Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Twenty Six Doors

Twenty six doors, that’s the number in my home which needed to be painted, both front and back, with two coats each, and that wasn’t including the front or back doors to our home either.  

I knew I was not the greatest fan of decorating, but after ending each day with my hands covered in white paint I began to detest it.

We had moved into our home the previous year after we bought it from the bank that had reposed it. The former owner decided to take his revenge by stripping the house of all its fixture and fittings. I mean everything. The carpets, all the internal doors, including the ones from the built in wardrobes, even the underlay went. The light switches had gone and the light sockets with their bulbs, and even the mantle piece. He even tried to flood out the building.

A lot of people think the banks get what they deserve when somebody does this, and I went along the same lines until we found out over the next eighteen months what a crook the previous owner was.

We found out from the various people he had been made bankrupt, owing hundreds of thousands and it was his second time. The worst thing was he was still trading, and was still using our new address to gain credit. It was bad enough when bailiffs turned up looking for the fifty thousand here that he owed, or w received the final demands for twenty thousand he owed there, but it hurt most when the small trader turned up, somebody who only recently started to trade with him. These poor people had given him a few thousand in credit, and now they came calling looking for him. I felt sorry for these small business men. I had been in their shoes once, and I know how dreadful it can feel plus how devastating it can be financialy when someone never pays up.

I have always paid my way. When times have been hard I still always paid my dues, paid my bills, paid my debts, (Banks please take note, us taxpayers will want our money back, and justice.)

The bloke was not just a crook in my eyes, he was a thief! Could I get the authorities to take notice, no I couldn’t. I informed the police of what he was doing, but they just said, “If you haven’t lost any money personally then no crime is being committed.”

I phoned the credit card companies when one of their red letters popped through my letter box, but would they take notice? No.

“Sorry sir, but unless you are the person named on the statement we have sent to your address we cannot speak to you!”

“Yes I know,” I would reply.  “But can’t you make a note that this guy doesn’t live here anymore and he is probably gaining credit from you, even after he has been made bankrupt.”

“Sorry sir, we can’t speak to you on this matter unless you are the person named on the statement.”

Month after month it went on and drove me around the bend, and in the end it did cost me money, because I had to pay to register on various computer data bases to stop the guy getting any more credit using my new address.

In fact he only really stopped this trick when I used the power of Facebook, but that is a story for Friday.   

Monday, 29 October 2012

Joker's Monday (The Presidential debate)

Why is it that the weekend takes so long to come along, but Mondays come twice as quick?

Here we are again. Last week the world’s news was led by the American Presidential debate. I can’t help but think what pointless exercises they are, and why the world needs it. History had shown that real power follows the money, not the other way around. Who has the money has the power.

The Roman Empire collapsed after it bankrupted itself through greed and corruption. The British Empire gave up the ghost when it bankrupted itself trying to fight two world wars, and the Communist Empire never lasted long because it didn’t know how to make a profit.

Who has the money now? Well it’s probably better to ask who has the debt now. America, Japan, Most countries of the European Union, all of them with their chins up to the sh#t line of the cesspit, and still sinking.

So who does have the money? China, Russia, Brazil, the oil rich gulf states! (Germany already proves the rule; just look whose runs Europe now! And it isn’t the debt laden French.)

To think, just twenty five years ago, China, and her two co-hosts were total economic basket cases. I wonder in twenty five years’ time if the U.S debates will be shown across the world, or will we have to endure the equivalent with Mr Putin, or from the Far East?


Anyway enough debate for today, here are a few light lines to cheer this Monday.


Resolving to surprise her husband, an executive’s wife stopped by his office. She found him with his secretary sitting in his lap.

Without hesitating, he dictated, “….and in conclusion, gentleman, shortage or no shortage, I cannot continue to operate this office with just one chair.


Words of Wisdom

(1) All rumours are true – especially if your boss denies it.

(2) You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.

(3) If you look good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

(4) Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

Friday, 26 October 2012


I awoke on New Year’s Day. I was now in 2012 and was still enjoying my break over the Christmas period. It was the first Christmas I had to do on the cheap. I couldn’t afford anymore to have lavish celebrations, throwing money about as if it was just some cheap paper confetti. I must say I enjoyed it just as much. When you take out the commercialisation of this festive period you are left with the spiritual side, and the true meaning of Christmas.

