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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in amorettea's InsaneJournal:

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    Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
    6:11 pm
    Eye surgery
    I have been dreading it all summer. Now I have had it. Turns out, it was worth dreading. The surgery is quick and not terribly painful but now I can't actually see clearly. I had my cataracts removed and new lenses and stents inserted to help reduce the high pressure in my eyes that is causing glaucoma. Several people told me it would be great. I would see so well afterwards.

    They were wrong.

    Maybe after a week or so but my left eye is cloudy and hurts. My right eye has a limited area of focus but isn't sharp. It hurt yesterday but is better today. And there is nothing I can do because my glasses no longer match my eyes.

    I'm trying to be patient and hope things clear up but as of right now, it is a pain.

    Ah, old age. Such fun.

    Current Mood: annoyed
    Sunday, May 12th, 2019
    11:55 am
    Mother's Day
    Very successful Mother's Day brunch with stuffed French toast, fruit salad and a frittata. Made my SIL promise she would watch "Paterson." Walked around the yard looking at what needs work (everything) and what is or will be blooming (lots) and then my hay fever brought me back inside. Ah. well. Happy Mother's Day to those whose celebrate.

    Current Mood: satisfied
    Tuesday, December 25th, 2018
    1:28 pm
    Severus Snape Wand
    After years of sort of mentioning and kind of putting it on a gift list, my Significant Other got me a Severus Snape wand for Christmas. Yay! pretty good haul overall.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    1:27 pm
    After years of sort of mentioning and kind of putting it on a gift list, my Significant Other got me a Severus Snape wand for Christmas. Yay! pretty good haul overall.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Wednesday, August 29th, 2018
    11:00 am
    Good News
    I am abnormally chipper today! I was facing surgery for my glaucoma, which was not being controlled by drugs. I have damage to the optic nerve so controlling it is a big issue. I thought I was facing surgery, which is also problematic, because it has to be repeated regularly and starting at age 60 is pretty young. So my eye doctor put me on three separate drugs, dosed during the day, and yesterday I found out they worked!!!

    I don't have to go back for four months -- I was going in every three weeks as we fiddled with various prescription, including one I had a nasty allergic reaction to -- so four months is good.

    I've also been indulging my new Space Snape obsession i.e. Adam Driver. Kid really is a good actor. I watched some of the HBO Girls and was highly impressed with him and hated everything else. I wanted to toss the main character out a window about three episodes in. She was more self-centered than tRump. I'd love to see Black Klansman but it will NEVER be shown in my small, racist Montana town.

    I also keep hoping that the disaster that is my country's government right now will somehow be fixed in the near future. Or, at the very least, somewhat righted.

    So, good mood all around.

    Current Mood: ecstatic
    Wednesday, April 25th, 2018
    4:49 pm
    The Joys of Growing Older
    Ugh. The product is described as an "effervescent laxative with a pleasant, lemony flavor." Effervescent, yes. So bubbly it is hard to drink 10 ounces. Laxative. Ohhh, boy. Yes. Lemony. Sort of. Pleasant. No way in hell. It's like sucking on the bitterest lemon you can imagine. I actually make the face Bugs Bunny does when he is eating something nasty. I can't help it. Eyes squint, face twists, I shudder.

    I had one very small polyp. Oh, joy. That means I get to pay for the procedure because it became a treatment rather than a exam. One little polyp and I'm out $2,000+. I HATE the USA "healthcare" system. Waiting to see if pre-cancerous or benign. If the former, I get checked again in five years. If the later, I can wait for my 70th birthday for another colonoscopy.

    But it is done for at least five years. I've been getting all the check-ups to celebrate turning 60. Mammograms. Pelvic exams. Colon camera work. I even have pictures. So I'm good to go on all the things they can catch in advance.

    I've been reading a bunch of fest entries to entertain myself and take my mind off my colon. All of them seem to be well-written but, to be honest, they are all pretty dull, day-in-the-life of sort of stories are themes that have been done to death. I guess after all these years, a fresh, original take on Snarry is pretty difficult.

