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Friday, September 30, 2011

Someone to Understand

"When all you ever really wanted was for someone to understand." - "Film Noir" by The Gaslight Anthem

A couple of days ago I had a moment at work that reminded me why I do what it is I do. Being a nanny and a teacher is rarely easy, and it's way messier than it is pretty, but then there are times like this when it's so worth it.

The oldest child I take care of is almost seven, and basically a mini-me as far as personality and eccentricities go. I was a very overly emotional child (and still an overly emotional adult in some respects), cried at the drop of a hat, and never thought I was fully understood by anyone. This child is the same way. If someone so much as looks at her funny, she'll burst into tears, become hysterical, and not be able to stop. Enter Shannon, or GoGo as they call me (different story for a different post). I have been working with her on this issue for months, trying to give her the tools to calm herself down and be in control of her own emotions, and she is doing so much better now. Well, the other morning on the way to school, she told me that I was her "Go-To Girl" because I am the only one that understands her and can help her with her problems. I was so touched that I almost cried in the middle of the freeway during morning rushhour traffic(see what I mean about being emotional?). The smile on her face was so peaceful, not a look that she wears very often, and I realized what a difference I have made in her life. Maybe that's why I became her nanny, which happened in a very coincidental way (next post).

Anyway, I just thought I'd share that little story with the world. That way the next time I have one of those days that is full of stopped up toilets, temper tantrums, spilled milk (someone will cry over it, for sure), and time-outs, I can remember why I do the job I do, and am happy to do it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten - Favorite Words

"I sat down and wrote/ The best words I could write/ Turn, turn, turn again." - "Percy's Song" by Bob Dylan

Since I am a writer (or aspiring to be one), I thought I would devote this week's list to my favorite words. It's hard to pick just ten since my head is always swimming with words, but here goes nothing.

1. Enchanting - It's such a magical, dreamy word. Just makes me smile.

2. Peace - What we should all strive to create in our world.

3. Christmas - The best, happiest, most joyous day of the year.

4. Love - Goes right along with peace.

5. Perfect - An idea that is pretty much impossible, but one I still can't get past. There's a reason I made Willow a perfectionist in the Willow Ryan series.

6. Mustang - Wait a minute. This one doesn't fit in, does it? Oh well, my list, my words. The image of a Mustang, the sound of one, even the mention of the name, makes me happy. Especially when I have spent the majority of the day driving kids around in a minivan and I get behind the wheel of my Mustang. Woohoo! It's been my favorite car since I was six years old and it always will be.

7. Nonconformist - Going against the grain, standing out, not caring what the masses think. Gotta love it! I am proud to bestow this label upon myself, and I hate labels.

8. Inspire - To inspire somebody with something you said or did, or to be inspired by someone else is truly wonderful. I am always looking for inspiration in this world.

9. Win - I am the most competitive person around, so it's no wonder I like this word so much.

10. Congratulations - Only good news follows this word, right? The last time I saw this was a company congratulating me on a new credit card. The next thought that flashed through my mind was my credit score plummeting. I think I need a raise...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I'm Looking For

"And I still haven't found what I'm looking for." - U2

Those of you who have been reading my blog since its start last year are familiar with my struggle to break into the writing business, but for any new readers out there, let me fill you in. I finished my first novel, Secrets, about two years ago and have been trying (off and on) to get a literary agent and move toward publication ever since. I'm still trying. I won't quit because I know this is what I am meant to do - I can feel it in my soul. In between my work as a nanny and homeschool teacher, real life, and trying to get an agent, I have written three more books in the "Willow Ryan" series and am ready to start a new unrelated novel whenever I work up the motivation to turn my pages and pages of notes into something worthy of being on the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

