Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives

September 2003 Archives

Fray Day DC 7 Details!

Hey, guys! I'm posting details about our featured performers over at So far I've posted brief bios for Talon, Bill and Dave, and I have a handful of other featured performers to get up there too. This party's going to rock. It's going to be small and intimate, but it's going to rock.

So there's this girl.

She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes,
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies,
And she only reveals what she wants you to see,
She hides like a child but she's always a woman to me.

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you,
She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe you,
And she'll take what you give her as long as it's free,
Yeah, she steals like a thief but she's always a woman to me.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She's ahead of her time.
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

And she'll promise you more than the garden of Eden
then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding,
But she brings out the best and the worst you can be.
Blame it all on yourself cause she's always a woman to me.

Oh, she takes care of herself, she can wait if she wants,
She's ahead of her time.
Oh, and she never gives out and she never gives in,
She just changes her mind.

She is frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel,
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool,
But she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree,
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me.

Thanks, Billy.


Should have stayed in New York.

It's about time.

Well, we finally have our Internet access back, I'm back from the funeral and a lightning trip to New York to see Kate (whom I'm planning to sue for libel as soon as I can reach my lawyer), and it's time to start whooping up Fray Day 7 DC, which goes down THIS FRIDAY at Common Grounds in Arlington! Be there!


Unintentionally funny, but accurate.

All in all, it was a very fine funeral.


Calling hours down, a funeral to go.

So right now I'm in Ohio, lying on my old bed, talking with Kate on iChat and mentally digesting the day. Our Internet connection in Bethesda came back this morning, so I did a couple hours of client stuff before climbing into the car for the marathon drive back to Ohio. Six hours later, I was changing into my suit for my aunt's calling hours. The calling hours were about what I expected – it was nice to see family and old friends.

Weird bonus Cool Thing: Sheldon, the fellow who owns the funeral parlor, is an old friend of the family and member of our church, and after the calling hours were through he took Dad and I out to his garage and showed us his old cars. Someday, in a book, I will feature a funeral home director with an old-style Mini Cooper, an MG, and a Rolls Royce.

The Mini was very, very cool.

Anyway, tomorrow is the funeral. I'm trying to squeeze some client work in around all this other stuff, but it's a bit tricky. Wish me luck.

Sorry for the disjointed nature of this post. It's been a weird day.


Deposits and withdrawals from the First Bank of Karma.

This weekend I had an amazing time with Kate in New Jersey. To karmaically make up for that joy, I came home to discover that my great-aunt Marcella passed away in her sleep on Saturday night. Instead of having my wisdom teeth out on Tuesday, I will instead be driving back to Ohio for a funeral.

Bite me, karma. Bite me hard.

It's actually a blessing, really. She had been in a lot of pain, and had been in a fairly steep decline for a while. That doesn't change the fact that she was my favorite aunt on that side, or that she had been a wonderful, delightful person, but it's for the best.


Hurricane Isabel knocked out the Internet connection at the house, so updates will be intermittent at best. God bless Common Grounds. Catch you later.


Stormblogging II: Let's get it on.

The sky is darkening. The winds are picking up. The rain is coming down at at least a 30-degree angle, thanks to said winds.

Let's get ready to rock.

I owe everybody everything.

Going down through my e-mail inbox a minute ago, I was suddenly overcome by a huge wave of remorse, regret and frustration. I owe so many people real, in-depth emails. (Janice, Andy, Ken, Kori, Hill, David, Beth, Mike, Kim, Lisa, all y'all and then some, this means you.)

To make it up to you, I plan on replying to all of your emails next week, while under the influence of Vicodin. The resulting hilarity should make up for the tardiness.


I live in a city of weenies. Hurricane Isabel is on its way in, the rain is just now starting, it's not supposed to get really bad until after dark tonight, and The Art Store (which has the supplies I need for a client project) is "closed for the storm". Babies!

Expect more updates as weather (and power) allow.


Things I have learned.

It is physically impossible to do more than 100 pages of edits per day for more than one day. Your eyes start doing this funny little thing and you get nauseous. Yuck.

Now I'm torn.

I gotta admit, I like Dean, but I'm half tempted to vote for someone that announces his candidacy on The Daily Show.

