I didn’t read young adult novels until I was out of my teens. This was partially due to the fact that the genre didn’t exactly exist when I was in my teens, and partially due to harassment from my parents and teachers, who nagged me to stop reading “easy” books (aka books written for kids my own age) and start reading more “challenging” literature. Apparently they didn’t actually care WHAT that more challenging literature was, as long as it took me longer than an hour or two to read, which is why I spent most of junior high reading The Clan of the Cave Bear series and the entire Anne Rice canon. (And of course, in high school, I mostly read books to impress boys.)
The first real YA book I read was Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas (not Matchbox Twenty Rob Thomas; Veronica Mars/Party Down Rob Thomas), and I read it as an assignment in college. My education professor hand-picked books for each of the aspiring English teachers to read (I remember she gave my friend Cam a Louise Erdrich novel — maybe The Antelope Wife?) and I got Rats Saw God, the first true modern YA book I ever read.
Here is the first sentence of Rats Saw God: “Though I tried to clear my head of the effects of the fat, resiny doobie I’d polished off an hour before, things were still fuzzy as I stumbled into senior counselor Jeff DeMouy’s office.”
Wait. FAT RESINY DOOBIE??? Could you SAY that in children’s literature?
I was amazed by how real the characters and situations in Rats Saw God were — it was as if Rob Thomas had actually spoken to a real, live teenager sometime after the Reagan administration ended. The characters were complex, surprising, and disappointing (though not, I’ll admit, nearly as awesome as Logan Echolls — that would come later).
The next YA book I read was Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher, which won me over with its ambition and honesty (and then utterly destroyed me — repeatedly — with its unflinching look at tragedy and humanity). And then! Chris Crutcher’s Staying Fat for SarahByrnes, which I love equally! It’s also true, and smart, and inspiring, and scary, and real.
Then I discovered Sarah Dessen, whose book This Lullaby had just been published, and I loved her for her quirky characters, her thoughtful portrayals of girls and their friendships — with other girls, with their sisters and mothers, and with boys — girls who were far more real and nuanced than the characters I’d read growing up. (I actually owned a book called Boys! Boys! Boys! which was a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book JUST FOR GIRLS! which meant that all the “adventures” were different dudes. “If you decide to share an ice cream soda with Tad, turn to page 38. If you want to go for a car ride with Bobby, turn to page 56. If you attempt to go on BOTH DATES, turn to page 97, you evil slut!” And so forth.)
And then John Green’s Looking for Alaska came out, and I was officially hooked on YA.
So when I started to write my own YA novel, it was with all these books in mind — Rats Saw God, Whale Talk, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, This Lullaby (and also The Truth About Forever, which was published in my first year or two of teaching), and Looking for Alaska — that I started writing what eventually became The Princesses of Iowa.
So it’s Deb’s choice this week, which means I can write about whatever I want! WHEE! SO MUCH FREEDOM!
Uh, just one problem with that. I have writing and soon-to-launch-my-first-book induced mush-brain. As in, no matter how long I sit, staring at a blank page, I can’t come up with an idea for a post. So, instead of wasting a whole day, I went to Twitter to ask people what I should write about. Seems crazy, right? Yeah, well, I’m kinda desperate here; I have a ton of things to do and just don’t have the time to waste on thinking up a good theme.
The first suggestion I got was sandwiches. Certainly an honorable theme—I mean, who doesn’t like sandwiches?
So here are my favorite sandwiches in order of preference.
Tally Ho roast beef on a bun with double Swiss cheese and gravy. OMG – messy, delicious goodness (make sure if you go, to get a side of fries with gravy, too). Oh, and Tally Ho is the name of the restaurant—it’s not the name of the sandwich.
Grilled cheese. Preferably from the Gorilla Cheese truck, but really, even a homemade with Kraft singles on white will do.
Grilled chicken, roasted red peppers and goat cheese on a pita from The Bean Bar
Bologna on white with butter and a touch of mustard (hello, childhood!)
Okay, I think that’s enough about sandwiches.
The second suggestion I got for a blog post topic was technology and how it relates to reading and writing. Well the writing part is kind of obvious, so let’s talk about reading.
