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The Bibliotheca



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Play it Again, Sam (Second Death in Print)

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery, Bibliophilism Mar 28 2013 · 143 views

You told me never to play this song again.
 
If promises were LEGO they could seldom be broken, but most promises are composed of that cheap stuff they use to may Happy Meal toys.
 
Besides, I kept my promise not to mention it any time soon. This isn't soon. Worry not; I will keep it brief.
 
The Second Death
is now available in paperback from Createspace (preferable) or Amazon for $11.99. Add in shipping and handling, and if you've got about sixteen or seventeen bucks to burn and no Kindle to buy the eBook, or just prefer the feel of a print book (amen to that), every reader is a blessing and your business will always be appreciated.
 

"As time goes by . . ."

 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Quoth Don Quixote

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Bibliophilism, Wordsmithery Mar 16 2013 · 114 views

One of my favorite quotes from the novel:
 

To write books of any kind, there is need of great judgment and a ripe understanding. To give expression to humour, and write in a strain of graceful pleasantry, is the gift of great geniuses. The cleverest character in comedy is the clown, for he who would make people take him for a fool, must not be one. . . . But notwithstanding this, there are some who write and fling books broadcast on the world as if they were fritters.


Writing requires understanding, if not comprehension; to feel if not to know; and that most important faculty of the human mind, born of understanding and comprehension and feeling and knowledge and experience and intuition and much else: great judgment--but better to say, prudence.

I don't know if I would say that writing requires genius; granted there are many geniuses in the history of literature, no doubt. The only requirement, however, is cleverness: he who would make people take him for a genius, needs not necessarily be one.

Most importantly, writing takes time, for haste makes waste; art should not be rushed. In this modern era of celerity, we suffer a dramatic lack of proper pacing. It is not enough to stop and smell the roses, for from that we gain nothing but fleeting pleasure; but if we stop, and take the time to watch the roses grow . . . then we learn something. It is for readers to smell the roses we writers tend, but it is for us to watch them grow.


Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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I Ask You: Synopsis Options

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Bibliophilism Dec 28 2012 · 126 views

I'll go into greater, more specific details re the purposes of this, which should be essentially self-explanatory, but for the moment I'd like to ask you guys a favor. I merely ask you to look at these two synopses I've drafted and elect your preference. Mix and match if you wish, share your thoughts, let me know if it's the type of synopsis that would entice you to read a book. Thanks!
 
 
A
 
Mockingbird was a drowsy town in rural Lancaster Pennsylvania, a place where nothing ever happened and nothing ever changed. It was a place where the farmers tilled their fields and milked their cows, and their troubles began with bad weather or ill livestock and ended at the local bar. That's what it was.
 
Now it's a town left ravaged by death. In the wake of the Great War, young veteran Pattrick Clayton has only begun to readjust to the tranquility of farm life when death intrudes once again. Madge Emig, beloved town gossip and Pattrick's own aunt, has died. As reluctant as the Claytons are to believe it, all signs point to suicide. Even while the already broken Clayton family grapples with this new grief, death strikes again, even closer to home. And this time there is no question: it's murder.
 
When Private Inquiry Agent Leo Westmacott arrives in town, duty calls him to dig strife up by the roots and restore peace to Mockingbird. Joined by his secretary and the eager Pattrick Clayton, he delves deeper into the lives and minds of the people, unearthing secrets and deceptions that prove even the lives of countryfolk may not be as simple as they appear.
 
A mystery novel that follows all the conventions of the detective fiction genre yet stands in a category all its own, The Second Death takes you on a tour in an era where times may have been different but people were not. Memorable characters will guide you along the way as you explore the roots of faith and fathom the shadowy regions of death to discover the secrets at the depths of the human psyche on a journey fraught with wit, wisdom, and mystery. 
 
 
B
 
When Pattrick Clayton's father died, he didn't know how life could go on. With the coming of the Great War he thought surely the world would stop spinning. When he came out of the army without the brother who had led him in, he wondered if there could ever be escape for him from the plague of death that pursued him at every turn.
 
Home again in tranquil Mockingbird, Pennsylvania, Pattrick has only begun to readjust to the tranquility of farm life. Slowly peace and happiness returns to his life. Normality begins to recover from the destruction left in the wake of death.
 
Then it strikes again. Pattrick hasn't been home a whole year when his aunt, beloved town gossip, is found dead. All signs point to suicide. The Claytons deny it, but nothing will stop people from talking and believing what they want. Before the Claytons can even begin to recover from this new grief, death strikes again, even closer to home. And this time there is no question: it's murder.
 