Addendum to that last post.

It's worth mentioning that the last time I went to the Apple Store, I played with the G5s and walked away shrugging. I mean, yeah, it's fast, but it's not blow-the-doors-off-and-slam-you-into-a-wall fast. As the ads would have you believe.

I think I'm hovering around the edge of the whole "as fast as I need it to be" area. Which is right next to the "you know, I think there may be more important things to life right now than computers."

Hot cats. I'm growing up.

Now, how come I didn't think of that before?

So today Apple unveiled the new PowerBooks, and they're really pretty cool. The new top-of-the-line 15" model has the keyboard backlighting, 64MB of video RAM (which is the same amount of video RAM on the G5s), a SuperDrive, and is twice as fast as Gandalf, my PowerBook G4/667.

So I'm sitting here, thinking, yeah, that'd be nice, because then I'd have a laptop I wouldn't be bloody well ashamed to take to client meetings since all the metal is rubbing off the bloody keyboard, but what I really wanted was a machine I could leave on all the time as a sort of personal alarm clock and time manager.

Then it hit me. I'm an idiot. I'm typing on it.

See, I'm used to wearing my PowerBooks out. When I upgraded from Galileo (my PowerBook 1400) to Kerouac (my PowerBook G3), it was because Galileo was on its last legs. And I only upgraded to Gandalf here when Kerouac died. And I mean died. The thing was taking - no joke - sometimes an hour to start up, the monitor was flickering and dying... Basically, the box was hosed. When I loaded everything up onto Gandalf, I basically put poor Kerouac into a box in my closet. I'm beginning to think of my closet as a mass burial ground for old technology.

If I buy a new laptop, which would be almost $2500 cheaper than the G5 I was looking to buy (once you include all the monitors and extra stuff), this would be the first time I would really have two working laptops on my desk. I could use Gandalf as my always-on home box.

Hot cats. Hmmmm.

Disadvantages! Yes, the new laptop would be exponentially slower than the desktop (1.25 GHz G4 versus a dual 2GHz G5). Yes, the desktop would have way more hard drive space (80GB versus 250GB). Yes, yes, yes. But I'm a freelance creative consultant. I'm a traveller. I'm primarily a web designer, not a videographer (yet). Is this a better buy for me? Maybe. And would the $2200 price difference (approx. $3125 for just the laptop vs. $3825 for the G5 and $1500 in monitors) be better spent on, say, a gym membership and a bunch of Amtrak tickets? Probably.

There's yet another downside to this equation, though. Is the new PowerBook too little, too late? It's obvious that it will suffice. But when you buy a new computer, it's an investment. The new 15" PowerBook unveiled today is the very machine they should have unveiled, what? Eight months ago? A year? I don't want the computer I need now, I want the computer I'm going to need a year from now. Of course, maybe a year from now I can just buy a 3GHz G5 desktop. Hmmm.

One way or the other, I think I'm going to wait until these babies ship with Panther pre-installed. It seems ludicrous to shell out another $125 in something like a month and a half.

I dunno. Maybe I should just wait, be true to form, and keep working on Gandalf until it curls up its toes and dies. What do you guys think?


I am the marathon man.

On Monday I plowed through 117 pages of edits. This week I must process a total of 571 pages of edits, and that's just for project one. Tomorrow I get up early and do it again.


For those who ask.

Yep. :)

Well, I used to respect Harold Bloom.

So I'm taking a break from the workload, and I found A Literary Award for Stephen King in The New York Times to be a pretty disheartening article. Especially this nonsense from Yale literature god Harold Bloom:

Told of Mr. King's selection, some in the literary world responded with laughter and dismay. "He is a man who writes what used to be called penny dreadfuls," said Harold Bloom, the Yale professor, critic and self-appointed custodian of the literary canon. "That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy."

And that right there, folks, is why literature is dying: that arrogant, elitist attitude. It shouldn't be surprising that this is the same attitude behind all the damners of the Harry Potter franchise. Basically, if something isn't Chandler, Cheever, Shakespeare, Faulkner, Hemingway, etc., it's not worth reading, and everything else is trash. I'd rather be a popular author any day of the week than a pompous, asinine stuffed shirt like this.

