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{August 17, 2011}   Endings and beginnings

After a week of career and job hunting advice, the Publishing Institute ended…

…almost two weeks ago. Our last day was the fifth. I realize it’s taken me a very long time to polish off my education stories here. Part of me thinks that’s because if I don’t write a final blog post, it won’t really be over. Writing this post has the sense of finality to it. I am done with school. All of it.

It’s kind of a frightening thought.

I now have to start looking for a job. On the plus side, I interviewed with a magazine company during one of the last days and was called back for a second interview. I’ll find out soon whether or not I got the internship. I also have another interview lined up for Tuesday. I’m trying to move out of my mom’s house, not that I don’t love my mother, but it’ll be hard if I don’t have paying jobs/internships. So right now, my life is very up in the air. I have to wait to hear back from one place before I know how much I can work for the other and I need to wait for both of them before I figure out if I’ll be able to afford moving out.

While I figure out this employment thing, I’ll be reading the books that have made my list in the last few months after the Institute and working with a publisher. The list is varied and includes titles from many genres. Maybe I’ll be able to promote a living as a book blogger…right.

Current books I’m reading are The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and LA Mental.Listening to A Clash of Kings.

Go.

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{August 1, 2011}   One week left

And then, dear reader, I will be all alone again. Well, maybe not, that seems a little melodramatic. I just have no idea what I’ll be doing after this week is over. Will my new friends pack up and head to New York? Will I be able to find some sort of job in the Colorado area? It’s all a little up in the air, and I don’t like that.

I accidentally had that last post as a draft, so now there’s two updates on the same day about totally different days.

Last week ended on a brilliant note: free books. Some of the presenters occasionally bring books that are raffled to the students. I’d missed three raffles, stupid randomization technology, but go the fourth, a brilliant book of protest songs. Haven’t sunk my teeth into it yet, but it looks promising. 33 Revolutions Per Minute. According to my father, 33 1/3 is the speed LPs ran at. At least, that’s what I think he said. I forget the units on that, but 33 is an important number.

Our marketing presenter also brought more books than raffle books, and we all walked away with a giant stack of ARCs and, in a few rare cases, fully published books. Some of the ARCs I scored are already published: a copy of Lauren Myracle’s Shine and 33 Revolutions. One’s set for September, another for October. It’s fantastic to actually be filling up this bookshelf here. I only unpacked one box of books because I’m working through the Redwall series and that box had those books in it. The box didn’t have too many books in it, so there was lots of empty space. No more!! In fact, I think I even ran out of room to put back the book I had already borrowed from my shelf. Oh dear.

I was sad to see marketing end; it was a fantastic lecture series and our week-long presenter was such a fabulous guy. I’m really going to miss him. This next week is a hodgepodge of things, including interviews and the legal lecture. That one I’m actually super excited for: I think copyright is fascinating.

Also at the end of last week, we visited Fulcrum Publishing in Golden. They do some terrific nonfiction, and we got to talk to each of the departments (editorial, marketing, design and production, and administration). Though I’m not big into nonfiction, though I need to change that, I think that would be a cool place to work. It’s a small press, only about 20 employees, and I like small presses.

Welp, tomorrow is independent publisher day. We were supposed to create a book pitch over the weekend, and we get to toss our ideas at the publishing house of our choice. It’s only a little intimidating.



{August 1, 2011}   Up a Notch

OK, I think I need to try something different. This whole one-day-at-a-time approach is, quite frankly, a little stressful for me and somewhat boring to read. I go back through my old posts and I don’t even want  to read them. So we’re tossing that out the window. In it’s place…I’m not sure.

Editing is over. Last workshop for it was on Friday, and I wasn’t sorry to see it go. I like editing, but I’m excited to be moving on to the marketing segment of the Institute. I’m actually rather interested in this part, even if I don’t end up in marketing for the rest of my life, because it’s interesting to compare the marketing strategies of a large house, like HarperCollins, to those of a small press, like the one I worked for before this. I recognize a lot of what he said, but at the same time, some of the things he talks about couldn’t be done where I was. A big house has a lot more clout than a small one, so his blithe comments on getting books and authors onto The Today Show, NPR, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and other such shows were almost unfathomable to me. Fancy packaging is also something a little out of reach for where I was, though I think stickers worked well in that capacity.

