Friday, August 26, 2016

"IF" Is NOT the Key

A popular post from February 2010. 

by Annette Lyon

We all know the line Tevye sings in Fiddler on the Roof:

"If I were a rich man . . ."

That sentence is in what's called subjunctive mood.

It's a complicated topic, but today we're making it pretty simple and addressing the biggest mistake I see with it (even with professional copy editors who are supposed to know what they're doing . . .).

In his song, Tevye describes what he'd do if he had a lot of money. He's not rich. He's rather poor, frankly, but IF HE WERE rich, this is what he'd do.

What he's describing is CONTRARY TO FACT.

That right there is the key. He's NOT rich. Therefore, If I WERE a rich man rather than If I WAS a rich man.

The latter sentence is valid too; it just needs a different context that doesn't contradict reality.

The best way is to put reality in question. What if we don't KNOW whether Tevye is rich or poor? Someone could then remember good 'ol Tevye from the neighborhood and say:

"I wonder if he was rich."

WAS works here, because we're simply contemplating the reality. We aren't contradicting it.

The problem is that most people use a handy-dandy trick as their personal red flag for when things are subjunctive: they look for IF.

And that does work a lot, just like our opening sentence, and many others:
  • If I were a rich man . . .
  • If I were skinnier . . .
  • If I were in England right now . . .
  • If I weren't so impatient . . .
In each case, the speaker is contracting fact. They aren't rich, skinny, in England, or patient.

But here's where things get dicey and most people mess up with subjunctive: they see IF and, whether or not the sentence contradicts reality, they immediately assume, "YAY! SUBJUNCTIVE! I'll use WERE!"

  • He wondered if she were cold.
  • If she were going to get there on time, she'd better hurry.
  • She couldn't help but think about if he were attracted to her.
  • If it were a homemade pie, which she'd find out in moments, she'd surely she'd eat the whole thing.
In each of the cases above, we either don't know the reality (so it cannot be subjunctive) or we do know the reality. But the sentence happens to have IF in it, so heck, let's throw in WERE anyway.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

  • He wondered if she WAS cold.
  • If she WAS going to get there on time, she'd better hurry.
  • She couldn't help but think about if he WAS attracted to her.
  • If it WAS homemade pie, which she'd find out in moments, she'd surely eat the whole thing.
Teachers used IF as a tool to help students spot subjunctive and help them know when to use WERE. But it's not a foolproof method.

IF isn't the only time you'll get subjunctive mood, and it's not a guarantee that the sentence using IF is subjunctive at all.

Simply ask: Is this sentence contracting facts we know?


NO: Use WAS.

Easy, no?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Book's Kinda Like...but not Really

A popular post from February 2010. 

By Josi S. Kilpack

Do you write JUST like Dan Brown? Is your next book the NEXT Harry Potter? If so, my condolences. We already have Dan Brown and Harry Potter, and no one needs a replacement. However, when you get the phase of querying agents/editors you need to help them identify who you are and what you write, which is where comparisons come in. But there is a right way and a wrong way to make those comparisons.

  • I write exactly like Shannon Hale.
  • My book is better than Lovely Bones.
  • My book will outsell Twilight.
  • Have you ever wished you'd published John Grisham's first novel? Well here's your chance to do even better!

Saying things like that sounds a little like Vincini in Princess Bride, and we all know how that ended:

"Have You Ever Heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? Morons!"

But agents/editors DO want comparisons, they need to know how you measure yourself against other books, and the books you choose says a lot about what you write, who your target audience is, and whether or not you are paying attention to your competition. Which brings us to the other Wrong way of facilitating comparisons:

  • My book is like nothing you've ever read before.
  • My book is a fresh new genre.
  • There's nothing like this on the market

Now, there are some books that really are unlike anything else out there, now and then someone does make up a new genre--but even THEY have something to compare to. Twilight was new to many of us, but vampire books have been around for a long time. The Firm was also unique, but there had been other books that used law as the backdrop to the story. Shannon Hale's adapted fairy tales were new and different, but they are based on fairy tales which have been around for a very long time.

Never mind that when you say you're "As good as...", or "The next..." you come across as arrogant and, probably, deluded. You are NOT Stephenie Meyer. You might write as well she does, and you might tell a similar story, but you are NOT her because you haven't sold 18 million books.

