5 Things I Learned By Failing.

I’m taking a little breather from Right Reader related stuff to talk about career planning.

Sort of.

When I got my first contract at 26, I had a goal.  I’d sell 100,000 copies, I thought.  That’d be a decent start.  Then I’d start really making some big numbers.

(If you’re not laughing now, you should be. Trust me.  100,000 copies is nuts, especially for a debut series romance author.)

Still, once I “made it” through the door, I was determined to hit the big leagues.

The one where I decide to become a bestseller.

I have been a fanatical plotter.  My career was no exception: I schemed and plotted that thing within an inch of its life.

I signed contracts for about two books a year. I looked for new markets, and hammered out proposals.  I hung out on email loops (this was pre-Facebook.)  I dropped a couple thousand on a website and business cards. I taught classes and spoke at conferences and established myself enough that I got quoted in papers like the Chicago Tribune and the Washington Post.

Yeah, I had a day job, but I didn’t have kids.  Besides, sleep was for losers.  I had a boatload of caffeine and the determination of… well,  a lemming, in retrospect.

Where life says: “LOL! Good one!”

Life intervened.  My plan — crafted desperately, rather than carefully — crumbled around me.

And about three years ago, I hit a death spiral.

Productivity was a laugh. Contracts went late. I ducked deadlines like dodge balls.

And new writing?  Not even with a gun to my head.

What I learned by failing.

1.  Know what it takes.

When I started, I had no real concept of the numbers it took to make a “bestseller” — or how the industry worked.  I didn’t understand how publishers sent books to booksellers, or what sell-through was and why I needed to care.  I certainly didn’t know I could go from selling 50,000 copies of one title to being left off a catalog the next.

Without understand what needed to be done, and what was in my control (and what wasn’t), all my efforts were like trying to light a fire in the ocean.  It wasn’t for lack of persistence… it was just sheer stupidity.

2.  Know what I’m good at (and what I’m not.)

And we’re back to the Hedgehog.

My world got rocked, and not in the good way, due to circumstances that had nothing to do with my writing.  For me, writing was no longer a sideline dream — it was a bill-payer. And I had a new little human that had expenses.

I actually went to one of my editors and said: “I will write about anything.  I will write about lesbian crack-addicted nuns.  Tell me what the hole is in your list, and I will write it.”

(Yes, I said that.  Verbatim.)

Thanks to this little jaunt into creative problem-solving, I learned that  I can come up with plot ideas all day long.  Doesn’t mean I can write them… which really sucks to discover after I’ve signed the contract on a paragraph proposal, with a seven-month delivery.

I’ve also learned erotica is a very precise art form, and while I admire those that can write it, I’m not in their ranks.

Basically, if I want to sell a lot… I can’t sell out.  Period.

3.  Know my limits.

You know how you can pull all-nighters when you’re twenty, and suddenly you’re thirty-four and something comes up and you think, “I’ll just stay up all night?” Remember how wretched you felt — and how surprised?

I’ve learned that if I’m unhappy, tired, frustrated, or going through cataclysmic life changes — surprise!  It’s incredibly difficult to write!

I know I can’t write the way I used to, in tsunami-styled waves of words.  That said, this “defect” has helped me develop a neat thing called craft.  Like an athlete that discovers natural talent only gets you so far (and seems to decrease as you get older), I am discovering the beauty of developing my skills beyond hotdogging.

4.  Hold the dream, but make the plan.

There’s this Persian saying:  “Trust in God — and tie your camel.”

I was too into the “tying your camel” bit early in my career, admittedly.  In fact, I nearly strangled the thing.

Then, in the dark days of write-for-hire, I sort of abandoned the camel altogether.

I’ve learned the happy medium.  In order to rock my writing, I need to stay connected to why I write — what I do best, what I love.  And then I’ve got to plug into what I want, and how to get there.  What’s in my control (learning, attitude, craft) and what isn’t (the market, editors, readers, sales.)

Most of all, have a smart, achievable goal.  Build gradually, and track progress.  See what’s working and what isn’t.

I am still planning on being a publishing success.

My definition’s changed somewhat — and I’m open to it looking different than my assumptions.

More importantly, I have every intention of sharing my hope, experience, and knowledge with other writers who are muddling through the journey, with nothing but a dream and a plan that isn’t working.

