Friday, June 3, 2011

Liking Linux, but....

Okay, I've been using Ubuntu (Linux) for about two weeks now for most of my work. It has been a couple of years since I used Linux and I have found this to be way superior to the last time. Most of the time I hardly notice any difference from Windows. Indeed, in many ways, I like it better.

It certainly loads significantly faster and runs very smoothly. I click on a program and it loads quickly. I notice that fewer of the programs have issues with them than Linux used to have. When I was using Linux before, it was like only half the programs I downloaded ran right out of the "box," and I either had to tweak them or to just dump them.  I've only had a couple of such instances out of about 100 programs I've tried so far.

However, I would not advise anyone to go Linux only. Why? Well, quite frankly, many of the programs many of us have to use run only on Windows or Macs. Tonight was a good example. I was looking for a screen capture program I could use to make video tutorials. The only one I found on Ubuntu didn't record sound. Well, that's pretty useless. Certainly, I could record the video and then overlay the sound in editing, but that creates two activities instead of one. It means spending twice as much time on a simple project. So, for screen capture, I'll just have to go back to Windows.

Likewise, I found a speech recognition program for linux, but you have to run it from the terminal plugging two or three lines of code. Why do I want to do that when Dragon Naturally Speaking just involves clicking on a button and launching the program.

Linux is doing massively better, but it is still not ready for prime time. But having said that, I suspect that it is becoming my primary OS and Windows my secondary. And that is a big change for this PC

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From My Work in Progress

I'm trying to edit my second book in the Carolyn Masters mystery series. Here's the first chapter as it stands. The Novel is called Stormy Weather:

“Today is another beautiful day in Armstrong City. The Weather Department  scheduled clear, sunny weather with temperatures in the high 70's for the rest of the week. No rain in ---”
            “Jeeves, snooze clock radio five minutes.” I rolled over and scrunched my pillow into my face. I dreaded the day ahead. Accreditation committee meetings in the morning and curriculum committee in the afternoon. Why do I let myself get roped into these things?
            Just as I was beginning to drift back to sleep, the deep British male voice of the home management system jarred me awake, “Ms. Masters. You have a vid call waiting from Dr. Cheravik. Do you wish to receive this call or record a message?”
            “Since you already woke me up, I may as well take the call. Jeeves, brew some tea and cancel the snooze.”
            I staggered to the comm console. “Answer call, audio only this side.” The screen flickered to life. On screen was a snow globe with the words, “Dr. Masters, we're needed.”
            “I knew it was a mistake to lend you my collection of Avengers chips, Michael Cheravik.”
            “I love those vids. So crazy. But this is serious. Have you looked outside today?”
            “No, I was resting peacefully in bed before I was rudely interrupted, first, by an overly cheerful weather forecaster and, then, a sight gag from a 1960's spy vid.”
            “Well, you should look outside. I mean it go look outside.”
            “Jeeves, Shades open. Window glass one-way.”
            Rain poured down.
            “Okay, what do you want me to see?”
            “It's raining.”
            “Yes, so what?” I lived ten years in San Francisco. Rain is nothing new to me.”
            “But the forecast for today is sunny and clear.”
            It took a moment for that to sink in. On earth a forecaster might get it wrong, but on the moon we make our own weather. The forecast is 100 percent accurate. In two years of life in this underground dome made to look like a typical small town, the forecast has never been wrong. Today was supposed to be sunny. It was raining. Something was terribly wrong.
            “Okay, so something is wrong with the weather system. What does that have to do with us?” I was afraid I knew the answer. Two years ago, we solved the first reported murders on the moon and averted a plot to push an asteroid into the earth by lunar separatists.
Since that time, Mike’s experience with the Dallas Police Department and my time at the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit marks us as the “pros” to call in when the local “security counselors” feel out of their depth. Mike enjoys the chase more than I do.
            “Well, it's not just a glitch. Someone inserted a virus causing the system to go haywire. They want me to investigate. Since you are on the provisional lunar council, this is important to the council as well.”
            “If I had known, how much work it would take to get a new government installed on the moon, I would never have supported Lunar independence.”
            Mike Laughed. “You don’t fool me. You’re in your element. You rage about committee meetings, but you eat it up.”
            He was right, but I hated to admit that Michael Cheravik was right about anything.
            “Okay, so what do you want me to do?”
            “Meet me at 2000 Lovell Drive. Wear comfortable shoes.”