Is that horse dead, yet? Good, then we can continue.

In Real Estate, appraisers use other homes around you to estimate the value of your home when they work up an appraisal. Your home might be worth two million Beverly Hills, but it's not in Beverly Hills. If homes similar to yours are selling for $300K, asking for 2 million will not get you the result you're looking for. Book comparisons are similar; you are pointing out the 'value' and 'market' and 'genre' of your book by comparing it to other books in the neighborhood.

The other benefit of comparisons is that it reflects your market saavy. You need to know the market you want to publish in, which is why when writers say "There's nothing like this in the market" industry people roll their eyes. There probably is something out there, similar in some way, you just haven't done your research. Agents/editors want to know that YOU know your market and your potential competition--comparisons show them that you understand this.

So, how do you compare the right way. Understanding why comparisons are important is the first step. Knowing your overall market is the next. The third step is finding the right comparisons. People (including me in this post) tend to go with very popular books most people are familiar with. This isn't bad thing, but keep in mind the people you are querying know that John Grisham isn't the only legal thriller writer out there, and Harry isn't the only kid with a wand. As you learn your market, look for books that might not be on the NY Times Bestseller list but have really good reviews. Look for books that might not have caught the spotlight in America, but sold well in foreign markets. Not only does this set you apart in that you're not the 39th writer that week comparing yourself to Angels and Demons, but it shows that you have really learned your market and that selling 400 million copies isn't your only goal; you also appreciate the power of good writing, and good reviews. Agents/editors know about the mid-list books out there, so you'll impress them in that fact that you're paying attention on a deeper level than most. And it's often in these mid-list layers where you'll find the best comparisons to your book anyway, better helping the agent/editor get a feel for what your book is about. NEVER say your book is "Just like" any other book, because if it's "Just like" another book, then why would they want to publish another one?

To find comparisons go to or your local library and peruse books by genre, ask a librarian, check out reader lists, or even google "Middle grade apocalyptic fantasy novel" and see what comes up. Be sure to read the books you choose to compare yours to. It would not do well for you to say your book was similar to a book is had nothing in common with. But don't overwhelm yourself. You should be able to find a couple books or writers that will work well for you--you don't want more than a few comparisons anyway because YOUR book is the focus.

In summary, the key to comparisons are:

  • "My book is similar to...
  • "but different in that...
  • Read the books you are comparing yourself to.
  • Be professional.
  • Be humble yet confident.

Happy writing!

Monday, August 22, 2016

What's the Point?

A popular post from January 2010

by Annette Lyon

Yes, I know you love your characters and that they're real to you, but we don't need every single detail about their lives. After they get home from work, do we really need to have a 4-page scene with several of them sitting around discussing what they ate for dinner?

You'd be surprised at how often I come across that kind of thing in my freelance work: long, exhaustive scenes that serve no absolutely point (besides, maybe, as a substitute for Ambien). They may be well-written on the sentence level, but they accomplish nothing.

The entire section could be deleted, and from a story standpoint, you'd never know it.

As a writer, it's easy to inadvertently drop in useless scenes. Like I said, we love our characters. They're real, at least in our heads. And just about anything they do is interesting . . . to their creator.

But you've got an audience to keep entertained. That's why every scene needs to accomplish something. Preferably, more than one something.

Here are six potential goals for a scene:
1) Advance the plot.
This is one of the most important goals for a scene. If the story isn't moving forward, a reader is going to get bored. Keep the story moving, progressing, advancing.

2) Create or show conflict.
Tension is what propels the plot. Without conflict, you have no story. Conflict holds the reader's interest. Plus, it's what most of your story should be based on anyway, right?

3) Set the setting.
Few scenes should have this as a purpose exclusively, but it is a valid one. Often we need to see and experience where the characters are, especially in genre books where the location is just as important as the rest of the story, such as in historical, science fiction, and fantasy works. Just don't belabor the setting. Make sure something else is going on as well. Eight pages dwelling on the unusual sunsets, architecture, or clothing get old.

4) Reveal character.
Do this through actions, thoughts, and dialogue of your POV character as well as their interpretations of others' actions and dialogue. Use this one a lot.