That’s why I started Rock Your Writing.   Because that’s the last thing I learned:

5.  Everyone writes alone.  No one succeeds that way.

In fact, maybe I should’ve opened with that lesson.  It was one of the hardest, strangely enough.

But it’s definitely the most important.

What about you?  What have you learned by “failing,” or not succeeding quite yet, or succeeding and having it look nothing like you expected?

If you liked this, please re-tweet!


How to Profile Your Target Audience, Part 3: Tools & Tricks

I was going to write the case study out, but it looks like this post is going to run long as it is, so I’m going to just show you my weird process, then show you how I walked through it with my guinea pig next time.

I’m still streamlining and refining the process, but this ought to give you an idea, as well as show you some neat tricks & tools to find your Right Reader and where she “lives,” as it were.

The Questions.

Here are the questions I ask when I’m stalking a Right Reader:

1.  What genre/subgenre do you feel your work fits into?  (If you feel you’re a genre-jumper, or genre-straddler, think of two places in a bookstore where it might be shelved.)

2.  What authors do you feel are similar?  Note:  these should be authors you recognize and like.

3.  What theme(s) do you address in your novels?

4.  What do you think makes your work unique in your genre?

5.  What do you think will satisfy readers in this genre?  What’s similar to other genre books in your books?  What conventions do you uphold that you feel your reader will appreciate?  (This will help reassure you that you’re in the right genre, incidentally!)

6.  If you were pitching this to an editor, what would be your “hook”?

7.  How old is your protagonist, generally (range)?

8.  Do your stories generally take place in one geographic location?  (I.E., Stephen King’s Castle Rock, Jim Butcher’s Chicago, Jennifer Crusie’s Ohio.)

9.  Do you already have hints of who you suspect your Right Reader will be?  What do you feel connects you to your Right Reader?  (What do you have in common?

These are not easy questions.  They’ll take some time, and some thought.  But they are important.

Who loves what I’ve got? And what else do they love?

Look at your answer to #4:  what makes your work unique.

This is probably the hardest question in the lot, for obvious reasons.  People have a hard time identifying what makes their work special, either out of a sense of modesty or genuine lack of perspective because they’re simply too close to it. Again, you could always ask friends what they think makes your work… well, work.

Once you isolate the Hedgehog (hee), you’re going to ask yourself:  what sort of person likes this in a book, generally speaking?  What’s similar to this quality in other things they might enjoy?

Let’s say you write murder mysteries. You write a series involving an amateur sleuth that works at a funeral home: that’s your hook.  You’re also pretty funny about it.  Right there, that tells me you’re targeting readers that like Black Comedies.  Extrapolate out:  they might also like movies like The Last Supper, or Harold & Maude, or they might have enjoyed the television series Six Feet Under or even Pushing Daisies. Depending on your level of macabre, you could include Dexter in there, either the television show or the Darkly Dreaming Dexter mystery series.

Category romance:  you always write steamy stories for one particular line, involving contemporary cowboys of one sort or another. We assume your Right Reader is hooked on this.  So what else might she like?  The television series Deadwood or Justified, maybe.  She might read Larry McMurty.  She might read Diana Palmer.  Maybe it’s more the credo:  she might like anything with a high moral code and a kick ass hero. There are plenty of authors, movies, t.v. series and films that use that:  anything from Stephen King to King Arthur.

“Wait!  I don’t know any of these things!  How can I profile my Right Reader if I don’t know popular culture?”

First, deep breath.  🙂

Second, look at what you like.  Your Right Reader is not exactly like you, but she’s not a complete stranger, either.  Odds are good you guys have plenty of stuff in common.  Remember what I said in the last post, about your Right Reader being someone you’d like to hang out with?  Well, you like your book, right?  And it was influenced by something, yes?  So work from that.  Assume your Right Reader would be interested in something that influenced what makes your book special.

Third… there are tools & techniques to help you figure some of this out.

The Tricks.

1.  Netflix.

If you go to the Netflix website, they have all their movies separated by genre:  action/adventure, dramas, romance, etc.  If you click on a genre, and then look down the right hand column, you’ll see their sub-genres:  action comedy, martial arts, comic book, spy action, and that’s just for action/adventure.  You’ll be able to find things that are similar to something you’ve identified, to sort of flesh it out.