    Spring seems to have finally arrived in Montana. Now I have about three days to get all the garden prep work done before summer hits. The joke is we have four seasons in Montana. (Applies to all of the northern tier of states.) Almost winter. Winter. Still Winter and Construction.
    Spring is a Tuesday afternoon between a blizzard and hundred degree weather. Fall is crisp afternoon between hundred degree weather and a blizzard.

    On with life.

    Current Mood: tired
    Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
    4:51 pm
    On Fan Fiction
    When I first started writing fan fiction, back when TVs were black and white and “fan fiction” didn’t have a name, I wrote it to amuse myself. Twenty-five years later, the print ‘zine came into existence and I wrote a few stories that were printed in those ‘zines, although I had no idea if anyone ever read them.
    Then the internet came along.
    I still write fan fiction to amuse myself but occasionally share it in return for the stories that are shared with me. Only a small fraction of what I write is ever finished and only a fraction of that is ever posted on-line because most it isn’t that great.
    So, I wrote a story recently and sent it out to a few beta readers.
    The silence was deafening.
    Okay. That one isn’t going public but at least I know in advance that it sucks.
    So I have tossed that story aside for my own eyes only (Eyes Only was a Man from UNCLE ‘zine I edited back in the day) and am poking at a few other things. Some are obviously WAY to complicated (Seriously. Snape acting as a consultant for Native Americans in North American to try to restore magical knowledge they have lost. WAY too complicated.) Some are just lying there because all I had was an amusing line or two. (Snape & Malfoy, Custom Potions and Spells. Known to the trade as S&M.)
    But the real thing is I need to actually write something. Yup. But some words on paper, virtually, mind you.
    Any minute now.
    Wait? Is that the dryer binging? Excuse me.

    Current Mood: lazy
    Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
    8:45 pm
    Snape stories
    Apparently giving up writing for a newspaper freed my muse, because I have too many ideas for stories to keep track of them. I keep starting and stopping because I have an idea for something else. This is the only thing completed so far. Please read, comment, note errors, Britpick, whatever. Once I think it's ready, it will go up at AO3.

    by Amorette

    Being both freezing cold and burning hot at the same time is an intense experience. It’s also painful. Unbelievably agonizing. The heat is the venom dissolving my veins. The cold at my back comes seeping up from the filthy floor beneath me. The heat is the blood pouring out of me, soaking into my robes. The cold is death coming to take me away.

    I have given the memories to that miserable green-eyed boy. More than I probably should have, but nothing matters any more. I can feel my heart trying to contract around air as I bleed to death. Darkness overcomes even the burning of both hot and cold.

    Then I hear a noise.

    I can’t convince my eyes to open but there seems to be a weight on my chest and a strange ringing in my ears. Which is ridiculous. I’m dead. I shouldn’t be feeling or hearing anything. I was hoping for oblivion and I get wet.

    Not my blood. Something even warmer, slicker, dripping onto my face and throat.

    Into my throat.

    I flap a hand uselessly, trying to chase away that bloody bird as I realize what is happening.

    There is a trilling sound, like a laugh, and the Phoenix tears keep falling on me. I can actually feel the flesh of my torn throat knitting closed. It is a more disconcerting sensation than having it ripped open. That was quick and painful. This is slow and feels. . .very odd. And it itches.

    I open my eyes and find myself staring, at very close quarters, at that annoying bird of Dumbledore’s. Fawkes trills again, sounding very pleased with himself for having ruined my death. I try to push him away but all he does is lean forward and bite me on my nose.

    There are limits and I have reached them.

    I sit up, flailing my arms, trying to chase that miserable, aggravating feathered version of Albus Dumbledore away.

    I am not entirely successful. I lean back against the wall, gasping as my hands examine the once gaping wound at my throat. The bleeding had stopped and I encounter skin. Hot, as if I were burning with fever, and itching, as if a thousand tiny ants had paused to nibble there. Even as I run my fingers across the scars, I feel them fade and the pain subsides.