Of course, you watch: if I ever actually produce a popular novel or movie or whatever, the Kenyon alumni bulletin will turn up its little nose and sniff just like Mr. Bloom. What rot.

Yo, yo, here we go.

So starts the last eight days before I go under the oral surgeon's knife. I have two major projects I need to get more or less finished this week and a third one I need to ensure is guided smoothly along towards its eventual fantastic conclusion. If this were a movie, my waking up this morning would have been accompanied with that thudding bass line and electric synths from the Mortal Kombat theme. Let's get ready to rumble.

Before I do, though, I would like to share with you the adventures of my weekend. The weekend was really very cool, with the exception of spending something like twenty hours of it in the car. Saturday I got up bright and early (like 5AM) to head from Bethesda, Maryland back to my parents' house in Shreve, Ohio. I wound up taking a brief detour through Akron to swing by and pick up the last elements of my wedding presents, but made it back in time to catch the end of the Ohio State game. (Go Bucks!) I swear, if we don't start playing better this year, the OSU-Michigan game is going to be a travesty. Anyway, made it back, got all the presents wrapped and the shirts pressed and whatnot, and made it to the wedding on time. It seems like Kris, one of my oldest friends and literally the girl next door, has chosen herself a fine husband. Kristina Lynne Berkey Prater. Kris Prater. That's going to take some getting used to. Just like when my cousin Phil got hitched, I found myself grinning for the rest of the weekend and saying over and over, "Dude, Kris got married!" Actually, this one doesn't blow my mind as much as little cousin Phil getting married. Kris getting married is a Good Thing – it's time for all of us to start tying knots and settling down, yadda yadda. I'm proud of her.

Anyway, so we stayed at the wedding until ten o'clock or so, by which point I was utterly blitzed. I found myself wishing that it hadn't been a dry wedding, because feeling the way I did would have been easier to blame on wine or champagne instead of just spending eight hours in a car, but I guess that counts too. After we left, I wound up talking with Mom for an hour or so about politics and the legal issues of porn (whether or not it's the act or the concept we're trying to outlaw, a really great conversation) and then I crashed back in my old bed, where I proceeded to sleep like a whole stack of logs.

Sunday I woke up full of get-up-and-go, so I got up and went. Showered quickly, said g'bye to the folks and then headed, not for DC immediately, but out to Wooster, where I did The Lap. Whenever I go back to the old hometown, I always do a lap before I leave, to see what's changing, what's gone away, what's arrived, you know. This time I was floored to see a brand shiny new Best Buy squatting up in the north end of town. This is huge. A Best Buy in Wooster is yet another instance of the encroachment of the outside world on our little town. When I was growing up, the only stores from the outside world were K-Mart, Sears and a couple still primarily local chains like Quality Farm and Fleet, Beuhler's and Big Wheel. (Big Wheel was kind of like an el cheapo Wal-Mart.) Since then we've been invaded with Wal-Mart, Elder-Beerman, Lowe's, and now Best Buy. I'm happy about the arrival of Best Buy, since I'm now thrilled there will be a place to buy last-minute Christmas presents, but, well... Change. You know how it goes.

An exponentially worse change is the departure of the families of two of my bestest friends, the Beesons and the Avellones. That's depressing. It always sucks to see good people leave, especially people whom I consider to have had the best of all possible influences on the area. Christmas this year is going to suck, not being able to drop in on them. It may be time to start looking for new traditions.

Right, travel stories. After The Lap, I headed down to Columbus and Graeter's, this fantastic chain of ice cream shops to which we Kenyon alums are utterly addicted. My friends Nick F. and SarahScott consider me the "dealer" for this stuff, since I'm the only one of us who has family in Ohio, so I took the 2-3 hour detour down that-a-way to pick up a cooler full of pints. This was not an utterly selfless act, since I know that next week ice cream may be a very welcome substance. After I picked up the stuff and puttered around Easton Town Center a while (this megahuge mall-slash-1950s-theme-park built by Mickey Wexler, the Columbus billionaire behind The Gap), it was time to head East again. Lord, doing that drive twice in two days sucks. Luckily, I had the best of all possible aural company – I got to chat for a while with Talon and Ruth (who is also in Chicago) and finally for a few hours with the lovely, inimitable Miss Kate. That was nice. Really, really nice. I can't wait to see her this weekend.