5) Show back story.
I mention this one with a bit of trepidation, because too many writers go, "Yippee! My purpose is to show back story!" and then we end up with long sections of info dumps, making the story stall and the reader fall asleep. Show back story in snippets and with a purpose. Never halt the story and then go into a 5-page history of a character. BORING.

6) Lay groundwork for later plot.
At times, you'll need to set-up a location, event, or something else that'll show up again or be relevant later. Same goes for foreshadowing. Just don't get too carried away here. Make sure you keep things interesting.

As a general rule of thumb, try to make every single scene accomplish at least two of the six purposes. If a scene isn't doing at least one of the six, delete it. It's fluff, and you don't need the scene.

If it's doing one of the six, see if you can add another one or two to punch it up.

Another good idea is to aim for the vast majority of your scenes to have at least one the purposes be either #1 or #2 (advance the plot or create conflict). Then add another one, say character or setting.

Don't try to cram all six purposes into a single scene. That's overload, and readers like that just as much as they like fluff (they don't).

As you read over your work-in-progress, note your scenes and the why. You might not have written the scene with a why in mind, but you can go back to see if there is one now. If not, revise and put one in.

Bottom line, every scene needs one of two things:
1) A purpose
2) The delete key.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Darkest Before the Dawn?

A popular post from February 2010

A friend of mine, J. Scott Savage, is doing a class on writing at a conference. I'm not exactly sure what his class will contain, but knowing him, the class will be twenty shades of amazing. I have an inkling of what he might say at this class because he posed a question to our online writer's group. The question was, "Could any of you who found success at the brink of giving up on writing e-mail me personally with your story or respond to the list?"

Finding success on the brink of giving up . . .

I know a lot of authors who've found success at nearly the same moment they decided to give up. Because at the same time they've given up, they also decided to give it one last push, to take one last step, to try one more time.

It's a strange place to be when you know you write well, you know you have talent, you've workshopped your manuscript and edited the thing until you could almost see your reflection in its polished shine, you know your story is sound, and yet the rejection letters keep rolling in. It's almost enough to make a writer more crazy than writers are prone to be naturally. It's almost enough to make us give up.

Madeleine L’Engle decided she was done writing. She had a couple of books published and then went nearly a decade of rejection after rejection. Throughout her thirties, no one seemed to want to publish what she wrote. She covered her typewriter and walked away in a huge show of renunciation. She wrung her hands and paced in circles and cried over her lost career. As she paced and cried, she realized that she already had a plot forming of a woman on the brink of giving up, but the story arc would be that the woman DIDN’T give up and finally succeeded. She realized that even the act of quitting brought plots and characters to her. She realized this wasn’t something she could just walk away from. She uncovered her typewriter, and went back to work. A couple of years later, she won the Newbery for A Wrinkle In Time.

Jessica Day George had many rejections. She had been to countless conferences and writing retreats and editor meetings in her attempts to break into a seemingly impossible market. The last conference she attended before getting a contract, she’d decided she’d had it. She told her husband that she was done—no more. He told her she had to finish the conference she was at because they’d already paid for it. The next day at the conference, she was at a critique group. Someone whispered over to her that they liked hers best and would she be interested in attending a by-invitation-only editor retreat. At that retreat, Jessica’s editor offered her a contract. Jessica had said that she was done and she’d meant it. She felt finished competing in a market she *knew* she was good enough to be part of, but that rejected her at every turn. If she hadn’t gone back to that conference, she wouldn’t have been invited to the editor’s retreat. If she hadn’t been at that retreat, she would have never been offered the contract that gave the rest of the world Jessica Day George. Jessica's newest book, Princess of Glass, comes out in May and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

For myself, it does seem that every time I think I’m done, something happens—even if it’s a little something. I think I’m done—I can’t go further in this maddening career choice, and I get a request for a partial manuscript. I think I’m done and I get a request for a full. I think I’m done and an agent says she’d like me to sign a contract. I think I’m done and my local publisher says they want another book. I think I’m done and SOMETHING happens to keep me in the game. Something happens that makes it impossible for me to walk away. And I finally realized that, like Madeleine, the stories won’t leave me alone just because I walk away from the computer. They’ll still be there, waiting for me to write them.

And *what if* the day you decide to quit, what if THAT day is like Jessica’s day—where there is only one more step to take to make it to the finish line?