It does feel good to be one of the few people in the room with a foreknowledge of this, though. I got lucky with my internships and jobs and landed in marketing. Other people landed in editing and had an edge over the rest of us during that week. And some people will be better at some aspects than others and that’s natural.

Marketing should be fun, though. We’re in groups of ten and each person has a different book to come up with a marketing campaign for. My book is the book I’d hoped to get (and I’ll plug it shamelessly here once it actually gets through publication next year), so I should have a fun time coming up with interesting ideas to market the book in unique and crazy ways. Maybe not too crazy.

That’s all for now!



{July 21, 2011}   Editing woes

A single day post? Yes indeed!

Wednesday started with the editing workshop like most days have recently. We were given a little time to work quietly on our homework while the two professional editors running the workshop circulated to answer any thorny editing questions we may have. I felt pretty good about my edit, though I worried that maybe I hadn’t edited it enough for their tastes. But I left it because I thought it conveyed what the author was trying to say (at least in my mind and my limited understanding of the rest of the book, which is to say zero). The editor conducting this part of the workshop disagreed. We go through the “answer” key once we turn in our homework to show us what we probably should have done. I understand this and I like it. However, what I do not like is being shut down by an editor who thinks that the way he edited a passage is the correct way and the students’ differing opinions are not right. I do not raise my hand in a class unless I really have something to say. I raised my hand yesterday. My point was listened to, vaguely, and then thrown out the window as “no, that’s not what the author is really going for.”

I left the room annoyed at editing and annoyed at the editor. My colleagues and I are part of the next generation of editors. Shouldn’t our thoughts be considered and given due weight? Yes, we’re not professionals yet, but we’re being educated at a grad level and that should count for something. You’d think.

I sat with my friends and the religious publisher speaker slated for the afternoon at lunch. He was amusing and interesting, happy to talk to a bunch of young girls about publishing and how to make a lasting impression on people you interview with.

The editor, publisher, and founder of 5280 came to talk to us about magazine publishing. Yay for a free copy of the magazine! I also went up to talk to him afterward and got a good contact for sending books for review to. Yay for networking!

The religious publisher told us what it’s like to work in religious publishing, how it’s more than Christian publishing though that is a part of it, and some funny stories about his time in the business. It’s not for me because I’m not crazy into religions, which he says it’d be good if you were, but it’s always good to get a thorough education, as I mentioned last entry.

And then I hung out with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and did some homework. Yep, that’s my life. School and homework.



{July 20, 2011}  

It must be in my blood: I loved taking a field trip to Frederic Printing. Watching all of the machines suck down paper at incredible rates and seeing the finished (well, almost finished) product come out the other end was exhilarating. I walked around that whole place with my mouth open, staring shamelessly at everything pointed out to us and some things that weren’t.

In Dallas, my dad’s mom’s side of the family owns a printing company. I’ve toured it a couple times, but it’s been years since I was there and I don’t remember to much about it. I do have notepads from my visits, though, lots and lots of notepads with “Millet the Printer” on the bottom of the page. I’m sure this influenced my decision to go into publishing in some way. Some small nut in my brain started turning when I toured my family’s company and hatched, ‘scuse me, cracked, later on down the road after I beat it with enough books.

Along with the printing field trip (a newly added field trip at the Institute, and I’m glad they added it when I got there!), Monday had the design workshop. A graphic designer, from Fort Collins even (!), came in and showed us a little bit of the process from book jacket idea to finished jacket. She talked about what the editor likes and what she likes, how they differ, and what she does to resolve that. She even spoke a little about magazine design and how she redesigned Women’s Adventure when the old designer left. I would have liked to see a demonstration of how she works with the software to create a cover, but I understand that it would have taken way more time than we had to give her.

Monday also featured a lecture on digital production. Though filled with fascinating content (I’m sure it was), the presenter just couldn’t get my attention. He talked about how a digital product is made, specifically reference books like encyclopedias since that’s what his company does, the steps it goes through from concept to finished digital product. Though I should have figured it by now, it depressed me to learn that a lot of the work that goes into a product like that is outsourced. They have offshore full-service vendors they send their products to to be edited and worked on because it’s cheaper. I think they make enough money that they don’t need to worry about that, but then again, I’m not their accountant.

