Last night, my wife and I watched Ready Player One again, one of our favorite movies, and at the very end, there’s a line of dialogue that has always caught my attention:
“Goodbye, Parzival. Thanks. Thanks for playing my game.” -James Halliday.
Being a creator of, well, anything is special. But why do we create? Why do crafters make things, why do artists make art, why do writers write? I’m sure most people have different answers to those questions, everyone comes to the table with different life experiences and expectations.
But for me, a big part of it is sharing the story. While there might be exceptions, I’m willing to bet this is a common reason, or at least desire, for most people. Jewelcrafters want people to wear their jewelry. Artists want to show their art so others can see them and enjoy them. Engineers want people to use their things.
And writers want people to read and enjoy their stories. Or at least, I do.
If by some strange coincidence I was able to write full time for the rest of my life, but no one ever read my work, and no one ever talked about it or felt anything about it, I would never be happy. It would never be enough.
I suspect James Halliday, and many other game designers in real life, have much the same thought. Why make a video game if no one is going to play it?
Maybe I’m wrong, but the look on Halliday’s face when he delivered that final line instantly made me think that. He had built the most elaborate game in the history of games, and Parzival played it passionately and vigorously. It meant something to Parzival. It meant everything to him.
And Halliday, whether he was an elaborate AI or some sort of mind-uploaded copy of the real Halliday, couldn’t have been happier about it.
That’s something I hope I have achieved, even if only for a few people – passion. I hope there’s someone out there who has enjoyed my stories, and eagerly awaits my next one. I hope that there are people out there talking about them with each other, discussing their views on the characters, their favorites and least favorites, and why.
I’ve been a little despondent about it lately – Over a year since I published the 2nd editions of books 1 and 2 and not a single review on Amazon. Not even a negative one. Is it because my stories are ‘meh’ and no one feels passionately enough about them to even click a star or 5?
It doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying, and it tells me I need to hone my craft and come up with truly engaging stories. But it really does make it hard sometimes.
Which is why I say to all of you, if you have enjoyed an author’s work, or even hated it, please do them a favor and let them know. We crave input from our readers, good and bad! It lets us know that we’ve made an impact, even if a minimal one. It also lets us know what we’ve done right, and what we’ve done wrong, so that ultimately, we can write better stories for you in the future :)
Stories are meant to be shared. Especially your own.
In less than 10 hours, 2020 shall be upon us, and then all of the “2020 vision” jokes can stop! Or, you know, continue undaunted ;)
As I always do, I’d like to take a moment to look back upon the past year, and see what’s over the horizon. So come with me on a journey through time, from past, to present, and into the future!
2019 – Self-Publishing Success, NaNoWriMo, Home Purchase, Injury and Surgery
In November 2018, I took a gamble and published 2nd editions of my first two novels, along with an anthology of short stories. It was a risky move – why would books that have already been out sell better as 2nd editions? But the vastly-improved covers, the better edits, and the more aggressive marketing campaign paid off.
In 2019, I made more in sales and Kindle Unlimited reads in a single year than in all of the previous years combined! If there is no other reason to, then that alone is reason enough to celebrate!
But there’s more – I started writing more regularly again, and with one last hurrah with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month,) I finished the first draft of book 3 of the Sword of Dragons saga! By far, this was the most complicated story I have ever told, with countless moving parts and story threads, all converging in the final quarter of the novel.
I’m so excited!
Unlike 2018, however, in 2019 I barely traveled. A couple of small road trips here and there, one of which was to see family, but otherwise our great focus was on finally getting out of apartments, and into a house of our own. It was effort, time, and money well spent, and while our little corner of Earth may not be perfect, it’s ours :)
I wish I could say that all of 2019 was positive, but unfortunately, this was not so. Towards the end of summer, as I walked through the kitchen, suddenly my right hip screamed in pain and I fell to the floor, unable to stand or walk. While I slowly regained the ability to use my leg over the next couple of days, I knew something was terribly wrong.
After multiple visits to multiple doctors, x-rays, MRI’s, and CT scans, the doctors came to the conclusion that I had a hip impingement and torn labrum caused by a deformed femur joint. Apparently I’ve had this all of my life, but over time it has been wearing on the labrum, until this year when it finally gave up and began to separate from the hip itself.