Caught up? Good. Today I decided to try something different to get my book noticed and maybe, just maybe, break into the literary world with a bang (or even just a knock on the door that is met with an answer). I have been toying with the idea of entering a contest sponsored by the UK magazine for women writers, Mslexia, for several weeks now, and I finally took the plunge. For only 25 British pounds (about $40), I submitted the first 5,000 words of my novel with fingers crossed, a prayer floating up to Heaven, and a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's so hard to just put your work out there like that and it makes me a little nervous. As for the prayer, I didn't ask God to let me win the contest. That just wouldn't be the right. What I prayed for is to get something out of this experience, even if it's just that I learn that taking a chance on something might not be so bad, because at least I'm doing something other that what I've been doing - querying agents, getting depressed, rewriting, getting depressed, obsessing over unimportant details... and did I say getting depressed? The only thing that's saved my sanity for the last couple of years is my ability to write. Ironic isn't it? So, it's time for me to try something different. Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is me trying my hardest not to be insane. I have said before that my life has been spent toeing the line between genius and insanity, and I would like to avoid falling into the deep end of the crazy pool if at all possible.

So what is it that I am looking for with this contest? Winning hasn't even entered my mind as a possibility (totally glass half empty here), but I am really hoping to be shortlisted. If that happens, I would probably pass out from the shock, and then as soon as I came to, send out my full manuscript. That would be such an honor and would give a (relatively) new writer a huge sense of valedation, which we can all use every now and then. Maybe my novel will even be noticed by someone in the business. That would be amazing! I believe in my writing, even with all of the negativity that constantly pollutes my brain, so I should in turn believe that I have a shot at standing out in the Mslexia contest, right? I hope so.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Picture Day

"Look at this photograph/ Every time I do it makes me laugh." - "Photograph" by Nickelback

This is my school picture from second grade. My cousin did my hair, which I thought was just about the coolest style a kid could have, and what can I say about the totally rad kitty cat sweatshirt I was wearing (with a matching purple scrunchee!)? It was 1989 and I thought I was so awesome. So what I want to know is, when did I go from being a total ham in front of the camera to running away and hiding whenever I hear someone yell, "Say cheese"? Maybe it's just part of growing up and getting older. The world may never know.

What made me think of this photo in particular is that today is picture day for the girls I nanny for. They were so excited when I dropped them off at school this morning, that it took me back to when I too loved school pictures and would smile big for the camera, showing off my missing and crooked teeth for all the world to see. Thank goodness for braces!

School pictures are a funny thing. This one was actually a reshoot because I was not only blinking in the original, but I think I was starting to sneeze too. It was horrible! Doesn't everyone have at least one picture like that? I didn't like any of my high school yearbook photos at all, but looking back at the early elementary years is a lot of fun. I laugh at the clothes and the hair, remember old friends and teachers, and most surprisingly of all, remember how truly excited I was to be in the spotlight, even if it was just for a second in the school cafeteria.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten - Obsessions

"Gonna change my way of thinking/ Make myself a different set of rules." - "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" by Bob Dylan

I wish I could do that Bob, but I can't. I seriously think I have a mild form of OCD. Ever since I was a kid, I have always had an addictive personality, getting fixated on things for weeks, months, even years at a time, for no real reason other than that I can't help it. I say my OCD is mild because I am still able to function on a normal level (I know my sister, Jenna, is rolling her eyes and laughing as she reads this), but I'll use this week's Tuesday's Top Ten to give you a little insight into my mind. Don't worry. I know it can be a dark, scary place, but there's a light in the attic (yes there is, Jenna!) and one at the end of the tunnel as well.

1. Names - I have been obsessed with names since I was 11 years old and was given egg babies as a family life assignment in sixth grade. I was the proud recipient of triplet egg babies (I was a weird kid, and this thrilled me to no end!), and had to come up with names for them. Since my name is Shannon, I decided to go with "Sh" names, bought a baby name book (oh, the start of an obsession!), and the rest is history. Being the list maker that I am, I have compiled page after page over the years of names I like, ranked in order, alphabetically, by origin - you name it, I've listed it. A harmless habit to have, but this has been going on for 17 years now!

2. Music - Other than writing, which I won't say is an obsession because it's more of my life and career plan, music is what speaks to me most. I have always loved music, but I really got into classic rock in high school and still can't get enough. Bob Dylan, obviously, as well as Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, etc. - are always in my head. The poets who put their words to music are definitely worth obsessing about. And now there's The Gaslight Anthem and The Horrible Crowes giving me even more lyrics to focus on (thanks for that, Brian Fallon!). Too bad I am not at all gifted musically myself. Sigh...

