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My most popular story, Change of Heart, is being translated into French! The lovely Arumbaya has begun work and the first chapter is now posted. You can read it on Fan Fiction or on a French-language forum called Describe your House.

Just for the hell of it, I ran the first chapter through a translator because my only French is ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘thank you’, and ‘will you sleep with me tonight’. It’s quite hilarious, not the least of which is that ‘Cut-throat Bitch’ becomes ‘Furious Bitch’! Love it! (Oh and it has nothing to do with the quality of the translation, just the randomness of internet-translator bots, as I’m sure anyone who’s played with them before can attest!)

I’ve said before that I don’t quite understand the popularity of Change of Heart, especially given that reading it back now, after two years more writing practice, makes me cringe at all the things that should be better. But it continues to gain new ‘favourites’ each month and in the monthly stats it is always in my top three stories. I wonder if it is like a snowball – because lots of people favourite it, lots more people notice it and therefore favourite it? I don’t know!

Anyway, I know that I do have French-speaking readers and I’ve been lucky enough to chat to a few of them over the years. I hope that you enjoy reading (or re-reading!) in your first language.

I’m feeling very honoured that someone felt my story worthy of the work that must go in to translating.

…just really, ridiculously busy. I never thought I’d be too busy to write fan fic, but there you go. Life has a way of surprising you.

I’m still writing, just writing other stuff for right now. I’m sure a plot bunny will bounce on me one of these days and something Housey will pop out, but it’s just not my priority at the moment. I do want to write something though, coz I kind of miss Greg and the gang (who in my stories are mostly imaginary – but then House is imaginary too – so I miss all my imaginary friends, including House – oh, stop me now…)

Found some great writing advice from John Scalzi. It’s modestly called John Scalzi’s Utterly Useless Writing Advice, but it’s one of the most useful useless pieces of advice I’ve read in a while.

I still have other things I want to say about fan fiction, even if I don’t write a fic myself for a while, so if anyone’s still reading, hang in there…

I’m sorry, I can’t quite leave this subject alone yet. There is so much passion about it out there and I truly believe that fan fiction is now starting to come to the attention of even more writers and readers than ever before as a result. (If you haven’t read read the originating post of all this fuss go here, because it no longer exists on the original site.)

I subscribe to a wide range of writing (esp romance writing) blogs, author websites and review sites. And the past two weeks, fan fiction and this debate has been popping up all over the place. So many people have been saying things and making me wish I’d said them first. Like this:

“Okay. I am really, really tired of professional writers – or maybe I should say published writers, since professional behavior is not these people’s long suit, generally speaking – posting rants about how they don’t like fan fiction and here are their random reasons why. (If they would just say, “It feels wrong. I don’t have a reason – it just feels wrong,” I still wouldn’t agree, but at least I wouldn’t have to question their maturity. It’s when they try to justify their feeling that they start to sound like a seven-year-old explaining why his cousin shouldn’t be allowed to come near his toys.)” From The Fourth Vine

This is a great comment from someone called “Jamie” (pun intended I’m sure) on the Chris Meadows blog post I referred to in an earlier post:

“It seems to me that there are two kinds of writers: those who believe that it’s only “real” writing if you get paid for it, and those who understand the concept of writing for love. I honestly pity the first lot, because best-sellers go out of print, and royalty checks go away, and if that’s the only sense of worth they get from their works, they’re in real trouble once their popularity wanes. More so if they help it along by spewing hatred at the very people who buy their stuff in the first place. Meanwhile, those nasty plagiarizing fanfic writers are taking their joy from the act of writing itself, from taking the what-ifs in their minds and spinning them into stories, and happily uncaring whether there’s a paycheck or even positive feedback from their peers.”

And from Aja Romano at bookshop on LiveJournal: “Dear AotW. Fanfic is not about you. I know you hate to hear it, dear AotW, but the story is not defined by the barriers you place around it. The moment you gave it to us, those walls broke. You may hate the fact people are imagining more to your story than what you put there. But if I were you, I’d be grateful that I got the chance to create a story that has a culture around it, a story that people want to keep talking about, reworking, remixing, living in, fantasizing about, thinking about, writing about. To quote Originalaudience on the post in question, “Nobody is forgetting that you created the characters. The existence of fanfiction really means that nobody is forgetting the characters you created.” ”

She also goes on to say: “We get that you think fanfic is a stepping stone to being published. You’re wrong. Fanfiction is not a set of training wheels, not some shameful awkward thing you do before you grow up and learn the ~true meaning~ of being a ~real writer.~ Fanfic is … written by some of the most incredibly talented people on the internet. Fanfic writers are bestselling and acclaimed professional authors. They are agents and editors. They are network television executive producers. They are New York Times journalists. They are Supreme Court clerks. They are PHDs and experts in their fields.”

