November 30, 2011

Oh, Twitterverse, how you baffle me...

I joined Twitter ages ago, right after it started, probably in order to look at something posted either by Charles or my brother, Daniel. They're cutting edge, you see.

In first year or so, I posted maybe five tweets about what I ate for breakfast and the other banalities of life.  I followed.....Charles and Daniel.  The only people who followed me were porn stars. (I know because I accidentally clicked a link for one while at work and it was NSFW!!!!!) (Also, I have no idea why a porn star  would ever follow me. I am the lamest, non-porn-ish person in the history of the world!!)

So then I wrote a book, and decided to try to get it published. I started developing a web presence. I subscribed to agents' blogs.  I commented on their posts. I switched from mom-blogging to (mostly) writerly-blogging.

But I still shied away from Twitter. I still didn't quite get it. 

But I needed to, I got that. I read blog posts about agents finding new clients via Tweets.  I saw that most agents I followed on the blogosphere also were heavy Twitter users.

So...I dusted off my Twitter account, added my standard profile pic, and got to Tweeting.

I started following those same agents, and was amazed to learn if I responded to something they Tweeted, every so often they'd Tweet back!  OMG they TWEETED TO ME!!!

Clearly we were friends, right? Clearly, I was on my way to landing an agent.

But then those same agents posted about the irritation of having writers query them via the Twitters, asking them for critiques via the Twitters, and I realized.  Yeah, we're not friends yet.

Luckily I had not yet committed one of those cardinal sins, so I'm still in good standing with most people I follow.  But still...sometimes...OMG they TWEETED TO ME happens again, and I want to think, "Oh, see? We're REALLY friends now.  I can make my move."

I don't...but I see how easy it could be to make that mistake. Because online? In the Twitterverse? They all seem so friendly and accessible.  In fact, it's going to require some self control to NOT Tweet this very post to several of those agents who I really want to be my friends. To just say, "Hey, I wrote this.  See how cool and savvy I am? Not like those [turns up nose] other writers!"

Honestly, it's not that I'm desperate.  I'm not even ready to query yet.  But I, and so many other writers...we're proud of what we've accomplished, right? When you finish something book-length, it's hard not to stand on the rooftops to sound your mighty Yawp to let the world know you're done.

But still. I have to show restraint. Discretion.  Otherwise I'll seem desperate, and who the hell wants to work with Desperate Girl No. 354392744632?

Ugh.  Even I don't want to work with her.

So I'll contain my excitement, which threatens to bubble over every other day, for at least a little while longer, and I'll play by the rules, even though Twitter makes the rules feel...different.  Because, if I can talk to you, if I can engage you in conversation, why can't I ask you to read my stuff?

(Answer: Because they all have jobs to do, and rules are there for a reason, and it would be insanely annoying to be bothered via Twitter every day by a zillion hopeful authors.)

Anyway, while I'm already complaining about the confusion of making friends on Twitter, I have one other non-related Twitter question.  Can someone explain to me...If I want to re-Tweet a link, but want to add my own little commentary, how do I do that? Because when I click Retweet, it just does it...doesn't allow me to edit.  What am I doing wrong??

Anyway, that's my *other* confusion of the week...because I'm tired of talking about three-year-olds and monsters. 

November 27, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

...sometimes it is damn hard to make lemonade. Don't you think?

So I finished my draft of Book 1 three weeks ago (ish) now, and immediately decided to take a few days off. Go on break, more or less.  Focus on reading instead of writing, doing my "market research" on contemporary (translate: selling) zombie lit.  


So then, a day or two later Zoe had an ear infection.  Then came the horrific reaction to FluMist and several trips to the doctor and many nights of very little sleep due to her coughing and my own worry. 

We finally made it past that phase, only to find ourselves in the midst of another one: Zoe...has stopped...sleeping...and for all that is good and holy in this me, sleep is up there on the list.  And I'm not getting much these days.

When Zoe was a newborn, Charles and I were as prepared for the sleepless nights as anyone could be.  We slept in shifts, one of us on the couch while Zoe slept in her swing, the other trying to catch more restful, quiet sleep upstairs.  We hit survival mode and through it.  Gracefully on his part, less than that on mine.

But now. Now.  Now Zoe is three and we have been sleeping so well for so long! I got used to my 6 or 7 or even 8 hour nights.  It was beautiful. Wonderful.  I was productive, dammit! 