I’m really torn here. I have a Kindle, which I bought a few years ago. I wanted an e-reader that I could put manuscripts on, so at the time, the Kindle was the best option. Now, I’m not going to get in any sort of debate here about Amazon, the company, but let me tell you, I love my Kindle. So much so, that it has a name: Kevin. Nope, I’m not even kidding.
This is Kevin.
I get the romance of reading a book, a real book. Believe me, as a writer, I so get the whole thing about how nothing is quite like a paper book. BUT, there are so many reasons why I love Kevin and what he allows me to do. Uh oh, I feel another list coming on:
I can read big books in bed. I’m a bed reader. Well, I am now. I stopped reading in bed for a long time because I can’t manage big and/or hardcover books in bed.
I can read manuscripts easily without the eyestrain of staring at a computer. This is a big deal because, quite frankly, I stare at a computer too much for my day job and my own writing. Also, taking manuscripts with me on a Kindle makes me a lot more portable and not tied to home when I have crit work to do (yes, I can make notes on Kevin).
If I finish a book while I’m at the doctor’s office or somewhere that doesn’t sell books, I can buy one and be reading it in seconds. Seconds! As much as I love this feature, it’s a bit of a problem financially.
I can carry all my books with me wherever I go. If I’m feeling like I want a comfort read, I have it, even if I’m at sea or on a plane.
My physical bookshelf at home (which is still overflowing, trust me) is now reserved for REALLY special books—signed ones or ones I’ve been given. I don’t have to go and cull the non-special books every once in a while.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I really like the freedom Kevin allows me. But there is a flip side. See number 5 above. I do collect signed books, which means I’m buying some books twice: one to read and one to collect. My wallet’s not very happy about that. And I can’t easily share books on my Kindle, except with my mom (we share an account) so books I really love and want to share with friends get bought twice. Or, if it’s one that’s signed, I’ll buy a spare to lend out, just in case it doesn’t find its way home. That’s three copies.
But it comes down to what’s on the inside. What’s between the covers is the meat of the book, just like although bread is nice, it’s the filling of the sandwich that really matters (not a bad tie-in to my two topics, huh?).
And if you ask me if I prefer if people buy my book (out in less than a month—yikes!) in digital or hardcover, I’ll say this: I don’t care if you buy it in digital format, hardcover or borrow it from your friend, dog or library (just please don’t download it illegally) as long as you read it and enjoy it, I’m a happy author. Really.
Now. I’m off to go have a sandwich. Which I’ll eat while reading off Kevin. A sandwich in one hand and a book in the other—nothing finer, in my opinion.
Now you: I want to know if you’re an e-reader fan or do prefer the crisp pages of a real book? And while you’re at it, what’s YOUR favorite sandwich?
I’m talking marriages today. Not literal ones, but the kind of marriage a writer has with her agent. “Don’t be silly,” you might be thinking. “It’s a business relationship where the agent works for the writer; nothing like a marriage!” And you’d be right in some ways, (I’ve never shared a bed with an agent, nor taken him/her home for Rosh Hashannah dinner) but in others, well, just bear with me.
Trust me when I say you need to find a great match in an agent, because chances are, once you get on the publishing roller coaster, you’re going to need the support of a cheerleader/negotiator/hand-holder/shoulder to cry on. Even the most stoic and pragmatic of writers need an objective business partner who can not only negotiate on her behalf, but also reel her in when she’s put on her crazypants and can’t be objective and smart about important businessy stuff.
But before you can get married, you need to do some online dating when you’re looking for an agent. Online dating is scary for the same reason online grocery-shopping is scary—you want to squeeze the bread and knock the melons before you make your choices and commit. But there are some tools to help your online agent dating be as painless as possible. You first want to weed out all the scammers. You know, those slick guys who wine you and dine you and then find themselves in Greece and their wallet has been stolen and can you just loan them your life savings to get them home where they’ll pay you back with interest? Yeah, you don’t want to end up with one of those guys. So I suggest you stick to known and recommended resources like Querytracker.net – a great website where you can cross-reference all your information. You can also vet out scammers at Writer Beware.