Fan fic authors I know? Business owners. Lawyers. Pharmacists. Office managers. College students. Factory workers. PR guns. Sales managers. And so much more. From all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds all doing it for the love of the writing, of sharing their interests and passion with others, and giving freely of their time and talent.

I’m giving the last word to The Fourth Vine again – because it made me laugh and I think it’s a wonderful summary of all this:

“…fan fiction is evil, because doing it for love is wrong, but doing it for money is right. This makes me make a frowny face, because that isn’t what they said in Sex Ed.”

Amen.

In contravention to usual blogging ettiquette, Ms Gabaldon has removed all traces of her inflammatory blog post and its hundreds of comments. So the links in my article below will take you to a “page not found” page.

Having read some of the comments I can understand why she might have decided to remove it from her own site, but she should have written a post explaining her reasons for doing so. (I imagine the ‘rape’ controversy was one key one.) Still, you can find plenty of fanwank sites that have transcripts – that’s another thing about the 21st Century, Ms Gabaldon, you can never really delete anything on the internet!

One thing it has done, is bring the topic of Fan Fiction to a greater audience. I wonder if all Ms Gabaldon has done in starting this controversy, is actually give fan fiction writers in her universe even more readers??

There have been some great blog posts and articles in fan fic writers’ defense too. This article by Chris Meadows is great and includes some links to comments about fan fic from other published authors. I found this Live Journal article by Bookshop to be illuminating, even if I do think it takes the definition of fan fiction a little too far in some of its examples.

I’ve just finished posting the final chapter of my latest fic, Affair to Remember. It’s a story about House, his mother, Blythe, his mother’s neighbor, Emma, and her son, Cameron. As far as plot goes, it’s pretty simple: Blythe’s failing mental health has been having an impact on her neighbor, who’s been forced into a caretaker role. She finally calls House and asks him to come and take care of his mother himself.

From a writing perspective, in this story I was practicing something; I was playing with the idea of “themes”.

If you’re interested in learning more about writing, one of the best writing books I’ve read is Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part instructional guide, it is an amazingly easy-to-read book and would be of interest to anyone (reader or writer) who wants to know more about the craft.

One of the things he talks about is this idea of “themes”.

I’m sure just from high school English class if nothing else, you’re familiar with the idea of themes throughout a book — for example, The Great Gatsby is about a thwarted love story, but the themes in it are rich well beyond that, such as the division between old money and new money, and the destruction of the “American dream”.

Stephen King advises that once you’ve written your book, you examine it for themes and then go back and weave them into the tapestry so they permeate throughout. It’s when authors do this that you have lots to talk about when you discuss a story — there is depth beyond the plot, and meaning behind the actions of the characters. It’s what makes a book good for a book club!

Now I’m not necessarily saying I achieved book club status with this story, but I was practicing with themes and I’d be interested to know if you picked up on any of it. There were two I was deliberately playing with: the nature of an “affair”, and “memory” or “remembering” — just as in the title.

All my characters had an affair — thus the title is deliberately not “AN Affair to Remember”, like the movie . Blythe’s affair was with House’s biological father and, in my mind, was the central “affair” of the title. Emma and House end up having an affair. And Cameron is about to set off on his very first “affair” by having sex with his girlfriend for the first time. Each of these three relationships weave in and out of all their lives, with Blythe’s remembrance of her affair as what sets off House believing that there is something wrong with her mental state.

My take on affairs wasn’t just the sex or the relationship angle though, it was on the “memory” — what does an affair leave you remembering? For Blythe, she remembers a man she loved, who left her with a son and the rest of her life that (to me) never measured up to what she could have had if she’d left John and gone with Tommy. Perhaps this is what is ultimately behind her parting advice to House “not to be afraid” — does she wish she’d had the courage to live her own life differently?