3. The Number Five - Okay, now we get a little more psychological. For many years, at least since high school, I have been fixated on the number five. I sit in the fifth row at the movie theater. I mentally repeat things five times. I check my alarm clock five times before going to sleep to make sure it's turned on, time correct, etc. This is the most time consuming of my obsessions, and the one that will probably lead to more down the line. Oh great, something to look forward to.

4. Christmas - It really is the most wonderful time of the year! I think about Christmas all the time, and as Sheryl Crow says, "If it makes you happy/ It can't be that bad". I tend to be very over the top, and that is never clearer than at Christmas. I only listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, read Christmas books, etc. from November 1 until New Year's, and try to get everyone else to do the same. I know it drives people a little crazy that I am such a Christmas nut, but I honestly can't help it. I am always filled with the Christmas spirit!

5. The Hugga Bunch - Does anyone remember this Hallmark TV movie and the subsequent toys and miscellaneous merchandise, or is it just me? Hugga Bunch was my first true obsession. As a toddler, I watched this movie that my dad had recorded for me (on our old Betamax!) every single day until the tape broke. Then it was recorded again and I eventually got it on VHS. Hmm...I wonder if it's available on DVD? Blu-Ray?

6. Psychology - How weird is it to be obsessed with the very field that deals with problems like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? I first started learning about psychology, and when I say learning I mean reading anything and everything I could get my hands on dealing with any aspect of psychology, when I was 12 and read the book "Sybil", a true story of a woman with Multiple Personality Disorder (now referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder). I was hooked from the second I realized how terribly, terribly wrong things can go with our own minds and the genetic link that often accompanies these disorders. I started looking into my family history and that just fueled the obsession. In fact, it's a minor miracle that I'm sane enough to write anything! Scary stuff, psychology.

7. Counting - This is similar to the number fixation, but its own obsession entirely. I count everything. Words people say, steps I take, times a day I hear, "But wwhhhyyyyy?" from a child (GRR!!!), times I tap my fingers on the table (multiple of five, of course), pretty much anything that pops into my mind. I know it's a problem because once the idea gets into my head that I have to count, I can't get it out of my mind until the counting is done. Again, I have no problem working, playing, and living, but this one gets in the way sometimes.

8. Evenness - I absolutely hate when something is uneven. If my left arm itches, I have to scratch my right arm too. If I straighten one sock, the other one will get fixed as well, whether or not it needs it. There's no way getting around this one. It just has to be done.

9. Barrow, Alaska - Why? I have no idea. I came across something a while back that mentioned that Barrow is the northernmost town in North America, I looked it up, and so began a new obsession. I even have Barrow saved as a favorite on my page. I find it fascinating how cold it is there, how the people live, the location, everything. I have no desire to go there, I just love knowing everything I can about this tiny little town north of the Arctic Circle. And I love The Weather Channel's "Cantore Stories" they had about it. Very interesting!

10. Getting the Last Word - maybe this isn't really an obsession, but since I can't let it go, I'm including it. I don't care what the argument is, I will always get the last word. Is this annoying, childish, downright stubborn? You bet, but I still have to have the final say. Especially when I know I'm right, which is all the time. ;)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Horrible Crowes "Elsie" review - 5 Stars!

"I remember everything at night/ Every breath of this house's creaking/ I'm familiar with the cold and the windows and the doors/ And the sound of my heart beating/ Beating in and out of time." - "Behold the Hurricane" by The Horrible Crowes

I know I don't normally give reviews, but today I couldn't resist. My sister says I am obsessed, and maybe I am, but hopefully you'll check out this record and understand why.

Chances are you haven't heard of The Horrible Crowes, the side project of The Gaslight Anthem's frontman, Brian Fallon, along with his good friend and guitar tech Ian Perkins. But you should. To quote William Miller in "Almost Famous" (best movie ever!),"The guitar sound is incendiary. Incendiary. Way to go." Actually, this whole album is incendiary. From the slow, somber "Last Rites" - the perfect prologue to the record - to the poetic "Behold the Hurricane", to the astoundingly gritty "Mary Ann", a perfect combination of Bob Dylan meets The Clash with some gospel undertones thrown in. Then there's the breathtaking "I Witnessed a Crime", my favorite track on this album. I don't have enough words to give this song justice, and we all know I have a lot of words! There are the obvious Bruce Springsteen (think his solo stuff, like "Nebraska") and Tom Waits comparisons that Fallon's fans expect, but "Elsie" is a masterpiece in and of itself. As I said, incendiary.