Retired Private Inquiry Agent Leo Westmacott arrives on the scene, an old family friend come to pay his respects. But duty is a hard thing to avoid. With the aid of his secretary and the eager Pattrick Clayton, now it's up to good old Uncle Leo to seek out the truth. The deeper in the lives and minds of the people he gets and the more secrets and deceptions he unearths, the more convinced he becomes that even the lives of countryfolk are not as innocent as they appear.
A mystery novel in the classic vein that stands in a category all its own, The Second Death will guide you through a tangle of death and lies on a tour fraught with unforgettable characters, incisive wit, piercing wisdom, and secrets that might just prove that there's more to your own heart than you even realize.
 
 

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Of Literary Sallies Both Foregoing and Ongoing of our Noble Writer-Errant

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Bibliophilism Oct 02 2012 · 223 views

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It started out slowly and gained speed as it went along, becoming an exciting tale of espionage. It follows the adventures of one Peter Gudge, whom I can describe as nothing more than a bum, as he by happenstance becomes a spy for big business in "American City" in an attempt to root out Communism.


I don't particularly care for the style of Mr. Sinclair, and though it is an interesting story, I personally cannot stand that knavish poltroon the writer calls his protagonist. If my words have not served enough already to sufficiently describe him, I will add to his squalor and pusillanimity that he is caddish, cavalier, greedy, and insufferably stupid.


I personally enjoyed the book for the reason that I was interested in reading of the Red Scare of 1917-1920. If that is your curiosity, this is a great read. If you have no regard for the subject, I suggest you withhold your regard from this novel.





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What do you get when you cross a yellow teddy bear with a bullet in the head? . . . You get A. A. Milne.


In the days before Winnie-the-Pooh, the creator of the iconic character of children's literature wrote a detective story of the most classical caliber. Written 1922, it followed all the rules and traditions of the genre--the rules, at least, of that particular period--in a most tasteful murder mystery.


He created a very pleasant character in his sleuth, Tony Gillingham, a sort of knight-errant in his own right. The mystery was clever but a little simple; but my greatest complaint is not toward the author, rather toward the time. This was written just before the dawn of the Golden Era, during a period when it was not altogether uncommon for a mystery to supply only one suspect who, lo and behold! turns out to be guilty. In spite of this, Milne successfully supplied us with a good twist at the end and a most entertaining and amusing read that makes the novel well worth reading.





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I don't want to tell you what it's about, because that would spoil part of the fun of reading it. The plot is intentionally left a mystery for some chapters and therefore I will tell you only that it centers around four children who, in passing a series of strange tests, are chosen for a special task.


In style, tone, and even some ways in story does the author much resemble Lemony Snicket. The difference, however, lies in that while Snicket was a cynical, melancholy drudge who wrote meaningless stories that ultimately left the reader wishing he hadn't read them, yet (in my case) mysteriously tempted to read them again; Stewart writes to the same level of plot complexity and characterization without the unexplained enigmas, profuse ambiguities, and pointless woes. There is, indeed, a happy, conclusive ending that left me very much sated and content and eager to read more.


I will observe, if it was not already rendered clear, that this is a children's book; yet if you feel that matters, I refer you to that literary genius, C.S Lewis: "No reader worth his or her salt trots along in obedience to a time-table."


For what audience a book was written cannot encumber my enjoyment of a very well-written tale.





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This is a classic story of love, music, mystery, adventure and a little madness. Not an uncommon thing in older works it starts out slowly with too great an emphasis on information, but soon picks up and brings us an exciting and heart-twisting tale about the Viscount Raoul de Chagny and the singer for whom his own heart croons dulcet ballads. I expected a mystery; but I got, and not to my disappointment, a very sweet romance.





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Have I not said before that this estimable woman is the only and only true Queen of Crime? Maybe I have not; but I affirm it now.


The goings-on at the Meadowbank girls' school were enough to keep me constantly turning pages, but when you integrate with surprising incongruity a revolution in a Middle Eastern country and the activities of British espionage, you get the type of imbroglio that makes Agatha Christie famous.


This, however, does not earn a rank, in my opinion, among her best novels. The ending--I will say nothing more!--disappointed me in some ways, though in others I was shocked and thoroughly satisfied by the brilliance of the authoress.


I shall merely say that any Agatha Christie is worth reading, and that you must judge the denouement in your own opinion.