Monday night was baseball night. I went to Coors Field with seventeen other people, sat up in the third deck and cheered the Rockies on to a sad defeat. But it was fun, I talked with some people I haven’t talked to yet, and had a wonderful sense of pride because I’ve spent most of my life around here and could direct everyone from the light rail to the field. I was asked by several people who to root for on the Rockies. I felt like a sort of expert. (Thank you, sweetie.)

Tuesday was a good day. Not really because I completely enjoyed the presentations (which I didn’t). Though I find it a little sad when I don’t enjoy a presentation, either because the speaker isn’t a good speaker or because the presentation is on something I’ve no interest in, it’s also somewhat of a good thing. Lectures I’m not interested in give me another filter for when I’m exploring the world of job hunting. I’m narrowing down what I’d be interested in doing later in life. I had an idea when I came to the Institute, but I opened up my options when I started here and now I’m closing them down again. I’m also learning a whole lot about the publishing industry, even through those presentations that aren’t quite riveting. It’s a good thing.

I was able to read a little in one of my fun books and watch a movie with my mom and sister Tuesday night. Those are rare occurrences, and I’m quite happy I was able to swing that. Huzzah for homework that doesn’t take five hours.

And now I head to another fun-filled day.



{July 18, 2011}   Catching up

See, the thing about this whole school business is I don’t have much time outside of it to do much of anything. Which is why this post is so late. To sum up:

Wednesday–My dislike of committees was deepened just a little more. The second half of this day was devoted to university presses and scholarly publishing. We’d been given two proposals to read before coming to class and got funneled into groups after a short lecture to go discuss whether or not we, as a university press editorial board, would acquire the manuscript. The unfortunate thing about most committees, I’ve found, is the distinct lack of multiple voices. A couple dominant personalities take over, interrupt others, and generally steer the meeting toward the outcome they’d like to see. It may not be intentional, that might just be the way they are, but it’s frustrating for people like me, non-dominant personalities who then sit in the corner doodling in their notes.

On the bright side, university press publishing does sound somewhat interesting, and there’s one in Boulder, so that would be a job path that would keep me in Colorado. Which is, after all, what I’d really like.

The first half of Wednesday we had two lecturers, both freelance editors. Listening to them talk over the last few days, I’ve come to appreciate what an intense job editing really is. (Actually, I don’t think there’s a job in publishing that isn’t intense.) Being an editor means a lot of nights and weekends work because manuscript reading doesn’t occur during business hours. Though I think it would be fabulous to have that much to read and engage with, I think I’d also like some time to spend with the boyfriend.

Thursday–By this time, I was super excited that the two people I’d met earlier in the week were continuing to hang out with me. I walk into the lecture room at the beginning of the day and know that, if I’m the first one there, two other people will soon join me. I know it’s kind of sad, but it’s a huge accomplishment for me to have even two people to talk to because it means I went somewhat out of my way to talk to them, to interact with them, and they didn’t run away. I’m always afraid of people running away; it’s happened before.

On to Institute stuff. We had homework over Wednesday night, to edit and refine the reader’s report we should have written before arriving at the Institute. They gave guidelines on Wednesday, but it was still a difficult task. The goal of a reader’s report, if you haven’t heard of it, is to inform your boss the editor about the manuscript and offer a summary and an analysis of whether or not it should be published. As an associate editor in a publishing house, that seems like a lot of power. But big-time editors don’t have that much time to read every manuscript that gets submitted to the house, so they parcel out the reading to the associate editors who write these reports and turn them in. The report gives the editor an idea of if a particular manuscript has qualities that would make it a good candidate for publishing. The associate’s opinion isn’t always followed, and that’s how it should be, but apparently the advice gets followed 95% of the time (according to one of the editors doing the workshop). My report didn’t go over that well, but I got a good enough grade that I’m not super worried about passing.

Yeah, speaking of, I have to get a B average at the Institute to pass and get my certificate. So, no worries or anything: I made the Dean’s List last semester, I’m good. 😛

Also Thursday we were spoken to by two people in the college textbooks business. The best part of the lecture was the free books the first guy brought. I snagged one to give myself a brush up on grammar-type things. Overall, college textbook publishing doesn’t sound like a part of publishing that I’d be interested in going into. Though I thought that I wouldn’t know how to do anything but go to school since I’ve been doing that since age six, I’ve learned since graduating that that’s a completely false statement. In fact, being back in school is more tiring than working all day. So I don’t think I  would enjoy a job so thoroughly based around academics. It was a good era, for the most part, but it’s time to move on, as frightening as that may seem sometimes.

