.

The only problem was that when I woke up, I had a stomachache. I got the relish (stew) put together and the dessert in the oven and the mandazi dough made, but by then I realized that I was not going to be able to keep going. So I handed the nshima recipe to Lucy, wished her well, and went to bed where I could moan and clutch my stomach without bothering anyone.

Walter set up tables on the bare plywood in the living room and they had a good dinner, judging by the laughter and conversation that wafted into the room where I lay. I heard them sing the Zambian National Anthem too. By the time everyone left, I was feeling a little better, but I didn’t really feel back to normal until about lunchtime today. I am assuming that I ate something at the potluck that really didn’t agree with me.

The day ended up on a discouraging note when Walter found out that the hot water heater had died again, for the second time in two days–and remember, the air conditioner is broken too! Today after work Walter pulled the motor off the air conditioner and will hopefully be able to find a replacement that is not too expensive. Fortunately, the weather has remained cool enough for us to be comfortable indoors without air conditioning–and the rain finally stopped!

The water heater though! This is the latest episode in an ongoing saga. Walter spent hours this evening trying to get the water heater back up and running, but finally admitted defeat and started heating water on the stove so he can take a lukewarm bath. This means we will have to get the heater replaced–again. I think this will be the fourth time we’ve replaced the water heater under warranty. It’s kind of a stupid system that perpetuates a stupid design. The guys at Lowe’s admit this is a badly-designed water heater. Each one has lasted us an average of three years. When they fail, they are still under warranty so we can get them replaced for “free.” (It’s a really big hassle, but it can be done.) Each time, the dead heater gets replaced with a new version of the same inferior heater, thus guaranteeing the cycle will repeat itself. Grrr!

Meanwhile, we’ll be heating up lots of water on the stove for baths, because you can only go unwashed for so long before you can’t stand yourself!

Quote of the Day:

Jasper, after a restless night: “I’m crazy during the day and crazy in my sleep. I’ve got a good crazy schedule!”

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