Last but not least, the current quest upon which I have embarked:



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Most people--especially these days!--would look at a book of this length and this antiquity and suspect it of being dry and vapid. Especially after reading Phantom of the Opera, this is rather what I was inclined to expect.


But I have been proved very tidily wrong. Cervantes's language (as translated into ours) is brilliantly colorful, and though there are touches of blandness and prolix digression to his storytelling, he has a style so engaging, a mind so clever, and a story so well worth telling that it does not matter.


Ormbsy I have heard criticized on count of adhering too closely to the words of Cervantes. That is precisely what I wanted, and that is why I chose his translation over others, never mind its status of being the classic and most renowned.


As I write I have only worked my way up to the tenth or eleventh chapter. I am enjoying it eminently thus far, and I will give you my overall thoughts when the time comes that I have done with the novel.



Now let me tell you a little of the long-time desire I have had to read this book. I was first struck most starkly by this urge very near to a year ago, very probably in the early weeks of the month of September, if not the late ones of August. It has been a mere matter of procrastination that has kept me from its pages this long, and there would be no interest in the telling of that portion of the story. But for years, before I had ever even heard of the illustrious Don Quixote, I have had a high admiration for him. This esteem comes from those beautiful words immortalized for ever in the lyrics of To Dream the Impossible Dream. Since I first heard it the song has held a special place in my heart, and especially in the past year has it become a source of great inspiration to me. I have, in fact, used these words and this song as the base for two novellas: Stellar Quest and a piece of Neopets fan fiction, The Gestes of Donovan Kachote. No song has ever meant quite as much to me as this one; no words more than these--and I hope that, have you not heard the song before, that you will look it up now, and that the lyrics may touch you as they have touched me:


To dream the impossible dream

To fight the unbeatable foe

To bear with unbearable sorrow

To run where the brave dare not go


To right the unrightable wrong

To love pure and chaste from afar

To try when your arms are too weary

To reach the unreachable star . . .



Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Used Paperback Bookstore

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Bibliophilism Sep 13 2012 · 91 views

. . . It's a little slice of heaven secluded in an unassuming pocket of the world I never before ventured to.

I've lived in this town most of my life, and never been there. Now I'll never go to another bookstore.

My pickings:

By Agatha Christie:
They Came to Baghdad
The Blue Train Mystery
The Labors of Hercules
The Secret Adversary
The Secret of Chimneys
Murder at Hazelmoor
The Witness for the Prosecution and other stories
Cat Among the Pigeons
Curtain
And:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (because I wanted a personal copy)
Two-Minute Mystery Collection by Donald J. Sobol

After trading in some old P.D. James I despised, the total came to $9. Not too shabby!

On that note, I also owe you reviews of 100%, The Red House Mystery, and The Mysterious Benedict Society.

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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My Recent Reading Exploits

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Bibliophilism Aug 16 2012 · 78 views

Inanities aside, let's get on to things that really matter, huh?


. . . Books! Reviews for three I have recently read.



The Film Mystery by Arthur B. Reeve


Let me just say . . . yelch. Though it was a well-plotted mystery, the revelation and the solution itself were awful. And there's certainly nothing in his writing style, in its own right a bit hard to swallow at times, to make a bad mystery worth suffering. That's the first, and last, that I'll read of his novels. So I won't waste any more time talking further about the book.


I'm glad it was free on Kindle. :P




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Oh--my--pencil. I loved this novel! Nothing beats a good study in human nature, and this was, the good and the bad. It was a fascinating, intricately woven world, that little Maycomb, which shows that people are people in big city or small town. It reminds me of Miss Marple's St. Mary Mead.


One thing I enjoyed in particular was that it had no corporeal plot, and yet, it did. For one thing, we had one passing comment on the first page that drew us from the first to the last with an invisible string. And no matter what else went on throughout the story, the titular mockingbird was the centerpiece of the book. There we find a truly, truly fascinating character. I can't say too much without giving anything away, but I will say that that character is now one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. And the whole ending itself was wonderfully executed. The whole novel was worth reading, and yet those final two or three chapters were what made it impossibly beyond worthwhile.


I am the type of person who likes a tangibility in his stories, a structural integrity into which I can bite; this so wonderfully had a very powerful structure, yet none at all, which makes it an amazing magic-trick of penmanship.


My one complaint was her profusion of information dumps. Especially toward the beginning, Harper Lee left us intermittent mires of detail for us to wallow in. But the engaging way in which she laid down all this information provided a steppingstone path through the bog, which again leaves me wondering at her uncanny ability to make good into great, bad into good, and great into greater.