And then we had to get into groups again, but this time after school hours. My group decided to meet at the “picnic” held after school got out for the day. Our task was to write a semblance of an editorial critique for the untitled manuscript we read and prepared the reader’s reports on before coming to Denver. I’m happy to say that this group behaved much better than the last and everyone’s opinion was valued and discussed among all group members. I went home exhausted.

Friday–This was one of the most interesting days so far. Our reader’s reports were handed back with more feedback, and someone from each group Thursday presented their group’s editorial critique of the manuscript. Then, get this, we got on the conference call with Clive Priddle, editorial director at Public Affairs. This is the house that acquired the manuscript we’d spend days, and weeks, poring over, and he answered questions and talked about the process the book has gone through. I’m excited about it and eager to see how much has changed from the manuscript form I saw it in to the finished product that will be on shelves soon. I can’t tell much about it because it’s still in the production process and confidential, but once the book comes out, I’ll be sure to feature it.

We got an introduction to line editing, which is kind of a fancy phrase for most of the type of editing I did in college. Correcting grammar and sentence structure, but also looking at the big picture and making sure everything makes sense where it is. Another assignment was given out, line editing a section of the first chapter of another book. I must admit, working on this edit was harder than I thought it would be. It’s easier when it’s my own work or a friend’s, because I know more of what’s allowed, but with an author I’d never heard of (because they put a pseudonym on the manuscript), I wasn’t sure where my boundaries lay. I’m not sure how to edit while keeping an author’s voice and style because that’s something I never did in school. I actually discussed this with a professor of mine, how students’ educations are lacking because they are not taught how to imitate another writer’s style. Though an incredibly hard exercise, I imagine, I can also see how this would greatly benefit the student. And now I have experience with a situation that may have been easier had I had that education, though I’m not sure what good that does me. I finished the assignment, but I’m really not sure how well I did. That and I was tired all the while I worked on it.

The last bit of Friday was a copyediting lecture. This, I thought, would be the best part of the Institute. And then I found, after listening to the first little bit, that I’ve heard this lecture before. I’d taken classes with the lecturer, the lovely Alice Levine, and though this one was slightly different, it was only a variation on a theme. I have all the materials she handed out somewhere in one of the boxes in my mother’s basement, and no new information was imparted to me. Following is what I wrote while listening:

“I begin to wonder if copyediting truly is the calling I believed it was throughout high school and college. I think I would feel lost if I hasn’t been at the Institute when I realized this. As it stands now, I’ve been exposed to several alternative careers. I have some of the compulsive tendencies that make a good copyeditor, but I also have the creative side that makes copyediting difficult. I may not have enough compulsion to properly copyedit.

“I suppose we’ll see as I go along in the Institute. As I learn more about grammar, that will help determine if this is a course I would want to pursue or not.

“Perhaps hearing this lecture for the second or third time is skewing my opinion…”

Yes, a crisis of career path. If you’d asked me anytime from maybe halfway through high school up until I entered the Institute, I would have told you that my dream was to be a freelance copyeditor. Now I’m not so sure. Like I said above though, this is the best place to be having a crisis like that. There are so many avenues open to me and I’ve only gone through one week of lectures. There’s no need to fret, I know this.

So now, after a nice weekend with my boyfriend and his family, I think I’m ready to head back to school. I’m also going to the Rockies game tomorrow night with a few other Institute people, so that’ll be an opportunity for me to meet some more people. And if I don’t meet people, well, I’m still at a Rockies game, so whatever! 🙂

Maybe I won’t take so long next time to update. I imagine it’s tiring to read through this much; it’s tiring for me to write it.



{July 13, 2011}   Passion

If I could select a one-word summary of the advice that’s been given to the ninety-odd young people in the Publishing Institute’s room at DU over the last two days, it would be that: Passion. Every person in the world of publishing must have a great deal of passion for the work they do, or it’s just not going to work out well. Editors need passion to navigate the manuscripts they acquire through the publishing process; agents need passion to guide their chosen manuscripts to the right house and editor; book packagers…well, they’re another story.

Almost my every waking moment for the last week, especially, has been taken up with something Institute-related. Now that I’m actually there every day…almost my every waking moment is taken up with something Institute-related. This program is a full-time job of listening to lecturers and attending workshops with some of the most brilliant minds in the publishing industry today. And guess what? It’s totally worth it.

