BUT, it wasn't to be. BUMMER.
I took it to the hospital (Apple store) Sunday. They agreed that my prognosis was correct. The computer is done. So I bought a new one and paid extra to have them try to save the data on my old, dead one and move it to the new one. I was supposed to go pick them both up tonight. But just before my appointment they called to cancel. The data transfer was taking longer than they expected, and was more difficult than they expected. Oh. Dear. They will call me tomorrow.
Please keep your fingers and toes crossed that they are able to save my files, especially my pictures and the book proposal. Pretty please.