And now.  Now she's having nightmares or is being stubborn about not wanting to be in her bed...we're really not sure yet.  We've been off for Thanksgiving, but we go back to work tomorrow.  If she's up again tonight (the last two nights have found her wide awake between 3:30 and 5 a.m.), tomorrow is going to be a disaster.

I've been anxious. Stressed.  Exhausted and endlessly grouchy and snappish.  All my least favorite things to be.  

I feel bad for her, really, but I'm also! *Whine!*

(Charles is still being damn-near saint-like through all idea how he does it.)

Anyway, today I was whining as usual about being soooo sleepy, and feeling like I am getting nothing done. But then I realized...

  • In the past three weeks I've read two books, a new record for me in my post-baby world.  So that's helpful, especially since one of the books was On Writing by Stephen King, and it gave me tips, tricks, and, best of all, validation on some of the writing processes I've already worked out for myself.  Which was...amazing.  Why yes, Steve, I do happen to write with one person in mind, wondering if he'd like a certain scene or if he'd be bored or entertained.  Thanks for telling me you do that, too.
  • In the past five days, I've started Book 2!!  And I'm LOVING it so far!  I wrote something that I think is better than ANYTHING I've ever written, and I love the plotlines I plan to follow. So now I have two chapters written, plenty of ideas with which to move forward, and really...I've been busy. 

So really, maybe it's not so bad.  We'll get through this phase of early-childhood-development, and I can continue to get shit done while we do it. 


November 23, 2011

Getting it RIGHT

I'm pretty laid back about my writing. I know it's not perfect, never will be perfect. I am not perfect, never will be perfect.

So why should my writing be?

Then...I started reading On Writing by Stephen King.

"Write with intention," he says (among many, many other things).

You may remember...I started my first book with absolutely no intention. It was a whim, a lark. It only grew into something as time passed.

Not so with Book 2, which I started in a vague sort of way last week.  I know my plot. I know how I want my characters to grow and change, and what I want them to do. I don't necessarily know how they'll do it all, but I have an outline in my head.  A very loose, amorphous outline, but an outline nonetheless, which is something I absolutely didn't have for the first go-round.

So...what has this lead to? This writing with intention and an outline?

I've had a scene floating around in my head for a week .  It involves a church, an organ, and an eventual zombie attack.  Two characters who've lost so much.  Music. Stained glass.  (Lots of spiritual stuff for this Jewish girl...)

Last night I started working on it, and for the first time, I cared about every word.  Every syllable.  The juxtapositioning of a song with chaos.  I wrote, I deleted, I wrote and deleted.  

In frustration, I emailed my friend Jen.  "I loooooove it," I said.  "But it's so haaaaard."

Because...I can bang out 2000 words in an hour if I'm not paying attention.  But when I care? When I write with intention?  Two hours of work yielded only 811 words.

This writing with intention stuff? It's hard!  But I think it's ok that it's hard. I think I'll end up with an even better finished product.  Because I'm going to get it RIGHT!


Let the record show I would not have read On Writing without the urging of my husband.  Let the record show...he was right. It's a really great book for a writer like me.


Let the record also show that this blog post was made possible by a tent.  Zoe and I have been doing our Thanksgiving baking, listening to Christmas music, and she has now retired to her play tent with all of her action figures. I think this will keep her occupied for at least an hour!! 

November 20, 2011

Sunday night soup

I looked at a calendar a little while ago and realized it had been days and DAYS since I posted anything here, so I thought, well, might as well, right?

It's Sunday night so I have football on.  My Giants are playing one of their two archnemesis-s-sssss, the Eagles, and both teams are playing terribly.  Interceptions all around. Ugh. But the Giants did just sack Michael Vick, so I admit...I celebrated a little. I'm sorry, I can't help it. I still haven't forgiven Vick for running a dog fight ring, and I probably never will.  So there's that.


Zoe's still not sleeping well, which means Charles and I also aren't sleeping well.  My foot's still hurting (full disclosure: it was better, but then I ran two miles this morning, and now it's....not better.), so I was still missing my typical energy outlet for any frustration and aggression.

I guess Charles got sick of hearing me tell him I needed to punch something (no, I never actually did), so he bought me a big, heavy punching bag!!  We hung it today and I beat the crap out of it for probably fifteen minutes, after which I was sweaty, gasping for air, and I'd broken blood vessels on both hands. Whoops.  But I feel tremendously better after having that outlet.