Since I have a couple people wanting to know about what goes on with me and the Publishing Institute, I’ll be posting when I can about the goings-on there and, more importantly, how it’s affecting me and how things are going for me in general. I hope to be able to post every couple of days. I got my first homework assignment today and when I get home I just want to collapse on the sofa, so once every few days is the best that can be hoped for, I think.

A quick overview of the last couple days:

Sunday–orientation day. Not my best day. Right before orientation I went to a bridal shower. The only person I knew in either of those places was the bride at the shower, so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to sitting myself in a room of ninety-seven other people after I sat myself in a room with twenty people I didn’t know. Any attempts at conversation both places were stilted and short-lived. I came home frightened for the next four weeks.

Monday–first day of classes. I had the good fortune of arriving at campus at the same time as another commuter (I couldn’t muster up the extra couple thousand to live in the dorms like most of my colleagues). We muddled our way to the building breakfast would be in, making conversation as best we could. (It’s always difficult when you first meet someone to come up with something intelligent and interesting to say, so I think we managed quite well.) I was lucky enough to have her company for the rest of the day as we attempted to get money from ATMs and wrangle parking passes. Sitting in a room of ninety-eight is easier when at least one of them is on somewhat friendly terms with you.

I made the mistake of going home between the last class and our first field trip (to the LoDo Tattered Cover with an author talk, David Wroblewski of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle fame [I haven’t read the book either, though it’s on my list now]), so I arrived late, shuffling into the room while the author read an excerpt. Rarely have I ever been so embarrassed. I also had the fortune of being seated next to the lovely Joyce Meskis (I do mean that, truly), the director of the Institute, after I came in late. She had emphasized timeliness during orientation. You can understand my position. The talk was enjoyable, though, and I loved wandering through the store afterward. I am proud to say I resisted buying anything; I have too much on my bookshelves to read as it is.

Tuesday (today)–second day of class. Sandra Bond, I’m in awe of her now, delivered the lecture on the role of the literary agent. She made me want to be an agent, which I think is a good quality in a presenter. If I want to be everything when the Institute is over, I’ll be in a good position to find a job. Book packaging, though, is a field I don’t think I’ll ever want to go into. I met up with my fellow commuter to go to lunch, and we stumbled on a new acquaintance in the food line and spent our lunch hour talking of science fiction books, working for Tor, NaNoWriMo, old roommates. I had quite the time, delighted to find fellow introverts with similar interests. I can only hope they felt the same way.

Economics proved to be the bane of most of the students. Though equipped with calculators, many of us could only fumble our way through the economic feasibility worksheet for the hypothetical book we were hypothetically publishing. Our presenter, the eminent Robert Follett, couldn’t have been more interesting, though. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him speak: he was inspiring and humorous, acknowledging of his shortcomings and humble in his successes. I managed to finish the worksheet at home where the hum of “I’m so confused” wasn’t there to distract me.

In sum, what I thought might be a torturous four weeks early on has turned into what it should have been all along, an exciting adventure. I feel at a disadvantage not living in the dorms; there you are almost guaranteed three new friends in your suitemates the day you arrive. But with a little luck, I think I’ll be OK. I’ve never been the one comfortable with a large group of people around me, so if I only know two people through the four weeks, I’ll be happy.

That’s all I have for now. The first part of the editing workshop is tomorrow, along with scholarly publishing. (For that, we read a couple book proposals. One of which I hope is actually a forthcoming book because I will read it. I’m getting so many ideas for books to add to my list…it’s fantastic and terrible, all at the same time.)

I don’t know if everyone can comment on this who might want to. If you can’t but want to, feel free to e-mail (goss.bonniem@gmail.com) or Facebook, whatever works. Thanks for reading.



Story time.

