Need some really good epic fantasy?

Read Brandon Sanderson's "Mistborn" trilogy. I just finished the third book, and W-O-W is it something else! I will admit, I wasn't much impressed with the second book, and that was after a spectacular opening novel, so I was a little leery coming into the third book. But this is killer, folks. It took me a little longer than is my norm to get through, but I still felt the pace and energy, with some really astounding plot twists. This, my friends, is quality stuff. (and no little bit intimidating to try writing myself the next morning!!)

An A+ recommendation.


It feels...good.

I bought my little Honda CR-V. I suppose I shall post pics here as soon as I have them. She is spunky, she's red, and she's a stickshift. A car with personality. I believe that I shall name her Roxanne.


Adulthood strikes again!!! (I apologize for rambling to follow)

I may just be buying a new car. Ah!
It's a Honda CR-V, 2004, red, AND it's a stickshift. :)

So, I've been wanting to buy a new car for several months now, but I've waited, making sure it was really something I wanted, and to save up some money so I could put a good chunk down. Originally, I had an eye on small pickups--Toyota Tacoma, especially, the smaller ones--mostly because I wanted to sit up higher. (Right now, I'm in a '94 Geo Prizm, which is about as low to the ground as you can get.) I want a bigger car, something I can sit up higher in.

I was drawn to the pickups because I thought they would get better gas mileage than the bigger SUVs, etc. However, upon doing the research, it turns out that pickups are quite the gas guzzlers. Many SUVs, particularly the smaller ones, actually get better gas mileage, as good as many sedans. And so I was drawn to the SUVs.

And actually, these turned out to be more of what I wanted anyway--they're big enough that I can haul my stuff in (and I tend to do a lot of hauling of my stuff) and yet I can still haul my peeps, too, which I can't do in a little pickup truck. However, I immediately knew that if I was going for an SUV, I would want a smaller one--pretty much as small as they come.

Let me explain: I don't really like big cars. My parents have had a minivan my entire life, and I HATE minivans. They're ugly, first off, and they just feel huge when you drive them. They're awkward to drive, to park, to u-turn, et cetera and so forth. I find that suburbans and large SUVs feel much the same, and that is not at all what I wanted.

And so it all came down to the test drive. I felt like a smaller SUV was what I wanted, but I needed to do some test driving to make sure. After consulting the web and the Consumer Reports, I narrowed down, basically to two vehicles, the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. I was willing to look at others, but those were the two I had my eye on. Also, I had decided that I wanted a 2004, or possibly 05. I like the body style better. The younger versions, in both vehicles, tended to look more like extended hatchbacks, which is a look I don't much like. Besides which, the 2004s were starting to get more toward my price range. :)

The first car I drove today was a 2004 Honda CR-V, and I loved it immediately. It just felt right--I liked the size of it, I liked how it drove, I liked the feel of it--except that it was an automatic. TANGENT TIME!

I love driving manual transmission. I love my stickshift. My car now is a stick, and I love it. I learned to drive in that car, and if I can help it, I'll never have an automatic. This spurred my desire to get a slightly older vehicle--the Toyota stopped making standards after 2005, and the Honda, I believe, after 2006, which is lame. All of the cars I drove today except the one was an automatic, and I won't like that this particular vehicle draws me because it's a standard. Anyway--onward.

After the first one, I drove a Toyota Camry, and didn't much like it. Entirely besides the fact that I'm ready for something different, the Camry just felt boxy. I'm really too short for that car.

We looked at a couple more places, didn't really see anything interesting, so we then drove down to the Brent Brown Toyota dealership on University Parkway. There, I drove a 2007 Toyota RAV4. It was a nice vehicle, quite similar to the CRV, but it felt a little bigger (just a hair), and I didn't quite like the feel of it as much as the CRV. They were very minor differences, really. But that was the only one they had on the lot, and there's no way I could have afforded the '07.

TANGENT TIME AGAIN. Car salesman always focus on the payments and the financing, overlooking the sticker price. They want you to drive away today, and they're willing to do anything to get the payment you can afford. I say this all with great sarcasm--I'm at a point where I don't really care what the monthly payment is, I fully intend to pay the car off as quickly as possible, which means I want to know the ACTUAL COST of the vehicle. It drove me nuts to be constantly asked what kind of payment I wanted to make. I don't care! I just want to get a good deal on the car!