Which led to an arthroscopic surgery, my first major surgery ever. In a way, it wasn’t too terribly invasive – two small cuts, one to stick a scope in, the other to stick instruments in to work on the hip. But it required a lot of work on my hip, including ‘tacking’ the labrum up, reshaping the bone, and generally cleaning things up in the hip. It essentially crippled me for several weeks, and a full recovery will take about six months.
It’s been a difficult time for me, someone who has always placed importance on my independence and ability to contribute around the house. My wife has had to shoulder so much, and I am so grateful for all that she has done. She’s taken care of me, worked tirelessly to keep the house in order, and held me through the hardest nights. My wonderful Starshine :)
2020 – Recovery, Publication, and Bringing Sentinels Back
What’s in store for 2020? For starters, the long road to recovery shall continue. As my hip and leg regains strength, it’s time to get fit again. The injury was already starting to rear its ugly head in the 4 years prior to that terrible summer day, and I’ve exercised less and less as a result.
So 2020 will be a year that I focus on my physical health and wellness, getting back to the fitness level I once worked so long and hard to achieve. Long hikes, climbing, that sort of thing, I miss doing all of it, and I’m looking forward to being back to my old self by summer!
Furthermore, unless I get horribly negative feedback from beta readers, 2020 will be the year that book 3 is published! As before, it’ll be self-published, but the cover is already prototyped and ready for implementation, so it’s all a matter of editing and proofreading!
As for the “Bringing Back the Sentinels” comment…I’ve had wonderful inspiration and ideas for revitalizing the Chronicles of the Sentinels modern fantasy book 1, Legacy! I intend to write a more comprehensive blog on the changes coming, but I plan to fully re-write the first book to address the massive shortcomings of the original. As an interested agent put it a few years ago, the premise was good, but the characters especially needed work.
There’s a lot of other great things ahead, including a trip for a Doctor Who convention, but that, my friends, is another story :)
Until then, Happy New Year to everyone! May 2020 be the year of positive change for you :)
NaNoWriMo 2019 was an absolute success, and with almost a week to spare, I finished the third novel of the Sword of Dragons series!
Finishing was a massive rush of satisfaction and relief – I’ve stalled on book 3 almost as much as I stalled on book 1 back in the day, mostly due to life events. NaNoWriMo came at the perfect time, and I was able to buckle down and power through the second half of the novel.
Additionally, I’ve gone through an immediate first edit! However, this served more than just a single read-through for prose or grammar or anything like that – I changed course in several ways on this book since I first started writing it, and that meant I had to go back and retroactively correct incontinuities in the first half.
This time, however, now that the second draft is complete, I’m doing something I’ve never done before – allowing beta readers to read it before the third draft.
Why Early Beta Readers are Important
To be honest, I should have allowed people to read books 1 and 2, and The Orc War Campaigns, long before I did. Especially Burning Skies, however, because it was only after it was published that I received a valuable piece of feedback about the ending.
If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to have read the 1st edition of Burning Skies (the old cover can be seen on the right,) you may remember the final battle against Nuuldan ending with Cardin basically watching someone else defeat the villain. In many respects, it was a Deus Ex Machina conclusion.
So for the 2nd edition, I made Cardin more directly responsible for overcoming the villain, without sacrificing the inclusion of those who came to help him (I’m trying not to spoil the book too much, in case you came to my blog having never read my books :) )
If I had given this book over to beta readers earlier and asked for plot and character feedback, someone might have caught that plot point and the 1st edition might never have had that blemish.
This is why I encourage any and all writers to allow at least one person to beta read very early. Either after a first or second draft. In that case, I would recommend asking them not to focus as much on grammar and sentence structure (you can fix that in your next draft and ask an editor to focus on that, or at least subsequent beta readers, if you’re like me and can’t afford to hire an editor.)
Which brings me to another point…
Writers and Egos
One thing I had to learn very early on as a writer, and sometimes is a lesson I have to be re-taught – if you have an ego about your writing, it’s going to get bruised or even shattered at some point. This could be in a writer’s critique group, or it could be reviews of your published works.
But in my opinion, it is vital to drop any ego when it comes to beta reading and early feedback. You may think you’ve come up with the absolute best story, or the greatest characters, or the most engaging plot, but it is entirely possible that a beta reader will come back and say, “Um, this didn’t work. I think you need to find a way to fix the plot.” Or “This character is exceedingly boring.”