I love endorphins.

That said, I am guessing tomorrow's going to be a painful day. 


I've written several hundred words of Book 2, and might go work on it some more after I finish this post.  I don't feel a major pull to rush it, though, as I know I'm still in my market research phase of Book 1.  I've made tremendous progress on my "pitch" for agent submissions, so I haven't been entirely idle.

Other projects have included: 

I finished World War Z.  I'm still...not sure if I liked it.  But...I never did put it down.  I didn't connect to any of the characters, because there were so few character recurrences, but still. I never did put it down. So that says something.

Today I started On Writing by Stephen King.  A memoir about craft from one of the greatest horror writers ever? Ok, I'm least after having Charles nudge me 973 times. 

I've also started reading some chapters from one of my classmates, which is fun because I'm getting to edit/offer suggestions on work that is NOT my own. 

All told, I'm keeping busy.


Non-sequitor:  I hate reading or hearing about the new college football sexual abuse witch hunt going on.  I feel like America needs a reminder: Innocent  until proven guilty.  It's almost like sex abuse scandals have become all the rage at the big colleges! 

Even sunny Charleston has its own scandal now, with accusations flying at a camp coordinator at The Citadel.

I wonder how much of the charges are true, in any of the cases. 

If they are, those bastards deserve everything they get.

But still...innocent until proven guilty. The whole thing makes me sick.


And so I'll leave with a cheery thought.  Zoe and I? We're on vacation this week!  Poor Charles has to work Monday through Wednesday, but my girl and I have a nice long break.  We're going to do some projects, visit some parks, bake some pies, get ready for Thanksgiving.

Ah, Thanksgiving.  All the food and family of Christmas or Hanukkah, none of the stress about presents.

It's my favorite.

November 16, 2011

In the middle of the night...

This post has been brought to you by River of Dreams, one of my least favorite Billy Joel songs, but the one which is currently stuck in my head because it starts with, "In the middle of the night..."'s the middle of the night. Do you see the connection?

It's also been brought to you by the child Zoe, who has in her little body the power to make or break a night for the entire household. Tonight, she broke it when she suddenly refused to go to bed, and had an Exorcist-style meltdown that left Charles and me reeling. And even though she finally fell asleep around 8:30, she then woke up at midnight and started in with the "Mommy, I want you"s.  

And if there's any phrase that's over-used in this house, it's "Mommy, I want you."

You know, I get it. The whole time she was sick last week, I was giving her Benadryl at night.  Several doctors have told me through the years that is the best nighttime cough suppressant for little ones who are too young for...well...codeine.  And I get that tonight was her first night without it, so she is lacking in that warm, fuzzy, sleepy feeling Benadryl supplies.  She's coming down off her little addiction.

But still.  I finally caught up on sleep over the past couple nights. If I go back in that hole, I'm not going to be happy. 

So there's that.


But I digress. 

The main point of this post isn't to whine about how it's 1 a.m. and I'm wide awake.  Really, I want to talk about the great big task of Starting Book Two.

I've always known there was at least a Book 2 to my little zombie novel. The vast majority of the overarching story line is there, and I like how it's going to progress. 

However, it's only been in the last couple of days that I've had full, detailed scenes pop into my head, and then refuse to leave.  Scenes I already love, and am excited to write.

And then tonight, I realized. Even though I'm on my break from Book One, I'm not writing those scenes that float deliciously around in my head.  I'm leaving them there to fester, even though tonight in particular it would have been a GREAT outlet for my stress-i-ness (since Charles hasn't yet bought me that punching bag I keep requesting, and yoga only goes so far towards tension release).  Instead, tonight, I caught up on The Walking Dead (which is finally moving along this season), and the rest of the Internets. I poked around on a list-serve for pitch critiques.  I emailed a few people. You know, in general, I procrastinated.

It finally hit me WHY I can't write those scenes. 

Because...dun dun's a big committment to actually sit down and Start Book Two. Huge, in fact.  When I started novel-ing last year, I had NO IDEA how big of a task it truly was to write a whole book, so starting was easy.  I wasn't ever going to actually FINISH, right? 

Now I know how long it will take, I know that I'll finish, and it's making the whole "stare at a blank document" thing THAT much harder.

Because I know! I know what I'm getting myself into, and it's intimidating.

