Tag Archives: dystopian

Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

Anthropomorphic dystopian 1

The above is a mouthful, but that is not its real name, aren’t you relieved?– its real title will give away too much about what is in the story and we don’t want to do that this early on!

The general themes in the story are as follows;

Cyberpunk

Anthropomorphic animals

War

Revenge

Dystopian

Survival

Imprisonment

Inventions

And last but not least – comedy

The above story has been inspired by;

The animals of Farthing Wood

Wind in the Willows

Watership Down

Mad Max beyond the thunderdome

Secret life of pets

The hunger games

Nuclear warfare

Rude dog and the dweebs

Frankenweenie

And very much Tim Burton inspired

The above is the work that is likeliest to be sent out first and it is only really a couple of months away from being perfected to its final draft!  However, with the upcoming surgeries I am going to be having, it is best that this work should not be sent any sooner than mid-autumn, potentially before winter – though November to the second week of January is not the best time to send anything to an agent – it’s their busiest time of the year!

So unless it’s polished before NaNoWriMo 2022, it may not be sent until late January 2023, but I am working on it being sent out by early October!

This book will be a series, so this is only book one that will be polished by then and I know that agents are not keen on new writers sending in series as a first approach, but I think this is something special and I am sure they will see it too?

I have spoken to a handful of very close friends about this story and I have several people excited over it – this is why this story became my primary focus and I dropped my original first novel whilst I do this one.  Because, the other story I think should be my first novel – is actually less exciting to my friends than this project.

Some friends think I should ditch it as a novel and make it a comic, but I have had other friends suggest that my prose like writing does better as a novel and that to write it as a comic may actually kill the story’s effect overall.

Time will tell – it may be a case that it may turn into a comic a few years down the line, I don’t know if that sort of thing happens, but I suppose it’s possible?

Anyway – happy reading!

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When am I sending work to an agent?

Because of the Covid I had at Easter my plans to send work to any publisher by the start of Autumn 2022 has been shifted now to late winter 2022/2023; this is because I know that the current finished products are not ready to be sent to the world, but there is one that I am confident will be finished by the end of this year because it is so fresh in my mind and the most unique of the stories I have planned to send.

Basically I want my first published book to be special, who doesn’t?

Also I am in a quandary about one of the two books I am thinking about sending out – because one of those books I really want to make as a comic series, but I have little knowledge in creating comics and though I have studied a lot of “how to” books and watched a lot of “how to” YouTube videos, I am still not very confident about shifting a novelisation I have made into a comic book format, especially as I am not confident as an artist!

At the moment it is being written as a series of novels, I hope that eventually I will gain confidence in breaking it down into comic book form, because I think making this particular idea a comic book series would do better for it, than novels.  I doubt I would get advice on this from my future agent, but I hope it is something I could talk about with them eventually.

It is the second idea that is likely to be published first, the pure, simple, traditional novel with no comic book planning whatsoever.

Though I am sure that someday there may be comic book adaptions written by fans as it could work as that eventually too, but then again, most books of this particular genre end up in comic book format eventually.

Neil Gaiman’s snippet at the back of one of his Sandman comics about how to write comics has been a big help, as well as Peter David’s book “writing for comics” and a YouTube channel called Serkworks Art Lab.  Without these, I’d be even more clueless about what I am doing.

The thing is, I want the comic series, more than I want the novel idea out there first.  But, I am just so nervous about presenting a novel to an agent as a book, then saying, I can eventually break it down as comics, which was always my intention… how willing are agents to take on work like that?

I have to admit I am a little too afraid to approach them on that even as a question as I hate wasting people’s time!

The comic book I am writing has a lot of characters and action, but it is focused particularly on a group of three characters which work as a team together against a common evil, though the evil is from the same source, they too are different groups – it is like a gang warfare dystopian comic series with mild horror elements, to allow it to be sold to a young adult and possibly an older child audience.

To make life easier in explanation I will call this on my blog a dark fantasy side of my work, which would likely be under the pseudonym of my family entertainment side of my work.

Because I don’t want it to be too dark for family enjoyment!

It is about as dark as Watership down meets a tamer version of The Suicide Squad…

Just to tease a little there…

My actual novel which is likely to be sent out by the end of the year is more Warhammer meets Robocop, there are cyberpunk and fantasy elements in that story.

So there you have it, my plan for the year in writing.

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Cyberpunk surprise

There are times where I can’t seem to switch my mind off of working on novels or art and it can get tiring. 

Times like the 21st of May 2022, when I decided to take a break for just an hour and forty five minutes to watch a Lord of the Dance movie with my son, just to get me off of Sims 4 and thinking about my novels. 

Unfortunately I didn’t realise in this new movie that it would contain cyberpunk elements to it, the movie was “Michael Flatley: Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games.  I needed a break from thinking about the cyberpunk world, because I was getting new ideas for different stories and I am already struggling to focus on my current pieces of work – this worsened it, the movie was riveting, I loved it!