Both House and Emma reflect that they will remember the weekend forever. For Emma it marks a turning point in her life — a decision that she must start to live her life for herself and not just for her son, because he will grow up and leave her soon. Being with House shows her possibilities that she’s not let herself imagine.  This is in contrast to Blythe, who gave her life to her husband and and son. Emma realizes that she needs to change the way she lives or she faces a similar destiny to her neighbor. (And, as a little additional reinforcement of the “affair” theme, in Emma’s back story, we find out that she was badly hurt when her husband cheated on her when Cameron was a baby — that affair, although not hers, left her with memories that kept her from seeking another relationship for many years.)

In contrast to the other characters, Cameron is all about making memories rather than remembering them. House’s final advice to Cameron, to take his time “because he’ll remember it forever”, is opposite to when House first protests that he can’t remember how old he was himself when he first had sex. Cameron doesn’t call him on that, and we can only imagine what the teenager does or doesn’t do with his girlfriend Tori. (Although, I rather hope they have a very special time and end up going out with each other throughout high school until they part to go to different colleges. I liked Cameron. A lot. 🙂 )

House’s journey throughout the story is the one that is most about memories. I’ve mentioned to one reader that I was very much playing with the “Broken” version of House in this story. His relationship with Lydia in that episode was very informative to some of the inner workings of his mind, and in this story, it is Lydia who House remembers, not Stacy: his affair, rather than his relationship. The affair with Emma is more “domestic” than the affair with Lydia, and it shows House how much he misses the day-to-day aspects of being with someone — something he wanted with Lydia but couldn’t have.

House also has to face memories — his mother’s life and her decisions and how they’ve affected him. He also has to face the shadow of his father at every turn — the helpful marines and his father’s reputation preceding him. Although I could have, I didn’t delve too much into this, because this story wasn’t about John House or House’s relationship with his father, it was about mothers and sons. I felt getting into that would have “muddied” my themes by adding in a new one. (Besides, I think the House/John relationship has been pretty fully explored in fan fic, and I wanted to do something different.)

For House, the mother/son relationship dynamic couldn’t happen without some kind of “coming of age” journey for him. His reflections about the parent/child relationship shifting were part of this. I think this is also why he felt drawn to Cameron and found himself liking the teenager. Both of them were going through turning points in their lives: for Cameron it was puberty and losing his virginity; for House it was accepting his role and responsibilities as an adult and becoming a care-taker. House plays this role with each person at different points in the story — he rescues his mother after the accident and applies first aid; he comforts Emma in the hospital and realizes it is a fulfilling feeling; he advises and coaches Cameron on a number of occasions. I don’t know about you, but I liked House as the responsible one rather than the victim, I think he often likes to play “helpless” — with Wilson, especially.

I really enjoyed writing this story, and I feel it is something a little different to anything I have done before. It has echoes of “Rebirth” I think, in that it takes a kind of slow and gentle approach to the story-telling. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

And as a little treat for all of us:

Movie image, An Affair to Remember

*sigh* Cary Grant. Mmm.

If you are a writer, are you a plotter or a pantser?

A plotter is someone who works out the outline of their story before they write – generally they have everything worked out, characters fleshed-out, the story and its resolution completely decided before they write. I’m currently reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett on the recommendation of a fellow OC Babe. I recently saw him interviewed by Oprah and, much to my amazement, he said he had taken a full year to completely plot the book before he even started writing a word of it. He had every single chapter worked out, every single plot point decided. Now, this book is over 1,000 pages with many, many characters, and I think it would be almost impossible to write without a plan to guide you.

A pantser ( from the saying ‘flying by the seat of your pants’) is someone who writes as they go, who just lets the story guide them. They might have some idea of how the story is going to progress, but they don’t have any formal plan.

A cute medical analogy from the Story Fix link below is that pantsing and plotting are different in the way that exploratory surgery is different  to an appendectomy.

I sit somewhere between both. At first I’m a pantser. And then a plotter. And then I might go back to being a pantser for the last few chapters. (Apparently it’s called being an organic writer – glad to know there’s a pigeon hole for everyone…)

I love starting a story with a fantastic opening scene in my head and then finding out, as I write, what is going to happen to my characters and their situation. Then, about two-thirds of the way through, once I’ve discovered the surprises and I’ve worked out where things are heading, I do a little plotting. I go back and see if the earlier chapters provide the right clues and hints as to where the story is heading. I go back and make sure that my characters’ motivations and behaviour are consistent and work to explain the plot and their actions as the story progresses. My final chapter/s are often a bit more ‘pantsing’ and can sometimes even surprise me as something unexpected happens. Of course that then requires another bit of ‘plotting’ and going back and reviewing the story as a whole again.