2.  Amazon Advanced Search.

This is incredibly useful for a number of things, I’m discovering.  Put the hook in the keywords.  Taking the funeral home mystery, I did a search on keywords black comedy and funeral home, and I chose “mystery & thrillers” under the subject.  No books showed up. (So mystery writers — here’s your chance!  Field’s wide open!)  However, two British movies did show up:  Death at a Funeral and Keeping Mum.  Something to think of for later.  Next, I went back and took funeral home out, leaving just black comedy.  That came back with 35 book results.  I’m not saying that your Right Reader will have heard of all of these, but if you glance over the list, you might see some familiar titles to add to your profile.

(The other plus?  Both of these “tricks” will at the very least show you cool stuff that you’ll probably enjoy.  So that’s something, right? 🙂 )

3.  Gnooks.

I love this site.  Once you get a sense of what writer is similar to you (or you’d like to be similar to), you can look up that author’s name, and get a “map” of authors that are similar to him or her.  Feel your writing is similar to David Eddings?  Bam!  Look who else comes up in their visual web of similar authors!

“Remind me why I care about any of this?”

Stay with me. 🙂

You can go back to the earlier posts, part 1 and part 2, that talk about why I think it’s important to have a sense of your Right Reader.  But basically, all of this is for one thing, and one thing only:

Learning how to talk to your reader when you’re not communicating through your books.

All books are a form of communication.  You’re sharing a story, as well as a world-view, a theme, an experience.  When you’re not telling stories, they’re going to want to feel a sense of connection to you.  It will help if you have a sense of who “they” are.  Not all of them — you’ve got a finite brain, after all, and you’ll probably want to sleep at some point — but the ones who are the closest to you and your work.

If nothing else, you’ll never wonder “what the hell am I going to blog about?” again.

If you found this helpful, please re-tweet. 😀


How to Profile Your Target Audience, Part 2: Hedgehog Hunting

A lot of people seemed to respond to my initial post on how to profile your target audience, so today we’re going to continue in that vein.

Missing: One Hedgehog.

The stumbling block seemed to largely be figuring out what’s special about your story, or what I call your Hedgehog.

I remember working with an author who, when I asked “what’s special about your story? What makes it unique?” then answered:

“It’s a category romance. How unique does it need to be?”

Make no mistake: she loved category romance, and it wasn’t an intentional insult. In fact, if anything, it was a recognition of the sort of mental trap writing genre fiction can do for promotion.

You think “hell, I write Regency Romance/cozy mystery/vampire urban fiction.  I love my stories, but there are a billion of them out there.  I’m just going to put it out there, hope readers realize that they love my voice, and tell their friends.”

It’s more than your voice.

Yes, your voice is going to set you apart. But it can’t be the only thing.

Let’s look at the current everybody’s-writing-one genre: vampire fiction.

You’ve got your Twilight, your True Blood, your J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Hot and sparkling and the whole damned gamut.  All of them deal with the same thing: vampires.  But you’ll notice each of them have their own signature.

Twilight is young adult, to start.  Then again, so is P.C. Cast’s House of Night series.  Different settings: different mythologies.  Definitely a different feel and different treatment.

Charlaine Harris has written a series of vampire mysteries, basically.  J.R. Ward has written an urban fantasy romance series with plenty o’ steam and a wild mix of aristocracy and ghetto fabulousness.  (If you read her, give me a “true dat!”)

My point is:  there is always something different. It’s never just “voice.”

Start with your genre/sub-genre.

What story are you writing?  If you were only allowed to shelve it in one section of a bookstore, where do you think it would most likely sell?

This will at least give you an idea of what you’re differentiating from, and where your Right Reader most often hangs out.  Granted, your Right Reader probably wanders around a bookstore or browses through online store categories, but there’s one place that’s going to be a comfort read.  You want your book to live there.

Also, you want to be able to use the shorthand of genre to describe what you’ve written, then add your twist.  “I’ve written an Urban Fantasy about demons (the genre/subgenre), where a spunky secretary discovers she’s just signed on to help her boss kill thirteen people to get back his soul (the hook/differentiator.)”

Don’t worry — we’ll talk about hooks, twists and differentiators in a second.

What book or series is it most similar to?

Unless you’re Chuck Palahniuk, do not tell me “it’s different than everything.” (If you are Chuck Palahniuk… well, then. Do whatever the hell you want, obviously. <g>)

If you’re writing genre fiction, you’ve got certain conventions that you have to maintain simply to provide the reader with a satisfactory experience.  When I read a romance, I want a happy ending, damn it.  When I read a mystery, I want a corpse, not a misunderstanding.