So when you have a few suitors, how will you choose? Like a mate, you need ask questions and see if you’re going to be a good match. And, just like in the real dating world, if you’re honest with yourself and know upfront what you really want in your suitor, you’ll save yourself from choosing the wrong one. And like dating, you want to ask around to see how other people feel about their relationships with the agent (polygamy is okay here!) and are there any exes who may have some things to say. Don’t be afraid to do your due diligence. This is an important, potentially career-making or breaking thing—you want to do it right.
And then you need to talk to the agent to get a feel for them and how they work. Like spouses, every agent is different. Do you want one who will help you editorially or are you looking for more of a salesperson who will leave the nitty-gritty editing to you and your editor once you sell the book? Are you looking for a fling (where the agent signs you on one book) or a long-term relationship (are they signing you, the author with the hope of sticking it out through your career). Do they have editors in mind already? Are they chomping at the bit to get your book on submission? You want them to love your work this much—it’s sometimes a long haul and you do not want to get in deep and have your agent lose interest. Use your gut on this one—if something feels wrong, step back and figure out why. If it feels right, still take some time to mull it over. Important decisions are always best made with a little thought and distance.
Like good marriages, agent-author relationships can be very satisfying and filled with good times and mutual respect. There’s nothing quite like getting that call from someone you really admire when she has an offer on your book and SHE is as excited as you are. Sure, she’ll get paid from that sale, but maybe she’s an agent because she loves books and wants to see authors make more of them. It’s not inconceivable—you probably don’t write just for the money, do you? You want to find someone who is in it for the love and the money and who you can work with well with. Someone who will sit on the roller coaster beside you and hold your hand and scream and laugh along with you. And then, when you get off the ride, she’ll hold your hair while you chuck in the bushes. And THAT’s what makes for a great marriage.
This week’s theme is spring cleaning. Well, it’s definitely spring, but I’m not doing much cleaning.
Cleaning is about the last thing I ever want to do. The only time I really go at it with any sort of gusto is when I’m stuck in my writing and need some sort of mindless physical task to distract me (or when Mom’s coming over, but that’s more like a crazed necessity). Luckily, the getting stuck thing doesn’t happen too often, although that means my house could almost always be cleaner.
Anyway, seeing as I’m not much of a domestic goddess, I don’t have any good cleaning tips for you all, other than buy a Dyson vacuum, especially if you have pets who shed*. So today I’m going to talk about the writer’s version of spring cleaning, something I’m in dire need of, as I approach my launch and things get really busy.
Because I’m not going to lie, I’ve got a lot of clutter upstairs. And I’m not talking old prom dresses and yearbooks. I’m talking all the stuff that goes along with being published, not to mention the regular stuff that goes along with, you know, being a human, like maintaining a body and a day job and a home (albeit a somewhat messy one). Now, I can’t quit my job and I still need food and water daily, so that boils the clutter I can get rid of down to book stuff. I can break this book stuff clutter down into two categories:
The worrying: There is a lot of stuff to worry about: Will my book ship on time? Will there be enough copies for the launch? Will anyone come to my launch? Will I fall down on my face at my launch? Will my launch be the only time anyone buys my books? Will people hate my book? Will the trades review my book**? Will the reviews, if I get them, be mean and horrible? Will there be a book 2? Will it suck? Will I ever write a good sentence again?
The stuff I need to do: Schedule and write blog posts—not just for here, but for the several different blogs that are hosting my impromptu blog tour, AND my own website and Facebook. Send out more review copies, which means packaging up stuff and making trips to the post office. Finish compiling the guest list and send out launch party invites (off to the post office again). Buy signing pens and test them all out. Every last one. Order food. Order SWAG. Order other stuff I haven’t thought about yet. Figure out what I’m going to wear to my launch. Realize I have nothing to wear and go shopping for launch party outfit. Go back to the post office to send out finished books that I promised to bloggers and/or reviewers. Work out more because the stress eating means I no longer fit into the launch party outfit. Realize I forgot to invite that relative to the launch party. Back to the post office.