I spent Christmas day with my family at my mother-in-laws, minus my father-in-law who had passed away two years previously. Although not the same without his presence there was a positive mood during the meal.

As I lay in bed with a cup of tea on this new day in a new year, my head was relative sober compared to previous years.

I had resolved to make progress during 2012 in my quest to get published, and this was the only promise I had made to myself as the clock chimed towards midnight and the New Year. I hadn’t even bothered with the usual promises you make when the final chime rings out, and everyone starts to celebrate. No promises to lose some weight, or cut back on the booze (I had no choice in this as I couldn’t afford heavy drinking seasons,) or whatever promises you make and never keep.

No, just this time I made the one promise, and I was determined to keep to it.

For the present there was nothing more I could do with my manuscript. As the title of my blog states, always-hanging-around, I could do nothing until I heard back from the various agents I had approached, and from the competitions I had entered. I would just have to hang around and keep myself busy

January and February 2012 were going to be important months for me. By the end of this period I would either be on the first rung on the ladder to publishing success, or in a deep pit of disappointment and rejection.

As I finished my tea and muttered to myself on ways to keep busy over the next six to eight weeks, a smile came across my wife’s face.

“I know just the thing you can do!”

I hesitated before asking her what she had on her mind.

“Decorating,” she continued, “all the doors inside the house need glossing.”

My heart sank; I’m not a great lover of decorating. I wish I had the money to pay someone else to do it, but as the whole family had had to make cut backs to support me on my dream I had no choice.

“Yes darling what a good idea,” I replied grudgingly.

We spent the last days of the New Year break trudging around D.I.Y stores looking at gloss paint.

This is one past time I detest even more that decorating, but I had no choice, I was no longer the main bread winner in the house, I was no longer the Alfa male, I was no longer the boss. I had to do what the new boss in the house wanted to do.   

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Summary

It was now two weeks before Christmas 2011 and I decided I needed to take a break. I looked back to the moment when I had handed in my resignation at my company to follow my dream of becoming a published author.

I pondered on the ups and downs I have travelled since, and looked at what I had accomplished so far.

Eleven months had passed since I had sent the email to the operations director giving him notice of my resignation.

Ten months have since passed when I suffered the crippling spinal injury that had sent my body through the gates of hell, and the chronic pain which nearly left my crippled.

Eight months had now passed since the day I handed back my company vehicle, credit card, and laptop. I had said my good byes to my colleges and took the train home. At this point I only had a story in my head, and that was it. Nothing was written down and I had no idea how to go about writing a book.

Seven months had now passed since I started writing, and it was then that Dangerous John, a friend from my local pub, agreed to help by reviewing each chapter as I finished it. They were lovely days; sitting outside on a sunny Friday afternoon with a beer and John’s company as we went through each line I had written that week. I had also volunteered for some charity work, and was helping out twice a week to give my mind something else to concentrate on other than writing.

Six months have now passed and I was seeing my Chiropractor twice a week instead of three times. The pain didn’t abate and I was slowly becoming hooked on over the counter pain-killers. I started to worry that I would have to go under the surgeon’s knife, or worse end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life.

Five months have now passed as my story flowed like verbal diarrhoea and my money started to run out.

Four months have now passed since I had finished the first draft of my manuscript, and I started to send it out to prospective agents who would hopefully take me on, and then get me a publishing contract.

Three months have now passed since I gave out my first draft to various people to read, and it was the first disappointment (the first of many) as their responses were not as enthusiastic as I had hoped.

Two months have now passed since I started on the redraft of my manuscript so I could enter it into the Times newspaper unpublished author competition. It was also then that I started to make my first attempts at going back into the gym. I found walking eased the pain, slightly, and putting my body painfully through a 30 minute light walk on the running machine seemed to loosen me up.

One month had now passed when I received the first rejections from the various agencies I had approached.

So here I was looking forward to 2012. Just before my break I had completed a third redraft of my manuscript and entered into a second new author competition. I had also joined two online communities and a couple of groups for local writers.