But! Before I can do so, I must first lay waste to these two massive mondo huge projects which lie before me! Let the finishing season begin. Let's rock and roll!


Heading home for the weekend.

After a long day's delay spent working on various client projects and whatnot, I'm heading home tomorrow for a friend's wedding. Posts, therefore, for the next two days may be nonexistent -- hope you all have a mexcellent weekend!


Fine, I'll be the asshole.

Somebody has to say it, and as near as I can tell nobody is, so I guess I'll be That Guy.

If you lost loved ones on September 11th, you have my most heartfelt condolences. All of us were damaged on September 11th, but your lives were the only ones whose were changed irreversibly. Any rememberances or memorials you want to observe, please do. You have all my respect and sympathy. That goes for all of you who have lost loved ones in the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well.

As for the rest of us... It's time to get on with our lives. We are never going to heal if we don't stop picking at this wound, and we're still allowing ourselves to be played like dimestore harmonicas by an administration who has a very vested interest in keeping this pain fresh and in our minds.

It's been two years. Yes, 9/11 was worse than the Challenger explosion. Yes, 9/11 was only moderately lower on the catastrophic scale than, say, Pearl Harbor. But unless we're doing something that's going to finally catch the bastards responsible, all this "never forget" stuff equals "never heal" and "never live again".

While it's true that we may never have lived in the safe world that we thought we had pre-9/11, and that there is value in having been exposed to The Real World that the rest of the world has to live with every day, if that's what you're going for, read a goddamned newspaper on any given morning. Liberia. Israel. Russia. Iraq. Afghanistan. Every day people are dying. Sometimes we're the ones doing the killing. Getting yourselves all dolled up and preening about how your country has been so horribly, horribly wronged is downright shameful.

And as for you, Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Ashcroft, and Mr. Bush – by continually pulling this "if you're not with us you're with the terrorists" bullshit on the American people, you're proving youselves more dangerous to us than all the terrorists on the planet combined. Get the fuck out of our White House.

And that's all I have to say about that.


To say nothing of the Hamburglar.

Genius. And I'm sure it's all true, to boot.


Warren "Novel Boy" Ellis!

Awwright! Hey, Shannon, check it out!

Actually, that's a good point.

At the end of this article about a 12-year-old girl on the RIAA's hit list, the mother swears to get a good lawyer.

Seems like a good idea to me -- the RIAA is threatening to level thousands of lawsuits against people for this. Hey, Mike and other laywers -- what's the best way to use this as a numbers game to try and get punitive damages out of the RIAA and punish them for all this gestapo bullshit?


A good evening for media.

While I've been puttering about with different projects tonight, I've been watching two of my favorite movies from the last little while: Amelie and Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Mood movies. Mmmm.

In Writing: Small States.

I've just posted another story to my Writing Journal, over at It's a PDF this time around, 25 pages and formatted for printing. It's a love story told in two media, about an old man, a boy, a girl, and Edward Hopper. Submitted for your perusal: Small States. I hope you enjoy it.

Small States.

On the advice of a friend, I've decided to release my next piece as a PDF instead of a microsite. It's 25 pages long and formatted for regular printing on 8.5x11 in black and white. Please let me know if you have any problems.

Small States was my senior creative writing project, a love story told in two media in sort of the same vein as Auld Lang Syne and Luna. It's probably one of my favorite things I've ever written.

As always, I hope you enjoy it.

Download "Small States."

Two years later, the stories keep coming.

There's a very interesting little event going down over in the comments pages for {fray} hope - missing pieces. Apparently a high school teacher in New York is using {fray} as a part of his lesson plan today, which has resulted in fifty-two feedback posts from students already. They're really touching, funny and sad – just like good microstories ought to be. Swing by and check 'em out.

September 11th, our generation's Pearl Harbor. "Where were you when the Challenger exploded" has nothing on this.

Rest in peace, Mr. Zevon.

From The New York Times: Warren Zevon, Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 56.

The way he spent his last couple of months was downright inspiring. I hope I go with half as much of a flourish.

Dental progress.