Anyhow, so after that, we decided to drive to the Honda dealership up the street. And there, sitting in the parking lot, was a little red, 2004 CR-V. AND it was a stickshift. The test drive was lovely, it just felt so good to have a stickshift. I don't know why it makes such a difference to me, but it really does. It became one of my major qualifiers for my vehicle purchase.

And then the games began. We went in to just take a look at the financing. Right. The first salesmen we worked with just wasn't being very flexible. He was holding at 13,995, which was a pretty steep price for this vehicle, which has some scratches and cosmetic defects, as well as 70,000 miles. The first CR-V we'd tested was at 13,500 with only 58,000 miles. But this first guy just wasn't budging on that, he kept going on about the certification/warranty on the car, blah blah blah, and we were pretty much ready to walk out. My personal limit walking in was 12 grand--I wasn't willing to pay anything more than that, because I felt like that was what I could afford.

This morning when we were leaving, I had privately wished to myself that I could have my Uncle Frank there when it came down to this part--he's a car salesman and knows his shit, as opposed to my parents and I. I mean, we tried to play the game, but we just don't have it in us. But of all the kismet things to happen, he was down for the BYU football game, and was five minutes down the street. I asked him to come by, and he did to take a look at the car.

That was when things got interesting. We all trooped back outside to look at the car. Uncle Frank was very leery of the cosmetic damage. We knew from the CarFax that the car had been in an accident, but there weren't any details about the damage or any repairs done. He pointed out all of the flaws, of which he made a great fuss, and got on the phone with "his guy" to find out the auction price of the vehicle, blah blah blah.

At this point, we were joined by the business manager of the dealership. He and Uncle Frank started debating about the actual worth of the car, about the depths of the damage, blahdeblahdeblah. My Aunt Debbie was trying to be supportive, while my parents continued in the conversation with Uncle Frank and the business manager, who obviously wasn't going to give us the car for 9,500, which is what Uncle Frank decided was the highest we should pay.

Finally, the business manager turned back to me--which was the smartest move he made--and asked me what I wanted, seeing as I was the one buying the car. Uncle Frank pulled me aside just as he was leaving and told me not to buy the car, while my Aunt Debbie told me to do what I wanted. Thanks for the support! (and I mean that with absolute sincerity. Without them, I couldn't have gotten the deal I did!)

The BM started rambling off about not being able to give us the car for 9,500, or 10,500 (which was my mother's original offer) because he had to make SOME profit off the car, but that he wished he could meet us somewhere in the middle, because he wanted to earn my business (he used that phrase a lot). At some point, he mentioned 11,500 as more of a middle ground, and at that point I finally jumped back in and asked if 11,500 was something he could do. He told me he'd go find out, and we all trooped back inside.

My poor father kept wanting to get us out of there so the car salesman wouldn't suck us in, but we just kept getting sucked back in! They're very good.

He eventually came back and told me he could in fact give me the car for 11,500. At that point, he had me--we were under my self-set budget of 12,000! But I still hadn't been approved for financing, I hadn't checked on what my insurance would be, blah blah blah. He then offered to let me take the car home for the weekend, to see how I felt about it. Hmm! I asked what I needed to do, and he had to go back to the office for approval. So we hung out for awhile.

THEN he came back and said he didn't get approval for that, BUT! if I would buy the car today, he could give it to me for 11,000! Had to think about it for awhile. I had already decided that I didn't want to buy the car today--I really wanted at least a day or two to think on it, besides checking on the financing and stuff. It was tempting, I'll admit, but I at last told him firmly that I wanted to wait until Monday. He guaranteed me the 11,500 til Monday.

And out we were! I'm still hoping I can get the car for 11,000 on Monday, but I'm still okay with 11,500 if that's what it ends up being. Whew!

Just for kicks, we went and drove a couple more cars, including a Subaru Forester (which was lame and felt like a station wagon), but the longer I considered it, the better and more confident I felt about the car. My Uncle Frank will certainly scorn me, but I'm okay with that. I feel like it's a good car, one that will last me a long time. I like the feel of it, I like sitting up higher, and I like having a bigger car--but one that still gets decent gas mileage (20/26). Also, it's red, the color I wanted, and it's a stickshift. AND we got them down $3000 from the original price! I have my uncle to thank for that one--if he hadn't been there telling me not to buy the car, they never would have budged!