I was looking forward with a positive view towards 2012 although I hadn’t quite worked out let how I going to pay for the Christmas celebrations. Charles Dickens has a lot to answer for with his famous character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Because of this one character millions of people feel they have no option but to get into debt over Christmas because they don’t want to been seen as a Scrooge.     

Monday, 22 October 2012

Joker's Monday (The Peace Prize)

As is customary on Monday I try to liven the day with some light jokes. It can be hard to find time for a bit of fun to break up the monotony of a Monday Morning, but I must say I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry as I scanned the press reports on the European Union receiving the Noble Peace Prize.

True there has been relative peace, until recently, between European Nations (That’s if you exclude all the wars they have been fighting over the rest of the planet.) But as the people of Europe are in mass rebellion because of policy’s brought about by the very same union, I do ponder if peace has been kept because of the EEC or because of the nuclear bomb.

In a funny sort of way maybe the now defunct U.S.S.R should receive a posthumous peace prize from the Noble committee? For it was the perceived threat from Russia that ultimately brought about the European Union, and their military might which stopped the West from getting too arrogant.

The last point has now been proved, because it’s the arrogance of the EU bureaucrats that is now causing the cities of Europe to erupt into violence.

Maybe the Noble Committee were only having their version of Joker’s Monday? Who knows, anyway here are some tong-in-cheek job descriptions which I hope will bring a smile to you this morning.


Accountants do it with double entry.

Acupuncturists do it with a small prick.

Ambulance drivers come quickly.

Bankers do it with interest.

Policemen do it with handcuffs.

DJs do it on request.

Dentists do it orally.

Detectives do it undercover.

Firemen do it with a big hose.

Bin men come once a week.

Gardeners do it in the bushes.

Landlords do it on the 1st of every month.

Pizza delivery men come in 30 minutes or it’s free.

Waitresses do it for the tips.
If you have any jokes you wish to share with the world then feel free to email me at

Friday, 19 October 2012

The story goes on

So here I was in December 2011, hurtling into 2012.

I was now on my third redraft of my manuscript.

I had joined two online communities and had entered into two new unpublished author competitions.

I had received nothing but rejections from the agents I had approached. My spirit collapsed with every rebuke but I was still plodding on. I was not going to give up, and I knew that I was prepared to learn from every set-back. Every set-back was just another lesson I had to learn from, on my journey from an amateur author to someone who would one day be published.

It was at this time that I found out about two local writing groups that I could join. They held monthly meeting and were set up to help individuals just like me.

I joined up.

Every community you join will never give you that magic bullet to stardom, but in their own way the small pieces of information you gain will help you on your quest.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was to get one of the most important pieces of advice in my new career as an author. Some words that at the time felt like a lover throwing you out of their life, but an experience that was to totally change a future redraft of my story.

What I’m trying to say deep down is that anybody can write a piece of crap, but only by continuing to open your ears, to listen, to learn, and to improve, will you succeed.

It doesn’t matter what country you live in, be it America, Russia, Germany, U.K, France, China, Canada, or the whole host of other countries where people follow my blog; the same rules always apply! Keep on changing your manuscript, keep on improving.

Never give up!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Agent V Publisher

There are four ways in which you can get published.

The first is to enter a new author competition and hope you make it all the way to the final. There are many out there in the world of the internet, but be aware. Some are run by genuine publishing houses or writers clubs, and are normally free to enter, or may have a very small administration charge. Like I said, be aware! There are plenty more you can enter from named organisations which you have never heard of and will charge a hefty fee upfront. You can enter every competition there is but I have found that all you end up doing is, always-hanging-around for months on end only to find you never made it past the first round. If you do enter then double check you have matched all the rules that have been stipulated.

The second way is to try and get a publisher. You can find most publishing houses details on the internet or purchase the yearly guide to agents and publishers for your relevant country. But be aware! There are hundreds (if not thousands) of book publishers around the world, both large and small, but 99.99% won’t even look at what they call an unsolicited manuscript. This means if you blindly send into them your story all they will do is put it straight in the bin. You can spend months, and a lot of money in print and postage costs, sending your beloved manuscript to publishers and never hear a thing. Remember, sending in a manuscript with a steamy story line full of sex and blood isn’t going to be of interest to publishers that only specialises in religious book or publishers that only print books for the toddler market. 