When I finished, I closed the book, sat down, stroked the cover, and murmured, "Wow. That was spectacular." Fully sated, I just relaxed there for maybe thirty minutes, savoring the flavor.


Definitely one of the better books I have ever read. And you're telling me this amazing woman only ever wrote one novel?




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If there's one author who deserves to succeed To Kill a Mockingbird, it's the illustrious Agatha Christie. It's hard to say which of her works are her best, because they all are. Hence, this was one of her best. Maybe better than that.


As is typical of her mysteries, and maybe most mysteries, it started out a little slow and I had trouble getting interested. But then the investigation starts and begins to pick up. Maybe that's what I like about mysteries; they start you out on ground level and then carry you to the top floor, and in Agatha Christie's case, through the roof on a lift akin to Willy Wonka's glass elevator.


Of course I can't say anything about the solution without spoiling an intricately woven imbroglio, but I can say that as usual my suspicions were entirely elsewhere when Agatha moved her finger toward the real criminal, and left me saying: "Of course! Of course! I should have seen it!" That's the most important quality of any mystery. It should seem obvious, it should seem you came close to solving it yourself, without anything of the kind being remotely true.


I can comment, of course, on characters. Agatha Christie always fills her mansions or, as in this case, villages with a colorful panoply of characters, from the hated, to the loved, to the hilarious. The Vicar was a pleasant character and he had a very sweet wife. Agatha's elderly women are always hilariously vexing, and Miss Marple's saving grace is that she's drop-dead ingenious.


While I highly recommend it, I caution you to find an edition from a different publisher. At least in this case, the errata were a few too many for my tastes.



Now I've started 100%: The Story of a Patriot, by Upton Sinclair. Not enthralling me thus far. I'll probably be putting it aside, now that I've gotten word back from most of my alpha readers, to read over my novel and begin revision. But when I get back to 100% and finish it, I'll let you know.


Until next time,


Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:







Dramatis Personae

Nuile

A young man with his feet on the ground and his head in the sky, and an inclination to implement the occasional headstand.



Nuile, Wordsmith

Penman of a number of BIONICLE and Neopets short stories, as well as three epics, based respectively on the aforementiond and Avatar: The Last Airbender. This writer has also penned a full-length mystery novel, a work in progress pending final revisions and publication.

More than that, the BZPower League of Authors was his brainchild, which he has developed into the Ambage with the help of Velox, Cederak and 55555. This refuge and practice arena for writers is open to all with a penchant for the literary arts.



Nuile, Bibliophile

For him to select a favorite book, or a favorite writer, would be impossible. But of the latter, he most admires Dame Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sinclair Lewis. Favorite books he includes in this chart:

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

The Moonstone (Collins)

Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the Clouds, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Clocks (Christie)

The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World (Doyle)

Out of the Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)

Free Air (Sinclair Lewis)

The Bat (Hopwood and Rinehart)

The Nine Tailors (Sayers)



Nuile, Cinéaste

This fellow thinks the world begins and ends with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Before its birth, however, he confesses that Sam Raimi and David Koepp's Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer's Batman Begins, the Indiana Jones series, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins were films more than worthy of watching.



Nuile, Television Viewer

The Dick Van Dyke Show by far surpasses any television show produced prior or hence. Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show are excellent series from a similar time frame. MacGyver is hard to beat. Diagnosis Murder, Monk and Murder, She Wrote are his favorite mystery series. In animation he most enjoys Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel; Batman: The Animated Series alongside Batman Beyond and The Batman; Phineas and Ferb, one of the most creatively funny cartoons he has ever seen.



Nuile, Cuisinier

Asian and Italian foods may be his enthusiasms, but he's not above a juicy burger or a spicy taco. As far as his own cooking, he oft gets more adventurous than his family appreciates, though when he behaves he can conjure a reason for your taste buds to celebrate. By far his favorite meal: Thanksgiving 2011, consisting of Paula Dean's Indian Succotash, Grean Bean Casserole, Orange Corn Bread, Bacon Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Coconut Biscuits, and Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes.



Nuile, Musicologist

He pleads guilty to sheer ignorance, unworthy even of being called an amateur in this department. But dramatic scores and profound lyrics top his charts. The Impossible Dream from The Man of La Mancha and I Can Go the Distance as performed by Michael Bolton are cited as his two favorite songs, amidst much of Celtic Thunder's work.



Nuile, Gamer

Disney's Epic Mickey, the Kingdom Hearts series, and the Pokémon series are the only video games he considers worthy of notation.