I was quite excited when I found The Pantser’s Guide to Story Planning at the Story Fix blog. It has some really useful points about what key things you really need to focus on when you are a pantser. There are some essential elements to any well-constructed and smoothly-flowing story that even pantsers can’t afford to ignore. I like this approach because while I can see the value of ensuring you cover off these key elements, I simply can’t plot in advance without it completely ruining the joy of the writing process for me.

My ‘organic’ writing approach is the main reason that I don’t post my stories until I’m either completely finished writing or very close to. I hate being trapped by an earlier story point that has been already published and so I can’t change it to make the story flow the way I want to. I usually have all but the last two or three chapters (depending on the length of the story) completely written before I will even begin posting.

(And, on a side note: I know that some fan fic readers get annoyed by writers who don’t post every day especially when they know that the story is completely written. But each time I post, I take the opportunity to do one last edit/review of the chapter and check for all those typos I missed the first three hundred times I read it. 🙂 So I don’t necessarily have time to post every day when I have to fit in editing time as well. And, I will admit, my personal experience is that by posting every day you limit the number of reviews your story receives. I’ve talked before about how important the number of reviews you receive can be.)

I would hazard a guess that most fan fic writers are pantsers. Many of them begin to post before they have finished writing the story and without any kind of outline that will guide future chapters. I think, unfortunately, that sometimes that approach can give stories an awkward feel. It can also make the writing process more difficult and frustrating because as a pantser, you’re left trying to tie up the threads of the story as it stands and, because it’s published, you can’t go back and change anything.

Now, publishing fan fic is not quite the same as writing a book that you aim to get published. For a start, most fan fic writers can’t devote the time (a whole year in Ken Follett’s case!) to perfecting their story. And as fan fic readers we are forgiving of storylines that don’t quite tie up, minor characters that get lost along the way, and uneven or illogical character motivations. But I’m sure you agree that the very best fan fic stories are like novels in their scope and structure, and we have a clear sense of:

  • a set-up
  • a response to the new journey
  • attack on the problem
  • resolution

(Taken from Part two of The Pantser’s Guide to Story Planning, “The Nine Things You Should Know Before You Begin Writing”.)

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Let me know your approach when you write and publish fan fic. There is no right or wrong answer! And if you are a reader, can you notice the difference in the stories you read?

Congratulation to all my friends, and to all the wonderful authors nominated.

It’s been an interesting process and I’ve learned a great deal.

Thanks to maszatka for her great work on the videos and to my country-man (woman!) Krystle for organising.

As someone who hopes one day to get published, I probably spend as much time learning about writing as actually writing. (And actually writing probably counts as learning too!)

I have a massive list of blogs on my Google Reader, authors, agents, publishers, reviewers, readers, you name it, and if I don’t keep on top of it, the number of posts to read swells to an unmanageable number very, very quickly.

At the moment, though, I’m hanging on every word of Paula Roe, in her blog series A Novel in 3 Months. Her current post (the one I’ve linked to) is about GMC = Goal, Motivation and Conflict, the holy trinity of character development. It looks simple, but when you try to apply it to characters of your own making it’s far less easy.

I’ve struggled with it, and I’m struggling with it in the story I’m trying to write right now. So, I thought, as an exercise, to try to get this concept straight, let’s apply it to Greg House.

Goal (desire or want)

What does House want that he doesn’t have? I think the answer is “personal fulfillment” or “meaning”. He searches for answers in every medical puzzle, in every patient, wanting to understand not just what is wrong with them, but what makes them tick. (At least he used to. Back in the early days of the show). His constant, existential search for meaning came primarily through his medical pursuits and the cases that he solved.

Then things changed and he began to realise that some of this meaning could be found in the more lasting relationships he had with the people around him: Wilson, Cuddy, his team. Of course what we House/OC writers like to imagine is that this search extends to a romantic relationship (something the show has toyed with but never really provided). We like to imagine him finding fulfillment by connecting with a woman (usually) and finding happiness in a relationship.