You know you're good enough to compete, you've worked your manuscript, you've taken the pains and efforts to really learn how to write, you know you're good enough to play in the big sandbox called the national market. You just have to take one more step.

Well? What are you waiting for?

If anyone else has darkest before the dawn stories, feel free to leave them in the comments. We'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pitching a Winner!

A popular post from February 2010.

By Josi S. Kilpack

You've written your book, you've revised it, and you've let your friends read it while chewing your fingernails to the quick. You then took their suggestions and made your book even better and realized it was time to face the facts--you are running out of excuses not to seek publication. You thought writing the book was intimidating--now it's time to send it out to the world and hope it finds a home with a publisher who will love it as much as you do. It's time to learn your market, it's time to query, and for many writers it's time to meet an agent face to face and pitch your book.  **FYI, if what you sign up for is a "Review," meaning you submitted your actual writing prior to the meeting,  all of the following information still applies.

So, what is a pitch exactly? And how can you use the time as efficiently as possible?

First, A pitch is basically a face to face meeting with an agent/editor who MIGHT want to read more. It's a powerful opportunity, but in order for it to be of greatest benefit to you, you need to look at it from all perspectives:

1--Author Development: We are writers, that means we love words, but we usually prefer them on a page. I'm convinced that one of the reasons I started to write was because I couldn't revise things I said out loud. In a book, I can sound like a genius and always say the right thing...not so much in real life. Still, if you want to become a published author you need to be able to talk about yourself and your book. Sitting across from a real live agent/editor forces you to do this. Practicing what you'll say before you sit across from said agent/editor (hereafter referred to as "agent' because I'm getting annoyed with agent/editor)  will help you do this well. If you're intimidated, remember that when you do get published, you're going to be put on the spot all the time to talk about your book--the days of the eccentric author hiding in the woods ended the day the Unibomber was arrested.

2--Name recognition: Getting a face to face with an agent/editor is your chance to rise out of the slush pile. IF they request your book, you can remind them that you met them at such-and-such conference. Agents receive thousands and thousands of queries, and request hundreds of partials, but you met them, they then have a connection and that sets you apart.

3--Knowing the agent: When an writer sits down to start researching agents it's an overwhelming prospect trying to find an agent that might be a good fit for your book. At any given time there are likely dozens of agents who could be the one--but a pitch gives you the excuse to study up on a particular agent. Learn about their clients, their history, the company they work for. Learn their submission guidelines, find out which publishing houses they seem to have a good relationship with, and learn about the books they've placed. You likely don't have the time to do this type of research for every agent you'll query, but it's worth your time to really dig into this one. The process will also benefit you if you need to research agents in the future because you'll know best how to go about it.

4--Insider info: Agents eat, breathe, and sleep books. They know what sells and what doesn't sell. They know what imprints are the best fit for certain genres. They know what's hot, they know what was hot 6 months ago, and even if they aren't interested in your book, they will know who might be. Sitting across from them is like having the chance to discuss reduction sauces with Julie Child or Chimpanzees with Jane Goodall--they are experts and their industry knowledge is priceless. I think this is the area of a pitch most writers don't take advantage of the way they should. They are so eager to convince the agent their book is great (not that it isn't) they forget to listen to what the agent has to say. Not every author who meets with an agent is going to get their book requested, but every single one of them has the chance to learn details of their market they might never learn otherwise. Because of this, having questions you want to ask will ensure you will leave the pitch smarter than you went in.

A couple other tips:

1-Be respectful to their time and their status. These are industry professionals. Even if they say something you don't necessarily agree with, arguing is not going to reflect well on you.
2-Be Prepared. Know how to verbalize your book and your long term writing goals, come with questions you want answers to, and know the agent your meeting with.
3-Play nice. Don't defame other authors, books, or agents. Writers quick to put down someone else are often attempting to make themselves look better in the process, and that's rarely the result. You don't need to make someone else look small in order to make yourself look good.
4-Have realistic expectations. Every writer wants to submit to the agent they pitch to, but the fact is agents request less than 10%. Usually it's because the book isn't ready or they know they're not the best fit. Because of those two things, you shouldn't feel offended or hurt if they don't want to read more. Please, please, please view your pitch as an opportunity, not a guarantee.
5-Evaluate. After the pitch is over, evaluate how it went. Did you say what you wanted to say the way you wanted to say it? Could you have done better? Did you learn any tidbits of information that could improve your book or your agent focus or your next pitch?
6-Deliver. If you were lucky enough to have your book requested, be sure to submit it quickly, when the memory of your meeting is fresh in the agent's mind. Most agents will not take submissions at the conference--they don't want to haul manuscripts back home with them, so find out how best to send it to them and then follow their instructions to the letter.