    Bloody bird.

    Fawkes bounces forward, flapping his wings, and pecking at me. I swat him away several times until he manages to pull a vial out of my pocket. A vial of blood replenishing potion. Apparently Phoenix tears can only go so far. Since I am dizzy and queasy from the dizziness, I swallow the contents of the vial.

    As usual, my potions work exceeding well. I feel better in a heartbeat.

    Fawkes is now tugging at another pocket. General healing and replenishing potions. Right. Drink a couple of those and add a pain potion because even though my throat is healed, the back of my head hurts from where I hit it as I fell, plus my back did not enjoy lying on the cold floor.

    I stagger to my feet and stare at the floor. Based on the amount of blood pooled there, soaking into the dry wood, I must have lost every drop in me. And then there is what is soaked into my robes, making them stiff and sticky. I take a second blood replenishing potion without even thinking just because I know I must need it.

    The number five floats into my foggy mind. The average human male has five liters of blood. From the looks of it, about four and a half must have leaked out.

    Fawkes trills again, cocking his head to one side. If birds could smile, that obnoxious pile of feathers would be smiling. Showing all his teeth, too.

    My wand is lying in the blood. I summon it to my hand, rather surprised when it responds immediately. Then I look at my hands. I am an average male but I swear, it looks as ten liters of blood poured on the floor, down my robes and over my hands.

    Now what? I look around, trying to decide what the fuck I am going to do. I was supposed to die. I was sure of it. Albus was sure of it. We all had to die — although I imagine that miserable boy will somehow survive in the end — for the Dark Lord to die. I made out my will, left it with my solicitor, paid all my bills and have made sure, every single morning for months, that if I died before nightfall, there would be no problems. I hadn't specified a service, though. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to hold one for me. I’d be lucky if I wasn’t burned at the stake posthumously.

    Which was apparently just the wrong thing to think. Fawkes suddenly leapt up into the air, flapped his wings a few times, and burst into flame.

    I hadn’t survived near exsanguination to burn to death. Bleeding to death wasn’t painless but it was damned sight less painful that burning to death would be. I staggered, clutching at the wall, and managed to find my way to the door. I walked a few steps out into the field around the Shrieking Shack, then dropped to my knees, unable to stand or move any farther.

    I could feel the heat at my back and smell the acrid smoke. I should have tried to get up and run away but all I managed was to fall facedown on the grass. After a few seconds, I rolled over, staring up at the sky.

    The sky was grey, mostly overcast, but the underside of the clouds were lit with flashes of curse light and, closer to me, flames.

    My left arm suddenly sent a surge of pain through me, as bad as the pain of my throat being ripped out. I clutched it, crying out, and rolled over.

    I think I lost consciousness for a few minutes. Or maybe more. At any rate, when I opened my eyes, the sun was breaking through the clouds and the shack was a pile of embers.

    I sat up. Considering what had occurred in the last few hours — hell, the last decade — I actually felt well. Even my usual chronic heartburn was gone.

    I stood up, surprised at how easy it was. Really, I did feel physically excellent, perhaps better than I ever had before. Mentally, however. . .

    Something moved in the smoldering ashes. I stared at it, blinking stupidly. Really, my body might have recovered but mind was definitely not up to snuff.

    It was Fawkes.

    Of course.

    He trilled at me and I moved forward without thinking. My robes were stiff and, quite frankly, distinctly whiffy, but there was nothing I could do about that now. Fortunately, Fawkes was near the edge of the ashes and relatively easy to reach. I bent down and picked him up.

    What the hell?

    For anyone who doesn’t know, the Phoenix is reborn in fire and is fire colored. All red and gold. A born Gryffindor. The bird I was holding in my hands was not.

    He cheeped and nibbled at my thumb. He felt warm and soft in my hands.