In fact, I received that last bit of feedback from an agent for another book series I’ve been working on in the background, and while at first I felt a little ego bruising, I realized she was right. I’ve started working on fixing that while I let Sword of Dragons book 3 simmer for a while and wait for beta reader feedback :)
If, after setting aside your ego, you feel like the beta reader may still be incorrect, get a second and third opinion. If everyone you let beta read agrees that something doesn’t work, do your best to fix it. Ask them why they think something doesn’t work, and if you’re stuck on how to make it better, ask them their opinions.
Ultimately, however, this is your story to tell. The final decision will always be yours, and the advice I’m giving today is with the assumption that your goal is to write something that a lot of people will want to read. If your goal is instead to just write your story your way and you’re not as concerned about how well your book sells, that is perfectly legitimate.
If there is one universal advice about writing, it’s that we should all do it for the reasons we want to, not for the reasons others tell us we should be doing it.
Hey everyone, I’m still alive! And I have great news!
“Book 3 of the Sword of Dragons is done?”
What? No, that’s just crazy talk! …but the first draft will be done soon! :) That’s what I wanted to write about today.
In my last post, I talked about needing a break from blogging so that I could focus more on writing and other creative endeavors. I have not been idle! I mean, it started with good intentions, and I managed to keep to a schedule for writing for quite some time! But then, as does happen frequently, life decided to rear its head at me, and writing tapered.
However, I am more than halfway through book 3, and better still, my wife and I are going to participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo 2019!
What is NaNoWriMo, you may ask? In the lovely month of November (read ‘lovely’ with sarcasm…I already miss summer,) writers across the globe will spend at least a little bit of time every single day of the month writing! The goal? For most, the standard NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words in November, which translates to about 1,667 words per day.
For some, 1,667 words is a difficult goal to achieve in a day, for any number of reasons. Some folks just don’t write quickly, which is okay and if anyone ever tells you otherwise, feel free to insult them or ignore them. For others, life can be so crazy busy that getting even a half hour in every day is a challenge at best.
Thankfully for me, I have a supportive wife, who happens to be a writer and wants to participate in this event as much as I do, AND I am a quick writer. On my best days, I can get 2,000 words done per hour!
So what is my goal for NaNoWriMo? Primarily, to finish book 3 of the Sword of Dragons series. How hard will that be? To put it in perspective, at halfway finished, book 3 is currently 89,000 words long. Which means I probably have about 80,000 more to write to finish book 3.
Can I do that in one month? That’s an average of 2,667 words per day, and yes, I’m pretty sure I can do that :) It took me about a month to write the first draft of Chronicles of the Sentinels – Legacy, and that was about 70,000 words.
Having said that, it will mean a high level of dedication, and a very patient wife.
The down side, however, is that I had originally planned to be further along in book 3 than I am now, and I’ve been preparing myself to start writing another novel immediately after I finish book 3, unrelated to the Sword of Dragons series. However, realizing today that I still have 80,000 words to go, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.
What Comes After?
You may be asking, “Okay, if you finish book 3 by the end of November, when will it be released?” I’ve found that the best thing I can do for a book after I finish the first draft is to put it down and walk away from it for at least a couple of months.
Why? Put simply, I’m too close to it otherwise. My head automatically fills in gaps when I come across them in my editing, and so I miss things. This became exceedingly apparent to me when editing Burning Skies for the 2nd edition, I had missed a lot because I didn’t let it sit long enough, including some glaring plot holes. As such, I probably won’t pick book 3 up for the first round of editing until February. (If you want to read more details about my writing and editing process, click here for part 1 and here for part 2!)
After that, it needs to go to beta readers, and possibly a 3rd party editor if I can spring the cash for it. Then another round of edits after I get feedback.
When all of that is done, things will happen pretty quickly. I already have a cover design set, it’ll just need to be configured for the book’s final dimensions once it’s ready. So I’m somewhat confident that a mid to late summer release is doable in 2020. In fact, I’d really love it to happen in July, like books 1 and 2!
So the next question I’m sure some of you will be asking, “What will you be doing between the end of November and February?”
That’s easy. First and foremost, I’ll be continuing to develop the plot for book 4 (which has been in development since 2015!) and finalize the plan for it. I’ll talk more about that later, but it’s changed a lot since I first started jotting down ideas!