I feel like I'm in a stable place in life. I have a solid down payment, and hopefully I can get at least a thousand out of my current car to put down as well. I feel confident that I can make the monthly payments, and I plan to put down quite a bit more, as well. If I can make the payments according to my plan, I will have the car paid off by the end of next summer, hopefully even earlier than that. I also feel like it will be really good to have this on my credit. It will help me to buy a home at some point in the future, and that is very important.

It's just weird to be doing adult things like buying my own car! But I just feel so good about it. I love the car, I feel like I'm getting a good deal, and I just feel so responsible and mature (as ridiculous as that sounds to say!) It feels so good to do this for myself. My parents helped me, they advised me, but I am doing this for myself. I have picked what I wanted, and I am buying it for myself. And oh goody, I get to pay the increased insurance and gas as well! Adulthood strikes again!!! :D


A certain familiar aspect of my life, restated

I was reading the blog of Brandon Sanderson, LDS author of some of my new favorite books. He recently wrote a blog about his life as an unpublished author--the period in which he was writing before his first book was published. He describes the descent of his writing as he tried to write for the market, as he tried to write what editors were telling him people wanted to read, and how it made his writing worse. He wrote a full dozen novels before one was published. He also writes about a point at which he firmly decided that he wanted to write novels for a living, and his determination to do whatever it took to do it. Further on, he writes about his decision to go to a Master's program for creative writing, to surround himself with a community of aspiring writers. And then he writes about his first success--one of the very first novels he had written.

I guess it got me thinking, which I tend to do too much of anyway. Right now, I'm still planning to go back to school, at least part time, and I'm planning to study social work. I see this as a viable option, because it is a career I think I could invest in--if not passionately, then at least enjoyably. It's something I think I could find satisfaction in doing.

However, I've never given up on my desire to be a novelist. This one thing has never wavered--I have been a writer since I was a child, and I have never stopped for any real length of time. Sometimes I am embarrassed to admit this, and often I try to hide my work from those around me who take note of it. After all, novel-writing is hardly a lucrative business. And besides, there are thousands of people who claim to be writers, who either never finish a single full-length work, or whose writing is childish and unimaginative. I have known many such people, and these are what cause my embarrassment when professionals around me take note of the inordiante amount of time I spend with a notebook or a Word file open.

I fully recognize the flaws in my own writing. I am not a published novelist (though I do have some claim with a few short stories) and there is good reason for it. I recognize that I have potential that I have not yet reached.

I also recognize that I want to be a professional novelist.

Here is my issue with this declaration: only the very very lucky and the exceptionally talented writers ever get published. It's an enormous market, awash with mediocre manuscripts from aspiring artists who want to make the big bucks. And, as affirmed to me by Mr. Sanderson, one cannot write for the market. This was the biggest problem with my most recently completed project--I was trying, honestly attempting to write the next Harry Potter saga. And it failed, miserably. It's terribly childish. And I realized--even if I could not express it so eloquently as Mr. Sanderson--that I can't write FOR something, that I can't make myself write something that I don't have in me. Certainly, I finished the novel. It's a goodly length, with a handful of noteworthy ideas. But it is poorly written and even more poorly plotted. It's boring. As I have been told time and again by writers and writing instructors, I must write for myself first. If a writer does not enjoy writing something, why would a reader enjoy reading it?

And so I move forward with my life. I have escaped the dry, monotonous spell that my muse left me in for a number of weeks. I am adjusting to real life. I am becoming accustomed to the day-in day-out nature of a full time job. And in the midst of this mediocrity, I write. The words spill from my fingertips as they often have, until I cannot believe how many pages have been filled that day, and then again the next. And perhaps they are not the prettiest words, and perhaps it is not the most interesting plot, but the next one will be better, as this one shall be better than the last. And perhaps one day, it all shall be worth it. That, my friends, is what we call hope.


My first Dr. Pepper in about six weeks...

And the combination of caffeine and a strange, inexplicable exhaustion has me a little loopy. Blogging it is!

I stole this off Jen's blog, and while she didn't tag me, I'm filling it out anyway!

Four random things I like about my best friend:
-She gives the best hugs in the whole wide world.
-She always has good advice, and is always willing to share it.
-We can talk about anything, and more importantly, she is a great listener. We could just talk forever, about pretty much everything in the world.
-She's always willing to go along with the crazy, last-minute schemes we come up with!