The third way is to try and get an agent first. This can be as hard as finding a publisher, and again you need to find one that handles clients on the same level as you. Some only deal with female authors, some only children’s pictures books; some will only touch you if you have already had something published, etc., etc., etc.

The third way is self-publishing, that’s a story for another day.

So what comes first the agent or the publisher? Just like the chicken and the egg it is a conundrum that causes many a debate.

I say what comes first is to join an online community (join more than one if you like) which you can trust, and then enter any competition they may run. You will most likely fail at the first stage, but as long as you can learn where you are going wrong along the way, and are prepared (as I stated in last week’s blog) to redraft your story as many times as necessary you will have a better chance of getting an agent or publisher.

Sending out your very first draft of your very first manuscript to every single agent and publisher in the country will only end up with you spending a lot of money and time, to only receive a lot of disappointment back. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Joker's Monday ( Pussy Riot)

Over the weekend I was intrigued by the comments in the press surrounding the events that have unfolded in Russia concerning the now infamous Pussy Riot stunt at Moscow Cathedral. As Monday approached with its usual slow start I couldn’t help but think what negative press the Russian authorities have received in the western media.

As I sat down this Monday Morning to write some jokes on my blog I couldn’t get the image out of my head of these girls in court, and the media scrum that has followed the twists, and turns of their trial.

There seems to be two points which nobody has made a comment on. The first is that this stunt went ahead in the first place. Thirty years ago nobody in the USSR would have dared to pull off such a thing.

The second point is that thirty years ago nobody would have known anything about it in the first instant if it had taken place then. If there was even a trial at all the whole group would have disappeared into the penal system, never to be heard of again.

I think it shows what progress Russia has made since then. I don’t know too much about the country and no doubt it has shortcomings just like our own governments, but I do have one question that keeps going around and around in my mind.

If Pussy Riot has carried out the same stunt in the Vatican, or the American Congress building, or even St Pauls Cathedral in England, would the outcome have been any different?
I doubt it very much, and the girls would still have ended up in prison.
Maybe I should pull a stunt when my book is published? Maybe I should run around naked in the chamber of the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Question Time?
Any suggestins then feel free to email me at

Anyway, just to lighten the mood a bit I will finish off with a joke.

A man is sitting in the pub when he hears a bowl of peanuts on the bar saying, ‘Oooh, you really are amazing. Oooh you are lovely.’

Then the fruit machine shouted, ‘rubbish, look at the state of that haircut, and look at those socks, they don’t go with those terrible shoes.’

The barman apologised. ‘I’m sorry,’ he said, ‘the nuts are complimentary but the fruit machine is out of order.’

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Redrafts

As I engaged with other online users I came to realise that my finished manuscript was not the final manuscript. I had already redrafted it once back in November when I had entered the Times unknown author competition.

The rules for entry stated your story should not total more than 90,000 words. My first draft consisted of 112,000 words. I had spent a frantic fortnight making cuts were I could, and had reduced it down to 98,000. I still entered the competition even with 8,000 more words, hoping the judges wouldn’t notice. As you had to send in your entry by hard copy I posted off the manuscript printed neatly on white A4 paper. My hope was they would not go through the whole story counting every word.

What I did notice as I kept re-reading the story was that the more I cut down the words, the better it seemed to become.

When you first wright a story it’s best to just let the words flow. You may end up with chapters that make no sense, but it’s easier to cut these out than it is to find you need add another 14,000 words after you have finished.

Createspace were running a competition of their own for unpublished authors so I decided to enter this too, and now started on my third redraft of my manuscript.

As time progressed I would make further redrafts.

You need to be prepared to admit that the masterpiece you first wrote may not be a so great a story as you have convinced yourself it is.

You need to be open to suggestions, and to listen and learn. To take other people’s views into account and learn about the target audience you are ultimately writing for.

Br prepared to redraft, then redraft again, and redraft as many times as it takes until you have a winning story.