To make matters worse I am doing a cyberpunk reading summer – but it was just to broaden my scope of understanding the sci-fi genre, not to really engage in it too much in my works… but Henry has always had a deep love for robotics and he has always tried to influence me into writing a series of books where robots are doing something unique and I had always pushed against that.

I am finding it increasingly hard with Henry’s influence to do this nowadays and it seems Henry might be getting his way soon – and for me, the ideas I am getting are a little too oddball, I am unsure really how the publishing world will regard it – even I am struggling to think of how to present it, if I do.

I accept I write steampunk with dystopian themes, I accept that I have to present them as one or another, but what happens with the more unpopular cyberpunk?  I might be wrong about cyberpunk being generally unpopular, but I am reading the genre in order to understand it more… I don’t often hear in regular bookworm conversations anything about cyberpunk, this is why I am having a cyberpunk summer!

There are stories creeping into my mind, mixing up with some of the stuff that was already there and the mix is a cocktail that I am unsure agents and publishers would like to drink.

Thanks for reading!

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Combat sports and feminine culture

Combat sports is another big influence in my stories; being a former judoka from the age of ten, I was just six weeks shy of the Commonwealth games trials of 1998 when I was rushed into A&E with a serious mastoid infection that literally ended my career before it could even begin, because I couldn’t do any kind of self-care for two years after the life-saving surgery I had to undergo.

This devastated me totally on a mental health level, because I used judo as a means to train my body for the hard knocks I was preparing it for as a professional wrestler, when I left school for college.  My grandfather was a backyard wrestler in the early 40s and 50s and he was a huge wrestling fan and I wanted to make him proud of me as he looked down from heaven and saw his “little cocker” as he called me, as world women’s champion!

But that was never meant to be, because my surgery meant that I had lost certain bones at the back of the right side of my head, which meant any future impact could be life threatening, so all dreams of combative sports had to end right there and then!

I love combat sports of all kinds, judo, karate, cage fighting, boxing, you name it, and I love it.

A lot of the various gimmicks in professional wrestling and other forms of fighting, whether it is combative entertainment or real, had influenced a lot of my characters and sceneries in some of my books – particularly those of the dystopian and cyberpunk genres.

I have a lot of background knowledge in fighting terminologies that can help with understanding the jargon, but I do know that a lot of my readers will not be au fait with the sport jargon that could be in the books, so I have honed in my skills as a very good describer of action scenes – of which a former English tutor is rather impressed with and says is a rare talent.

Along with my love for combat sports, I have a massive love for war history and battle games such as Rome total war, Warhammer, Medal of Honour and such the likes.

Back in 2004 I became an online player of Rome Total War’s original game that was based on my favourite TV show “Time Commanders”, as an avid devourer of history books, this was a massive thing for me and I soon became one the top five best generals in the world on their game leader board for two years!  Under the name Raven Warrior!

More recently I follow the artist Jazza which lead me to finding his brother’s channel of which I enjoy immensely “Shadiversity” which talks about the history of weapons and how good they are or not.  This is another tool which has helped me a lot in writing action scenes and accurate war scenes in my books.

You will find that there is a lot of fighting in my stories usually, but it is not constant mindless violence, I hope you will agree someday.

I’ve never been a girly girl and seeing ultra-feminine and helpless women in fiction is rather irritating for me, my characters tend to be female lead, strong-minded and independent women that save themselves because of hard times dragging them through into survival mode; usually they don’t have time to sit back and daydream of their perfect love life, they are usually dreaming about freedom and where the next meal is coming from! 

Thanks for reading!

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A revelation of themes

Happy New Year everybody!

It is surprising what you discover about yourself as a writer when you take time out to organise things and make spreadsheets of all your projects and so forth!

I have done that during the Christmas period, I have put down only 26 writing projects I have into files and made a spreadsheet about them and I am surprised to see (outside of the vampires I write) what my main themes and tropes are!

My spreadsheet shows I am mostly a fantasy author and secondary dystopian author; I am more likely to write about angels and demons or mutants than anything else and I tend towards tropes of survival, redemption and isolation.  The main sceneries are cities and subterranean, as opposed to what I thought was a more of a forest like leaning, and I am more of a standalone novelist, rather than a series creator.

This is a huge revelation to me, because I thought that I mostly concentrated on forests and mountains, dragons and giants and themes of war and revelation – I felt that I was mostly a steampunk and horror author above everything else, but no, I am not.  I also felt that I was writing too many series and sagas, but again, no, it’s a small margin in comparison to the majority of my work.

I was also surprised at how many of my stories are in water based sceneries too, I never imagined that would be the case; it is astonishing, as I have never really felt I was a person who had such a big connection to water before.  But water scenes are very common in most of my stories and my main characters are most likely to be predominantly female.

I am also surprised at how diverse my characters are in comparison to the average books I read from other authors, this is not intentional, but it is a good thing to note and I am more prone to comedy in my stories thus far, than I had first thought.

What did I include in my spreadsheet?

Genre

Title of project

Main creature race

Main scene

Is this a series?

Main theme

Are the characters diverse?

Main character gender

I didn’t include any of my vampire novels in the spreadsheet, because I wanted to see what I am as an author outside of them.

