I have good news! I finished my course today. No more classes or assignments. However, I do have a huge exam coming up, but not this month. That means I should really start studying for it, but I probably won't, at least not right away. First of all, I have to write a big proposal at work, even though I'm technically supposed to be on holidays. Secondly, I can't tell you how much I've missed Justice and the world of FAKE. It's been almost painful. Which brings me to my good news! Chapter 9 is with the betas and Chapter 10 is three-quarters written. I'm going to publish both chapters this month. Chapter 9 is slated for the weekend of the 13th and Chapter 10 will be out the weekend of the 27th. Beyond that, I cannot make any iron-clad promises, except to say that I'm 98 percent sure I'll be able to get Chapter 11 out sometime in December. I'm tentatively expecting a visitor in December who will stay with us for about a month, but it may not happen. And even if it does, it's my husband's job to keep him busy.
I had to submit a major assignment online last night before midnight. It was the last one, the final assignment for the whole course. They gave us three weeks to do it. Naturally, I didn't even think about it for the first ten days. I started worrying about it when I got a "mid-point friendly reminder" from the advisor who had been assigned to me for the final project. She was wondering why she hadn't heard from me, apart from the initial "I'm looking forward to working with you" email.
"Uh-oh," I thought. "Better start working on it." I pulled up the guidelines, skimmed them, procrastinated a LOT, thought about the assignment, lost sleep over it, but didn't really make any measurable progress on it until about four days before it was due. Then I went into a frenzy of activity. It was actually during that time that I wrote most of Justice Chapter 10. There's something about having a major stressful deadline that wakes up every creative juice in my whole body.
Anyway, I submitted my assignment at 10 PM on Sunday night, about two hours before the midnight deadline. I wanted to celebrate with pizza or something, but I was too drained. I decided to have a hot bath instead. I was about to get into my bath when a dreadful thought struck me: Did I submit my assignment in the wrong format? I scuttled back to the computer to check the guidelines again. It had to be submitted in either MS Word or PDF. Argh! I had submitted in Open Office ODT! I don't have MS Word. I ran up and down the stairs checking various computers. All three computers in the house were set up with Open Office. And they're all old! I tore my hair and stressed. Then I messed about looking for a solution, to no avail. It was 11:00 pm by this time. I emailed two friends in desperation, hoping they might have MS Word. They didn't respond. I ran up and down the stairs some more. My husband scolded me for (a) not telling him sooner and (b) for not finishing a day or more BEFORE the deadline. Yeah, yeah, you're right, but you're not helping, honey.
Finally I laid my problem at the feet of Google. Within seconds I received an answer. A site popped up that, for a buck ninety five, would convert my ODT file to PDF! I scrambled for my credit card and solved the problem with money. I submitted the second version of my assignment at 11:37 PM, twenty-three minutes before the deadline. Then I took a bath, feeling very clever indeed.
Now I know that some of you are going, "Huh? How could she not know about online file conversion? Everyone knows about that." Well, all I can say is that I honestly didn't know. It just never came up before in my life. Until last night. Whew.
My instructor emailed me this morning to praise my assignment and tell me I passed with flying colors. And just for the record, I had my celebratory pizza tonight instead, and shared it with my husband. So all's well that ends well, except that I have to go to the office tomorrow and start writing a boring proposal.