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thoughts on a Day off

I have a day off today. It's my first day off this year. Yes, I've had weekends and Martin Luther King day. I took a personal day off a couple of weeks ago. School didn't even start until January 10. Nevertheless, this is my first "day off."

Things have been crazy this semester and I've been on a dead run with every weekend and day off filled with work. I've got the big stuff covered and there is only some little stuff which can wait until Tuesday when I get back to school.

I'll begin editing my Work In Progress after I post this. I'll be working in 15 minute segments since I am fighting a cold and my back is hurting. Nevertheless, I should get through 30-40 pages today. Oddly enough, I'm finding it hard to figure out what to do with a day off.

I'm not used to this. My Dad worked in a sawmill. He worked hard and saved so I wouldn't have to do hard physical labor, and do a job I enjoyed rather than endured. I love him for that. But in one way he had one advantage I don't have. He had a whistle. The whistle blew, he turned off the saw, grabbed his lunch box and came home. Work was at work.

Teachers - and writers - do not have that same type of finality. We work until the job is done. Our workplace is at work and at home. Our schedule is from the time we get up until the time we go to bed with frequent breaks in between. We do not have a whistle.

I guess I am thinking about this now because this week I submitted a request to reduce my course load beginning January 2012 as part of a five year process leading up to a full retirement. I'll be cutting down my workload by about 20%. I'll have more "days off" that I will have to deal with.

My health, my fatigue, my age, tell me this is the right thing to do. I am looking forward to this semi-retirement leading to the real thing. Still, it is an odd thing to realize, I'll have a 3-4 day work week instead of 5-7 days, that work will no longer be the one thing that takes up the biggest part of the week.

Certainly, I'll get a lot more writing done. I also want to do more photography. Maybe even have a small photography business.

Still, it will be a change for me. Exciting, but sort of scary as well.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goals, Plans, Resolutions and Priorities

The story is told of a business consultant who was speaking on time management. He sat a large glass bowl on the table and proceeded to put a number of large rocks in it until he could get no more large rocks in the bowl. He turned and asked the group of executives in front of him, "Is this bowl full?"

Everyone agreed that the bowl was full. After which, the man took a bag of pebbles and poured it into the bowl. He asked again, "Is this bowl full, now."

Again, the executives agreed. 

Then he took a bag of sand and poured it in around the rocks and the pebbles.

Now, he says to group, "What does this teach us?"

An eager young junior executive jumped up and said, "no matter how busy or day gets there's always room for more."

  "That is not the lesson," the business consultant said. "The lesson is that unless you put the big rocks in first, they will never fit."

The last couple of days we talked about setting goals and creating action plans. However, of equal importance is setting priorities.

 I had a list of projects that I posted the other day on this blog. Not all of those projects are of equal importance. Some are of greater importance than others. So, my next job is to prioritize those projects. In other words, I need to put the big rocks in first.


Here are my editing projects in order of priority

  1. Stormy Weather
  2. Death Gets an F
  3. (Blood) Red Sails in the Sunset
  4. Fangs for the Memories

The following are my priorities for first draft writing.
  1. Finish writing "Static," a short story featuring the characters from Dark Side of the Moon.
  2. Finish writing Fangs for the Memories.
  3. Write Total Eclipse of the Moon.
  4. Write Green Green. 
  5. Write Weeping Willow
  6. Finish writing The Essence of Magic 
Next, comes the most time-consuming part of this process. I need to pull out a calendar and set a tentative schedule for doing all these things.  I'll get back to you on that in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, why don't you post some of your priorities for your writing?

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    My Goals and Action Plans for 2011

    I promised that I would post my goals and action plans. So, here they are. I will start with the more general and then go to the more specific.