This album is like a distant cousin of Gaslight's Springsteenian rock with a punk twist. Yes, there are similarities, like the lyrics that read like poetry but you still can't help singing along to, but "Elsie" is much deeper, more mature, and dare I say more impressive than anything Brian has done to date, and I'm saying this as a huge fan of TGA. I can't wait to see what Gaslight's new album will hold next year, and I hope Brian and Ian have plans for a follow-up to "Elsie" under The Horrible Crowes name, because the world needs music like this, songs that embody all of the emotions people feel but don't always know how to express.

In addition to the lyrics from my song of the day, here are a few more to show you that you need to check these guys out in case you aren't already convinced.

While I get my last rites/ Read by a thief. - "Last Rites"

Nobody else waits on you/ When your hands shake like the breeze/ When your mind is a permanent dream. - "Sugar"

I guess the moon had had it out for us/ And the night and stars, the same/ Everything she touched turned to stone or died, eventually/ Or was never seen the same again. - "I Witnessed a Crime"

I've been known to wear a fine black suit and a murder of a tie. - "Go Tell Everybody"

And lonely my sisters, could not describe/ All the good things gone wrong. - "Cherry Blossoms"

I heard a ghost in our willow/ Must've lost his lover somewhere. - "Lady Killer"

Sometimes I'm up, Lord, and sometimes I'm down/ God's gonna trouble the water/ Sometimes I'm almost level with the ground/ God's gonna trouble the water. - "Crush"

Never trust a stranger/ With a diamond on his tongue/ I taught you once, baby/ I thought by now you/ Would've known. - "Mary Ann"

My love, my love/ You're the sting of the scorpion/ Consider now, the angels/ A little lower than you. - "Black Betty and the Moon"

When my footsteps have hung in your hallways enough/ For you to be truly haunted/ When your blood counts its losses. - "Blood Loss"

I met you, in the upper room/ Of a house where I slept with the angels/ From Hell and from Heaven/ Some for haunting and some for guarding. - "I Believe Jesus Brought Us Together"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten - 80s Sitcoms

"What would you do if I sang out of tune/ Would you stand up and walk out on me/ Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song/ And I'll try not to sing out of key." - "A Little Help From My Friends", Joe Cocker version and theme song to "The Wonder Years"

For those of you who may not have been around for the 80s, they were a decade of day-glo clothing, awful hairstyles (the mullet, Jheri Curl, Flock of Seagulls!), valley girl slang, and last but not least, fantastic sitcoms. As a card carrying TV junkie, I thought I would dedicate this post to my top ten favorite sitcoms of the decade I was born and raised in. I realize that some of these shows may have started in the 70s or ran into the 90s, but they are still so totally 80s! Are your favorites on the list?

1. "The Wonder Years" - I absolutely LOVE this show and am so upset it isn't available on DVD. Fred Savage was perfect as Kevin Arnold, the boy next door that had a geeky best friend named Paul, was in love with Winnie Cooper, and had to put up with his terrible older brother, Wayne, the worst character on any show, ever! Set in the 1960s/70s when music was great, cars had muscle, and the Vietnam War was in full swing, this show spoke to my realization that I had been born in the wrong generation and I would have been a hippie like Kevin's sister, Karen, if I had been born 30 years sooner.

2. "Growing Pains" - Two words - Mike Seaver. What girl didn't love Kirk Cameron's cool, goofy, always getting into trouble but still a good guy character? He was the whole reason to watch the show. He may have had bad taste in friends (Boner Stabbone, really?) and not gotten the best grades, but it was obvious that the guy was smart and charming, and he won over the hearts of pretty much every girl in America. One of my favorite Mike Seaver episodes was when he and Dr. Jason Seaver (gotta use the full name!) went to see Bruce Springsteen in concert. Go ahead and belt out "Born in the USA". I'll wait, and maybe sing along.