It's an exciting opportunity to meet with people who have made bestsellers out of a writer who was once just like you--use your time wisely and take full advantage of the information available.

Here are some additional links for information on how to pitch:

Julie Wright's blog Post The Perfect Pitch
Nathan Bransford's Post How to Maximize Pitch Sessions
LDStorymakers 2010 Agent/Editor Information

Monday, August 15, 2016

Close vs. Distant POV

A popular post from March 2010. 

by Annette Lyon

It's come to my attention that in all our posts about point of view, that we've never covered the concept of close third person versus distant third person.

Time to remedy the oversight!

Most contemporary fiction written in third person (he said this; she did that) is written in a pretty close point of view. It's probably what you're used to reading. For that matter, if you look at the Writing on the Wall archives, close third and first person are the two points of view that generally apply.

But what is close third?

To start defining the term, let's first describe distant third person.

Distant Third Person
Point of view, of course, is the lens through which the writer (or the narrator voice) tells the story. For a moment, think of that lens as a movie camera standing back from the action but hanging in the air over a character's head.

The camera captures what the POV character sees, and perhaps what the POV character hears. However, for the most part, the narrative is separate and apart from the character and what he or she is feeling or experiencing. It's objective, not making interpretations.

The camera can certainly show an amazing fight sequence. We won't be privy to the POV character's thoughts, feelings, and so forth about it, but we'll see a great movie in our heads.

It's almost like a journalist reporting the events in vivid detail, sitting perched on that camera.

The camera can get more distant, pulling back to the point that we can't even tell much about the POV character at all, or it can get a bit closer, perhaps letting us in on gestures and other behaviors.

But there's always a barrier; the reader stays outside the POV character's head.

Close Third Person
Just as with distant third, close third has degrees of closeness. A very close (or tight) third person POV will be so entrenched in the POV character's head that the reader knows their every thought, feeling, smell, taste, sound, touch, reaction, facial expression, motivation, and more.

A slightly less tight POV will show emotions and senses, but might not get so tightly ingrained in the character's psyche. Again, it's a matter of degrees. Just how close are you to the character, emotionally, psychologically, and otherwise?

In a sense, all variations of third person are about degrees of closeness, and the same book could have varying degrees.

For example, an opening paragraph of a chapter could be very distant as the reader is introduced to a location, say a snowy mountain scape. Then the "camera" pans closer to the POV character huddled a cave trying to stay warm. The closer we get, the more we know about what that character is thinking, feeling, doing, planning.

Some people argue that if you're going for an extremely tight third person, then you might as well be writing in first person, since that POV is just as tight, if not tighter. (If the character is telling the story, you're totally in their head, right?)

The problem with that argument is that a story in first person has limitations of its own, among them this biggie: your first person POV character must be present in every single scene, and you can never, ever, show anything from anyone else's POV.

That said, first person is a popular POV, and many fantastic books have been written in it. Just be certain it's the right one for your story before you commit to it. (Rewriting a book with a new POV is as big a task as writing an entirely new book. Trust me on this one; been there, done that.)

Ask yourself whether your book would be stronger if you could show a scene from another POV, such as the antagonist's, a parent's, or a friend's.

If so, opt for a tight third instead of first. That way, you get most of the benefits of first person (you're right in their head) without the restrictions.

Another caveat:
Don't cheat with first person. Readers will be seriously annoyed if something the POV character knows isn't revealed to them as well. After all, they're in the POV character's head, so they should know everything that character does.

Some rules of thumb with point of view:
  • Don't have too many POV characters per book. A common number is between two and five. Some genres lean toward fewer POVs (such as romance), while others can handle more (such as epic fantasy). Know your genre and its expectations. Avoid too many if you can, simply because keeping track of them and readjusting to a new POV can be taxing on the reader.
  • Maintain ONE point of view per scene. Don't be tightly in Jane's head and then flip to a John's head (tight or otherwise) mid-scene. That's disorienting and unnerving to the reader, who is trying to keep track of who is thinking and feeling what, and exactly which lens to interpret the story through.
  • Separate point of view shifts with scene shifts (and visual markers like asterisks) and/or chapter breaks.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Is Self-Publishing for You?

