Book: Phase I Complete
I did it! I wrote a book. The first draft, anyway. There is much work to be done to make it a solid read. I won’t share it with you yet, but soon.

I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions for a topic for the book and said I would consider one and write it within three years. Well, I did it in less than two months. I didn’t really choose one of the suggestions exactly, but Jason LaPlant’s idea of “pooping a circle” made a small appearance at the beginning of the book. I got the idea by going to a website that generates random sentences somehow or another. I told myself, I will write a book about whatever sentence comes up on the very first try. The sentence wound up being: “I don’t respect anyone who can’t tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke.” That somehow got the gears turning and I never looked back.

The story winds up being about two friends whose goal is to visit all the points in North America where three states (or in this case, states and provinces) meet. There are 65 such places in the US alone, and another 16 if you add in Canadian provinces to the US states. I picked one that I thought would be somewhat rural and might require the friends to park alongside a gravel road and hoof it for a few miles—North Dakota, Montana, and Saskatchewan. The friends, loosely inspired by my real life friends Nick Sandbulte and Luke Katuin (a.k.a. Sticky and Bun) get to the general vicinity of the border in the middle of the night and decide to sleep in the car and try to find their way to the border marker in the morning. When Bun wakes up, Sticky is missing, and he assumes Sticky has started towards the border without him and heads off to find his friend. Over the next twenty-four hours, the two wind up experiencing everything from injury to assault as they fall off the grid and are unable to communicate with each other or the outside world.

South Dakota: Take II
John and I will depart on Friday morning for our second trip back to the farm in three months. The purpose of the trip is to be present for the Betty Bell memorial service, finally taking place over eight months after she passed away. Having missed many familial events over my time in Texas (Granny’s funeral, cousin Katie’s wedding, various reunions and holidays and gatherings) I decided I needed to stop missing things and head back. Of course, I booked the tickets right before South Dakota kind of became the nation’s coronavirus hotbed, but oh well. We’ll be gone Friday morning through Monday night. Oh, what will little Edie do without the boys around?

School Situation
For those wondering, John did not re-enroll at Jollyville Elementary for the 2020-2021 school year. We had a sure thing where we could send him to a new K-2 class at his old daycare, Four Seasons, which would remain open the whole year with in-person classes, no question. It’s nice because Edie already goes there, and their vacation dates will align. The downside is that it costs money whereas the school just down the street from us would have been free, and it is probably a little disruptive long-term for him bouncing from school to school (Faith Lutheran to North Austin Montessori to Four Seasons to Jollyville back to Four Seasons and presumably back to Jollyville or some other public school in 2021-2022.) All is going great so far, and he knows all his old classmates from his daycare days.