I don’t care how brilliant a writer someone is, if she sets me up and then plays me, that book’s hitting the wall, then the donation box.

Once you know who you’re similar to as far as voice and subject matter, you’ve again got a frame of reference.

One of these things is not like the others…

I’d say, read a lot of things in your genre/subgenre.  Especially look at the bestsellers… they’re there for a reason, and odds are good your Right Reader has read them.

What are the conventions and stereotypes of the genre?

Vampires — blood sucking, sexy sophisticates,  sleep-all-day-party-all-night.  Dracula.

Fantasy — sword & sorcery, wizards, powerful person somehow in disguise, band of companions, quest.

Cozy mystery — small towns, amateur sleuth, gossipy communities, kitschy gimmick

Now look at what you’re doing.  You’re going to want similarities — again, don’t want to completely spin out of genre orbit — but you’re looking for what makes you different.

Let’s take my original one:  category romance.  You’re writing not only for a fairly standard genre, but you’re writing for a very narrow niche where there are strict interpretations.  You may not even think you need to come up with an angle — the books sell themselves.

They might — but they don’t sell you.  And the most important reason for finding your Right Reader, and emphasizing your differences?

To get them to notice your writing.  And, you know, want more of it.

So you look at what’s standard, what’s expected.  Let’s say you’re writing for a “hot” series line.  Looking it over, you see lots of Alpha males, high-powered professions perhaps, or conversely heroic ones (firefighter, Navy seal, etc.)  You see sassy women.  Since heat is a key, the scenarios tend towards couples thrown together, or agreeing to brief flings only to discover they’re stuck for whatever reason for an entire novel.

Ideally, you’re going to twist one element. You’re going to take one stereotypical standard, and tweak it so the reader is surprised… and intrigued.

Most important: focus on what you love. Why you wrote the story.

If you’re writing more of a conventional story, don’t despair.  Instead, pour even more love into what you originally wrote the story about.

If you wrote a story because you love the idea of a wounded hero, perhaps a veteran returned from the war who falls in love with his at-home nurse… you go with that.  Yes, it’s a familiar trope.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful, and shouldn’t be emphasized. And that’s definitely what you want your Right Reader to appreciate.  So how better to connect with him or her than to put that out front?

Hopefully, in all these questions, your Hedgehog is going to amble out and say hello.

Trust that there’s something unique in your work.  If you don’t believe it, no one else will.

In the next post in this series…

The final part of the series, next week, will show you some ways to piggyback on greatness when it comes to profiling your target audience.

If you found this helpful, please re-tweet on Twitter, or “like” on Facebook (you can even use the handy-dandy little boxes, below, where it says “share the knowledge!”)


How To Profile Your Target Audience, Part 1

How to Profile Your Target Audience.Jim Butcher is the kick-ass, brilliant author of the Urban Fantasy mystery series The Dresden Files.  He’s got a number of unique qualities in his writing (as well as a plotting acumen that I frankly bow at the altar of) but I’d say his Hedgehog (or unique “thing”) is his world-building, and his “Buffy Noir” voice, as well as the twist of  a supernatural flatfoot roaming the streets of Chicago like it was its own character.

So who might like this?


I’d guess his Right Reader is male, probably between late twenties and early fifties, who likes Star Wars, D&D, Magic: the Gathering.

His Right Reader watches comic book movies like Thor and Green Lantern; he also likes The Adjustment Bureau and Inception.  Watches SyFy channel, probably stuff like CSI or Criminal Minds.  Probably reads a lot of blogs and is very tech-savvy.  Quite possibly plays World of Warcraft and owns several gaming platforms.

Now notice:  I largely don’t fit this profile, and I am a huge Jim Butcher fan.  I am a walking infomercial for the Dresden File series.

So why do I draw the profile this way?

Because these are people who are most likely to connect to it just from hearing about it.  They’ll read the back cover blurb, they’ll see the storyline, they’ll read the first page or two.  They’ll be in that section of the bookstore.  Or they’ll be lurking on the sites that might discuss it.

Also: they are the most likely to be very vocal about their enjoyment.  Furthermore, their network is most likely to be receptive to hearing about it.