A popular post from March 2010. 

by Heather Moore

I invited Sarah Eden to share her journey of deciding to self-publish nine novels and her recent decision to go with a traditional publisher.

Her first book launch for her “traditionally published” book will be on Friday, March 12 at the Deseret Book in Orem, Utah, 6:00–8:00 p.m., 1076 S. 750 E. (Along with two other authors, our own Annette Lyon, and Julie Bellon)

Thanks, Sarah!


In the words of the immortal William Shakespeare, “The course of getting published never did run smooth.” I may have paraphrased a little.

Ask any serious writer about getting published and the reaction you get will invariably go something like this: "Well...” (Shudders/cringes/twitches) “It's tough. I get a lot of...” (muscles back a groan/sob/word-the-author's-mother-would-blush-to-hear) “rejections.” (a tell-tale muscle tic begins somewhere on author's face)

This is a brutal industry. I'm twitching just writing about it.

I write “sweet” historical romance. The sweet part has a double meaning: suh-weet, as in insurmountably cool and sweet, as in not smutty. Believe it or not, the second kind of sweetness got in the way of the first kind of sweetness during my course toward publication.

A few years back I jumped feet first into the shark-infested waters of the national romance market. The responses I received began to blur together. “I love your writing. Your characters are enjoyable. Your plot is intriguing, etc., etc., etc.” Sounds great, right? Not entirely. After these encouraging evaluations came the same phrase: “but I don't represent/am not interested in 'sweet' romances.” Trying to get published began to feel a lot like exercise—no matter how hard I tried I was always left with a big but.

After finishing off my third carton of self-medicating ice cream in as many days, I began investigating the black sheep of the book industry: Self-publishing.

I discovered some very interesting things.

*Self-publishing comes in 3 basic flavors: traditional, print-on-demand and the vanity press

*Traditional: Author takes manuscript to a printer, negotiates the price to have a set number of books printed, takes books home to store in garage and sell via website/appearances/the occasional negotiation with a bookstore

* Print-on-demand: Author formats manuscript according to POD company's specifications, a price-per-book is determined based on book measurements & length, books are printed by company when a purchase is made, book is shipped to customer

*Vanity press: “publishing” company agrees to publish author's book if author provides a portion of the publishing cost

*Self-published authors don't get a lot of props from the industry at large. “Wannabe,” “not a real author,” “not talented enough to get published 'for real'” are among the nicer things I've heard.

* Self-publishing is not a good way to earn money as an author. The profit margin is exceptionally small and a self-published author doesn't sell a lot of books.

Over the next three years, I self-published nine titles using POD self-publishing. I chose CreateSpace, the print-on-demand arm of Amazon. I sold books on Amazon and at writer's conferences, but otherwise had very little exposure—a common problem for a self-published author.

For me, self-publishing was always a step in the journey and never the final destination. With each book I put out, I hoped that it would somehow find its way into the hands of someone who could help me find a publisher who was interested in the kind of book I wrote.

My novel, Seeking Persephone, was a finalist for a 2008 Whitney Award—one of the few competitions that allows self-published works. As a result of this bit of good fortune, I met a fellow-writer (you know who you are) who suggested I give a certain small press a try that was known for publishing books with my brand of sweetness.

The rest, as they say, is history. Looking back on this journey, I realize I've collected a few nuggets of wisdom that just might guide an author thinking of trying their hand at self-publishing.

* Have realistic expectations. Most self-published authors will barely break even.

* Believe in yourself and your work. Self-published authors enter the industry at a disadvantage—they are disregarded, overlooked and, at times, never given a chance to prove themselves. If you are willing to put your work out there and endure the ups and downs, some amazing things can happen.

* Do your homework. Find out what you need from a self-publisher in terms of budget, product, an ISBN, an online purchasing option, etc. Choose the self-publishing method and company that fits your needs best.

* Keep an open mind. Perhaps self-publishing will prove ideal for you and your book. Perhaps it is only part of the journey. Know what your goals are and work toward them.