Friday, November 30, 2012

I WON!!!!!!!

I almost feel like I've won the lottery or something. Except this, is in a lot of ways, feels much more rewarding. I didn't just win by chance or good luck. I worked my fingers off (not literally, they're still attached appropriately to my hands) writing and writing all month.
And I did it! I wrote 50,257 words in only 30 days.

I'd like to thank NaNoWriMo for existing. 
And I'd like to thank my mom for all her generous thoughts and ideas along the way. 
Thank you, Jo, for writing with me, even though your goals were a little different. 
A big thanks to other fellow writers and facebook friends for writing and doing NaNoWriMo (past times and this year) blogging, and encouraging me along the way. 

Stay tuned for posts to come on how to write a novel in only 30 days (I have lots of advice now that I've done it and know it is possible). 

And here's the video you've all been waiting for: 

Write on!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dare Devil

Do you think it's weird when people try to design their own book covers?
Well, I did just for fun. I didn't do anything too fancy. Really, I just took a picture off of the internet and photo shopped some words over it and it doesn't really look that great, but I think it's kinda cool looking.

What do you think?

Let's be honest, the real cover would look nothing like this. It's too exciting, I think, to be a real cover. But there's one thing that might make it more like a realistic cover and that is that it doesn't really depict the true idea of the story...except it sort of does. :P

Write on!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When Dewke Dies

SPOILER ALERT!!!!! if you do not want the secrets of my novel to be spoiled by my blog post before you read it when it comes out in 3-10 years in hard cover then read no further. 

Thanks to everyone who helped me come up with ideas for scenes today. 
I wrote two different scenes for this one and you get to vote on which one stays! 
Of course I'll need to make revisions to it later, but for now just choose which scene is better. 

Dewke Dies #1
When I get home Mom is in the kitchen crying and making fudge. Peanut butter fudge. It’s my favorite, but she only ever makes it for my birthday or if something goes bad—like the time I split my chin open or when my favorite uncle died of lung cancer. Today is not my birthday, so I tell mom I’m going to take Dewke for a walk because I don’t want to have another bad thing in my life right now. It’s too full of weird emotions.
“Honey, I think you should sit down,” she says. She grabs the box of tissues off the kitchen counter and puts it on the dining table after she takes a tissue out of the box. She dabs at her eyes and pulls a chair out for me.
I stand there, not wanting to know. “I’m just going to take Dewke for a  walk first and then you can tell me the bad news, okay, Mom.” I say and I walk toward the back door.
“He’s not there,” she says when I reach for the handle. She sobs this time, blows her nose loudly.
I yank the back door open and whistle. “Dewke, come here boy!”
I run out into the yard and search everywhere for him. Under the deck, behind the shed. He’s not there. I run back into the house.
“Where is he?” I say.
“He died, Ryan,” she says. “He’s gone.”
“Died!? Dewke doesn’t die. He can’t die,” I say.
“He was hit by a truck,” She says and then sobs. She takes a deep breath. “He managed to dig up that hole again under the fence and got out.”
I sit down at the dining table. Numb. I feel numb. It’s not real. It can’t be real. I’ve had Dewke since I was nine. We go everywhere together. I lay my head on the table and let the tears stream down my cheeks and puddle around my face.

Dewke Dies #2
I get home from school and immediately go to the back yard to get Dewke. He’s happy to see me like always and he wags his tail like crazy. “Let’s go for a stroll, boy!”

I open the gate and he bolts out ahead of me. I run after him and whistle for him to come back. And he stops at the sidewalk to wait for me. When I hit the sidewalk I jump on my board and push toward the dog park. 

“Alright, Dewke I’ll race you to the park!” We fly through our neighborhood letting the wind blow through our hair. Dewke runs with his tongue hanging out, slobber slapping everywhere.

When we get to the block just before main street, which happens to be the busiest street in town, I call Dewke to me and grab his collar. I walk hunched over for the whole block and hold on to him as we wait for the walking sign to appear, then we cross the street. Once we’re safely to the other side and down the block a little ways I let go of his collar and let him run ahead.