Second, I’d like to start writing the other story I mentioned above, but it’s one that I’m keeping a tight lid on publicly. It’s a unique story, and I’m very excited about it!
Finally, there’s the Sword of Dragoncraft….wait, what’s that?!
Without going into too much detail now, the world of The Sword of Dragons is being built in Minecraft! For more details, head on over to my facebook page, I’ve posted loads of screenshots of the work in progress!
That’s all for today! I wish I could say that I’m back to blogging regularly, but honestly, November is going to be a busy, busy month. But after NaNoWriMo, I’d definitely like to get back to regular blogging again :)
Thanks for reading! Have a great day, everyone, and for those caught in the snow storm like I am, be safe!
I wanted to offer a real quick apology for not writing a blog last week. House hunting has been extremely time-consuming and stressful and before I knew what was happening, last Sunday was over O_o
Onto the blog we go – are the best stories and characters born from emotion?
The thought occurred to me late last year when I was proofreading all of my books just prior to release. As I read through them successively and rapidly, I discovered that the most recent story, The Orc War Campaigns, felt better written and more engaging as a story. And I wondered why.
There’s probably many reasons, not the least of which is, it’s my latest, so all of the lessons I’d learned up to that point were ingrained into telling the story.
But also…I wrote the characters out of real emotion.
I know I’ve talked about it before, so I don’t intend to get into details, but as I wrote Amaya’s story and her struggle to move on from an emotionally abusive relationship, I used it as a way to explore my own attempt to do the same.
And in using my own emotions and fusing them into the story, I was able to better connect with her character, as well as Zerek’s and Arkad’s.
What resulted was a writing style that felt more relaxed, more intuitive. The writing flowed, and despite being 3rd person, it felt like the story was more from their perspective rather than an objective 3rd person describing the events.
I’m also happy to have learned that others feel the same about The Orc War Campaigns. In fact, despite being the longest book I’ve written so far, folks have read through the entire book in one sitting! That tells me I definitely did something right.
Applying These Lessons to Future Stories
So now the question is, can I take this idea and write the next book in the series the same way? Can I connect more with Cardin and Kailar and write in a way that makes it easier for the reader to connect with them?
The answer, of course, is yes. But it also meant I had to go back through the chapters I wrote last year and the year before and changing them…or in the case of Kailar, rewriting them from scratch.
Actually, I’m glad to have had this revelation. I came to realize that my original plans for Kailar were far too passive in book 3, and that I needed to drastically change things.
Originally she was going to be very passive, following Letan’s orders and only occasionally letting her temper take hold and spur her to more direct action.
That’s not Kailar. It never was. Part of what makes her such an engaging character is that she is an antihero. She wants to do what’s right, but isn’t held back by the same moral constraints as Cardin is. She is much more aggressive. And now, after the events of Burning Skies, she has the power to back her aggressive and straightforward nature with direct action.
And I have to say, I enjoy writing her a lot more this way! She felt two-dimensional before, this feels more natural for her.
Another bonus to having taken a break from book 3 was that I came up with new ideas for book 3 as well as later books that I could foreshadow in book 3, especially for Cardin. His journey in book 3 starts out feeling like it’s the same as book 1 and 2, something comes up, an adventure, and he just goes along with it.
Until something tragic happens.
The tragedies of book 3 were always planned, but they’ve become even more vital after a discussion I had with our friend (and wedding photographer) Danielle, about how she felt like Cardin was never really in any danger. His powers protected him, and always evolved to save him in a life-threatening situation.
And it’s true, the Sword of Dragons makes Cardin very difficult to hurt.
Everyone else, however…not so much. Worse still for him, being the Keeper of the Sword means that his actions never affect just him, or even just his friends. He also must contend with the new paradigm of Dark Magic, and what it means for him and his future.
Book 3 will be a very personal journey for these two characters, as well as for Reis. More so than in Rise of the Forgotten or Burning Skies. All with the backdrop of an epic story unfolding!
In the Sword of Dragons series, which is a series one might assume involves a lot of dragons, they seem to be largely absent at first. They’re talked about in legends, and the titular Sword was constructed by them to end the greatest civil war that the Universe has ever seen.