    “What did you do, you ridiculous beast?” I was surprised to hear my own voice and even more surprised that is sounded perfectly normal.

    Leaning down, I tried to make out what exactly had happened to Fawkes when he bit me on the nose again. I would have dropped him but at the same instant his beak met mine, the world spun around and I was no longer standing outside the ruins of the Shrieking Shack.

    The room I was in must have been on the top floor of a building. The roof was so steeply pitched, I could only stand upright for a few feet in the center. There was a window at one end, above a staircase, and a door at the other end of the long, narrow space. A bed that looked a bit like a prison cot was tucked under the roof. On the opposite side of the bed, a battered trunk stood. My trunk. My old school trunk, no less.

    I set Fawkes down on the bed, then sat down myself.

    What the fuck?

    I took a couple of deep breaths and suddenly realized I what I was smelling, aside from myself and the sort of musty attic smell I expected. Goats.

    A white-haired head was coming up the stairs. I wasn’t at all surprised to see Aberforth Dumbledore. He didn’t seem surprised to see me, either.

    “They say the Potter boy killed Tom Riddle,” said Aberforth in a conversational tone, as if we were discussing the weather. “Died, Potter did, then came back to life. Too late for Riddle, though. He’s dead as a doornail.”

    “Good,” I said, for lack of anything else.

    “I imagine you have a few questions.”

    I shook my head. “No. I should have known your brother would manage to fuck up my death from beyond the grave.”

    “Well,” said Aberforth, “He was an interfering git, he was.”

    We stared at each other for a moment. Then Aberforth pointed to the door opposite the stairs. “You can wash in there. Should be clothes in the trunk.”

    “Then what?”

    Aberforth shrugged. “No idea. Is that Fawkes? Why is he that color?”

    I looked at the Phoenix chick, which had tucked its head under its wing. Bloody thing was already twice the size it had been when I pulled it out of the ashes.

    “I thought it was the ashes at first,” I replied. “But it’s not. He’s black. And silver.”

    “Bloody hell.” said Aberforth.


    I apparently was now the happy owner of not only the world’s only Phoenix but the only black and silver Phoenix in history. I wished I could kill Albus all over again.

    “You should wash up.” Aberforth sniffed pointedly. I must really stink if he was complaining. He waved his hand and a tray with tea and sandwiches appeared on top of the trunk. “Best see to my customers,” he said, turning and walking away. Albus had definitely got all the demonstrative behavior in that family.

    I decided to start with a bath. The door lead to a decent-sized bathroom, too big to fit in the space it occupied. There was a long, deep, claw-foot tub which filled when I waved my wand at it. I stripped, dropping my clothes on the floor. They really were disgusting. Once I sank into the hot water, I burned my garments with a swish and flick, then sat back in the bath.

    Between the blood and the ashes, the water was quickly filthy so I replaced it, then just lay back to think.

    Now what?

    Actually, I began to appreciate what a clever fellow Albus Dumbledore was. Not only had he saved my miserable life, he had covered up the fact that I wasn’t dead. The Shrieking Shack was a pile of burnt wood and ashes. If someone ever came back for my corpse, they would assume it was burnt to ash as well. So I could go away and no one would ever know. Besides Aberforth, and it wasn’t as if he were going to tell anyone.

    I planned a long soak but, truth was, I was hungry and rested so I got out of the bath and used the surprisingly nice towels to dry off. I wrapped one around my waist, although I don’t know why I was being that modest. It’s not as if Fawkes cared. If he had ever seen Dumbledore starkers, he shouldn’t be offended by my skinny arse.

    I sat on the bed, levitating the tea over, warming the pot and pouring a mug. The sandwiches were a bit dry and I was never that fond of cheese and ham but I needed sustenance. When I finished eating, I raised the lid of the trunk to see what Albus’ plans were for me.

