…to get back online.
I mean, I’m on line every day, like almost everyone else on the planet who has a computer or a local library or a school or a friend or a café that has a computer. & indeed I’m very, very grateful that on line exists. Covid, no car* & a manic perpetual motion machine pretending to be a dog have produced the current version of me who does all her shopping on line. All her shopping. & indeed on line shopping has improved past recognition for which I am also very grateful.**
HOWEVER. On line is also a nest of poisonous snakes. Yesterday I spent most of an hour wrestling with trying to log in to my old Twitter & Facebook pages. I haven’t been on either for years—as some of you have noticed—but now that the blog & web site are up & running again*** I wanted to deactivate, or whatever you call it, put to sleep, both of them†, but with a little pinned-up doohickey at the top saying, I’m not here, but I am now live again on: [blog & web site links].
I can’t sign on. I get stuck in these endless doodah frelling loops where they want me to prove who I am, but they don’t accept any email address or my mobile phone number or known passwords or any FRELLING DOODAH else, which haven’t changed since I first (*&^%$£”!!!! joined. Facebook actually tried to tell me I don’t exist.†† These bright, interesting screens, full of red lettering & exclamation marks, are periodically interrupted, just to give your rising migraine more stimulation, with warnings about hackers & viral threats & Do You Know Where Your Screen Name Is When You’re Not Watching It? & demands to accept a lot of cookies you don’t want to accept but those screens don’t give you any options to decline.
TODAY BLOGDAD & I TRIED TO BREAK INTO MY TWITTER & FACEBOOKS ACCOUNTS—MY!!!!! TWITTER & FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS. & WE STILL COULDN’T DO IT.
Now I remember why being merely an anonymous on line shopper††† has been so appealing these last few years. I mean, living through house renovations is enough.§
* * *
* Old blog^ readers will remember Wolfgang, my beloved old^^ red VW Golf. When we moved north—one of the many stories, no serials, I will tell you at some point—he positively flew, heavily loaded to bottoming-twanging through potholes as he was with boxes of books & All Stars & a few squodgy bags of clothes wedged into the cracks, too many house plants & a mini bull terrier^^^. I knew he was coming to the end of his line, but I was used to my old garage saying, okay, we can squeeze another year out, when I took him in for his MOT, &, as I say, we thundered up here, 500-plus miles mostly at 70 mph without so much as a cough or an ominous whine. I was sure he was good for One More Year, while I got my head, not to mention my bank balance, around buying a new car.
No. Wrong. He failed his first Scottish MOT so comprehensively the garage up here—who I’d been recommended to because they specialised in old cars—refused even to give me a quote for repairs. ::loud wailing noises:: As far as I’m concerned, his demise is just one more grievous loss. I anthropomorphise things, okay? I can’t believe this will be news to anyone reading Robin McKinley’s blog. & this mind set is very useful to a fantasy writer. But it also means things like losing a car you’ve had twenty years is harder than if you just think of it as steel & plastic & paint & bolts & cogs & mysterious oily engine parts.
Meanwhile I was living in a house with no bathroom & no kitchen. Spending my time at the local brook with a washboard & trying to get the stew to frelling boil sitting on top of the woodstove# was distracting. & this is a big enough small town you can mostly kind of manage without a car.## Some time in the next few months the idea of a campervan took hold . . .
Which is also a serial saga. Coming soon### to a blog near you.
Oh, &? Wolfgang is still sitting in the garage. I think it would only take one best seller to provide the funds to find a vintage VW crazy mechanic person who—? Which is much better odds than the three or four best sellers I’d’ve needed to move my little Maine house out into the country.% The drawback to having a fantasy-writing brain is that it does have a lot of trouble differentiating between the stuff that is fantasy & the stuff that isn’t.
^ I should probably specify this as an adjective. Old-blog readers. Readers of the old blog. I’m perhaps a little touchier about age than I used to be, oh, thirty or forty years ago. Or fifty.
^^ speaking of old
^^^ &, part of the full saga, with stepson & stepson’s wife’s car similarly loaded, minus the hellterror, who of course rode majestically in Wolfgang.
# We all know & love Diana Wynne Jones’ TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND, yes?
## Also. I have mentioned that my local stepson & his wife are saints. They are saints with a car that keeps passing its MOT.
### Well soonish.
% see recent bio.
** Although if Abel & Cole doesn’t start delivering to NE Scotland I may have to take my manic perpetual motion machine south to their central office in England & stage a protest. Any sane corporation would fold immediately in the face of a GWHP protesting.
*** PANT, GASP. & please note I am not going to be posting here every day again, but at the moment I’m trying to develop enough MOMENTUM that when I have to miss a day or days I will still be swept inexorably back to writing the next post when I can. The thing is that with my personality writing every day is what works, even on the days when I want to run away to a WiFi free atoll, but I also most often wrote that day’s post in the evening while Peter put supper together. Sigh. So I have—as discussed with a friend who has a similarly strangely wired brain—to figure out a way to trick myself into believing the blog is a Thing In My Life. This will not be easy. I think I will not risk, in a young tender new blog, trying to explain the scary ramifications of being an On Switch or Off Switch person. But one example may suffice. There are, as previously observed (in one or the other of the recent bios, I think), fallow periods, sometimes long ones, in my storytelling. But when I’m writing, I write on a seven-day week.
† I will think about the whole social media thing LATER
†† So much for Facebook
††† & cruiser & following-my-nose-er & all those other things that on line is so wildly spectacular a time suck for
§ I do have a working kitchen & bathroom, I hope you will be glad to hear.