When we get to the park he runs around sniffing butts and eventually comes back to play fetch. I brought his favorite tennis ball and a chuck-it thrower so I don’t have to touch his nasty slobber covered ball. 

He chases the ball as fast as he can, sometimes running too far and not slowing down fast enough. Every time he brings the ball back, drops it at my feet as he pants like crazy, probably thirsty as hell. But he just waits, tail wagging, tongue slopping out over his teeth, those giant brown eyes looking at me with an eager anticipation. I scoop the ball into the throw arm and sling it all the way across the field in the park. I think he could do this for hours. 

When he gets so tired that he brings the ball back and just lies down to gnaw on it, I decide it’s time to go home. 

“Come on, boy, let’s go home.” I say and I pick up my long board from off the grass.

We walk and Dewke is a little slower going back. I’m proud that I managed to wear him out because he is usually like an energizer bunny going forever and ever, never  really getting tired.
When we get to main street I don’t grab his collar. He has stayed by me the whole time without going out ahead of me, so I’m not worried about it. 

We get to the corner and I push the button so we can cross. While we’re waiting and watching the cars go by, a cat jumps out of a trash can across the street. Dewke’s ears perk up and he bolts toward the cat before I have a chance to reach for his collar. He runs out into the street, eyes on the cat and just when he gets to the inside lane of the other side of the road a car honks, he tries to turn back and the wheel of the car bumps over him. He yelps loud once. Only once, and the back wheel thumps over him before the driver swerves off to the side of the road. I stand there on the corner just staring at the unmoving lump on the road.

A woman gets out of the car screaming, “oh my god!”

I race out into the road and meet in the middle with the woman who ran him over. She tries to pull his steaming body off the street. I push her away and pick Dewke up in my arms. His body is hot and blood pumps out of him from all over. I carry him to the other side of the road and sit on the curb cradling him in my arms, bawling my face off and letting his blood seep into my clothes. 

42,498 words total
3 more writing days left after this!

Write on!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Word Count

As I'm typing away, trying to get my word count I can't stop thinking about how many words I will lose when I start editing in December.

Sure I'll have 50,000 words, but how many of those are good words?
So, I've looked up a few books to see how long they really are (and how many words I can safely discard without needed to add more).

Squashed by Joan Bauer : 48,391
Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone by JK Rowling: 77,325
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen: 42,328
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck: 35,226
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger: 43,831
Totally Joe by James Howe: 34,692
The Misfits by James Howe: 47,443
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: 73,404
A Separate Peace by John Knowles: 56,787

It didn't turn out to be as helpful as I'd hoped. But, at least there are a couple books there with fewer than 50,000 words... :0) But, probably I'll have to write some more, which I guess is okay...

3,000 words exactly--ain't that special?? today
39,321 words total
4 writing days left after today

Write on!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Tofurkey

It's Thanksgiving. That awkward holiday where we celebrate what we're "thankful" for by stuffing our faces gluttonously and remembering our lovely ancestors who came to the Americas, killed the native people and took over all the land only to cut down all the trees, build pollutant factories, and destroy the beautiful mountain tops with things like mining...
Despite my negative perspective of most American holidays, I like the sentiment of having a day to remind us to be more thankful. Afterall, I do have the best life ever--so, here's a few things that I am grateful for. 
Jo--she is my best friend. I adore her and love that she adores me back. I'm so grateful to have her in my life, to go hiking, and snowshoeing and adventuring with her. 
Mom--she has supported me my entire life through everything. All my choices. All my rough patches. All my accomplishments. She is the best mom anyone could ask for and I can never show enough appreciation for her. 
My computer--I know I spend WAY too much time on the internet and sitting in front of my stupid computer, but it has sure helped me progress as a writer. I doubt I could have written so many words without it. 
NaNoWriMo--thank you for existing and helping me push myself further than I ever would have on my own. I've had such a confidence boost this month as I've written a lot of words (including a lot of fluffy, stupid words) and developed a real story with a real plot and real characters in such a short amount of time--I think I really am a writer :)

Now, for  a "Dare Devil" Thanksgiving Scene: 

“Okay,” Mom says. “Dinner is now officially ready.” She pulls out a turkey from the oven and places it on a hot pad in the middle of the table.
Everyone looks at it as though it’s some kind of deformed piece of art that has some deeper meaning they can’t seem to grasp. It’s Tofurkey, which is to say it’s some kind of tofu that has been morphed into the shape of a cooked, dead turkey, but will have absolutely no taste or texture similar to one.