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
Sound a little manic? Yup, to me, too. And notice how none of that includes writing, that thing that got me here? Yeah, I did, too. I haven’t written in several weeks, and it’s kind of
concerning. So I definitely need to clean out some of the clutter. I can proactively plan ahead by getting lists and labels ready, so trips to the post office are minimized, and can delegate some launch party things to other people (are you paying attention, Mom?). And I need to stop worrying about things I can’t control (like reviews) and get back to what I love doing and what calms me and is my happy place. And that’s writing. Writing will be my virtual Dyson vacuum, clearing away the other stuff that makes my head cluttery and manic. And that sounds like the best kind of cleaning of all, although you probably still don’t want to eat off my floors.
Now you – what brain clutter could you use to get rid of?
*This blog post not sponsored by Dyson, they just make a damn fine product.
**Did you see my Kirkus review? It rocked-one less thing to worry about! And what a relief, because we all know Kirkus can be…er…tough.
Congratulations to Susan Swiderski, winner of a copy of The Princesses of Iowa!
In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I’d repost this essay I wrote last summer after a student’s mother asked me what she should be doing to help her child become a writer.
(Spoiler alert: Basically I wrote down all the things my mom did for me. And after last weekend? When my mom helped to organize my hometown launch party and invited everyone in the entire county, and personally hand sold like 100 copies of my book to the residents of southern Wisconsin? I’ll add: “Even if she acts embarrassed and calls you ‘the Dina Lohan of Dane County’ on Facebook, know that she’s secretly convinced she couldn’t do it without you.”)
Happy Mother’s Day, MamaBackes!
How to Raise a Writer
A few weeks ago, a woman asked me for advice about her teenage daughter. “She wants to be a writer,” the mother said. “What should we be doing?”
To be honest, I was kind of stumped. (In part, I think it was the way she asked it – “What should WE be doing?” I didn’t really know what to do with that “we.”) (Also, it was quite early in the day, and I hadn’t yet had sufficient coffee to be giving anyone advice.) I suggested a few upcoming creative writing classes, but the mother wasn’t satisfied. There must be more – what else could they do?
“Well,” I said, “you know. Writers read a lot… and write a lot.”
She looked at me blankly.
“You really do have to write a lot,” I said. “I mean, that’s mostly it. You write a lot.”
The mother shook her head. “What else? Are there books she can read? Events she can attend? Writing camps?”
“Um,” I said. “Sometimes writers have writing buddies… they meet at coffee houses and write together?”
The mother liked this suggestion. “You could do that!” she told her daughter. The girl blushed.
I offered some titles of books to read. Writing Down the Bones, Wild Mind, Bird by Bird. If You Want to Be a Writer. Letters to a Young Poet. The Metamorphoses. (I know Ovid doesn’t have a lot of advice for writers; I just like to push the Metamorphoses on people. It’s a soap opera in verse!)
The mother scribbled them down. I had a feeling she’d buy them all for her daughter, perhaps before the day was over, but she still seemed to be waiting for something. I felt like I wasn’t giving her what she wanted, and though she was being really polite about it, I actually felt bad that I couldn’t come up with an answer that would satisfy her.
The feeling stuck with me all day – I chewed over her question and wondered if there was something I’d forgotten, some crucial piece of advice I could have given to placate her. But the more I thought about it, the more confused I became about why my initial answer wasn’t enough. Fact: writers write. Fact: In order to be a writer you have to write a lot. A LOT. Fact: there’s no shortcut.
(I do want to say that I think it’s really great that this mother — or any mother — is looking for ways to actively support her kid’s writing. I also imagine it might be challenging to have a kid who wants to be a writer — it’s not like you can just go out and join the Band Boosters and support your child’s passion by raising money to buy new trumpets or whatever. There’s no ‘Poet Boosters’ for parents.)
So now it’s a few weeks later and I’m still thinking about it, and I’m still a little perplexed by the question. But I’ve had some coffee, and I’m ready to take another crack at it.
What should you do to help your child pursue her dreams of becoming a writer?