Back in late April, I signed myself up for a digital account with The New York Times in order to be able to really work on the final paper for my International Mass Communication course. I needed to view more articles than the free 20 they allow you, and they had this nifty thing where I could sign up for a month for about a dollar and cancel anytime I wanted. Being a poor college student, I didn’t want to pay the $15 that would be billed me if I kept the account longer than a month. So before the month was up, I canceled the subscription. Imagine my surprise and horror when I looked at my bank account and discovered I had still been charged the $15 though I had already canceled. Calling customer service proved to be a tough thing to do. I phoned once and was connected to a very unhelpful lady who insisted that I hadn’t canceled soon enough and it was, essentially, my own damn fault and no refund would be posted to me. After fuming about it for a couple minutes, I looked at a calendar and discovered that the unhelpful lady was, in fact, incorrect, and I had canceled in time. So I phoned again, praying to be connected to someone else and I was. This lady was much more helpful, acknowledging that I had indeed canceled before the month and shouldn’t have been billed again. I hung up the phone assuming that a refund was on its way.

Assumptions have a crazy way of coming back to bite you.

So after a little more than a month of waiting and watching my bank account for the supposedly promised refund, it still hadn’t arrived. I figured it was worth one more call to customer service to inquire about my refund and why it was taking so long.

I’ve been on the phone for a long time. I called and was connected to another helpful lady. She understood my plight but couldn’t help me herself, so I was transferred to the head honco of some branch of the customer service. I’ve been on hold at least 5 times, possibly more, while she goes off to verify something or other, get in contact with someone or other, and tries to sort this whole thing out. Last time I spoke with her, she said something about not wanting to lead me on about the refund, which I take to mean it may or may not be coming. I’ve sort of resigned myself to the idea that I might not get my refund (though I think I’m entitled to it…and I’m poor), but honestly I could use $15.

Twenty-eight minutes. That’s how long I was on the phone with them. And it’s not even all settled yet, either. I’m going to receive a call either later today or tomorrow at the latest. They need to do some digging around with the stuff on their end and she didn’t want to keep me on hold for longer than she had already. Which is nice. So hopefully they’ll be able to sort through the mess. Apparently since my account is already terminated, it’s very hard for them to figure out what’s gone on with it, so they can’t be sure (right now) if there has been a refund posted and it’s on its way. So we’ll see, I suppose.

And now I’m off to the library to paw through some of their reference books for the economics workshop preparations.



The last few entries have been along the same tone: aw man, this Chicago stuff…

That in mind, I have something different for today. Still applies to the Institute though. Today, I will venture forth from my mom’s house and explore several bookstores. I have a few assignments for the Institute that require me to go to bookstores and wander around (economics workshop, marketing workshop, design workshop), and I’m actually quite excited to get out of the house for a couple reasons.

1. I’ve been sitting in the chair in my room reading from the Chicago Manual for a couple days now. It’s getting a little old. (And there’s still so much left!)

2. Through my old job, I learned of a whole bunch of independent bookstores in and around my area of town (sort of. Most of them are up in the Denver area, but I’m not too far south of that).

So in a few hours I will take off and spend my afternoon immersed in glorious bookshelves in stores I’ve never been to before. Should be fun.



{July 5, 2011}   Put a witty title here

Remember the Chicago Manual of Style? Turns out the readings for this large tome amount to almost the entire work. I looked in the table of contents, and I think we’re only skipping two or three of the chapters. Granted, each chapter amounts to a substantial chunk of the book and I’m grateful that we aren’t required to read the whole thing (though I probably will sometime later), but it’s still a lot of reading.

Thankfully, I’ve read the chapter on grammar, at least, in the 15th edition (Nerd alert), so it won’t really have changed. It’s always good to go back and get a refresher on all those things, though.

I like to blame some of my ineptness with grammar on the fact that I never diagrammed sentences when I was in elementary or middle school. It’s just an easy target. To remedy this, both for the Institute and for the rest of my life as I hope to deal with grammar for a good long portion of it, I have requested a book from my public library, Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: the quirky history and lost art of diagramming sentences by Kitty Burns Florey. I found it when I was looking through some of those publishing newsletters I’m subscribed to and put it on my list of books that might be worth reading. It’s on its way, and I should get a call when it’s ready.

I’m looking forward to it; I might even bump that book up to the top of my “read for fun” list. Currently on that list is Brian Jacques entire Redwall series. I’m terribly behind (I was racing my sister) at The Bellmaker. I try to read a chapter or two a night, but that’s a rather slow pace. Thanks, DPI, for all the homework!

I jest. I’m actually quite enjoying these advance assignments from the Institute. Speaking of…I need to get a system going for the last few days, here! The time is almost upon me, and I still have a good bit to do. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make a schedule of what I need to do.



et cetera