If you have sent in your manuscript to agents and publishers, and all you got were rejections, then look at it again, and redraft the story. Don’t lose hope, don’t give up, and be prepared to say to yourself that your fist draft was not the best in the world.

Keep on improving.

Every manuscript (including yours) has the potential to turn into a great story.     

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Online communities

I needed advice, I needed help and I trawled the internet like a fisherman casting his net into the ocean of the online world, hoping every haul would bring me something useful.

There is so much information out there you can end up feeling as if you are on a very fast merry-go-round that makes your head spin, and ache at the same time.

After a week or so of looking I had joined two online communities for writers which I hoped would give me an insight to what I needed to do to take my manuscript to the next stage.

The first web site I joined was .This is run by the publishers Harper Collins and is a gate way to them for new authors. They don’t take in my new submissions and you have to use this portal if you are unpublished, and looking for a publishing house. It’s a very competitive website. You can upload your manuscript and ask others members to read, and then rate it. The more people who give you a positive rating the more you move up the ladder. The hope being that whoever ends up at the top will get noticed Harper Collins, and are then taken on.

You can get and give feedback, and they have a community of fellow new (and some published) authors who you can talk to. The one drawback I found is that most people are happy to give you a positive feedback as long as you do the same to them. I got the impression that a lot of people on this site just wanted to get up the ladder as quickly as possible, and would say anything positive to get it. I started to read some manuscripts that had been flooded with positive responses, but were just a pile of dribble. No one seemed to give any negative feedback because they were too scared you would do the same to them.

Negative feedback was what I needed. I needed somebody to tell me the truth of why I kept getting rejected by agents!

The second site I joined was  .This is part of the Amazon group and again had an online community. Most of the users were American and I found them to be more truthful with their answers which was very refreshing. Create space run a yearly competition for unpublished authors which I entered. It was during the entry period in which you still had the chance to edit you manuscript that I started to learn where I was going wrong. It was also the point where I started to make major changes to my story, and where I learnt another important lesson.

That lesson is?
Well I will save that for Friday’s blog.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Joker's Monday

Another week that seemed to pass so quickly, and here we are again another Monday. No matter where you are in the world Mondays always seems to be the hardest day of the week. Talking about the world I was sad to see my small but loyal band of followers in China have seemed to suddenly disappear.

I hope I haven’t upset anybody in the Ministry of Information or whatever government department looks after the internet interests of their population. Maybe my jokes where a bit too close to the knuckle, but I have tried not to offend any particle race or creed. So if you are still about in China then give me a shout.

If you have any jokes you wish to share then email me at and in English please. My knowledge of the Russian or German language is limited to just a couple of words.

Today we have some toilet humour. The type of jokes you see written on the toilet wall as you have a pee, but I think in these cases it might be more likely to be found scribbled on the walls of the men’s toilets.

Writing on the toilet wall

Anybody can piss on the floor-to impress me, be a hero and sh*t on the ceiling.


Why are you staring at the wall? The joke is in your hand.


Here I sit broken hearted, tried to sh*t but only farted. Later on I tried to fart, sh*t my pants and broke my heart.


The toilet paper here is like Clint Eastwood… rough, tough and takes no sh*t.


I shagged your mother! (Written underneath) Go home dad, your drunk.


While you’re reading this you’re p**ing on your shoes.


May your life be like toilet paper-long and interesting!


Happiness is like p**ing in your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel its warmth.


Flush twice, it’s a long way back to the top.
Hopefully these brought a cheer to you day. On Wednesday it will be back to my quest for publishing glory.
All the best.

Friday, 5 October 2012

I Needed Help

It’s very hard to admit that you need help in life. I had finished my manuscript and thought it was the best story ever to be written, but, and as usual it’s a big but, as the rejections came in from the agencies I had approached; I realised I needed a professional review of my manuscript.

I needed help. I needed advice on where I was going wrong. I also needed to communicate with other people who were in the same boat as me.

I started to scan the internet and I was flooded with offers helping to give me advice, but, and as usual there was a catch. Pay lots of money and get all the advice you need.

I decided at first to join an online community of fellow writers and hoped at least I could find the independent, and honest guidance I needed in helping to steer me in the right direction.

I was to learn over the following months that even in online communities that are supposed to be there to help each other, there is always self-interest from the person offering advice, so they can advance their own course.