Another goal he has is to be “left alone”. We see him push people away, over and over (especially prior to his Mayfield visit). He projects through his words and actions an independence that he treasures.

Motivation (what makes him tick)

After five and a half years of getting to know this character we still don’t fully understand what makes him tick. But we certainly do have some idea.

Intelligent, perhaps too intelligent, he has never fitted in — he has often used his smarts to manipulate other people and situations to his own advantage. His family upbringing was harsh, an only child and the product of an extra-marital affair — abuse has been mentioned, but we don’t know exactly what form it took (despite the wild imaginings of many fan fic writers!). We get the impression that he broke away from his parents at an early age, his relationship from them as distant as he could make it.

Why did he go into medicine? Because he saw the respect given to a Japanese man, a doctor of low class, who no one thought counted, until they needed him. At a young age, House saw that the fact that this man had knowledge bridged every other disadvantage he faced. Suddenly we see it: this boy, painfully bright, wants only to find a way to use his knowledge to gain the esteem and respect of others. With fragile self-confidence and low self-esteem (caused by many factors including the abuse and a constantly shifting home as a military brat) House strives to be noticed and to matter at the very same time as he appears to disdain the very notion of such things.  Contradictory? Absolutely! I’m not sure if Paula would agree with me, but I’m figuring that’s what makes him such an appealing character.

His need to be “left alone” is perhaps linked to a deep-seated fear that he isn’t actually worthy of being loved. The breakdown of his only significant relationship (that we know of), left him shattered both physically and emotionally. He doesn’t appear to ever want to risk that pain again, seeking companionship from ‘paid help’ and brief affairs. (Although we’ve never really been privy to an affair other than Lydia, but we can guess there have been others: the nutritionist for example.)

Conflict (tension, roadblocks)

I think conflict in a five-year long TV series is a different beast to conflict in a novel. However this is where internal and external conflict become important. Internal conflict is the emotions, tensions, struggles and hangups that prevent the character from achieving their goals. External conflict is the ‘plot’, the events and the changes that happen that cause the story to develop. In most cases, the patient-of-the-week storyline in House is external conflict — something that stirs emotion or gets in the way.

From a romance writers angle, I’ve heard it described as ‘internal conflict pulls them apart, external conflict pushes them together’. It’s the old ‘cabin fever’ plot device: put two opposing characters into a situation they can’t escape from and see what happens…

The more conflict there is, the more compelling the story becomes (although within reason — you don’t want to test your readers’ patience with unending and unbearable angst). I’m sure you’ve all read a romance or a love story where you absolutely couldn’t possibly imagine how the two protagonists were ever going to end up together and were desperate to keep reading to find out what happened. That’s conflict.

(And, as a side note, perhaps that’s where David Shore is shooting himself in the food with the whole House/Cuddy storyline — the more things get in the way of them coming together, the more those rabid fans weld themselves to that outcome!)

Conflict is the hardest thing to write successfully, in my opinion. ESPECIALLY in fan fiction, where you are restricted in many ways to the character traits, goals and motivations that someone else has set.

A common problem I’ve found in my own writing is that I end up with both the internal and the external conflict pushing the characters away from each other and thinking that sexual tension is enough to pull them back together again. Sometimes it works, but it can make a story feel flimsy. (And editors and publishers don’t like it — trust me on that one!)

Another trap that’s easy to fall into, is making the internal conflict so complicated and complex, that you lose yourself in explaining what makes the character tick without actually showing what influence it has — i.e. why it is important. A great author I listened to speak said that character motivations should be ‘simple and deep, not complex and shallow’. I guess if you have five years to tell a character’s story you have the luxury of making it both ‘deep and complex’.

And perhaps that’s why we love writing fan fic — how else can we get to play with a character that has had five years to tell us his story??

Okay, so GMC in a nutshell: Character wants something. Character has flaws that get in the way of them achieving that. Things happen that help and hinder them along the way. Then, in the case of romance (and stories I like to read) somehow character emerges triumphant.

Hmm. Still sounds simple. Still is really, really, not. Back to reading and writing and learning, for me…

Hope 2010 has started off well for you, whatever you are up to!

Mine has been a great one so far. My story “If you really loved me, you’d let me kill you” is still getting lovely reviews and currently has 247 in total! It’s not quite a record, but it’s closing in fast. An old story of mine, “Change of Heart” has a total of 258 — I’m having my own private and self-indulgent little race to see if “If you really” can beat it!