First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book. Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It’s even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.
Let her be lonely. Let her believe that no one in the world truly understands her. Give her the freedom to fall in love with the wrong person, to lose her heart, to have it smashed and abused and broken. Occasionally be too busy to listen, be distracted by other things, have your nose in a great book, be gone with your own friends.
Let her have secrets. Let her have her own folder on the family computer. Avoid the temptation to read through her notebooks. Writing should be her safe haven, her place to experiment, her place to work through her confusion and feelings and thoughts. If she does share her writing with you, be supportive of her hard work and the journey she’s on. Ask her questions about her craft and her process. Ask her what was hardest about this piece and what she’s most proud of. Don’t mention publication unless she mentions it first. Remember that writing itself is the reward.
Let her get a job. Let her work long hours for crappy pay with a mean employer and rude customers. If she wants to be a writer, she’ll have to be comfortable with hard work and low pay. Let her spend her own money on books and lattes – they’ll be even sweeter when she’s worked hard for them.
Let her fail. Let her write pages and pages of painful poetry and terrible prose. Let her write crushingly bad fan fiction. Don’t freak out when she shows you stories about Bella Swan making out with Draco Malfoy. Never take her writing personally or assume it has anything to do with you, even if she only writes stories about dead mothers and orphans.
Let her go without writing if she wants to. Never nag her about writing, even if she’s cheerful when writing and completely unbearable when she’s not. Let her quit writing altogether if she wants to.
Let her make mistakes.
Let her stay after school to work on the newspaper, but only if she wants to. Let her publish embarrassingly personal stories in the school literary magazine. Let her spill the family’s secrets. Let her tell the truth, even if you’d rather not hear it.
Let her sit outside at night under the stars. Give her a flashlight to write by.
Let her find her own voice, even if she has to try on the voices of a hundred others first to do so. Let her find her own truth, even if she has to spin outrageous lies in search of it. Remember that her truth isn’t the same as anyone else’s truth, and that even if you were there with her when it happened, your memories of a moment will likely be vastly different from hers. Let her write thinly-veiled memoirs disguised as fiction. It’s okay if she massages past events to make a better story, or leaves entire years of her life on the cutting room floor. It’s okay if she writes about characters who have nothing to do with her life, her experience, or her world. That’s what fiction is.
Let her write poetry on her jeans and her shoes and her backpack, even if you just bought them brand new.
Keep her safe but not too safe, comfortable but not too comfortable, happy but not too happy.
Above all else, love and support her. Love her and believe in her. Love her, and let her go. In the end, your love is all that matters, and it will be enough. The rest will come from her.
I have very few vices. I quit smoking just over 12 years ago, and I rarely drink, so I’m pretty squeaky clean. Well, mostly. We already discussed comfort foods, and there are the times when the Gorilla Cheese truck gets so close that I am unable to resist a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Oh and there’s Tally Ho—the roast beef on a bun place in my hometown that calls to me every time I drive by it.
So. Temptation. The notion of temptation implies something we should resist doing, but are strongly drawn to anyway. No one ever says, “I’m SO tempted to go to the gym and work out,” or “I’m SO tempted to drink that wheatgrass juice”*. Nope, at least, no one I know says those things. The people I know say things like, “I’m tempted to skip the gym and go to Tally Ho,” or, “Instead of mowing the lawn with my face, I’m tempted to stalk the Gorilla Cheese truck—that’s exercise, right?”
But to make this post about writing, I’m not going to talk (more) about my food temptations, but my writing one, and take a little look at its causes.
I’ll be honest here and admit that I am very often tempted to not write. In fact, I’m sure every writer, beyond the very first exciting sentence they ever wrote, has been tempted to not write at one time or another. Writing is hard work and I’m tempted all the time to just not do it.
Like when I sat down to write this post, I was tempted to NOT write it and instead, do a thousand other things, including stare at my shiny new bookmarks for a while.
Aren’t they pretty? Say it with me: “Ooohhhh, Ahhhhhh. Shiny.”