Nuile, Sportsman

As fast on his feet as he is between the ears, he enjoys games of muscle and of strategy. Physically, he likes most to play football; but nothing beats a game of chess in his book.

The Art of Writing

It is my belief that a writer should be above human emotions, desires, vices, flaws; a writer should be almost superhuman, something like a monk. However, like monks, this is not an attribute that comes naturally, rather an ability that must be worked at.

More tangibly, one of the most important characteristics a writer can possess is tenacity. An artist's life is never an easy one. An artist presents themself to the world, and ineluctably there will be critics alongside the fans. But anyone who knows real love won't let it be quelled by what others think. Never give up, never despond. So maybe nobody's perfect; I'm not, and I never will be. But an artist, like a monk, is one who always strives to improve her- or himself, who never ceases to reach for the unreachable. Every amelioration is an achievement. And every day a writer achieves something merely by writing, for every word written is a word toward amelioration. If you are good, you can always be better; if you are great, you can always be greater.

What matters most for writers is that they take pride in their own own work. Ultimately your biggest fan and your biggest critic is yourself, and that's who you have to please the most. No artist truly passionate about their art does what they do for someone's approval or just to get paid. At the heart of every artist is a person who does what they do because they love to do it. I'm an artist; I'm a writer. I don't stop trying to get better, I don't stop striving for perfection--but I enjoy every step of the amelioration process, I appreciate every improvement, and I am always happy with where I am, yet always be eager about where I'm going. Writing is a journey with no destination. Writing is a quest without end. Writing is spiritual nomadism.

And it's not easy. It's frought with difficulty, trouble, disappointment, and grief--but a journey without end gives its reward not in the destination but in every step of the path.

Yet I have not even touched upon just what a writer is; which is because a writer, simply put, is everything. A writer is an artist, but also a psychologist, and a logician, a philosopher, a scientist, an adventurer, an inventor, a politician, a magician, and multitudinous others. A writer is everything because they write about everything. "Write what you know"; that's not the rule I live by. "Know what you write," that's my creed. Writers know a little about everything, and everything about a little. And when they don't know . . . they read!

That's a writer's life. It's the kind of life I love. It's a wonderful gift. A writer's life is the kind of life I live and always will live. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

July 2014

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Quotations

"The problem with putting two and two together, is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two." - Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)

 
 


 
 

"Virtue is the truest nobility." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"We derive our vitality from our store of madness." - E. M. Ciran

 
 


 
 

"Cultivate a superiority to reason and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!" - Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

 
 


 
 

"Though knowledge and logic may not always steer you right, faith and wisdom will never fail." - Me, Stellar Quest

 
 

"I'm like an old golf ball--I've had all the white paint knocked off me long ago. Life can whack me about now and it can't leave a mark. But a sportin' risk, young fellah, that's the salt of existence. Then it's worth livin' again. We're all gettin' a deal too soft and dull and comfy. Give me the great wastelands and the wide spaces, with a gun in my fist and somethin' to look for that's worth findin'." - Lord John Roxton, The Lost World, (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

 
 


 


 
 
 

"Why does man create? Is it man's purpose on earth to express himself, to bring form to thought, and to discover meaning in experience? . . . Or is it just something to do when he's bored?" - Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Sometimes I think books are the only friends worth having." - Susie Derkins, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Mother Nature never shocks me." - Melvin Coolie
"It sure must've shocked your father and mother!" - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"Hey, I know what that is! That's one of those old creamation urns, they put the ashes inside." - Rob Petrie
"Ugh! I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those." - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"I wish I was one of those Danish doctors." - Rob Petrie
"How would that help?" - Laura Petrie
"Well, it wouldn't, except I'd be in Denmark instead of here." Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"What's the big deal? Lots of people have insomnia, and you don't see them losing any sleep over it!" - Grandpa, The Munsters

 
 


 
 

"Anyone who sees a psychiatrist ought to have their head examined!" - Darrin Stevens, Bewitched

 
 


 


[9:26:46 PM] Aimee: it is so adorable how authors have favorite authors
[9:27:25 PM] Andrew P: You're an author. You have favorite authors. =P
[9:27:39 PM] Aimee: yes and i get to talk to them on skype all day

- A Geste of the Ambage Chat
 

Awards

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Some random air-head decided to be pompous and condescending and "honor" me with his approbation. I guess there's a pride of some sort in being recognized by the mentally unsound. It makes me feel special--or weird, one of those two. Thanks, Tekulo!