    General Goals: Editing

    • Edit and revise Death Get's an F (50,000 words)
    • Edit and revise Stormy Weather (75,000 words)
    • Edit and revise Fangs for the Memories (50,000 words)
    • Edit and revise (Blood)Red Sails in the Sunset (45,000 words)
    • Total 220,000 words. About 85 Hours. 
    General Goals: Writing 
    • Finish writing Fangs for the Memories (5,000 words estimated)
    • Finish writing "Static" a short story featuring the characters from Dark Side of the Moon (5,000 words estimated.)
    • Finish writing The Essence of Magic (A Sword and Sorcery Fantasy without swords with a science fiction base) I began this novel a few years ago and it's time to finish it. I mean I can't leave that girl to be married off against her will while her boyfriend, the hero of the story can do nothing but watch. And then they are running out of Essence, the substance that makes magic possible and the entire economy is built around Essence and the Essence mages. Can they recover technology? But if they recover it will it destroy their society? So many questions still hang in the balance. I need to get these people out of their predicament. (30,000 words, estimate)
    • Write Eclipse another Carolyn Masters Mystery (50,000 words)
    • Write Green, Green another Carolyn Masters Mystery (50,000 words)
    • Write Weeping Willow another Carolyn Masters Mystery (50,000 Words)
    • Total 190,000 words or about 110 hours.
    When I talk about writing, I am talking about pure composition. Starting with the blank screen and putting words on it. It's rough draft writing.


    Pre-writing is the preparations that goes into writing. That would include research, plotting, character development etc. For the works in progress listed above, that has already been done. But for the three new projects I need to do the pre-writing:

    • Develop secondary characters (5 hours)
    • Research dome construction and meteorite threat to surface lunar habitats (3 hours)
    • Create basic plot structure (who dun it, why, how, where, essential clues,) (3 hours)
    • Create secondary plot structure that advances character arc (3 hours)
    Green, Green 

    • Develop secondary characters (5 hours)
    • Research multi-generational interstellar travel (5 hours)
    • Create basic plot structure (who dun it, why, how, where, essential clues,) (3 hours)
    • Create secondary plot structure that advances character arc (3 hours)
    Weeping Willow
    • Develop secondary characters (5 hours)
    • Research the function of trees in cleaning the air. (2 hours)
    • Create basic plot structure (who dun it, why, how, where, essential clues,) (3 hours)
    • Create secondary plot structure that advances character arc (3 hours)
     Total: 43 hours

    Summing up  

    Looking at this list I see I have to 238 hours of work. On a weekly basis that will be 4.76 hours a week or less than an hour a day. Of course, I can't always keep a regular schedule. So next, I have to go to my calendar and make an action plan. Look for that in a couple of days.

    Meanwhile, what are your goals looking like. I know some had trouble posting before. I made some changes to my settings. I hope that will help.

      Thursday, December 30, 2010

      Resolutions, Goals or Plans

      Well, it's that time of year again. It's that time of the year when we look at the new year and say "I'm going to do something this year." That's right, we make  New Year's resolutions.

      Unfortunately, we all know what happens to resolutions. why do so many resolutions turn out to be nothing more than wishful thinking? There are several reasons. However, the most significant of these is that they are imprecise, there's no way to measure them, and they do not include an action plan.

      I am going to suggest that this year instead of setting a "resolution," that you set goals backed up with an action plan.

      First, let me define a goal. A goal is a specific activity which is under your control to complete. Goals are behavioral in nature. Let's take a typical New Year's resolution: "I want to lose weight this year." That is not a goal. First it is imprecise. How much weight do you want to lose? Secondly, there is no idea of how long this will take. What is the timeframe for this weight loss? Finally, Is this actually under your control? Probably not. If you do the right things, it is likely to occur, but by no means certain.

      The resolution doesn't fit any of these criteria. So, let's construct a goal that is measurable, has a timeframe attached to it, and is under your control.

      "By June 1, I will have reduced my calorie intake by 25% and will be performing 20 min. of aerobic exercise per day."

      Barring illness or physical injury, this is something that is under your control. It is also likely to produce weight loss however, the amount of weight loss will depend a great deal on your own physiology. Therefore, you could not say you would lose 20 pounds doing this. That part is out of your control.

      As a writer, many years I have started out the year with the resolution, "I want to write more this year." You can see the problem with that. It is not measurable, it is imprecise, and has no action plan attached to it

      Here's how I can improve on it, I creating a list of goals.