Well, I finally went to go see the oral surgeon. He walked in, took one look at my x-rays, and said, "Yep, it's a no-brainer. All four have gotta come out."

Yeah, I was half expecting that. To be honest, I've been weirdly giddy all afternoon. At the consultation this morning, I received two prescriptions, a price estimate, and an appointment for The Cutting in two weeks. I also received confirmation that I am a low-risk individual for any major complications, my wisdoms are all fully erupted and (as near as I could tell) straight up and down, and I don't have any major deep abcesses or infections causing huge deteriorating holes in my jaw which would necessitate the amputation of my skull.

You laugh, but we creative writing dorks think like this.

Anyway, so while I'm not entirely thrilled to be undergoing major oral surgery in the near future, I should be back on my feet in plenty of time for Fray Day, I have some hard numbers to work into my budget, and I have something I haven't had for way way way too long about this: peace of mind.

Yay dentists!


This weekend I walked among my people.

Believe it or not, this is not a callback to the "King of the Dorks" post.

This weekend was the Small Press Expo here in Bethesda. Oh my word. The amount of truly amazing works on display was incredible! I also went and blew way too much money, which I justified to myself by knowing that, in most cases, the money was going straight to the artists themselves. I bought a lot of books that I'd been meaning to pick up "sooner or later", and found a couple brand-new favorites. (I also made sure to pick up a bunch of stuff on the off-chance that I'm going to be laid up with a mouth full of gauze this week. Lord, I hate dentists.)

I'll try and get some detailed reviews up here this week! For now, I've posted some microreviews over to the Storyblog at {fray}. Check 'em out!


It's official.

This evening I was officially crowned King of the Dorks.

All hail your king, you dorks.

Rivendell, meet Isengard.

With great power comes great... Storage requirements.

Gandalf, my PowerBook G4/667 has a measly 30GB drive in it. Back in the day, that would have been fine – but now, what with all the massive storage needed for digital video, music and the like, a guy needs more. So, last year I bought a 120GB external LaCie d2 drive, which I named Rivendell. Which was fine, until I went out and bought Final Cut Pro. More storage!

Tonight, Rivendell is joined by a 160GB LaCie d2 drive named Isengard. The amazing thing is that storage now is getting so bloody cheap – the difference in price between a 120GB drive and a 160GB drive was thirty bucks. Storage a less than a buck a gig. Wow. Ain't technology grand?

Let's go make some movies.

The original NeverJack.

Those of you who have known me for a while will remember the short fantasy novella I wrote way back in high school, NeverJack. I've been meaning to post it in its entirety here one of these days. That's today.

I was going to post it in installments, but then I realized that to post them one-two-three-four-five would make the epilogue appear at the top of the page here, since weblogs are in reverse order. Which seemed a little silly. So, well, I'm posting a link to a microsite instead.

I hope you like the story – I haven't changed this version much at all. There is another version, a script version, which is three times longer, much more adult and much darker at the end. I might post that too one of these days, just for comparison's sake.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

Read "NeverJack."


Getting pissed at Apple.

There are so many reasons I love Apple, and then there are a bunch of reasons that I really, really hate 'em sometimes. Like right now.

All I'm trying to do is build a system where I can make music, make movies, make websites, etc. – all things that Apple happily boasts their machines are designed to do. Yet when I try to install Pro Tools LE (with the mBox) and Final Cut Pro, something breaks. Horribly. Suddenly apps like Reason and iChat AV quit as soon as they're launched, and Pro Tools won't run, period. This is getting ridiculous.

Another thing: if they're going to announce new machines, ship the goddamn new machines. This BS about their dual G5 systems not shipping until late September for the people who ordered them in July is ridiculous. Same with this stupid little dance we're doing about the peripherals. We know there are new Bluetooth mice and keyboards coming, the screens are built into the Developers' releases of Panther (the next version of the Mac OS, for those of you who don't follow this kind of thing). Ship them. Same with new monitors. The ones currently on the market are designed to match the G4s. Give us some new, hopefully cheaper monitors without all that blasted wasted bevel space around the outside. We've seen how thin they can make the edging around the screens – look at the PowerBooks, for Christ's sake. Slap all the extra hardware into the bases and ship standalone versions of the 17" PowerBook screens if you have to, I don't care. But having all that wasted space around the screen taken up by a bunch of worthless stripey plastic is design masturbation.