Dragons are popular right now, or so I’ve been told and so my ads based on keyword searches has shown. Books about dragons are in demand. And I love dragons. So why did I write the first couple books of Sword of Dragons with so few dragons?
Honestly when I first started writing the series, that was not my intent, but as the story developed and I started from scratch in the late 2000’s, I knew exactly how I wanted to treat them.
They were to be mystical, legendary. People whispered about them, revered them as the exemplars of good and just in the Universe. There were once tens of thousands, and they roamed the worlds and realms, exploring, caring for others, and keeping the Universe in order.
And then a great cataclysm befell them, a cataclysm that started when one of their own fell to darkness…
Star Dragons and the Jedi Knights
The dragons once numbered in thousands, were powerful, and the epitome of good in the Universe. Perhaps the one and only people that were ‘pure good’ rather than gray. And then they were all but wiped out after one of their own fell and corrupted others, taking the extreme opposite of good. In a Universe where no object or power is actually inherently good or evil, dragons are the exception. And now they are a mystery. A legend. A whisper. Everyone holds them in awe.
Meeting the first one, Avall, Cardin has an almost religious experience. And then he meets more good ones.
Then book 2 happens, and he meets the original bad guy. Like Luke facing Vader for the first time. And Cardin, like Luke when he learns that Vader is his father, is terrified to realize that he has the same power as this ultimate villain.
I didn’t realize it until this week, but I’ve come to realize how much my love of Star Wars and the Jedi has influenced the back story of the Sword of Dragons series.
Granted there are many, many differences. In the Original Trilogy, we’re led to believe only two Jedi survived the great purge. In canon stories, we learn that there are at least two others who are separated from the Rebellion prior to A New Hope, Ahsoka Tano (one of my all-time favorites!) and Ezra Bridger. But still, that’s only four, and perhaps one or two others in official “Disney Canon.”
The Star Dragons, however, still number in the hundreds.
So part of why there are so few is the Star Wars influence, but there’s a little more to it than that. And it really comes down to the fact that I love dragons, that they’ve captured my imagination all of my life. But there are so many good dragon books out there…so I felt like the series had to earn their presence. Justify their return to the struggle. And make it to where they remained something special and weren’t just common or average.
When a dragon shows up in a scene, it is something special, something wondrous!
And as time goes on, their role increases. Unlike Star Wars, it is only after books one and two that one of the “jedi” aka dragons comes to train Cardin. During this time period, in book 3, Cardin will go on a journey that will affect him spiritually, and will help prepare him for the devastating events to come.
Book 3 – Return of the…Dragons?
Throughout book 3, we’ll get to spend more time with the green dragon Endri, who sort of takes over the role that Dalin previously filled. Which of course will mean that Dalin will need to find his place in the grand scheme of things.
Furthermore, early in book 3, we’ll get to see dozens of dragons, as they rally together to try to find Nuuldan and end the threat of the Dark Dragons once and for all.
This also means we’ll get to learn more about the Star Dragons than ever before! Including the fact that they have not spawned young dragons since before the defeat of the Dark Dragons, and thus their numbers continue to dwindle rather than grow.
Perhaps the most exciting scenes that I’m most looking forward to writing is when Cardin and his friends travel to the ancient Star Dragon home world, a place that seemingly none of the Star Dragons have visited in thousands upon thousands of years.
I’m eight chapters into book 3, and I can’t wait to share more about it with everyone! :)
So what do you all think? Are there more parallels between the Star Dragons and Jedi than I realize? What do you think of the slow build up to more dragons in the series? Are you looking forward to book 3? Let me know in the comments section below :)
I usually finish up the year with a ‘looking back, looking forward’ post, and this, the last Sunday of the year, is no different…except this time, it is.
Nothing has been the same this year, and it’s been one of the best, and one of the hardest. I think I said something similar at the end of last year…little did I know how aptly that would describe 2018.
It began with loss.
In the beginning of 2018, my mother passed away. We knew it was coming, we had known for a long time, but nothing could have prepared me for how it would hit me, or how it has stayed with me throughout the year.
Even now, with Christmas, my birthday, and New Years, even when I’m not thinking specifically about her, I feel this immense, pervasive emptiness.
And perhaps the most frustrating part about it is that this should be one of the happiest years of my life. This was the year I got married to my Starshine!!