3. "Family Ties" - This show was so great, and still is! The kids were all fantastic, especially Michael J. Fox as the super-preppy Alex P. Keaton (the P. stood for Peace!), the antithesis to his liberal formerly hippie parents. Then there was boy-crazy, shopping obsessed Mallory, and smart toyboy Jennifer, who I discovered was actually pretty funny as I have watched the reruns as an adult. Later on there was adorable little Andy of course, but the show belonged to Alex. Anyone remember the episode when he took speed? It was so he could stay up and study, of course, but it was kind of funny to see the president of the Young Republicans go a little crazy.

4. "Kate and Allie" - This show never gets the credit it deserves. It was all about two childhood friends who move in together after getting divorces and raise their three kids together. They were a very unconvential family, but it showed that with a little creativity, hard work, and humor, people can come together and get through anything, coming out even better in the end. I just loved Susan St. James's character, Kate McArdle. She was fun, spunky, and always said, "fabulous!" really dramatically, which I remember copying when I was a kid. She was the perfect opposite for Allie Lowell, the pearl-wearing, high strung, formerly upper-crust Connecticut socialite played by the brilliantly hilarious Jane Curtin.

5. "Full House" - Okay, this may not have been a show with the most believable storylines or the best acting in the whole world, but when this show premiered in 1987, it was my all-time favorite. I was in Kindergarten, about the same age as Stephanie, and she was my favorite of the Tanner kids. Then there was awesome big sister DJ, and the adorable Michelle. Yes, she got annoying as the series went on, but as a baby and toddler, the Olsen twins were the cutie pies of "Full House". Oh yeah, and living in the room across the hall complete with pink bunnies on the wallpaper, was Uncle Jesse. John Stamos was the cool rock and roll playing, motorcycle riding uncle, and I especially loved that he played with the Beach Boys. In real life! Remember when his band, The Rippers, ditched him for Barry Williams (Greg Brady) of all people? How rude!

6. "The Cosby Show" - You can't go wrong with the Huxtables! Our favorite Jell-o pudding peddler was always hilarious, and I still enjoy watching this show now. It just doesn't get old! The five kids were all great during the first few seasons (Vanessa got on my nerves later on in the series), especially Denise. I also loved the spin-off, "A Different World", even though she was only on for one season. One of my favorite Cosby episodes featuring Denise (played by Lisa Bonet) was when she made that hideous, funky shirt for Theo. A classic!

7. "WKRP in Cincinatti" - I have not seen every episode ever created like I have with the other shows on this list, but I love it enough to put it in my top 10. Dr. Johnny Fever, the cool, most likely always stoned deejay was the best, and I wish that more seasons would become available on DVD. For those of you who don't know, before coming to WKRP, Johnny Fever was fired from a radio station for saying the word booger. I like to think that Tom Petty's "The Last DJ" is about this character. So funny! As I go on to the next show on my list, I will leave you with these parting words: "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!" That's from the Turkey's Away episode in Season One. It's available on iTunes, and I highly recommend it.

8. "The Facts of Life" - Jo, Blair, Natalie, Tootie, and Mrs. Garrett. What's not to love? Set in a girls' school with the wise Mrs. Garrett to watch over the four stars, this sitcom was so much fun. Jo Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon) was my favorite because she was street smart and tough, not stuck up and frilly like Blair Warner (Lisa Welchel), who was my least favorite. I also liked Natalie a little later on when I watched this in reruns because she wanted to be a writer. My interests in writing, music, and TV didn't really change much over the years...

9. "Who's the Boss?" - Tony Micelli, of course! Yes, Angela Bower was technically his boss, but Tony ran the house, took care of the kids, and solved the problems. Hmm, I wonder why I liked him the best? Maybe that was some weird foreshadowing into my future job as a nanny... Okay, everyone who remembers this show as well as I do, say it with me: "Ay-oh! Oh-ay!" Gotta love Tony Danza!