I’m still not sure why “Change of Heart” is so popular. It still regularly gets hundreds of hits each month. I think it is because it is the story in my list with the highest number of reviews. (Which goes back to my previous post about reviewing.) Other than that I’m at a loss, because I can’t say I think the story is any better than any of my other, more recent ones. It does have a lot of sex, though. Hot, House smut. Maybe that’s it.  😉

I finished writing “If you really” just before Christmas. I’m very pleased with how the ending turned out and how all the threads twisted together. There’s also a very “out there” scene towards the end that just popped in of its own accord, but I really like it and I think it is quite unusual and moving. Not giving anything more away — it will be posted within the next week or so!

We’re closing in fast on the end of the story. And I don’t have another one planned right now. I really want to try to spend some time on my non-House writing this month. My work is quieter at this time (being summer in the Southern Hemisphere) and it’s a good opportunity for me to concentrate. But you never know, something might pop up.

Oh, and before I go, thanks to all the lovely people who nominated me for the “Whiteboard Awards” over on the Fox Forum. It really is such an honour to be nominated along with some other wonderful authors. My only regret is that one of my stories from last year, “Rebirth”, isn’t eligible because I posted it on ff.net, not the forum. It is one of the stories from last year that I’m most proud of. But the rules is the rules!

Sorry, this isn’t a particularly fascinating post, but I just thought I’d pop in, let you know I was still alive, still intending to keep up this blog, and…. well, that’s about it. Promise I’ll be back soon with more of my (hopefully) scintillating stuff. Once “If you really” is complete, I’m planning to publish a post about how I felt about writing it and some DVD extras, “behind the scenes” stuff. Hopefully that might be interesting!

Gertrude’s House. As if I didn’t bang on enough in other internet forums, I decided I needed one of my very own.

Basically, I realised that in my efforts to get published in the “real world” , there was no end of helpful advice out there in blog land. But I get a lot of my writing practice  – and, to be honest, my writing pleasure – from writing fan fiction. (Specifically, just so you know, House MD fan fiction. And I primarily write House/OC (OC = original character) romance fan fiction.)

And on that topic, well, there’s really not so much out there. Or, if there is, it’s hard to find!

I know, fan fiction writing is seen as geeky and nerdy and – to use an Australian word – daggy. And often looked down upon as an inferior literature form. Yes, there is some terrible fan fiction out there. But, let’s be honest, there’s some terrible books out there too. I know. I’ve read them.

What I want to do with this blog is:

  • talk about my writing  and what I’ve learned about writing, posting and reviewing fan fiction (because after all, isn’t every blog just a little bit selfish and self-centred)
  • to have somewhere I can interact with my readers outside of the limited review-reply features
  • occasionally get some of my wonderfully talented fan fiction writer friends to contribute their wisdom and advice
  • pass on some of the things I’ve learned to the betterment of my fellow fan fiction writers

I know, it’s not “save the world”, but hey, it’s my blog. And I’m not doing this out of a sense that I am any kind of expert – far from it. I guess I hope that by sharing my knowledge, I might encourage others to do the same and then we all get to learn.

I can think of so many things I want to blog about. A few of the topics I want to cover include:

  • some of the general writing hints and tips I’ve gathered along the way that apply to writing any kind of fiction, whether your own characters or some you’ve borrowed
  • posting fan fiction – how often, how to build a ‘fan base’, how to make readers eager to read your work (not that I know all the answers, here, just a topic I want to explore!)
  • reviewing fan fiction – what authors really want to hear from readers
  • how other writers write, the processes they use, the techniques and tools and tips they have to pass on
  • the specific challenges and opportunities of fan fiction writing and the limitations of using someone else’s characters
  • the decision of whether or not to follow the ‘canon’ of the ‘verse you are playing in
  • how to deal with developments in your chosen fandom within your writing

There. I figure if I can think of seven post topics just off the top of my head, that’s a good way to start. And of course this is where you can add comments and tell me about other stuff you’d like to see me cover — or write something yourself for me to publish – I think I’m going to love guest bloggers if I have any volunteers!

Who knows where we’ll go from here. Drop me a line if you have further thoughts and I hope this turns out to be an exciting new adventure for us all.

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The great and wise Gertrude Stein