I guess I have to process THAT information for the next day or so, or else convince scene? Not so much a committment.  Maybe when I get to three or four, that's the time to worry.  

So maybe I just have to start.



In other news, after almost a year and a half of going without, we have purchased a new dishwasher for my house! It should be delivered/installed before Thanksgiving, which is lucky because, well, we're hosting!  Hooray!

November 12, 2011


I should have posted this yesterday, but I still had my head in sick-land.  I didn't think to write it until I was drifting off to sleep last night, images of the UNC/Michigan State Carrier Classic basketball game on board the aircraft carrier USS Cole Vinson dancing around in my head.  Active servicemen and women, veterans, the president, all present to watch a college ball game.  It was pretty amazing.

So I thought about some of the veterans I've known and loved (and in some circumstances, not known), and I thought I should post a few words about them.


My grandfather, Sydney, was in the Army during WWII.  His unit served first in North Africa and then in Italy. 

One of the last times I saw him alive was when I surprised him on his 80th birthday by traveling from New Jersey to Boca Raton, Florida, where he lived all my life.  I remember sitting at my aunt's dining room table alone with both my grandparents (they'd been married over five decades by then) while my grandfather told me a story.  I can still hear him talking in his thick Jersey accent, in which "girls" are pronounced "goils."

He stayed in Italy for a long time, having contracted a bad case of pneumonia (I questioned that later in life, when I read about outbreaks of slightly less-savory diseases during the war, but who cares, right?).  By the time he came back to the states, he was fluent in Italian, a fact which he kept secret for a long time.  

One day he walked down an Italian street carrying two gallon jugs of olive oil, liquid gold in those days of having no fat with which to cook your food.  He carried one jug in each hand, and as he walked, civilian women lined the streets, trying to trade for the oil.  Food, treats...themselves...nothing was off the table as they bargained.  

I can't say for sure, but I don't think both gallons of requisitioned olive oil bad it back to Grandpa's base.


My husband's grandfather was one of six brothers who served simultaneously in various branches of the military during WWII.  Can you imagine being their parents? All six boys overseas?

There were stories written about their family in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina at the time.  Their mother was honored.

Charles's aunt has binders full of the letters exchanged between father, mother and sons during that time.  I can't even comprehend the love passed around the world in those years.

And would you believe? All six came home.  Charles's Poppa among them.  


Charles's father served in Vietnam, flying rescue helicopters during the Tet Offensive.   

I never got to meet him, so I don't know many stories, but I know it was tricky, dangerous territory, and I know he saved lives.  

One of his friends' choppers crashed, and the man had to be put back together, piece by piece, but he survived.  When I met the friend, Mr. R, he hugged me and said, "I know you never got to meet Chuck, but I knew him well, and he would have loved you."  

Those words meant more to me than I can say.  

And strangely enough, my own uncle worked for the military during Vietnam, creating the exact same helicopter armor that helped protect my father-in-law and his friends.


I once spent a year living near an Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi.  I knew tons of soldiers then, but three in particular stand out.

Webster, Stockton and Bierbach.  All three MPs, all three great friends.  They treated me like their sister, kept in touch with me for a long time even after I moved away.  Bierbach and I used to joke that we were the same person, separated only by birth and gender.  He and I drove to New Orleans on Mardi Gras that year, speeding down the highway in his Corvette (which he let me drive!).

All three have served multiple times overseas, and while I've lost touch with them by now, I am forever grateful for their friendship in what was a tumultuous year. 


I have friends with spouses in the military; friends who are veterans; friends who have served this country loyally.  

I'm not typically one for major displays of patriotism, but yesterday, when the National Anthem began before the basketball game, Zoe stood up and, with her hand over her heart, began singing along.  Charles and I joined in, saluting our country and our veterans. 

It was a happy, proud moment.

November 10, 2011

In which...I am angry...

I am angry.

There, I said it. I am absolutely, violently, irritatingly, frustratingly, punch-someone-in-the-face angry.

Because it's hard to be a parent. It's hard to make the right decisions, all the time.  It's hard to know who to trust when, what advice to take, how to best care for your kid.

I'm mostly whining tonight because a week ago, when I had Zoe at her pediatrician's office for a standard ear infection, I said to her doctor, "Oh, and I want to get her the flu shot."

Flu shot.  Shot.  That's what I said.  