Four jobs I've had:
-I worked at a KOA Kampground as a concierge--everything from taking reservations, driving the golf cart, to scooping ice cream and making sandwiches.
-I spent two summers (so far!) at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts as an assistant stage manager. I stage managed or was deck crew head for daily or twice-daily music concerts, dance concerts, creative writing recitals, theatre productions, interdepartmental shows, and helped with visual arts gallery showings, as well as teaching a stage management seminar, and a variety of other odd jobs. Best job in the whole world.
-A summer before either of those I spent as a shopper for an online grocery-order service. I spent my time in the aisles of a grocery store picking up other peoples' food and stuff. That was when I learned how to pick good produce!
-And though I've never actually had a paid job doing it, I'm also a registered phlebotomist aka vampire. I actually find it quite engaging, if my internship was any indication.

Four books I've read more than once:
-The Belgariad by David Eddings
-The Twilight saga
-Elantris and Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
-and Harry Potter, of course.
I guess really that was about 25 books, but you know, that's my life.

Four movies I've watched more than once:
-Superman (as in, all of them, including Superman Returns.)
-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.
-Iron Man.
-Pirates of the Caribbean (all three of them)

Four tv shows I watch:
-The West Wing
-House, MD
-Lost (haven't watched for a long time!!)

People who email me regularly:
-Barack Obama. :)
-My Russian pen-pal Lena.
-UVU (campus announcements)
Yeah, that's about it. Where's the love?

Four of my favorite foods:
-Mint chocolate chip ice cream.
-Funeral potatoes.
-Cheese quesadillas.

Four places I'd like to visit:
-New York City (going in June!)
-and I'd love to go back to D.C.

Four things I'm looking forward to in the upcoming year:
-Watching Barack Obama be elected for President.
-Going back to school
-Going to NYC and PA next summer.
-And I would love to have a relationship sometime in the upcoming year. That'd be swell.

Eagle Eye review, includes spoilers

I went to see "Eagle Eye" on Saturday with Melissa. As we entered the theater and sat down, we realized that neither of us really had any idea what the movie was about, except that it had Shia LaBeouf in it. I rather enjoyed the lack of expectations for the movie.

It took me about half the movie to really get into it. Jerry Shaw's backstory was vaguely interesting, but it lacked emotion through his brother's funeral and the confrontation with his father. Once the interaction began with the FBI and Air Force, there was a definite Matrix-feel. It was relatively surreal, where it felt like they were going for something more realistic. Until the woman on the phone was revealed to be a computer, I simply couldn't believe in the things that were happening.

Once that reveal occured, I was able to go along with the plot a little easier. However, it never really gained the reality I think the makers were hoping for. There was just too much. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed all the things that ARIA was able to manipulate, I enjoyed the various things that were under her control, I simply didn't believe it in a realistic sense. It was science fiction.

A note on the relationship. The character of Rachel was obviously too old for LaBeouf's character Jerry. They tried to age him, giving him an older backstory and a scruff-edgy look. However, he simply isn't old enough yet. He has the face of a 22 year old, whereas Rachel was obviously in her late twenties, with a seven or eight year old son. And furthermore, the relationship was mostly plutonic throughout the film, with only hints of a romance. This leads into my discussion of the climax and ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed the climax of the film, when Jerry gets shot. It was perfect, the absolute pinnacle of his character and motivation. Of course he would offer himself as a sacrifice. After everything that happens, after every we learn about his brother, after everything HE learns about his brother, and all the growth he experiences through the film, it was the most wonderful emotional climax for an audience watching this character.


He should have died. After watching Jerry get shot a half dozen times or so, the next image is a funeral photograph of LaBeouf in military blues with a flag. I'm thinking, "Yes! The government recognized him, his dad can be proud." The next shot after that? Jerry, standing by his father, at a service honoring his brother--AGAIN. He lived. He survived half a dozen bullets in the chest and back. I mean, unless he secretly had a bulletproof vest that we didn't see him put on, that just doesn't seem real plausible to me. The cops thought he was a terrorist at that point, so it's not like they would have rushed him to emergency care. And yet, he survives just fine, and his brother gets honored AGAIN. We get the idea that MAYBE his dad can be proud, but who knows?