“Wow, mom. That’s something,” Ben says.

“What the hell is this?” Dad says.“Where’s the turkey?”

“This is the turkey,” Mom says.

We all stare at it. She even went through such lengths as to stuff it with her famous celery, carrot, deliciousness stuffing, and I’ve got to admit it’s pretty close to what regular turkey looks like. I wonder how long it took her to get it into that shape or if it came that way. 

Mom does not use the word tofurkey. “Now, dear,” she says to Dad, “let’s make this a good dinner and just see how the turkey turned out.”

Dad grumbles a little, but doesn’t say anything more. He starts dishing up the mashed potatoes from in front of him onto his plate. He holds it out to Ben who is next to him.

Nobody says it, but this is Dad’s fault. Sort of. I don’t actually know how much it was genetically induced and just how much it had to do with his diet, but secretly we all blame Dad for it. 
We used to have the family tradition of racing to the closet under the stairs to dig out my old little kid mattress that fits perfectly on the stairs. We used to spend hours and hours on Thanksgiving running up the stairs and sliding down on that mattress. It was a whole family thing. Mom and Dad even played with us.

Two years ago, though, Dad zoomed down, laughing and enjoying himself like he only ever did once a year. When he reached the bottom and crashed into the front door (like we all always did) he didn’t get up right away. He just kept clutching his left arm. Mom gasped and ran down the stairs nearly tripping over herself. We spent the rest of that day in the hospital because Dad had had a heart attack. The doctor said he needed to change his diet. Needed to eat less meat and less salt and more vegetables and leafy greens. Mom has gone to great lengths to make our meals more “healthy” since then. She also banned us from mattress sledding. 

Write on!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Last Scene

I wrote what may very well be my last scene in my novel.
This is a big deal because I have never yet written a last scene before now.

The other day I asked Jo, "How should I end my novel?"
She said, "With a period."
"Hmmm. So, you want my male character to turn out to be a girl in the end?"
"Not THAT kind of period."
"Oh, right."

Since I had no idea how to write an end scene to a book, I decided to take her advice, and end it with a period. :)

Let me know what you think--is it horrible? Can I really end a book this way? What do you think it says about their relationships? Anything? Give me more ideas! I still have about 15,000 words to go and only 9 more days!

(ahem. Please keep in mind that I have used lots of extra wordy words in my scenes in an effort to reach my word count goals, and upon a real edit these will be cut... Carry on!)

Zach and I meet Maddie at the tree house. It seems like forever since the three of us have been there together. “Okay, now that I’m president I’ve got to start working on these projects I want to do.” Maddie says. “We’ve got to raise money for some of the school programs that are dying out. Like the music program. And drama. Those things are very important to students—especially those who are part of the gay community.”
“What?” I say. “First of all, what gay community? And second of all, who? Colton? He’s the only gay kid I know of that is involved in music or drama.”
“That’s only because you’re blind, Ryan.” Maddie tells me. “There are at least an entire dozen of lesbian and  gay students involved in music and drama programs. I want to do a bake sale to start. And I also want to try to do a candy drive for Halloween so we can donate it to underprivileged kids.”
“But can’t they just go trick-or-treating like every other kid in town?” Zach points out. “People give out free candy anyways.”
“And I want to definitely keep the sub for santa thing going,” Maddie says, completely ignoring Zachs excellent point about trick-or-treating. “But I want to extend it to more families, which means we’re going to have to generate more donations, so we’re going to have to start on it earlier and recruit more volunteers. I have the whole student body officers that are basically all in my control, which is a pretty good start. Plus you guys. Plus Jackie,” she lets out a puff of air and blushes a little at this comment. “Plus I’m sure you guys can get some of your swim team people, right?”
“Wait, wait, wait.” I say. “Who says that Zach and I are helping?”
 “I just did,” Maddie says. “Aren’t you listening to me? Anyways…” Maddie looks down at her lap, I assume trying to gather her thoughts for more ridiculous projects. “Oh my God!” she says, looking up and placing a hand over her crotch. “Guys, I really need your help.”
I turn away, trying to pretend like I didn’t see anything.
“Okay, okay. We’ll help you,” Zach says as he stares out the window.
“Could you guys go get me some tampons from the Easy Mart?” She says.
Zach looks at Maddie. “What? You’re kidding. I thought you were talking about the Christmas Santa stuff.”
“Guys, come on this is urgent. Ugh. I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming. Is it early? I usually have it all mapped out and I know exactly when to expect my period.”
Zach and I look at each other and smile. I nod.
“I’m afraid you’re on your own with this one,” I say.
“Seriously, guys? What about when you get married? Are you going to tell your wives the same thing?” Maddie says.
“See, that’s the beauty of being gay,” I say. “We don’t have to deal with that stuff at all.” Zach and I high five and grin at her.
“I’m bleeding through my pants. It’ll stain the floor,” She pleads.
“That’s the beauty of being in a tree house,” Zach says. “It doesn’t matter.”
Zach and I laugh.
“Guess it’s time to call your girlfriend?” I say. “Come by Fat Joe’s when you’re done. Zach and I are gonna order a pizza.”
Zach starts to climb down the tree. “See ya later, Maddie,” he says.
I climb down after him and slide my fingers in between his as we walk away.

The end. 

AHHHH! I Even wrote "the end!" My first ending!!!!! 

3,263 words today! 
35,487 words overall !!!!

Write on!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On Top of The World

Listen to this.
Today I'm catching up. That's right. I wrote 7356 words today! Take that, novel!
I'm on top of the world!

Write on!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Writing Community

Having a writing community is very important. I learned this pretty much at the beginning of my novel writing adventures during college. I knew I could write a novel (or the fifty first pages of a novel) in a single semester because I had a slew of classmates doing it too. I've kept up my writing outside of classes because of the writing groups I've joined (at first with people from those classes).

There is no possible way I could write an entire novel in a month all by myself. Community has been a key motivator for me. My lovegirl isn't writing a novel with me, but she decided to write an essay every single day (she's really good at personal essay/non-fiction stuff) and that has kept me poking out thousands of words these past two weeks. My friend Estee is also writing a novel this month and every time I see her word count posted on facebook I think, "I better get writing!"

For NaNo there are even regional groups of people who are all participating in NanNo and sometimes they get together to have a write-a-thon. I've never been to one of these, but I do have a cute little community of my own at home who have kept me motivated.

Write on!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"U Got The Look" Meme

So, my friend Charlie at Myself As Written tagged me in a meme. I was a little unsure about what a meme even is, so I looked it up.
1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)

2 : a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable 

3. An idea that is spread from blog to blog

So basically, the "U Got the Look" meme is a game where you search your manuscript for the word "look"and then post the surrounding paragraphs. 

Here are two. The first is from my girl book the second is from my boy book (aka the nano novel--so cut me some slack on the second one). 

I flip through my algebra book.
There is nothing good in here.
Even the pictures are boring.
At least biology has good pictures.
Mrs. Gentry writes equations on the board.
I’m bored and I don’t want to fall asleep like the kid on the row in front of me.
He is skinny.
Like, not-enough-food skinny.
He drools on his notebook.
Mrs. Gentry writes equations on the board.
I get up to sharpen my pencil.
Then I remember I have a mechanical pencil.
I sit back down.
“Did you have a question, Sophie?” Mrs. Gentry stares at me.
A few of her gray hairs stick up.
If she stuck her tongue out right now, she would look just like Einstein. 
Too bad there aren’t any pictures of him in our book.
“I just needed to sharpen my pencil,” I say.
Fail. Why couldn’t I come up with something better?
“Well, go ahead then. You’ll need to write down all these problems for your homework today.” Her voice is screechy.
I stand up. But I still only have a mechanical pencil.
Mrs. Gentry turns back to the board and writes more jibberish.
Maybe she’s related to Einstein somehow.
“You dropped your pencil.”
The boy—the brown boy—who sits next to me holds out a pencil.
It’s not mechanical.
I take it and walk to the side of the room.
The sharpener makes a growling whine and I am sure that everyone watches.
I sit down and slide the pencil back to the boy.
His name is Rex Levi. He writes his name on the top of his papers in all capital letters.
He has brown hair and brown sugar eyes.
I turn to a blank page in my notebook and write, “Thanks.” I slide it toward him.
He looks at it, then at me.
He smiles kind of half way and doesn’t show any teeth. Then he winks at me.
At me

2. After they take their bows and the crowd dissipates I decide that now is my chance. I walk up to where the dare devils are just standing around, talking and laughing and slugging each other’s shoulders.
“Hi, guys,” I say and I try to act cool.
“What’s up RyCry?” Brody says.
I grit my teeth and clench my jaw. “Listen, guys, I want to be a dare devil.”
“You what?” Wyatt says, not because he didn’t hear me, but because it’s stupid. Even I know how stupid it is for me to try to hang with the cool crowd. But if I’m ever going to be a stunt man, this is the way to really launch my career. He taps Kevin in the chest. “You hear this kid?” He says, almost incredulous.
I straighten back my shoulders. “I want to be a dare devil. So, what do I got to do to get in?”
They stare at me with open mouths. Okay, well, only Kevin’s mouth is open, but maybe that’s just because he sort of always has that gaping, puzzled, look on his face. Brody’s straight lips curve into a smile.
“Okay,” Brody says. “If you can meet the challenges, then you can be a dare devil with us.”
“Dude,” Wyatt says. “We can’t let some pussy like him be a dare devil.”
Brody puts his hand up. “Excuse us for a minute,” he says to me. He puts his arms around Kevin and Wyatt and they all turn their backs to me. They talk low enough that I can’t hear them. I wait nervously.
They turn back around and Wyatt says, “Okay, RyCry, we’re holding our annual dare devil try outs starting next week. Be there and we’ll put you and whatever other dingbats through a series of challenges. You meet all of them and you’re in.”
“You got it,” I say. “I’ll be there. See you guys later.” I wave my hand at them, turn around and run toward Zach and Maddi who stand by the drinking fountain waiting for me.
“Yes!” I yell as I reach them. “Yes! I’m going to be a dare devil.”
“Just like that?” Zach says.
“Well, not exactly,” I say. “I’ve got to do a bunch of dares first, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I’ve been planning on trying out all summer. It’s in the bag.”

Now to tag a few people :)

Word Wars

So on the Nano website they have these little comics that are kinda cute. And in one of the comics there is a word war. Maybe this works better when you have someone to war against, kind of like that card game called War usually isn't  a solitary game. But, I don't really have a lot of people to war against, so maybe I've just been doing Word Challenges, which isn't quite alliterative is it?
So I give myself a time limit of fifteen minutes and then just write write write. Last time I wrote 575 words in fifteen minutes. If I can do that many in only fifteen minutes imagine how many words I an write in an hour! Okay, I better get back to my writing. I've only got 17,000 words and I should have 25,000 by the end of today... Eeek!

Write on!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rewarding Myself

The days tick by and I have a spurt of brilliant scene ideas and spewing words, but by the next day I'm burned out and just don't feel like writing.
I noticed today that the next episode for Glee is now up and ready for me to watch.
But I have not written any words yet.
So, I will let myself watch that episode of Glee once I've reached my daily goal.

In the past I've never really been one to work for incentives like this. But, I'm trying it out.
How do you keep writing when you just don't have it in you?
Do you use rewards as motivation? What rewards?

Write on!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Singed Eyebrows

Today I'm at a new coffee shop trying to write my novel. I"m about 400 words behind for my hourly goal so I need to hurry. But I got distracted by a woman sitting on her porch across the street. She lit up her cigarette and seemed to have caught part of her hair on fire. She pulled the beanie off her head and swatted frantically at her hair, then pushed it back behind her ears. I wonder how many people end up lighting their hair on fire or singing some of their face every time they light a cigarette. I remember when I was very young and visiting my grandma on my dad's side, my cousin liked to go out in cornfields behind the house to smoke when she wasn't supposed to be smoking. She was lucky that the house already smelled of cigarette smoke, so having the lingering smell on her clothes never gave her away. One time, though, she came back in with her eyebrows severely singed. My grandma knew.

I have only ever lit a cigarette once, though I've attempted to try smoking about three times in my life (each, of course, resulting in me coughing my face off). When I tried to light my own I ended up singing my eyebrows. I know I'm not a smoker and therefore suck at any such smoking activities, but how many people burn their beards or mustaches or nose hairs? How many burn off their eyebrows or, like the woman on the porch, light their hair on fire?

Anyway, I'm glad I don't smoke. Or light my face on fire on a regular basis.

Word Count Today: 3530. I will catch up. I will do it.

Write on!

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Novel Soundtrack

So, I mentioned the other day that I have a pandora radio station which I listen to for my book. A song came on my station today that made me think of what kind of soundtrack I would love to have for my story--you know, if by chance my book gets published and then turned into a movie.

I don't know what other songs would be on it, but the song "Black and White" by Max Gomez is a must (I couldn't find a full version on youtube, but you can listen to part of the song here and see some funny skunk pictures.)

The rest of the almost screamo songs that are on my station as per my character's taste in music doesn't necessarily have to be in the movie or on the soundtrack. I don't think they'd work anyway, given the actual tones and style of the book. But, I wrote a scene using one of them and here you go:

My alarm beeps half a dozen times before I slam my hand on the snooze button. I roll over and bury my face in the pillow. I hate waking up in the morning when it’s still dark outside. If the sun is not awake yet, then I shouldn’t be either. I drag myself out of bed and feel around on the floor for my pants. I find them and jump as my alarm beeps at me again. My pants are cold, but I put them on, letting the alarm beep beep beep. I feel around on the alarm clock and slide the side button to the off position. All is quiet again. I slip my shoes on and tiptoe down the stairs into the kitchen. It doesn’t matter what time I wake up in the morning, I’m always incredibly hungry. I grab a banana from off the counter, rip it open from the top and chew on it as I drop two slices of bread into the toaster. There are a couple taps on the window of the kitchen door. I unlock and open the door to let Zach in.
“Hey, man. What’s up? God, it’s getting cold out,” he says.
I swallow my the last bit of my banana and toss the peel into the garbage can under the sink. “Yeah, and it’s fucking dark.”
“Well, duh. What do you expect at five in the god damn morning?” he says. “You ready to go?”
“Almost,” I say as I drum my fingers on the counter. The toast pops up and I grab both slices and slather them with butter. I cram one in my mouth and grab my long board with my free hand. We board to the gym and Zach is right. It’s getting way colder. I haven’t worn a jacket at all the last few weeks and this morning the chill of the rushing air as I carve down the street raises goose bumps on my arms.
 We get to the gym and go straight for the weights. The swimmer’s life: pumping iron every day before the world has any inkling of the coming sun.
Since we’re the only two at the gym we pick a Breaking Benjamin CD and blast it over the speakers to get pumped up.

I pile the bench press with weights. “Hey, you want to spot me?”
“You sure you can bench this much already, man?”  Zach says as he squeezes past the bar and stands in spotter position.
“Well, there only one way to find out.” I slide onto the bench and put my arms up past the bar to stretch out. “Let’s do it.”
He holds his hands out under the bar. I clasp the bar and grip it, then push it up, letting it slowly down to my chest. I exhale and arch my back as I push back up. I don’t quite get it to the top and I feel my face getting hot. Zach pulls up on the bar as I push and we put it back into the resting position.
“Not bad,” he says.  
I breathe hard for a minute, and wait moment to sing along with Breaking Benjamin, “You take the breath right out of me.”
Zach comes in singing, “You’ve go to fight to make it through.”
“Cause I will be the death of you,” I finish, and I slide off the bench.
For the rest of my workout I focus on my legs, doing squats, leg press, and calf raisers. A lot of people think that you’ve got to be tough to play football, but swimming is truly an all body sport. Every muscle has to be in pristine condition. Most people don’t really appreciate how much work it takes to be a good swimmer. Zach and I are damn good, and that’s because we work out every morning before school. Not a lot of athletes are as dedicated as we are. 

Write on!