10. "Mr. Belvedere" - I remember loving this show when I was a kid, the youngest Owens child, Wesley, in particular, and I discovered when rewatching the first season on DVD recently, that nothing has changed. This is a fantastic show! Wesley is the charming little trouble maker who is always testing poor Mr. Belvedere's patience, and I think I may love it even more now than I did in the 80s when I watched it as a very young child. You never know how shows or movies will really be when the last time you watched them was 20 years ago when you were in elementary school, but this one has stood the test of time for me. Also, I think Mr. Belvedere, the Owen's housekeeper, may be my kindered spirit. He takes care of the kids, always knows how to solve their problems, understands each of them like no one else does, manages the house, and even writes in his journal every night before he goes to bed. Let's see... A professional nanny/house manager who likes to write. Sound familiar?

I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past! I sure did!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Everything Can Change...

"In a New York minute/ Everything can change/ In a New York minute." - Don Henley

These last ten years have gone by in the blink of an eye and have lasted a lifetime. As so many of us have done today, I spent some time thinking about how our country, our world, has changed in this last decade. How did your views of humanity change? What about your opinions of our government? War? Life in general? My opinions have no relevance today, so I'll simply tell you what I've been reflecting on as our nation remembers the day everything changed in a New York minute.

I woke up this morning thinking about sleeping in exactly ten years ago. I never sleep in - ever - but that day I did. As I was getting out of bed, my sister ran upstairs and told me that a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. My first thought was that there must have been some terrible mechanical problem. Or maybe the pilot had a heart attack. Terrorism didn't even enter my mind. And I was not a naive, innocent eighteen-year-old that viewed the world through rose colored glasses. That kind of thing just didn't happen here, not really. But it did. I walked down the stairs and into my family room just in time to see the second plane crash on TV, and a wave of confusion, fear, and sadness swept over me. Then reports started coming in that it was a terrorist attack.

Just when I was wrapping my head around the fact that the Twin Towers were obliterated, thousands of lives were in danger, and New York would never be the same, a plane crashed into the Pentagon. Then Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania. I had never felt so out of control. What would happen next? I remember that the military bases basically went on lockdown and people in my part of the country panicked. I live less than 20 miles away from the biggest base in the country, and it seemed like that would be the next logical target. It was eery, terrifying, and surreal, and I hope none of us ever have to experience those feelings again.

But what about all of the people who live with the effects of the attacks every day? The families and friends of the 2,819 people lost on September 11, 2001. The residents and employees in New York that see the altered skyline and ground zero every day as constant reminders of what happened, how life was, and how life will never be the same. The survivors who have lived with life-changing medical and psychological problems for the past ten years. The children who will never know their parents because they were taken from this world too soon. For most of us, 9/11 is something that creeps into our minds every so often and usually flits out just as quickly, but so many others are not that fortunate. So on this day, please take a minute to think about not only the lives lost that day, but the lives of the people still here that have been permanently altered. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

"Knock me down it's all in vain/ I'll get right back on my feet again/ Hit me with your best shot/ Why don't you hit with your best shot/ Hit me with your best shot/ Fire away!" - Pat Benatar

I'm a little discombobulated this week. Labor Day messed me up, and I went through the entire day yesterday singing "I Don't Like Mondays" in my head (not exactly an appropriate song to be singing to young children, right), and I completely forgot about posting my latest Tuesday's Top Ten. I will wait until next week for that one though, as I have bigger fish to fry today.

After rewriting, tweaking, agonizing over, and finally finishing my latest attempt at the perfect query letter, I emailed it out to a handful of agents this morning. I am now feeling that familiar emotional mix of excitement, dread, and nausea. What prompted me to chose "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" as my song of the day was the two responses I already received back from agents... sigh. One agent who is known for quick replies emailed me in three minutes with a standard, polite form rejection. Three minutes. Seriously?! That was a new record for me. I have been playing this game for a while now and have come to expect rejections, but that was a little hasty. Then I got another one from a different agent, just five minutes after I had hit the send button. Her response was simply, "No, thank you." That left me a little wounded, but I have to take my cues from Pat Benatar and be tough, not back down from this challenge, and rise above the hits that I, like every aspiring author, have to take along the way.

But what I want to know is, when does it stop feeling like you are the clumsy kid that always gets picked last for kickball?