I spread the word, too, but my network isn’t primarily paranormal/urban fiction, so the odds of it spreading are half of what his Right Reader would be.

How did I do that?

1. Start with gender.

Romance skews heavily female.  Sci-fi/fantasy written by men still skews male, even if fiction readers in general favor women.  With stuff like legal drama or police procedurals, it’ll depend on some other factors, like what gender your protagonist is.

Odds are good you’re writing for your own gender, and odds are equally good your publisher thinks the same way.  If you’re a woman and they’re asking you to change to initials, odds are good they’re trying to attract male readers, btw… they know women will find you anyway, and men might be more put off by “Jane Writer” than “J.B. Writer.”

2.  Look at age range.

Jim Butcher’s main character is in his thirties… young thirties, at that.  I’d use that as an initial, and then expand the range to about a twenty-five year spread.

I don’t worry too much about age, but it helps to round out your profile.  (I find I picture my Right Reader at about my age, or the age of my character.)

3.  Look at what makes the story special.

Harry Dresden, the protagonist, is a flatfoot Wizard who solves crimes and saves the world with a tongue in cheek elan.  That said, he also uses lots of Star Wars references, plays Dungeons & Dragons-styled games with his friends, and basically lives like a poor college student.  He’s funny as hell. All these details flavor his character and separate it from other Urban Fiction Noir out there.

4.  Look at who would most appreciate what makes the story special.

Star Wars fans, obviously.  People who go to the ComicCon.  D&D enthusiasts.  The short-lived show based on the series was on SyFy, so that was a slam-dunk.

I guessed on the TV shows, but there is a strong mystery element, as well as humor, in the series… and you get involved with the characters’ personal lives, as well.  That’s where Criminal Minds and CSI tie in: the Dresden series isn’t a light, cozy mystery, or a romance where the mystery element is almost secondary.

(For those cozy sort of stories, I imagine you’d see more fans of Castle or Bones.  This isn’t knocking them — it’s just that the forensic “look, a dismembered arm” factor is downplayed in those, and the humor and romance is turned up.)

5.  Picture someone you could imagine hanging out with.

This is crucial. If you don’t actually like your Right Reader, or don’t see anything in common with her… you’ve got the Wrong Reader.

This is an art more than a science. There’s no real penalty if you get it wrong, other than missed sales. (Which, admittedly, is painful enough.)

Most writers I know sort of flounder with their promotion, going for every audience possible, like shooting buckshot and seeing what falls.  Of course, sometimes they’re simply shooting in an empty field, and sometimes they don’t have a lot of money for ammo, but they try their damnedest.

(I need new, non-violent metaphors!)

In the next post in this series…

I’ll give you some hints and cheats on fleshing out your Right Reader profile.

If you found this helpful, please re-tweet on Twitter, or “like” on Facebook (you can even use the handy-dandy little boxes, below, where it says “share the knowledge!”)


Right Reader, Revisited.

don't be vanillaPreviously, I’ve covered the concept of having a Right Reader.  Recently, on another blog by a lovely indie author who would prefer to remain nameless, she mentioned she was baffled by the idea.  Other commenters on her blog pointed out that they, too were stumped when it came to identifying their target market and right reader.

(I’m serious re: the lovely blogger, btw — she’s a great writer, and a fun blogger, and I’m glad I found her site.  And if she doesn’t mind me linking at some point, I will.)

Because of her post, I realized that I hadn’t communicated the concept clearly enough.  So I thought I’d expand a little.

Your writing comes before your Right Reader.

The Right Reader concept isn’t really about your writing.  It’s about your promotion.

You’re not looking for some ideal Right Reader, and then writing what you think she will want to read.  Absolutely not.

You’re going to look at what you write.  Look at what sets you apart, makes your stories different and special.  If you’re business-inclined, they call this your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition.

Personally, I call it your “Hedgehog” or your Thing, mostly because USP sounds like a tech issue.

Once you recognize what makes your writing special, you can start to visualize what reader is searching for just that.

I am not saying this is easier, mind you.  But this is how it works.  Write first.  Then think about who your reader is, through the lens of your writing.

The Right Reader is not your only audience.

In Japanese slang, there is a word, otaku, that refers to a super-fan: someone who is obsessively interested in a form of entertainment. (In American, it’s similar to geek, which I love but which can have negative connotations.)