    On top were muggle clothes. Black wool trousers, a white linen shirt, gray wool waistcoat and black suit coat, as well as the necessary smalls, socks and shoes. I lifted them out and set them aside. I had put the tea tray on the floor so I piled the clothes on the bed. Fawkes, who looked about half grown now, snorted and twitched in his sleep but otherwise ignored me.

    I knelt to look into the trunk and what I saw there made me laugh.

    Bloody sodding brilliant Albus Dumbledore.

    On top was a copy of my muggle birth certificate. Under that, my NHS card and my driver’s license. The driver’s license was what made me laugh. I had had one, briefly, in my late teens, but not since. This one was current, apparently issued a few months before. Then there was a lease for a flat that was completely paid up for one year. There was a BRP, a current passport — the photo was actually almost flattering, for me, copies of my certificates of education. I was apparently an excellent student and was qualified to teach advanced maths, Latin and Greek. I was also a member of some organization of experts on runes. Then there was a checkbook and savings book. I had enough to live on comfortably for a year at least, more, if I kept to my usual frugal habits.

    It also appeared I was current on all my taxes, owned a small automobile, fully insured, and belonged to a darts club in Hull.

    Under that was a suitcase, modern, with handle and wheels. It contained much more than it should have, several change of clothes, with undergarments, shoes, top coat, scarf, ties, even a black umbrella.

    All I could do was sit on the floor and laugh. I was crying, too. Fortunately, there were a dozen handkerchiefs in the suitcase. I made such a spectacle that Fawkes woke up and squawked at me.

    What else could I do? I got dressed, tucking my identification into a very nice calfskin wallet. The other papers I wouldn’t need to carry with me went into the suitcase. I shut it and stood up, handle in one hand. Albus was lucky. I knew how to survive in the muggle world and actually had real documents to prove it.

    Fawkes, who appeared to have reached his full growth while I was sorting through my future, really was silver and black. Frankly, I thought it a much more handsome color scheme than previously. He flapped his wings and I held out my arm so he could land on it.

    We stared at each other. Then I said, “I’m ready,” and he bit me on the nose again, taking me to whatever the future held.

    December 18, 2017

    Current Mood: pleased
    Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
    1:53 pm
    Story Ideas
    After years of drought, I have a whole collection of ideas but I can't seem to get actually started on much. I do have some titles:

    The Funeral of Severus Snape


    The Perfect Cure

    Cello and Paintbrush

    No smut in any of them, sad to say.

    Current Mood: busy
    Saturday, November 18th, 2017
    9:43 am
    Oh, dear. I figured out the complicated plot twist for the Snapecentric story that has been rumbling around in my brain. No smut but complex concepts pertaining to how magic works because, let's face it, JKR didn't actually think magic through when she wrote the books. Anyway, I whipped out 1800 words yesterday and we'll see what happens from there.

    Current Mood: optimistic
    Friday, November 10th, 2017
    9:55 am
    RETIREMENT or Not?
    My husband is officially retired and signed up for Social Security. Now here is hoping that the Republicans don't destroy it in the next year or so.

    I have all sort of strange story ideas involving how Snape survived but the only one that is coalescing into an actual story is funny. I was hoping for complex plot and angst and all that but I get Snape shooting hexes at a bird. Seriously. Or not.

    Not doing much but enjoying not doing much. Having some minor annoying health issues with sinuses and blood sugar but nothing I haven't had before.

    Also reading lots of old fan fiction and slaughtering monsters and demons in Diablo III when I should be cleaning something.

    Current Mood: cheerful
    Saturday, October 14th, 2017
    10:54 am
    Dark Shadows
    When I was writing Harry Potter fan fiction at the height of its popularity, I would get dozens of hits a day on my popular stories. Now, if I have five hits on a Dark Shadows story in a week, I am thrilled. I am having fun writing again and have a couple of Snape-centric stories nibbling at my Muse so maybe, this winter. . .

    Current Mood: amused
    Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
    5:49 pm
    Still unemployed
    And not actually looking for work. We are officially on vacation and will receive a check at the end of the week. And, as I said before, we have savings. Remembered I have a small state pension I need to check into. And we have to look into insurance.