      • I will complete three novels of 50,000 words each by the end of the year.
      • I will edit those three novels into a publishable shape by the end of the year.
      • I will write a short story every other month
      • I will submit three novels and three short stories for publication this year.
      Now, I have some very specific activities which I can complete. However, I need an action plan in order to do so. Each of these goals requires me to do certain things. Each goal requires me to change my behavior in certain very specific ways. Let's just take the first of these goals: the complete first drafts on three 50,000 word novels by the end of the year. My action plan might look something like this
      • I will write at least 500 words a day related to one or more of the novels.
      • I will set aside a half hour a day into 15 min. segments to write on my novel.
      Finally, I need some accountability. I can do this in a number of ways. For instance, I can have a writing journal in which I record whether I hit my goal for that day or not. If not, then I need to make it up later. For instance, maybe things got so crazy I could write my 500 words. Well, the next week I can write 600 words a day and make it up. However, I would not know whether I was keeping up or falling behind, unless I had this type of measurement.

      I can also get accountability from others. I can post my goals in an online writer's group. I can tell a family or a friend or I can covenant with others who want to be held accountable. However, I need some method of measuring my success.

      As I'm sitting here writing this, I am thinking that this forum might be a good place for me to hold myself accountable. After the first, I will post my own goals and action plans for the year. At the beginning of each week I will post my weekly goals and action plans. At the end of the week, I will post the results. If I can find a way to set up a word meter on my site, I may even post word count daily.

      Why not share some of your goals and action plans for 2011?

      Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

      Okay, time management is a big deal with writers. Most of us do not support ourselves entirely (or even partially) from our writing. That means juggling a "day job," family, friends, hobbies, church or charitable activities and, somewhere in the mix, writing.

      There are several time management tools you can use such as working in smaller chunks of time, getting up a little earlier or going to bed a little later, selecting projects with time as a priority, trimming down unimportant stuff, prioritizing, etc. However, I want to talk about one that business people know, but writers rarely think about - Delegating.

      Many of us live by the credo - "If you want something done right, do it yourself." We know, at some level, it's balderdash. After all, I don't try to perform surgery on myself, fix my own car when I don't have the tools or expertise, act as a lawyer without legal training or do a thousand other things I delegate to others. Sometimes I delegate because I don't have the skill to do the job. Sometimes I delegate because others simply do the job better. But sometimes, I also delegate because I need the time.

      I have had to learn this lesson as my health issues have become a significant part of my life. I have about eight really healthy hours a day with another 3-4 that aren't that healthy, but I can still get some work done. In that time I have to take care of my teaching, ministry work, writing, fixing dinner, doing shopping, and all the other facets of daily life. Some people ask how I do it all. My reply: "I don't"

      I delegate. I am fortunate to have a job which allows me to pay someone to come in a clean house. So, I do that. She does a better job than I would and that's a few hours a week I have to work on writing. I have bad asthma. So I can't do gardening. So, I pay my brother-in-law to do the gardening for me. Okay, saying I pay him is sort of a misnomer. He tends to spend what I pay him on other things for the garden, but still the idea is sound.

      As far as that goes, my brother-in-law is a great cook and I love some of his wonderful mexican soups. So, I buy the ingredients and he cooks up a pot of soup and I freeze containers of soup. (Have you ever had mexican meatball soup with meatballs bigger than golf balls? Wonderful!) When I'm tired and don't want to cook, I pull out his soup or other meals I've asked him to cook.

      Being single, I pretty much have to do everything myself. I mean everything. I know my married friends say the same, but while they are talking to me on the phone, they have their husband bring them a cup of coffee, their kids answer the door or bring something home from the store. It's pretty simple. In my house, if the phone rings, I answer it. If the door bell rings or I want a cup of tea or the car washed, it's all up to me. I can't even say, "Could you bring me the phone book or hand me the remote?" Or could you bring home a few things from the grocery store on the way home? Well, that last one, I can. I have discovered home delivery of grocery items from places like Schwanns and Omaha Steaks. I also did most of my Christmas shopping for my younger nieces and nephews online this year at Edmunds Scientific. Good quality, educational toys they loved and I didn't have to go anywhere near the mall. I saved time and money.

      We talked about marketing a couple of days ago. While you can't avoid some of the work, you can delegate some of that as well. There are marketing people who will write your press releases and develop media packs for you. (I'm one of those people). You can get someone to design the website for you and help develop promotional ideas.