I'm not a huge fan of flu shots, overall.  The only time I ever got one, I got the flu about a month later, because that was the year they vaccinated against the absolute wrong strains of flu.  

Since I never had the flu before or since (at least not since I was ten), I haven't gotten another.

But then...I didn't get Zoe one last year, and I didn't like the livin' on the edge feel of last winter.  Flu did come to her school, and it did make it to her class, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. So we just had to wait it out, see if she caught it, and even though she luckily didn't, I felt less willing to take the chance again this winter. 

So I asked for the shot.  The shot.

And her pediatrician, who has known her since she was born, has seen her through countless bouts of terrible coughs and even one bout of pneumonia, said, "Oh, why not get the mist? That way she doesn't need a shot."

And I didn't even ask. I just said, upon hearing his advice, "Great idea, let's do it."

My mistake.  You hear me? Totally my mistake.  Had I done even an ounce of research on Flu Mist, I'd have seen two items, and I'd never have let it near her nose.

1. It is a live-virus; and
2. One reported side effect in children is a bad cough.

Bad cough? Yeah, that's putting it lightly.  

A week later, my child has been through two days of fever and the worst cough she's ever had - it's even worse than when she had pneumonia.  She sounds like she's been smoking for 50 years.  She sounds like my Nana did when she reached the advanced stages of emphysema. 

Yeah. It's that bad.  None of us have had a good night's sleep in a week.  We've been through one round of STEROIDS, which are extreme measures for a kid.  She's sitting next to me, at 11:00 at night, having her fourth breathing treatment of the day. This cough has shown no signs of giving up its grip on her little lungs.

So tomorrow, we'll take her back to the same pediatrician we saw last week.  She needs to be seen again, and I want him to see what his one thoughtless piece of advice caused.  Because my child is miserable, and when she's miserable, so am I.  And I want him to fix this.


But you know what can't be easily fixed? 

The lives of victims of child abuse, especially abuse like that alleged in the case of Jerry Sandusky.  Those kids that he allegedly abused? Yeah, they will never be the same. 

And that is shameful.  There were people who could have stopped him, allegedly.  And they didn't, allegedly.

(I say allegedly very pointedly because this IS America, after all, where you ARE innocent until proven guilty.  And I just want us all to remember that...because this case? It's the stuff of a bad Lifetime movie.  The allegations are bad enough that they made Charles turn off the news tonight.  It can't all be true....or can it?)

Anyway, the parents of those boys? They made a choice, and they trusted someone to care for their boys, to lead them, to teach them.

There was no obvious reason for them not to make that choice.  And now their boys have been irreparably damaged by an alleged monster. 

It's hard to be a parent.  I don't envy those parents their guilt, and my heart is breaking for all of them.  And their sons.    

November 8, 2011

Market (and self) research

Last week I celebrated the anniversary of my first day of novel-ing.  I was SO close to finishing the draft on which I was working, it was hard to take any time to celebrate. 

I stopped almost all other tasks to focus on the draft.  Over the course of a month I took three separate stories and merged them into one (I hope) coherent story, and came up with a total 100,431 words.  Whew.  

I finished Saturday night, staying up until close to midnight to make the final edits on the final chapters, then Sunday had my whole novel printed out at my local FedEx Office.  It's currently...tucked somewhere, I'm actually not sure where. The last time I saw it, it was still in its envelope, sitting on the stairs, but I think Charles has since hidden it from me.

Regardless, in my Grand Plan of Finishing my Novel, I plan to set it aside completely until December 7.  It's a little over a month-long break, and ending my break on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day seems appropriate for a history-girl like me.  Hopefully after the break, I'll be able to read it with some distance and be able to tell, finally, if my overall concept works.

And until then? I'm doing Massive Market Research! Fun!

I've started reading Max Brooks's World War Z, and to be honest, after the first 50 or so pages I almost put it down.  It was a bunch of thinly-veiled social commentary, skewering almost all the governments of the world on a sharp but unoriginal stick.  That makes was published in 2006 and was therefore probably written in 2004, when we as a country still reeled from 9/11 (we're still reeling, no?), and while I am no fan of George W and the damage caused by his administration, I'm sort of tired of thinking about all the terrible mistakes he made. 

But then, luckily, Brooks took his story away from government officials lamenting the inadequacies of the response to the growing zombie threat, and he focused instead on the personal stories of escape and retribution. And now I'm enjoying it.  I prefer personal to semi-anarchist stories.