The saying often goes, your wedding is one of the happiest days of your life, and for me, it truly was :) I don’t think I ever actually relayed the full story of our geeky, fun-filled, beautiful wedding. The weather was perfect, the venue was fantastic, our hotel was great, and it was a perfect turnout, a small wedding like we’d hoped.
Then came the honeymoon, which was a mixture of good and bad. We’ve already decided we need a do-over! But despite the bad that happened, I hold a lot of fond memories from that week and a half, and for some reason today especially, I’ve been thinking a lot about our adventures in Orlando :)
By far, Disney World was the best!! It was my first-ever Disney experience, and despite how bad the weather was most of the time we were there, it was a blast! And exhausting, but in a good way :)
This was one of many trips I took in 2018, beginning with the trip to NM for my mother’s funeral, then Orlando for our Honeymoon. Next came a trip to Los Angeles for my best friend’s birthday, and also my second ever Disney experience since we went to Nick’s favorite place, Disneyland!
While I definitely prefer Disney World due to its size and scope, our adventure at Disneyland was just about perfect! The weather was great, there were surprisingly few people despite it being a Friday before a holiday weekend, and we barely waited 15 minutes in any line! Topped by an amazing dinner in a restaurant overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the food was fantastic and the company even more so :)
And then not long after came my fourth trip, a work-related trip that took me to Huntsville, Alabama. Little did I know how much NASA stuff was out there, and being able to stand beneath a fully-erect Apollo rocket was an awe-inspiring moment!! I only wish my wife could have been there with me for that experience.
To top off this eventful year, I ended things by publishing three novels at once! What started as an attempt to refresh my work turned into a much longer, multi-year effort to rebrand the Sword of Dragons, and while I still am far from my goal of making a living off of writing, I’m happy to say that this venture has brought me a lot closer than I was before!
Now we come to it, the end of a truly roller coaster year (with lots of actual roller coasters!) I look back, and realize why I feel so exhausted, and why my emotions are so crazy right now. So much good, so much hardship. Even my holiday from work for the Christmas and New Years holiday has been tumultuous.
What do I want for 2019? Relaxation. Am I likely to get it? Well…
Looking Ahead to 2019
2019 may very well be another year without me publishing a new novel. I’ve been working on book 3 of the Sword of Dragons series, and as of writing this, I’m 7 chapters in. But Kailar’s story has been fighting me and I’ve basically scrapped my original plan for her in book 3. Which means I’m kind of making it up as I go for her chapters.
I also don’t want to rush it. I have a title and even a cover set to go for it, but I want to write the best story that I can, and I want to make sure it is as polished as possible.
What I AM happy to report is that I’m headed back to the convention scene, at least for one time. My wife and I have officially been accepted as vendors in the 2019 Whimsy Con in Denver! Our favorite Steampunk convention, and a worthy successor to the former Anomaly Con where Beck and I met, this will be our first table together, with me selling my books, and Beck selling her jewelry and her first book.
Yes, you read that right, Beck’s first novel will be available by Whimsy Con! :D Click here to head on over to her blog to find out about her latest adventures with her book, and her planned release no later than March 1st!
Shortly after that, comes perhaps our biggest move yet since we met each other – we’re planning on buying a house! Mostly because we’re tired of dealing with sub-standard apartments in the Denver area. Truly, there are inadequate protections for renters in Denver and property owners get away with a lot of inky moves. We even ended up getting the FCC involved in our dispute regarding exclusivity enforcement by CenturyLink in our current apartment complex, only to discover that our apartment complex had been lying to us about it.
So we’re done with apartments in Denver.
Beyond that? I’m not entirely sure where 2019 will take me. It probably greatly depends on where we land with a house. I don’t anticipate any big trips this year, since we need to conserve money, so probably just hunker down and focus on writing and voice acting.
Did I mention that yet, voice acting? I’ve decided to move forward with recording audio books, and depending on how that goes, I may try my hand at other related ventures. I’m also slated to be the MC for the Whimsy Con costume contest this year :)
So, now it’s just time to take in a deep breath, and plunge into 2019. Here’s hoping for a great year!
Thanks for reading, thanks for staying with me, and thanks for your encouraging words through the hard times. I really appreciate all of you!! (PS: I just noticed, 205 followers!! We passed 200!!!! :D )
Trials and triumphs of writing, finding an agent, and publication.