Your Right Reader is your otaku.  She puts you on auto-buy.  She reads your blog, and makes comments.  She reviews you positively on Amazon and Goodreads.  When you’ve got a release out, she puts out happy “squeee!!!” posts on her Facebook page.

She doesn’t go so far as to stalk you, but she is thrilled to meet you at conferences, a fact that stuns you.

When you write anything that could be considered “marketing” you’re going to be writing with her in mind.  Why?  Because other people who might enjoy your book are not going to spread the word.  They’re not otaku.

You’re not reducing your readership by identifying your Right Reader.

Let’s say you hate vanilla ice cream. Really can’t stand it. For no good reason.  You love vanilla pudding, love vanilla lattes… it’s weird.  But there it is.

You’ve written a book about a woman who works in a restaurant.  To tie in, you decide to blog about desserts.

You’re considering writing about the fact that you hate vanilla ice cream, because it’s quirky and weird, and very you.

Then you think: well, there are readers out there who love vanilla.  And they might like your book.

Come to think of it, there might be people who aren’t really crazy about desserts in general.  But you’ve had people who were anti-dessert and still read your novel, and they liked it.  So you don’t necessarily want them to feel left out.

And hey, there are some people who never ever go out to eat.  But they liked your writing, and they’d probably relate to your character, you know, in general.

So you procrastinate on blogging. For, like, months.  Or you wind up blogging about something utterly generic, like “wow, I’ve been really busy” with the assumption that 90% of the world is busy.  You’re trying to offend no one, and identify with everyone.

Pleasing everyone = pleasing no one.

The idea behind promotion is to generate awareness of something you’ve created.  But more importantly, it’s meant to attract the attention of those people most likely to want it.

Why? Because they will appreciate it.  They will buy it.  And being honest, yes, you do want to sell copies, and promotion helps with that.

You’ve done something of value, and you deserve compensation… and that’s a whole separate blog post, so I’ll hold off on that until next time.

If you try to attract every single person who might enjoy your book, you’re casting your net too wide.  You’re not going to attract anyone.

It’s like yelling “hey, you!” at the train station:  people will glance at you for a minute, especially if you’re really loud, but once they realize they don’t know you, they figure you couldn’t possibly be calling to them and they keep on moving.

Be controversial simply by taking a stand.

I like promotion and marketing.  I do not believe in evil, self-serving, and most of all tacky and stupid promotion… but I also don’t believe that if you write it, they will come.

Whether you do the footwork, or someone does it for you, good books don’t simply pop out into the ether and spread into the popular consciousness like the plague.

I believe that you are trying to sell your damned books.  Yes, I believe in the art.  I love storytelling. If I were independently wealthy — like Oprah dollars, y’all — I would still write to exorcise the voices in my head.

But I am in this as a business, and I handle my business.

Some people may find this appalling.  They may feel that I am a vulgar, used-car-salesman styled snakeoil purveyor, pushing crappy product.  They may dislike me because I occasionally curse, I seem to hate vanilla ice cream, and apparently I mock  Jessica Fletcher.

They may think that I’m crass, uber-commercial, and probably a loser.

You know what?

Not my Right Reader.  So, consequently, not keeping me up nights.

Doesn’t mean I hate them: I don’t.  Why would I?  Haters can  call me a Volkswagon all day long.  Doesn’t mean I have to sleep in the garage tonight.  To coin a phrase:   their opinion of me is none of my damned business.

If I wrote to please them, or at least not offend them, I would be ignoring my strengths and doing my Right Readers and myself a grave disservice.

Now, my Right Reader is another story.

If I’m upsetting her, or not getting through, then I care a great deal.  All my newsletters, all my blog posts, all my tweets and status updates, are written with her subconsciously in mind.

Like Jiminy Cricket, she keeps me on the path to what I really believe in, and encourages me to stay true to my voice.

I’ll be writing more on why I “profile” my Right Reader the way I do, and how to help you determine yours.  I may even take a few volunteers and give a profile, if anyone’s interested.

But the biggest takeaway, I think, is that your Right Reader is a reflection of the best of your writing. Why the hell wouldn’t you identify that?

Please re-tweet this, and spread the word — I’d love to hear the rebuttal, or if there are any other things that aren’t clear.

And thank you, Right Readers out there.  Seriously.  You know who you are — and I wouldn’t be here without you.