    BUT I AM WRITING. Actually finished a couple of short fan fictions. Yay.

    And haven't taken my serious panic pills for a few days. Double Yay.
    Friday, September 29th, 2017
    7:21 pm
    Not quite unemployed
    On Wednesday, we told the publisher we wanted to give two weeks notice and take those two weeks as vacation. Fine, he said. At noon today, husband was fretting about Monday and what we would they do. I was thinking I should volunteer to work Friday afternoons to do the weekly farm and ranch newspaper.

    Then editor was his usual charming self.

    When I told my therapist, she dropped her jaw and said she wished she was as a brave as I am. I normally panic when confronted with the unknown but all I'm doing is planning house projects.

    Wish us luck. Maybe I'll actually write a book.

    Current Mood: excited
    Sunday, September 24th, 2017
    9:57 am
    They went with the kid who knew Excell.

    Current Mood: disappointed
    Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
    10:28 am
    Second Interview
    Still no word on Better Half's job application. My digestion may not survive this. I have a few stories I want to write and then I have to quit.

    Current Mood: w
    Friday, September 15th, 2017
    7:15 pm
    Hope on the Horizon
    Better Half has an interview tomorrow morning for a job at the local Art Museum. Big cut in pay in return for MUCH LESS STRESS. Nearly punched obnoxious micro-managing boss in the nose this afternoon. Fortunately, had a visit with the therapist right afterwards so could rant.
    Fingers crossed.

    Current Mood: anxious
    Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
    7:02 pm
    Toxic Boss
    The obnoxious editor was obnoxious. Steve applied for a new job that will involve a rather substantial cut in pay but we don't care. He just has to get away from that obnoxious jackass. As soon as Steve is settled in a new job (fingers crossed he will get it) then I will start looking. We are down two employees already and soon it will be three.

    Current Mood: irritated
    Friday, July 28th, 2017
    6:35 pm
    Retirement or Not?
    My husband is on a two week vacation/sick leave because the stress of his job (not the job, the boss) is playing havoc on him. He takes pills for kidney trouble, for high blood pressure, for high cholesterol and has a nasty hiatal hernia which is making him miserable. Fortunately, the publisher is sympathetic. He has three weeks vacation and eight weeks sick leave saved up so he may not go back at all. He has applied for a less-stressful retail job. We'll see.

    I see my therapist on Thursday and may drag himself along. I don't know if that's legit but somehow we are talking circles around each other on what he plans to do.

    So I am distracting myself by writing "Ten Things That Never Happened to Willie Loomis." I'm up to number six. The great thing, the Dark Shadows fandom is SO dead, I'll never actually have to finish anything.

    HOT and DRY and more fire in Montana than anywhere else in the USA. I like long days but I am ready for it to cool off and maybe rain. We are at 30% of our regular precipitation and when you live in arid country with only 12 inches of rain a year normally, that is DRY.

    Current Mood: anxious
    Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
    8:26 pm
    Making decisions
    Pretty sure my husband will quit his job because of horrible boss and go back to retail for a couple of years before retiring. I will see if I can stand the job without having to worry about him. We sit across from each other at the office and watching him be miserable was killing me. Now to get through the next uncomfortable weeks as we negotiate leaving the job he's had for 20 years. Still, I am glad he finally decided it wasn't worth it to stick around.

    I am fairly sure I will quit myself but I can't right away or the newspaper would be really screwed and I have a loyalty to my hometown newspaper even if I loathe the new editor. Yes, he has improved the paper but at a cost. He micro-manages and criticizes and has convinced both my husband and I that we are crap at our jobs and working with us is a pain. We used to win awards and now we are incompetent twits.

    Changes always upset my stomach but, I hope, by winter, things will be calmer. Oh, and the ENTIRE state is basically on fire so that doesn't help either. I'm sure I'll have to write a story about the fires and fuck it up completely.

    Current Mood: worried
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