And then they tie up the subplot with Rachel, as Jerry kindly remembers her son's birthday and brings him an expensive present (which he afforded HOW?) and she thanks him for not being as crappy as her ex-husband and kisses him gently on the cheek. Romantic? Maybe. Better than a full-on kiss on the lips, but still Cop-out.

I was there, man. The emotions were there when Jerry got shot, and then I was really excited with the funeral pic, exulting in a true dramatic Hollywood choice. If he had really died, I probably would have cried. I was there. But then he didn't. They spoiled it. It was such a cop-out! For a full day after seeing the movie, Melissa and I kept turning to each other randomly and saying "He should have died!" They could have tied off Rachel's story somehow else, and left Jerry at a dignified, truly honorable place. But no, now he has to go on and live up to that climax for the rest of his miserable life. Lame.

Perhaps I am simply too cynical. But I don't believe in happy endings. I believe in REAL endings, and if you really earn a happy ending, good for you. But real doesn't always mean happy, and I wish that sometimes--just sometimes--Hollywood would stick true to that. I think their movies would be more meaningful, if nothing else.



Do you ever find that certain people illicit certain reactions in you?

Like, for instance, are there certain people who, no matter your relationship, always make you feel depressed? Or the opposite--are there people in your life who always make you feel excited and energetic? Or people who always put you in the mood to DO certain things. I think this is the case for most of us. For instance, being around my coworker Cindy always makes me want to listen to hard rock--and being around her son always puts Cindy in the mood to play Rock Band. :)

I have a friend named Sam, we've been friends for a long time, all through high school, and then during his mission and my college, and now into his marriage and college, and my...whatever. We're both writers, artists, with different strengths. But--especially the last few years--whenever I'm around him, I find that my creative juices flow more easily. I get ideas, and I get excited about writing them. Even just chatting with him online can do it.

There are other people like this, sometimes, people I can reach out to in my dry-spell desperation. But there's just nobody quite like Sam to set me off on a writing or creative spell.

I have decided that Sam is a muse.


Here's another

I think that in the weeks leading up to the presidential election (and perhaps many, many more after that) I am simply going to have to accept and find amusement in the political bias and commentary from some of my coworkers. Some I have discussed before. And there shall be more to come.

Today, after a long-winded denouncement of Barack Obama's economic/tax plan (which I support), and after a long-winded rant about Obama's stance on abortion (which I don't), my coworker preceded to (I kid you not) denounce Barack Obama as the Anti-Christ.

Oh yes. I kid you not.

I could not ignore him any longer (which is my usual tact when he starts talking politics, while my other coworker nods and agrees with him, which is sometimes a little much for me.)

I burst out laughing.

There's simply no other way to deal with people like this.

If only it worked for angry customers on the phone.


Newfound wonders of the Office Suite

Today I have a deep and abiding love and gratitude for Excel spreadsheets. I have to admit that this is the first time I have ever used Excel for such a purpose, and it is both new and different, as well as intriguing.

I now have an Excel spreadsheet outlining the plot structure for my novel.

Amazing, isn't it? The thing is, the story is told from three specific, rotating points of view, a la Elantris, and I was having trouble finding a way to keep track of the progression of that rotation. And voila--Excel.

Each of the three characters has a column, and each row represents a chapter--following downward is the progression of the novel. It's a little clumsy, and slightly less than artistic, but it gives me structure that I was sorely lacking.

But the best thing of all?
It's one in the morning, and the muse is with me strong tonight. For that, I will definitely take whatever I can get!

The benefits of sleeping in

My mother likes to laugh (rather triumphantly) and say that I have at last joined the REAL world of working stiffs who have too much to do and not enough time to do it. I, somewhat resignedly, admit this is true. Granted, I have a lot less (and somehow more) to worry about than the regular working stiff--no rent, for example, and all the things that go along with that. However, it always seems like there's never enough time or energy to get things done. Busy busy busy.

Not that many years ago, all through high school and a good portion of college, I took every opportunity available to sleep in. And we're talking sleep-til-noon sleep in, dead to the world and luxuriating in this supposed freedom. My mother would make fun of me, but I always considered it one of the great relaxation techniques.

I haven't slept in like that in weeks, if not months. Sleeping in, these days, consists of sleeping til nine, ten if I'm lucky, perhaps on Sunday mornings, because I don't have church until eleven. That is restful. Getting to sleep past six-thirty is a weekend luxury. Usually it's because I have things to get up for--friends to visit or activities to attend.