Finally, where the hell is the 15" PowerBook? I know Motorola is to blame for the constant delays, and I know that they could give a rat's ass because most of their bread and butter is still coming from the telephone market. So ditch them already. Screw this whole "one more revision of the G4" BS for the PowerBooks and go straight to the PowerBook G5s. What's the matter, worried it'll bite into your desktop market? I've got news for you, you chumps – deal with it. There are a lot of people who just plain won't buy another desktop. There are people who might be cajoled into buying another desktop in addition to their laptops (that would be me) because there are things they need a desktop to do (like be the anchor for a swiftly-growing rat's nest of peripherals for video and audio work).

In short, light a fire under it, Apple. Get with the goddamn program and start shipping some stuff we can use. Now.

I can already tell this is going to be a problem.

I just finished installing Soundtrack on my PowerBook, and wham – an hour just disappeared. This app is cool. So far I haven't seen how to import new sounds, capture stuff from a mic or how to export MP3s, but the things that I have found are absolutely incredible.

I feel a massive creativity kick in the pants coming on.


Songs in the low-key.

If Kate were here today, she'd accuse me of being 'sullen' – which is apparently how I look when I'm feeling calm. Placid, even. Laid-back. Low-key.

This afternoon I took a walk through downtown Bethesda. It's a gray, rainy day here, the perfect kind of day for those kind of long, slow walks where you just watch everything from a distance. The pink and purple flowers of late summer are bobbing in a slight breeze, with beads of rain jiggling on their leaves. Puddles ripple and shimmer as the wind blows across their surfaces, and the people are dressed in everything from shorts and tank tops to long early-autumn overcoats.

It's these in-between seasons I love the most. September. Oh, how I love September.

On afternoons like this, even if my eyes aren't shining and I'm not bouncing along, I'm not sullen. I'm just quietly enjoying the ride.


Organizational frenzy.

Every time things in my life start feeling like they're out of control, I start organizing. It's silly, but there's a very real sense of I can't control that, but I can control this, and by God it's going to be optimized. Ridiculous, I know. But there it is.

Right now, if I could drive down to our local Apple Store, plunk down my credit card and drive home with a brand new dual-2.0 GHz G5 and a couple of monitors, I would. Just to help me get everything organized and optimized. Would dropping about five grand on hardware make life more difficult, fiscally speaking? Sure it would. But having a nice little cornerstone to help me clamber back on top of this Everest-like pile of mindblowing stuff would be worth it.

I'm not going to post anything major here about recent events. It's not the place. But I will say this: God has the worst sense of humor ever. Oh, and I think I'm going to give up women for a while. Me dating apparently makes the baby Jesus cry – not to mention other people. I'm throwing in the towel after this one.

Brief update: Well, it took a little over six hours, but I've finally entered all the year's data to date into Quicken for my checking account, my savings account, my credit card, my stock portfolio... Whoof. It's great to have a bird's-eye view of this stuff. Definitely a big help to figure out what's got to happen next, and how. Progress!

Tail chasing.

No, not that kind of tail chasing. I just mean today is one of those days where it just feels like I'm chasing my tail... Running in circles, as it were.

I'm beginning to understand the virtues of meditation. Simply sitting down and counting your breaths, slowing things down, and taking a ten-minute breather can really bring things back under control. In... Out... In... Out...

Of course, launching an all-out assault on one's to-do list can also be extremely productive. Right after lunch.

Oh, man.

The funniest thing I've heard in weeks: What If That Guy From Smashing Pumpkins Lost His Car Keys? Warning: audio involved!


Problem (kinda) solved.

Nevermind the 'closed' sign that appeared here briefly. I have since found a better solution to the problem.



This was a short story written back in 1999, about what happens when the ghost of Albert Einstein meets the thunder god Thor on a park bench in London. It is, of course, a story about ego.

For new work, please see...

I'm going to be posting some of my writing to this week. I invite you to swing by, pick up some reading material, and please provide some feedback. I'm going to try and kick my writing into high gear here for the next little while, so please throw me your support and criticism. Thank you.