But why was I tempted not to write? If I’m honest with myself, it’s because I really had no idea what I was going to write about, (which should come as no surprise to you if you read last week’s post). So, in other words, I was stalling. But I still needed to get this post done, so I forced myself to put away the bookmarks and the internet and opened up my Word doc. And stared at the screen for a while. And then went back online and found some pictures to include. But in the end, I needed to ignore the temptation to stall and wander and just get the work done. Sometimes, I need to put more brain effort in and sometimes I need to just eliminate distractions (goodbye, Twitter!), but in the end, it’s just a matter of being strong and facing that temptation and not giving in until the work is done. My writing motto, ripped off from Nike is “Just Do It”, which applies as much to writing as it does to sports. You can’t win against temptation unless you just do it. Butt In Chair. And I guess I usually win, because I have written a lot of books, and there hasn’t been a day spent writing that I haven’t been tempted to do something else. Like go get a grilled cheese.
Your turn: what tempts you away from your writing?
*Uh, have you ever had wheatgrass juice? That stuff tastes like lawn. Gross.
We’re extending a big Deb Welcome (back!) to past Deb Joelle Anthony today. It hasn’t been that long since Joelle was here–she was in the 2010 Deb Class, but in case you’re new in these parts, here’s her official bio:
Joëlle currently lives on a tiny island in British Columbia with her musician husband, Victor Anthony, and two cats, Sophie & Marley. As for the future, their only plan is to avoid real jobs, write and play guitar in front of the woodstove, and live happily ever after. Her debut young adult novel, Restoring Harmony, was published in the spring of 2012, and her latest release, The Right & the Real is available now, both from Putnam.
And about Joelle’s latest book, The Right & the Real:
From the author of “Restoring Harmony.” Kicked out for refusing to join a cult, 17-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.
Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.
Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?
Sounds AMAZING, Joelle! And now, Joelle talks plotting with us.
Let me just dust off my tiara and I’ll be right with you. Okay…there!
In 2010, when I was part of the Ball, my day was Friday. After reading four stellar posts on whatever topic it was that week, I felt like if I couldn’t add anything just as good, I better be funny, and that’s usually the approach I took to the post. Since this is posting on Saturday, I figure I better be stellar and funny. Ummm…no pressure.
When I first started submitting, the rejections I got often included something like, “Great voice!” or “The voice is strong.” What they never included was, “Excellent plot!” In fact, if they mentioned plot at all, the notes were more likely to be, “Lots of holes in the plot.” “Implausible.” “Convoluted.” They probably could’ve added boring to the mixture, but by then the editor was too sleepy to bother.
So how did I go from boring to “fast pacing” and “page turner” (Publisher’s Weekly for The Right & the Real)? I wish I knew because then I could write a book about it and maybe do a TED talk or reign supreme at the SCBWI-LA conference next summer.
The truth is that I do know. Here’s the secret:
I started paying attention to the plot.
I know. That sounds so simple, but it’s actually true. As an actor, I’d pretty much let the playwright take care of the plot, and I worked on character and voice. And that’s what I was doing in my writing. Except there wasn’t any playwright to save my butt.
I started by reading craft books on plot. While most are useful, I’ve discovered books on mystery writing are often exceptionally helpful, even if you’re not writing a mystery. Essentially, all books to some extent are mysteries anyway. I mean, you don’t give the big climax away until the end, do you?
The next thing I started doing was paying attention to plot and pacing while I read other people’s novels. I’d like to say that after a handful, I got the gist of it, but honestly, I read about 300 books over two years before I really started to get a sense of plot. Also, during that time, I was lucky enough to land a critique group, an agent, and eventually, an editor willing to work on plot with me. I cannot begin to express how much they all helped me with this.
If you’re struggling with plot, the first thing to do is ask yourself, “Have I been giving it its due?” And if the answer is no, then you now know where to start.
Thanks for having me on the Deb Ball.
Oh, and one more thing on plotting. This is my plot to take over the world!
And if that video wasn’t gift enough, Joelle has generously offered up a copy of The Right and the Real to one of our lucky commenters! Just tell us a little about YOUR plot to take over the world and/or what your cult would be like.
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