      Of course, much of this will cost you some money. Although, sometimes you can work out trades with people. But if there is one thing I've discovered over the 5- er - years I've been on this planet it's this simple truth. You can buy time with money or money with time. But it may be a worthwhile investment. If you are writing, how much is your time worth?

      Fiction writing is harder for me to judge because I have less experience, but for my nonfiction writing or advertising/marketing/PR work, I can say with certainty that it is worth about $75 an hour. If I pay someone $25/hour to clean my house, then I'm $50/hour to the good.

      While this won't work for everyone, before you reject it out of hand, ask yourself what things you can reasonably delegate to others and don't let the pride of "If I wan't something done well, I do it myself" get in the way of freeing up a few hours you can use writing.

      Wednesday, December 29, 2010

      Shine it May, Work it Must: Writers and Websites

      Recently, I've been thinking about this. I'm setting up a website for my upcoming novel Dark Side of the Moon .   And a number of other authors I know are either updating or creating websites for their projects. The problem, though, is that many writers confuse "pretty" or "dramatic" or "cool" with effective.

      Unfortunately, the same is also true of many "professional" web designers. They often come from graphic arts or IT backgrounds. They want all the bells and whistles and think about the web site as an art project rather than what it is: A Sales and Communication Tool for you and your Products.

      I had an electronics teacher in high school who had a saying when he saw students shining up the outside of a project before testing the circuits. He would say "Shine it may, work it must." What he meant was that the important thing the project needed to do was work.

      I've been designing web sites for about 15 years now. I've made all the mistakes, trust me. However, one of the things I did was listen to the experts and read the studies and learn from those mistakes. Here are a few tips I've learned:

      K-I-S-S. A pastor's wife handed the pastor a note before he went up to give his sermon. It said on it KISS. A woman sitting next to the pastor's wife said, "Ah, that's sweet. You give your husband a kiss before he preaches."

      The pastor's wife replied. "That's not what it means. It means: Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

      People in general come to web sites to get some sort of information or entertainment. They need something simple to use. Too many bells and whistles can actually get in the way of a person's ability to use a web site.

      Ask yourself some questions

      Is the website easy to navigate?
      Is everything on the site no more than two clicks away from the home page?
      Is the design simple and not too "busy"?
      Can the visitor see quickly how to get to the information s/he needs?

      Of even more importance than any of those is one question: "Is it easy for your visitor to buy your product or service?" I'm amazed at how many writer's websites have no "buy" link visible for their books. Make it easy for them to make a purchase. In fact, it would not hurt to have a buy link somewhere on each page or at least a link to a buy page in the navigation bar.

      Content, Content, Content. Ask yourself how someone will benefit from visiting your site. What are they going to get. Put another way, why would they be looking for a site like yours in the first place? Odds are that they are not looking just to find your book and buy it. They might be looking for writing services if you provide them. They might be looking for books of a certain genre. They might be looking for games, puzzles, free reads, etc.

      Give your visitor something of added value when s/he arrives. This can be a variety of things. Here are a few examples:
      • Links to locations with information relevant to the genre or subject matter of the book
      • Information related to the subject matter of the book. For instance, I'm working on a page on my site with information about the Moon since that is the setting in the story. I'll have NASA photos, information about the size, mass, geology and history of manned exploration of the moon. 
      • Free reads. Unless people already know your writing, they are going to be leery of spending money on an unknown quantity. However, if you can give them some short stories, articles, helpful hints or an excerpt from your novel, then they can reduce their uncertainty. 
      • Resume and samples of "for hire" work. This is especially important if you are selling your writing services. 
      • Games, contests and puzzles. There are a number of crossword puzzle generating programs. If you could put up a puzzle a month related to your topic, that can keep crossword fans coming back. Contests in which you hold a drawing for free books or other prizes are also good traffic builders. 
      Cool is rarely Hot.  Whenever I hear a web designer wax poetic about a "cool" feature, I get worried. I get more worried for every "o" in "cool."  If someone says "I found this template and it is realllllly coooooooooollll," I am almost afraid to look. Most "cool" features get old real fast. One of the top ten website annoyances is auto-start music on websites not related to music. Just about every survey lists this as something that turns off a visitor. Yet, so many website designers add some sort of cheesy midi file that keeps looping. It's cool until the third or fourth or fiftieth loop. Remember, you are hoping your visitor will remain on your site for some time. Looping the same 30-60 seconds of music over and over is not conducive to keeping them on site.

