Doing homework at home is seriously a beautiful thing. Like, it's great that my school has a computer lab that I could use and everything, but since I have kids and everything, it was kind of a pain in the butt. But my laptop came back yesterday! I am SO glad I decided to back up my data after all because they did end up replacing the hard drive along with the motherboard, so I lost everything. If this sounds familiar to you, that's because I lost all of my stuff about 18 months ago before I got this laptop. Why do I have so many issues with technology? I'm not sure if it's just bad luck or if I'm screwing something up here. *shrugs* So, I have all of my files and data and everything, but I don't think that includes my old version of Gimp. As far as art goes, I am looking into something else. I didn't like the new version of Gimp when I tried it last year. I seriously have no idea how they expect people to use it without being able to customize your brush settings like you could in the older version, know of at least one person who uses it and seems to do just fine so maybe I'm just relying on them too heavily anyways. I've been curious to try SAI for a few years now though so maybe I will do a trial of that first and then see if I want to buy it. I don't think it costs too much. And since I just finished Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and I've been dying to draw some of the characters, the lineart functions in SAI might be really helpful.
Aside from my technological issues, things are going well. I got my financial aid refund check back the other day and it ended up being a little more than I thought it would be, so that's cool. I reimbursed myself for my computer repair costs, bought some clothes and new shoes for school (I basically only have scrubs and gym shorts in my closet at this point and that's kind of sad), and then we are going to pay off a couple of our smaller bills since we now have immigration lawyer fees to pay again for the next few months. We had to renew my husband's deferred action thing so his work permit stays active for another two year, which is great and all but it is expensive. I am really hoping that before this next one expires we will have filed for his residency, but that takes a long time and a lot of money, too.
I also managed to sell a couple of my little red riding hood costumes for toddlers on etsy, so that was nice. A lot of that goes to pay for supplies and shipping, but I had some leftover so I bought myself a few books. I found the entire Harry Potter series on ebay for like $35 and I've been wanting to reread it for ages. I read all the books when they came out, but at the time I had this serious obsession with Lord of the Rings. I mean, that hasn't changed much, but back then, I was literally reading LotR once or twice a year and for some reason it always irritated me when people would argue about how great Harry Potter was and I was just like, "Psht, whatever. I'll stick with Lord of the Rings. Now that's real fantasy right there!" Of course, now I realize I was an idiot and it is possible for more than one book series to be amazing. I remember liking the Harry Potter books but I don't remember the story very well and I feel like I didn't give it enough of a chance, so I am reading them again. Plus I really wanted to watch the movies but I won't let myself do that until I read the books again and actually figure out what the heck is going on. I also bought this book called Code Name Verity that I kept reading good things about, so I'm excited to read that. I figure that since I write YA (among other things, but regardless of genre, most of my stories are YA) I should probably read some more YA. My amount of reading has been severely lacking over the past few years and I think that's probably a huge detriment to my writing. I know it is; I can see it.
Speaking of my writing, I've gone through and found most of the major issues with my story, I think, so I at least have a game-plan for revisions. The Jared/Zira relationship seems to be the biggest issue, which was kind of a shock and a major blow to my confidence since I thought I'd done that pretty well. I mean, it all works in my head, but on paper, it's freaking horrible and I literally cringed and wanted to gag at some points as I was reading it. I got in my car on the way home from work after reading through the entire manuscript in one sitting last week and just yelled at myself and kind of chewed my own butt out (out loud) for everything. I know that sounds crazy and it probably didn't help that I'd pulled an all-nighter at work, but I felt a lot better after that, just acknowledging that it's awful but reminding myself that it's not set in stone and it's ok and I can fix it (I hope). So that's what I am going to be focusing on now. I don't have too much homework this week so I am going to try and get through a few chapters at least. And maybe draw some FMA fanart too, if I can figure out SAI. And of course, I need to beta-read the dozen or so portions of theant4's story that I've had sitting in my inbox for three weeks now. Lots to do but I am excited about it And I am super excited to have my computer back, even if it is going to be a pain in the butt transferring and reinstalling everything. I guess I should get started on that...