This morning, I slept in.

I woke up at six-thirty, half got up, then remembered it was Saturday, cheered and went back to sleep. I woke up again at nine, thought about getting up, rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke up again at eleven, and just laid in bed for an hour, contemplating the nature of the universe.

I won't deny that it wastes time that could be spent doing other things. I won't deny the laziness inherent in it. However, I can think of no more relaxing thing than simply lying in bed with nothing pressing to drag you out of it. Sure, there are things I'd like to get done today. But there is nothing I HAVE to get done today, and certainly there are no time restraints. My mom came down to ask if I wanted to go shopping, and I said no--not because I wouldn't like to go, and spend time with my parents, but because that would force me to get ready for the day before I'm ready to do so. Days like this have become very rare, and I like to treasure them. Nothing rushed, nothing pressing, simply enjoying life and the little things to spend it on.


A longing for Academia

I've pretty much decided to go back to school, though many of the details have yet to be worked out. I'm certainly one of those people who would be a perpetual student with the opportunity, but much too realistic to actually do so. However, I have almost--practically--decided to go back to school to pursue a second Bachelor's degree. I am certainly going to take a few classes and try it out. I am definitely going to take some sociology/social work classes, and test out that field. It appeals to me greatly, and I think I could find great fulfillment in a social work career, as long as I got the right job(s). I have great hope for it.

I have a great longing for academia in my life. I love the challenge, the passion, the expansion of my thoughts and critical thinking. I am very happy with who I am (if not with what I am doing) and I can give most of the credit to my formative college years. My opinions and my thought processes have developed extensively over the past four (and counting) years, and I long for continuing education in all aspects of my life. I feel that education is the only hope for a productive and fruitful society, and I will always be a proponent of higher education, as long as I live. Not least for myself!

Can't we all get along?

I've been witnessing some unsuspected discrimination at work over the last few days.

Political discrimination.

Now, of course political debates are heated. Of course people disagree. Of course people argue when their political views differ. But I've never before witnessed discrimination based solely on political views.

Last week, one of my coworkers wanted a stamp, and the office manager wouldn't give him one because he intends to vote for Barack Obama. It was almost that simple. She had the excuse of not giving him company property for personal use, but down and simple, she wouldn't give him the stamp because of who he's voting for. I call that prejudice and discrimination.

Today, one of the programmers was RAILING against Obama, slandering his policies, and shouting for the entire office to hear that people who vote for Obama are idiots. He knows that I'm voting for Obama, as does the office manager, who just as loudly agreed with him. Again, I call that discrimination.

I find it bizarre. Of course, who you vote for matters. Of course who becomes President matters. But I don't think it should matter on a day-to-day level, so that people feel uncomfortable around each other, so that business is interfered. I've been discriminated against before, but never for this. Teased, yes. Mocked, yes. Mildly ridiculed, yes. But always in a way that I still felt proud to be a Democrat, that I still felt like I could stand up for my beliefs.

Today, I felt ashamed, belittled, and degraded. Last week, I felt the same way for my coworker who just wanted to mail a letter. This shouldn't happen. Not over this. Our political party system is flawed, but it took me 22 years to discover how much so.


Monotony vs Creativity

I had some down time at work today, and I opened a new document, fully intending to write SOMEthing, I didn't care what. I wanted to write, I had a bit of time to write, and I had every intention in the world of writing. I have two or three projects open right now that I could have worked on, or I could have randomly started something entirely new. Didn't matter to me.

Nothing would come.

Throughout most of my life, I wrote everywhere and anywhere. I have written during classes, during church, in cars (riding AND driving), on planes, in the morning, afternoon, evening and the dead of night. Sure, sometimes I have a little writer's block, every writer does. But today was different. Today, there just was...nothing. I couldn't think of a single thing to write. I was absolutely dry. I didn't much care for the feeling.

I think it's my life right now, especially my job. There is nothing, and I mean nothing whatsoever challenging about my life right now. I'm having some emotional and relationship challenges, but I don't consider that challenging, but interesting. I am at a level of monotony that frightens me. I need to bring some spice back in, or I am going to go totally dry, in more ways than just my writing.

On to the next challenge. On to greater passion.