      Other "Cool" annoyances include words following your cursor, pop up boxes, extremely high definition graphics which take a long time to load, and flash applications which have to load completely before the visitor can enter the site.

      Don't Make a "Splash." I alluded to this in the previous point, but "splash" pages, usually with some music, animation, flash video or navigation are problematic for so many reasons. First, they take forever to load if you have anything other than a cable broadband connection. Secondly, they are not always smartphone friendly. Third, not everyone has flash installed on their computer or smartphone. Fourth, they are not search engine friendly. When the search engine comes to a site to index it, the "spider" or "robot" is looking for text that tells it what the site is about. Flash only splash pages are invisible to the robot. It's like your site doesn't exist for the search engines. Always have some basic HTML on your page with text that includes key words.

      Cross Browser Compatibility. Always test your web page in a variety of browsers. At the very least test them in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. These four account for the majority of web traffic. Your page will look slightly different in each, but it should still be readable and everything should be in their "containers" meaning boxes, white spaces, etc.

      Accessibility. I am the daughter of a woman who was visually impaired. While she never learned to use a computer, many visually impaired individuals surf the web using screenreaders and text-based browsers. You can download a free screen reader called Thunder and a text-based browser like WebbIE  to use with it. One of the wonderful things about the web,  and those of us producing ebooks is that visually impaired individuals can have things read to them online using these utilities. However, designing a website with the visually impaired in mind takes a bit of thinking. Here's a link to an article about testing for accessibility using text-based browsers.

      Well, there are, of course, many more things to consider including optimizing for search engines, crafting a marketing message and making your web presence more interactive, but this should give you something to get started with in evaluating your web presence.

      Wah!!! I wanna spend my time writing and not all this other stuff.

      If you hang out on writing oriented discussion boards or in discussion email groups, you often hear the same complaint. It usually runs something like this:

      "I just want to write my stories. But I have to spend my time marketing, blogging, tweeting, social networking, researching, speaking to groups, going to book signings. I just want to write, but I've got to do all this other stuff. It's not what I want to do."

      Okay, here's my response: Tough. Get over it.

      If that sounds harsh, well Tough. Get over it.

      What job have you ever had that didn't have some administrative work that you didn't like. I want to teach. Yet, I have to go to committee meetings, grade papers, update course outlines, work on accreditation, evaluate other instructors and a bunch of other things that are part of my job which I don't particularly care about.

      If I went to my dean and said, "I really just want to teach my classes, but I've got to do all this other stuff. What would he tell me?

      Tough. Get over it.

      He would say it in nice academic four-dollar words, but the point would be made.

      Writing, like any job, involves more than one activity. There's writing, editing, making contact with editors and publishers, keeping up with trends, polishing your craft, negotiating with publishers, working with editors, and, if you write books, hitting the "streets" so to speak to sell those books.

      The last has become especially important in recent years with the advent of internet bookstores. Today, a person is as likely, and with small independent publishers where most of us will find our first sales, to have a book primarily or solely available online.

      Increasingly, bookstores buy narrow and deep. By that I mean they buy a lot of a few best sellers with very few copies, if any, of midrange or niche type of books. People are a lot less likely to just "happen upon" your book on a bookshelf today, than they are to hear about your book and go looking for it.

      The bookstore model that many of us expect is a passive model. People go in, they see your book on the shelf, they read the blurb on the back, look at your beautiful picture, are suitably impressed and buy the book. Okay, it didn't even work that well way back then. But it works even less well today.

      People don't "browse" online bookstores. They go there looking for something. If you are writing nonfiction, they might find your book when they run a subject search, but fiction is another matter. Very few will run an Amazon search for Science Fiction and just happen upon your book. More likely is that they have read a review, saw something in a social media site, saw an ad, met you at a book signing or reading, read an interview with you during a blog tour or are among your Facebook fans or Tweeps on Twitter.

      Remember, the reason we write is to be read. However, in order to be read, people have to know what you have written, what it's about and where to find it. The only way that happens is if YOU tell them.

      So, if you are getting tired of promoting and marketing and wanting to just sit all day at your keyboard turning out peerless prose. Tough. Get Over It!