It was a hard lesson to learn as I searched for fellow free spirits who I hoped would be my guardian angels, and would lead me into the Promised Land of publishing.

Beware my friends.

The internet can be as deadly as the worst dictatorship.

The internet can be as cunning as the wildest beast of the forest.

The internet can as seductive as the snake was on Adam and Eve.

The internet can promise you everything, even more than the most callous and corrupt politician.

The internet can promise you the earth like a new prophet from the bible, but, and as usual there is a big but, it seldom delivers.

Other the next week I hope to pass onto my readers some of the rare occasions when the internet does help and the organisations that are true.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Bank Statement

November 2011 had been a crap month and the start of December turned out no better. It started off with another rejection being flung at me by email from a prospective agent  I had approached, and then my bank statement popped its ugly head through my letter box

I had been living on my own means since I received my last pay-packet back in May. I had made cut backs where possible. No holidays in the sun, I started shopping at cheaper stores especially for my food shopping, and I had tried to cut back on my socialising, although I hadn’t been too good at that.

I opened the statement expecting the worse, and I was right, it was dreadful. I was thousands over drawn and up to my limit. I had no choice I had to bring my statement back to zero, and I would have to use my long term savings. When I say long term this was money which I had saved for years towards my retirement, or for a very rainy day.

Well it felt in my heart that a monsoon was lasing against me. I trundled down to the bank (I was no longer hobbling) and transferred the funds. When I got home I knew I had no other choice than to carry on, and try to get published before the money ran out.

I wasn’t let living in poverty, but I now knew how it feels for all those budding artists, be they writers, painters, musicians, actors, or any other type of free spirit who have had to work, and live at the same time with little or no money.

I still had my dream that one day I would make it. This must have been the same dream that inspired all these others as they tried to make a living out of their profession, and I hoped it would be enough to encourage me to the end.

I could have given up. I could have reapplied to my old company for employment, but the urge to carry on was too powerful. I was going to see it through, no matter what hardships financially I would have to go through. As long as I didn’t put my family ay risk I would just have to make further cut backs in my life style. This would mean a lot less nights out at the weekend with my friends and more Friday/Saturday nights in front of the television.

What hell it can be when you have to stay in at the weekend after spending all your adult live enjoying the delights of painting the town red.

The only exception was my regular meeting with Dangerous John down the pub on a Friday afternoon for the reviews of my writing (I had finished my manuscript, but still liked to meet him for his company and a chat) now I could only stay for two pints before I had to head home. I couldn’t endure the T.V so I found myself reading for hours on end.

I have always loved reading, but this time I rekindled a passion for boks which I had lost in some way over the years.

For anyone trying to make it in any artistic form then you will have to experience financial hardship, and if you can’t face it, or aren’t ready, or able to except that commitment then it will be very unlikely you will make it. 

Monday, 1 October 2012

Joker's Monday

Monday is back and so starts another week. We all know this isn’t the best of days for most people and a few wise-cracks can always help to cheer things up.

So far today it hasn’t been too bad as I helped to rescue a poor stray cat. It was just a bag of skin and bones when it turned up on my door step yesterday with a nasty swollen eye. I fed it, watered it and let it sleep in my garage overnight. I left it plenty of food and this morning called out the cat rescue people who turned up this morning, and took it away to their rescue and rehoming centre. I made enquiries with the neighbours but no one claimed to know anything about it.

Hopefully now it is safe and secure, a vet has looked at it and soon it will find a loving home. I couldn’t take it in myself as I already have a cat who was not too pleased about having a stranger about the house.

Still; I have done my good deed for the day and now some fascinating facts which I hope will bring a smile to your face.


If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. (Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. (Now that’s more like it.)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig’s orgasm lasts for 30 minutes. (O.M.G.)

A cockroach will live for nine days without its head before it starves to death.

A cat’s urine glows under a black light. (Who finds out about these things and what is black light?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. (I must have been a lion in my past life.)


If you have any interesting facts you wish pass on then please feel free to share. Remember it’s good to share, and this is one of the reasons I am sharing my experience with you all as I seek my dream of becoming a published author.