I've also been trying to keep up with Season Two of The Walking Dead series on AMC.  I started watching Season One last year about a month after I started writing my book, and it served as validation for the ideas I'd already written.  Yes, zombie blood is black and viscous.  Yes, a baseball bat is a good weapon.  Yes, I was onto something with my focus on the survivor stories.   So that was pretty great.

This season is a little slower, a little less action-packed.  It's focusing a lot more on stories around children - a little girl is lost, alone, in the woods, while a little boy has been shot in the chest and may or may not survive.  His parents debate the value of helping him survive to live in constant danger while two other people risk their own lives to find equipment to save the boy.  

It's intense; it's frequently upsetting; I'm not sure if I'll last the whole season. But I'm going to try, because every so often I get a peek at an idea I wish I'd originated (a person who hung himself after being infected by a zombie-bite, only to re-animate, stuck in the tree by his own noose).  And I'm going to ignore the fact that it makes me cry every damn week.

Which brings me to my final piece of research this week.  My own life.

Ok, no, I haven't met any zombies yet, nor do I hope to. But this week has taken a turn for the frustrating, and it's left me with one realization - I am in NO SHAPE to survive a zombie world.

Here's why.

Zoe got her flu vaccination Friday.  She's reacted...badly to it.  Fever, terrible cough, trouble breathing.  And....we've gotten very little sleep for  the past couple nights.  And...I don't deal well with a sick kid.  I panic, I worry, I am barely holding it together.  And that's for two night's worth of coughing and fever.  

How the hell would I survive if I was protecting her from zombies? Or aliens? Or vampires? I can barely make it through a stupid vaccine reaction!

So clearly, I am not set to inhabit my own fictional world.  So I need to spend some time thinking about people like me, and how they would realistically respond to the zombie plague.

Food for thought....and for edits...but not until after December 7.

November 1, 2011

The Anniversary of the Epic Tweet that Changed Things

One year.  It's been one year.

One year ago today, I was gearing up for NaNoWriMo 2010.  I'd never before considered writing a novel. I was an essayist.  A blogger. I was going to become the Next Great Mom Blogger, or something like that. Making my fans laugh when they read about the antics of my child and husband. Making them cry when appropriate.  Fulfilling lives with my super-awesome advice.  Supporting myself and my family through ad sales and book deals and all that whatnot.

Yeah, so the book? It wasn't supposed to happen.  But NaNoWriMo sounded fun, and I was in need of some discipline, so having a goal of 1500 words per day sounded like a good idea.  And, I figured, why the hell not?  As long as it didn't interfere with all my Other Big Plans.

One year.  It's been one year.

And...the mom blogger thing didn't work out. It turns out I have no clue how to market or advertise, and I probably would have given terrible advice anyway.

But what did happen?

Well, first I tried to decide what to write about. Write what you know was the advice floating in my head in the first day or two. So what did I know about? I knew about being a teenage girl xx years ago. I knew about having a baby. I knew about computer software.  None of that sounded too appealing.

And then Charles, my husband, tweeted the two magic words of the Epic Tweet that Changed Things.  Zombie Cows.

Note my husband's picture - isn't he cute?
They made me laugh, the zombie cows that appeared in my head when I read that tweet.  They made me remember how much I love to be scared. They made me think, Ok, I don't have to take myself quite so seriously, do I?

And so I started to write. And write. And write and write and write.

Now, it's been a year.  I've got a whole book written, and I'm wrapping up my latest round of edits this week (I hope).  I've written about a really powerful girl, and two not-so-powerful characters who I struggle to like.  And I've written some bad guys who kind of scare me. Seriously, they show up in my nightmares.

So...did the Epic Tweet that Changed Things...change things? 

I mean, I still have my day job, and I'm not leaving it anytime soon.  I am still a mom, still a wife, still a daughter and a sister and a friend. 

But still. Things have changed. There's always something to do, something to write or edit or consider.  Charles is sort of, secretly impressed (I think).  I own a Louisville Slugger of my very own! And I have a book of my own that I wrote!  Yikes!

So, I hope you forgive me if I'm in a bit of a celebratory mood.  Maybe outwardly nothing has changed, but in my mind? Totally different.  I'm happier. I have goals. I have a plan.

I'm a writer.  

Hear me...write?  Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap......