Cold, Hard, and . . . Super!

Hope everyone is feeling shiny and happy today. I've been out of town for the last week, visiting my new nephew in Minneapolis. And now I must state the obvious:

(A) Minnesota is cold.
(B) Babies are hard.

I have photographic proof.

Here's Jarrod getting down with my brother-in-law's snow blower:

It was one of those moments where I was so thankful I'm the girl in the relationship. Because while Jarrod was out fighting the snow, I was indoors with a sleeping baby and a good book.* Yay me!

But there's no need to feel pity for my husband. It evened out in the end because, of course, Jack Jack did NOT sleep the whole trip. No.

He fed.

And fed and fed and fed and fed and fed until Aunt Stephanie was temped to hook him up to a milk IV and prop his tush over the toilet bowl. I took all of the night shifts so everyone else could sleep, in particular, my poor sister. And let me say, night shifts with my novel? Exhausting but awesome. Night shifts with a baby? Exhausting but NOT awesome.

Here is (Headless) Jack Jack in (Headless) Uncle Jarrod's lap, doing what he does best:

What he does best? Really what he does only.

It's a good thing Jack Jack is so sweet and beautiful and funny. (Oh, come on. Those piggy snortling noises and farts are funny.) I am a very lucky aunt!

For the sweetness. Not the farting.

So while I was away, Gretchen posted a link to this TRULY GREAT website, The Hero Factory. Create your own superhero! Yippee!! Here I am:

Love it! Though . . . the name was computer-generated, not my own. The Pure Flying Bulls Eye? Does that mean I'm not getting it on with the other superheroes? Because I am all about the romantic tension, people. And if I'm not kissing The Impure Flying Devil Boy, then it's time to rethink my angel wings.

Also, I gotta say, my weapon is clashing with my costume. What's up with that? I should probably just learn kung fu.

Let me know if you make your own superhero! (I'm totally looking at YOU, Jimbo.)


*I read several books with Jack Jack in my lap, but my favorite was Susan Juby's Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery, because of lines like this:

"Edna snorted, which made her sound like a bear in a garbage dump."


"How's the love life? You dating anyone?"
"Mom," I said, because for God's sake.

I enjoy all of Juby's work -- she has a strong, original voice -- but I LOVED this one. It's about a short, geeky freshman named Sherman Mack (who has a hilarious burlesque dancing mother) who decides to solve the mystery of his high school's cruelest tradition: Who is D-listing the girls? Who selects the girls, and why are they turning them into near-invisible social pariahs?

Here's hoping Sherman gets his own series, like Alice.


Writing About Places You’ve Never Been

Only in Paris! (Photo by Malias.)

Last year, I had a major freak out when I realized my novel was set in Paris. I knew nothing about France. I wasn’t someone who nursed romantic ideals about the City of Light and, frankly, I’m an Anglophile.

Hence — cough — my slightly embarrassing obsession with HBMs (Hot British Men).

My supply is endless, you guys. I could post these all day.

I was fortunate enough that at least I’d been to Paris, but it was so long ago that I'd spent the entire vacation eating, of all things, pizza. I remember thinking the Eiffel Tower was less exciting in person, Napoleon’s tomb was ginormous, and Notre-Dame was so beautiful it could stop a heart. I saw the Mona Lisa, dutifully took a blurry picture, and then hopped a train to Switzerland.

That was it. The whole of my memories.

So how was I supposed to write an entire NOVEL set there?

[This is a good point to mention that, yes, despite the fact that I wrote the darn thing, my novel is a work unto itself. Meaning, no, I didn’t have a choice as to where it was set. Writing is an Odd Thing in which sometimes certain things happen that you aren’t exactly thrilled about, but you have to deal with anyway, because that’s how it is. Instinctively, you know it’s the novel’s truth.]

I found comfort in Diana Gabaldon, the American creator of the hugely popular Outlander series. Diana wrote the first novel without stepping foot in Scotland, and the book is so well-realized that it’s kept in the Scottish Fiction section of bookstores in Edinburgh!

The fab Ms. Gabaldon, visiting Scotland AFTER the fact.

I thought,
If she can do it, so can I.

Or, at least, I can make a decent stab at it and not humiliate myself too badly.

So how did I do it? How did I write about an unfamiliar place? Allow me to present the answer via my favorite way, the numbered list:

A small — very small — sampling of my reading material.


Let’s start with the obvious. I read books. MANY books. I read travel books, guidebooks, memoirs, glossy coffee table books, children’s picture books, cookbooks, history books, children’s nonfiction books, French poetry and philosophy, art books, French language books and French dictionaries, encyclopedias, architecture books, and translated French novels. I even read graphic novels and comics that took place in Paris! The artists who create them do TONS of research and tend to see things us non-artists don’t.

Everything was fair game, and everything was helpful.

I was fortunate that my setting is popular, but even if you're writing about someplace uncommon, your local library is still bound to have a wealth of information. Find sources in as many sections of the Dewey decimal system as possible to give your novel the richest feel you can. And visit multiple libraries — public libraries tend to carry different materials than university libraries, and both are worth your time.

(Clockwise) Amelie, Before Sunset, Love Me If You Dare, 2 Days In Paris: My favorite French & French-related films!


Another easy choice for me. I watched as many French films — classic, contemporary, and documentary — as I had time for. It gave me a sense of the language and, even more valuable, it gave me the opportunity to study the mannerisms of the actors (yes, they move differently than Americans), the cultural ideals and philosophies (found most commonly in a film’s dialogue, but also in its concepts), and the physical, place details hovering in the background (for me: the color of the River Seine, shape of the lampposts, types of cafĂ© tables).

One of the many reasons I (heart) Paris Daily Photo.


This is probably where you start now, right? And for good reason. Apart from the obviously helpful sites like Wikipedia (beware of information found here though, and always double-check it), I found the following less-obvious sites ENORMOUSLY helpful:

Flickr — I searched Flickr for all kinds of peculiar, non-famous buildings, restaurants, and people. I found dozens of pictures of not one but two staircases necessary to my plot. Staircases. You name it, people have taken a picture of it. Take advantage of their cameras.

Google Earth — Oh MAN. Have you checked out Google Earth yet? I don’t know why I waited so long to download the (free!) software. It’s incredible. It allowed me to actually walk down the streets my characters walk. It doesn’t get any more real than that. Except, of course, a plane ticket. Which I can’t afford.

YouTube — If a location in your novel is even remotely popular, there’s a good chance someone took a video while on vacation there. I found useful footage of what is essentially the basement of a not-so-popular Parisian monument. Why someone filmed it, I have no idea, but thank you random tourist! My novel is stronger from your shaky camera work.

Blogs — Not only did I find helpful blogs written by both native Parisians and Americans living abroad, I also found vacation blogs filled with the kind of weird details that don’t make it into guidebooks. Search for “your destination + vacation + blog” and let the links surprise you.

Bouchon in Asheville. Many important research hours spent here.


If you're lucky enough to live near a restaurant that serves food from your novel’s country, eat there! Often! Few things give the flavor of a culture better than their cuisine. Learn the menu and try new things. Think about the spices and preparation and ingredients, and what that tells you about the people who make it and the place it comes from.

Paris Calling (compilation) and Mutant Love (The Hellboys)


Similar to restaurants, music from your country is a great way to get a feel for an unfamiliar culture. Plus, you might discover some new favorites, like I did! I listened to French punk rock nonstop while writing this book. (The Hellboys are sooooo kewl.)

And, finally, two RESEARCH WARNINGS:

(1) Just because it's interesting, that doesn’t mean it belongs in your novel.

The temptation — and believe me, I understand the temptation — will be there to include EVERYTHING you find. After all, you took the time to do the research right? Shouldn’t you share it? But this saddles your story with a weight and weariness your readers aren’t interested in. Only include the things that help your story. Things that flesh out your world, that keep your plot moving forward.

(2) Know when to stop.

You don’t have to know everything about your subject before you start writing. In fact, this is the most dangerous game of all: TOO MUCH research. Once you start, it’s hard to stop, hard to feel comfortable moving forward. (“But there’s so much I still don’t know!”) The truth is, you’ll NEVER know everything, so you’ll NEVER stop researching, and then you’ll NEVER write the book. It’s best to do a general overview of research, and then to dive in headfirst and limbs flailing. As you write, you’ll discover the information you need to know. And then you can dip back into the research world and fill the blanks.

(Photo by Jasiot.)

I wasn't a Francophile before, but nothing like a little research to give a girl a new obsession. I love Paris now. LOVE. And I can’t wait to return someday.

And order something other than pizza.


Revisions + Jelly Bracelets, Yellow Shoes, and My Award-Winning Boyfriends

"Did I already say that?"

I'm very, very close to the end of this round of revisions. So close that I should have no problem jumping in, tightening up, and polishing the prose until it's sparkle-pretty.

I should have no problem.

But, of course, I do. Because the problem with revisions is that the more I edit, the more I question: Did I make the right changes? Did I make enough changes? Is this better or is it worse? Am I forgetting something?

And the dreaded . . . did I already say that?

Because I've looked at this novel so many times I've lost the ability to tell what's on the page and what's in my head. Honestly. I don't know what I've written anymore. I am way, way too close to it.

The lack of sleep thing doesn't help either. Tonight I came home from work (The One That Pays) and crashed for four hours. The nap was supposed to be half that, but I couldn't wake up. My body is telling me ENOUGH, and I'm telling it, "Oh, please! Just a few more days!" Then, upon waking, I made myself my evening cup of coffee (so backwards) and promptly dropped the entire French press upon the floor.

Miraculously, it didn't break.*

But the signs are adding up -- it's not the first thing I've dropped this week. I've also been smacking into door frames, nodding off on the toilet, and getting annoyed at minor inconveniences ("WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE'RE OUT OF SOY MILK?? I WILL DIE WITHOUT SOY MILK!!!"). Very attractive, I know. I'm a great big Ball of Joy.

At this point, I need to trust myself. I have to say, "You know, the novel is probably okay. MORE than okay. Why don't you let someone else look at it for a while?"

This is hard.

Because the more I doubt my words, the tighter I grasp onto them. That sinking feeling of failure is looming overhead. What my readers tell me these changes haven't made a difference? What if I'm right back where I started? What if it's worse than where I started?

Gah. Enough doom and gloom.

"Where's the happy?" you ask. "BRING ON THE HAPPY!" And I'm totally with you. So here are three superficial-but-true things making me smile right now:

Jelly bracelets.
I've decided the time has come to reintroduce jelly bracelets into my life. I'm thinking, like, a six-inch chunk of rainbow-and-black jellies on my arm. I keep finding myself searching massive lots on eBay, under titles like: ***rubber bracelet ~JeLlY~ punk RaInBoW madonna GaY iNteResT***

(When did I turn into a raver? Promise to stop me the day pacifiers become a Good Idea.)

Yellow shoes.
I totally need some bright yellow shoes, you guys! I think I'll go the ol' do-it-yourself spray paint route. (Sorry, Daphne, if I just made you shudder.) I have a TON of plain black flats that could use a little love, and it's been a while since I've had an easy, fun project.

The Grammys. This was the first year I've ever watched the Grammys. Usually I'm not that into the music nominated, but I'd heard rumors that both Coldplay AND Radiohead (!!!) were playing, so I tuned in.

You know, to support The Boyfriends.

And it was a lovely night! Radiohead won Best Alternative Album as well as the Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package for the In Rainbows discbox. (Yeah, I know. I had no idea that last category existed either. But, still, a deserved win! The discbox is puuurty.)

Thom and Jonny also performed "15 Step" with a FRIGGING MARCHING BAND! Which was so inspiring and exciting and, like, painfully cool to hear their electronic noises being duplicated by brass and percussion. Genius! Jarrod and I kept saying, "Those sousaphone players must be POOPING themselves to be playing live. At the Grammys. WITH RADIOHEAD."

(Only we didn't say "pooping.")

And, like so many predicted, it was a great night for Coldplay too. Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends was my favorite release last year, and I'm happy so many others loved it too! They played "Lost" and "Viva La Vida" and took home three awards, Best Rock Album, Song of the Year, and Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. (Why Rock and Pop? This is why I don't normally watch the Grammys. So confusing.)

"We're not, of course, the heaviest of rock bands -- you may have noticed," Chris Martin said. "We're kind of the limestone of rock bands. Not as hard, but still charming."

This, incidentally, was the first time since Chris moved in that he and Thom have seen each other in person. I was worried about how Thom might react, and sure enough, it set off a flurry of texts:

THOM: i only came b/c they said he wouldnt be here
STEPH: I hope you aren't talking about who I think you're talking about.
THOM: he just came up to me and was like, ooo, thom, great performance
STEPH: ??? That sounds okay to me ???
THOM: it was the way he said it

CHRIS: OMG! Guess who showed up!!
STEPH: Are you behaving yourself?
CHRIS: Of course!
CHRIS: Why? Did he mention me?

STEPH: He means well. He's a huge fan, you know.
THOM: tell him i have enough fans thank u very much
STEPH: That's kinda rude.
THOM: your house is too crowded
STEPH: I KNEW that's what this was really about!
THOM: bugger off

STEPH: He MIGHT have mentioned you.
CHRIS: I came off too strong, didn't I?? Maybe I shouldn't have worn my Kid A pin?
STEPH: But it looks so nice on your rainbow jacket.
CHRIS: I know!
STEPH: Can I borrow your jacket?
CHRIS: To go with your jelly bracelets?
STEPH: See THIS is why you live with me full time, and Thom does not.

STEPH: bugger off yourself
THOM: i love you
STEPH: I love you too. Be nice to Chris.
THOM: bugger off

Sigh. I hope some day Thom realizes Chris means well. They'd get along, if he only gave Chris a chance! Chris is really sweet AND he's generous with sharing his musical equipment. Jarrod has been thrilled to experiment with all of his fancy guitar pedals, and the two of them talk about Pro Tools and cables and microphones until my ears fall off.

Like right now. Which is why I'm blogging.

There's only so much one can take.

*Jarrod just kissed me goodnight and said my breath smells like an old man who smokes cheap cigarettes and never leaves his house. So apparently I have also lost the ability to make decent coffee.


Coraline Jones and Magic Doors

First things first: GO SEE CORALINE!

It's a wonderful film, and so much of the future of its amazing studio, Laika, depends upon its success. Let's make it a big splashy box office success! GO GO GO! Run to your theater! NOW!

Okay. Now that that's out of the way, here are five reasons why you're running:

(1) It's visually stunning. And because it's stop-motion animation (like The Nightmare Before Christmas), everything you see was built by hand -- the gorgeous sets, the little faces, even the teeny sweaters were hand-knitted! People literally MADE this movie. That's worth the admission price alone.

(2) It was written by Neil Gaiman, one of the greatest storytellers of our time. Coraline is a fantastic novel, and the film stayed true to its spirit. I have several kids who come into my library to check out Coraline again and again, because they are so simultaneously terrified and fascinated by it -- the idea of another set of parents, a better set of parents. Not to mention the rats and bats and button eyes and peculiar neighbors.

(3) Most theaters are showing it in 3D! This was the most well-crafted use of cinematic 3D I've ever seen. Often it can be overwhelming and tiring (and actually makes me dizzy). But it was subtle here and never takes you out of the story, it only enhances the experience. Very fun!

(4) It's so creepy cool. Gothic fans will devour everything from the teeny details (I loved Wybie's bizarre helmet) to the sinister-beautiful music. There were several moments when the audience gasped with delight and collectively "oooh"ed. But -- having said that -- if you're thinking about taking children, there are frightening themes and imagery. Proceed with caution if you have a sensitive child. If you aren't sure, go alone first, and then come back with your kid! (And since Coraline's studio needs your support, no need to feel guilty about spending the extra money. It's for a good cause!)

(5) The heroine has blue hair and wears matching polka dot flannel pajamas. Okay, this reason is selfish. Because she's practically me, you guys! I'm dying for the action figure.

One of the best things about Coraline is that it touches upon one of my favorite storytelling devices: The door to another world. Who hasn't wished that the tiny, locked door discovered on some side-street, or in a grandmother's sprawling home, is a portal to another world? Finding one of these magical doors was a childhood obsession of mine, and I'm still distracted whenever I run across one that is small, mysterious, and out-of-place.

(I've always dreamed about writing a story with a magic door, but I'm still waiting for the perfect one. Can't be any old story.)

Here are some classic doors to alternate worlds:

The Ultimate in Portals

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe -- I have mixed feelings about the Narnia series, but I still believe the most magical scene ever written is when Lucy steps through the wardrobe and discovers the lamppost in the snow. There's a good reason why my cat is named Mr. Tumnus! (He's the first creature Lucy meets. And yes, surprisingly, he wasn't named it because of James McAvoy. That's just a nice touch.)

My favorite edition. The illustrator, the late great Tasha Tudor, was known for her own beautiful gardens.

The Secret Garden -- Not a fantasy, but that didn't make the door Mary Lennox finds any less magical. What girl doesn't loooong for a secret garden?

Every time I see the film, I want to plant bulbs. And then I remember that gardening is hard work. And then I want someone else to plant the bulbs.

Pan's Labyrinth -- What an unforgettable, HORRIFYING, chalk-drawn door! Eek! (But so cool.) This one is definitely not for children.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass -- Not doors so much, but still magic portals. Though I've never wanted to go to Wonderland. Scary! (What was Disney thinking making it so cute?)

Which is why I am THRILLED Tim Burton is directing the new film. Have you seen pictures yet? I'd post them here, but I'm not supposed to. You'll just have to Google Image them. Alice looks great. She's the typical, wide-eyed, blond Burton heroine (Joanna in Sweeney Todd, Christina Ricci in Sleepy Hollow). And Johnny Depp makes one freaky Mad Hatter! He has red, frizzy hair and terrifying purple-y/red hollowed out eyes.

The film will be a mix of live action and animation. Not sure if it's stop-motion or traditional animation, I've heard various reports. And I've heard it might be 3D. Exciting!

What other magical portals can you think of?

Platform 9 3/4 sort of counts, but since it's not the only way into the wizarding world, it didn't immediately spring to mind. But obviously, I still want to push a trolley through it!


How did you all know? What gave me away?

For the last few weeks, I keep getting sent the link to this new book. (Hi, Tammy!) And I'm not sure why. I mean, it's not like I have an obsession with Pride and Prejudice or anything. And it's not like I ever talk about zombies.

Name ONE TIME I've talked about zombies!

Okay. There was that one time. And maybe a few others.

Which is (honestly) perplexing, because when it comes to paranormal creatures, I am totally a werewolf girl. Remus Lupin, An American Werewolf in London, Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, etc etc etc.

Werewolves. Not Zombies.

And it's not as if the mere mention of Jane Austen's masterpiece makes me immediately do a Google Image search for Matthew Macfadyen. (Yeah. I'm Team Matthew. Team Colin is cool, but it's kinda crowded anyway.) And I've certainly never wasted an entire post with pictures of him.

I am totally above that, you guys.

But, for some reason, people keep thinking I'll be interested in this fancy new book! Here's the description, from the publisher's website:

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy."

Um, hello. I'd be "distracted" too. Have you SEEN Mr. Darcy?

I never pass an opportunity to post The Hero Walk.

Greatest. Scene. EVER. Ever ever EVER!


[Please pardon me while I go cool down. Just going to stick my feet in the snow for a second. Maybe put an icicle somewhere inappropriate. Be right back.]


So maybe I am interested in this book. MAYBE. But did you hear??? PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! And ZOMBIES! TOGETHER AT LAST!!!!!!! The only thing that could POSSIBLY make this better would be the addition of lots and lots and lots of glorious smooching. I would think killing zombies would make Lizzy and Darcy hot.

But maybe that's just me.

In other vaguely-related news, Jarrod just found out about a place in Portland called Voodoo Doughnut that not only sells vegan doughnuts, naughty-shaped doughnuts, and doughnut voodoo dolls (raspberry filling for blood!) but it also has a wedding chapel! IN THE DOUGHNUT SHOP!

The best part is, when he told me, we were both immediately like, "We are so renewing our vows there."

And we were serious.

And there is a chance we'll be in Portland this spring.

Appropriately ring-shaped.


I (Heart) My Writer-Friends

Sumner (wearing AWESOME boots and striped socks, wish you could see), Random Blue-Haired Chick, and Paula (sans diamond-encrusted gourmet chef's hat)

Aren't we cute??? This picture was taken last weekend during a very special celebration dinner. Paula and Sumner are two of my sharpest, smartest Writing Weapons. In other words, they are my readers.

My Early Readers.

A good Early Reader should never be taken for granted. Not only will she tell you all the wonderful things about your novel, comments that make you feel tingly and sparkly inside (and praise is truly necessary to keep going, I don't say that lightly), but she ALSO has to be unflinchingly honest. Someone willing to say things like:

"I'm just not loving your main character right now."
"That's cheesy. Cut it."
"Huh? I don't get it."
"I don't believe this part."
"Why? No, seriously, WHY?"

Paula and Sumner say these things. Often. Frequently. And THANK GOODNESS they do! I am a much, much better writer thanks to their questions, thanks to our lunchtime meet-ups to brainstorm what the HECK is going on with my plot, and thanks to their encouraging emails which move me forward, which give me the energy to FINISH.

If you are a writer, I sincerely hope you have such wonderful writer-friends as I do.

So, the celebration!

After my happy happy agent news, I was lucky to have many celebrations last month. January was an endless stream of phone calls, emails, cards, flowers, plants, a gorgeous and meaningful necklace (Thanks, Lauren!), carrot cake cupcakes, and a really really really awesome pizza party (YUM! Thank you, Tai & Staci!).

My friends and family are incredible. It was overwhelming to be surrounded by such support and happiness, and I am grateful. (And I can't wait to celebrate all of THEIR future accomplishments.)

But last weekend's celebration was something extra special. Because without Paula and Sumner's help, I wouldn't even have a completed novel. So I certainly wouldn't have an agent. It was as much their celebration as it was mine!

They surprised me with a stunning French gourmet dinner, made all the more impressive because my friends are vegetarian, and French food is soooo meat-intensive. For them to go out of their way to find the right recipes and cook such an amazing meal, so we could celebrate in the true French fashion (if you recall, my novel is set in Paris), was . . . well. I'm teary thinking about it.

Thank you. You ladies are the BEST.

My only wish is that some day Laini Taylor, my other Early Reader, will be able to join us! Laini is an AMAZING feedbacker, a relentless plot-fixer and plot-tightener and plot-thinker, wielder of pretty pink pens and smart questions and lots and lots and lots of very welcome smiley faces and hearts.

Ha! Swiped from her blog. (She's the one on the right.)

Laini also writes killer-funny emails, and has the supernatural power of always knowing exactly the perfect thing to say at all times. But she is also LAME because she lives in PORTLAND which is on the OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY.

Which makes coffee dates very difficult.

She also just shared with me the first installment of her work-in-progress, and -- holyfriggingcrap, you guys -- it's AMAAAAZING! And I can't say anything about it, other than the world will wet their collective pants when they discover how supremely perfect and exciting and romantic and wondrous it is.

I love it. LOVE. IT!

And speaking of writer-friends, I have a *new* acquaintance who also just shared her latest. Kiersten White! I had the honor of reading Paranormalcy, and let's just say I'm kinda freaking out. She wrote it in three weeks, you guys. Three. WEEKS! And it's funny and exciting, and it's got a great hook and a Very Cute Boy. Teens and adults will snarf this thing up. Big big big congratulations, Kiersten.

(This, I should mention, is the other fantastic thing about writer-friends. Getting to read THEIR work before everyone else! Ha!)

Of course, there is one more person who needs mentioning here. One more Early Reader. My First Reader.

Every author has a First Reader, the one whose opinion means everything to them. The one who without that encouraging smile, without those words of excitement, it's not worth going on. Mine?

Jarrod. Of course!

I love this picture of him wrocking out. (And yes! That IS a Jayne hat!)

Last weekend, Jarrod sat on the floor of my writing room and went through the last third of my novel -- scene by scene, sentence by sentence. This took HOURS. He talked me through each action, helped me figure out what-should-go-where, and together we restructured it until it clicked. Had I attempted this alone, I would still be sorting through the pages of notes and outlines and brainstorms.

And my end result wouldn't be nearly so clean or smart.

Thanks for being my First Reader, love. For always being my First Reader.