I haven’t put every project into the spreadsheet because I only wanted to waste about half a day on this type of thing as I need more time to organise my files for revision.  I fully intend to send work to agents by the end of autumn of this year and I plan to send around four books out, before the winter and I am assessing which ones I feel are the best polished works.

I have done it this way quite deliberately; I have many alternative stories of most of the work I am proud of, so that I can test the water of each with any agent who sees me as a promising colleague.  If ever I have been called anything in the past by a lot of people who know me personally, they know me to be very time efficient, as well as flexible!

Thank you for reading!

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My brain takes me here…

They say that the books you love to read, the movies you love to watch and the things that stick with you the most can be seen in your own writing. 

What you love is often reflected in your writing and once you know yourself well enough you write better.  Once you throw yourself into all of your passions and are writing things based on your passions or similar to your passions unashamedly, you will develop your style and you will therefore come across as unique and fresh in the genres you write.

As long as you stay true only to yourself, do not write for the market, write for you!

I hope this is true.  If it is, then you can more or less guess from my likes and dislikes what could end up being in my novels.

I don’t like to be predictable though, but it is true that there is a little of what I love in everything that I do

Below is a list of stories, books or movies in which I mentally visit and live in a lot, for some reason or another, I am dragged back there to relive scenes or add new ones in my mind.  However, I never write those reimagining’s down through fear of becoming a fraud!  Though I have sometimes thought about doing fanfiction!

1922 By Stephen king – this story in particular has actually influenced a horror I am writing, which is based around a well in a garden too, funnily enough.  But the story concept is poles apart besides the setting of a well. 

Spider By Hanns Heinz Ewers – Every time I see a spider I remember the story.  Every time I see a woman working at a loom or spinning yarn, I think of this story.  You would think that wouldn’t be very often then, but I know a lot of prepper, homesteading type ladies who do this regularly.  I have wanted to do this myself; I have always wanted to make my own felt too. 

The complete collection of The Wizard of Oz By Frank L Baum – So many imaginative things in all the stories, living china dolls, servant monkeys, it’s absolute joy!  The landscape descriptions, oh my word, they are divine, I just can’t help but bring myself back to those scenes. 

Smoke and Mirrors By Neil Gaiman – So many lovely stories and poems in this book, I presume they are poems in any case?  I see them as such, I love the prose, I just love the way he writes!  It is very soulful writing. 

The man in the picture By Susan Hill – This is the only book in my entire reading history, of such length, that I have read and could not put down even for a toilet break!  It is just so gripping and I loved it, it had a similar air to Dorian Grey, but in my opinion much better executed.  I love Venice, never been, but still, always wanted to, love with a passion masquerades and carnival life. 

Matilda By Roald Dahl – Ever since I was little, since Victoria Wood read this on TV I have loved this story and nagged my mum in buying me the book, but she never did.  I must have borrowed this book a hundred times from the library before I became an adult and bought it as part of a trilogy compilation.  How I wished that my soul got angry enough with the people in my life that I could play with the supernatural like she did!  It may have solved a lot of my childhood problems, or created worse ones, who knows? 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – Very alike to Wizard of Oz, the scenes are great, but I also like crazy characters, madness or at least the descent into it ideas.  I love kooky takes on animal and plant life and this was such a joy to behold.  The artwork etc, I love everything about Alice in Wonderland and I have an addiction to collecting Alice in Wonderland novelties.  There were times I pranced around in life hoping I fell down a hole where things were very different too. 

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – If you can actually manage to read the whole book and get past the awful main scene, you will actually find this book very deep on an emotional level that is not just traumatic, but beautiful too.  If you read deeply, push past the horrible stuff, it is very meaningful.  How the dead view the living, how the living cannot move on until the dead does, what dead children do in the heavens.  Living out their wildest imaginations; yes, a lot of it is weird and sickening, but I urge you to try and edit those horrible bits out of your mind and read it without those bits.  It takes strong stuff to do that, I know!  But honestly, it is a lovely book besides. Try to skim the nasties.   

Confessions of an ugly step-sister by Gregory Maguire – I love Cinderella anyway, but this plot was good and more to the way that I thought it was behind the scenes.  I love how I learned real history in this book too, the bit about the tulips in Holland.  By the way, that’s another addiction I have – tulips.

I.T By Stephen King – I used to be scared of clowns, big time, before I even learned about Pennywise, but it is funny to actually say that I loved the character Pennywise so much it lessened my fear of them.  Weird I know!  In the past two years in particular, I have lost my fear of clowns entirely and now enjoy them, in fact, they are becoming the main projects for my art!  I just hate the scene of little Georgie.

The Mad Max Movies – I have a thing for life on the road, roguish living, post-apocalyptic tribal societies and the general chaos of survival as whole societies descend into madness.  For this reason too, I think I like the next movie;

Reign of fire movie – I love subterranean settings and when you throw in dragons in a post-apocalyptic world I am in my element. 

Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins is another subterranean setting I love, full of gothic elements such as bats, rats, roaches and gore with an edge of the apocalypse feel to it. 

The Blue Bird starring Shirley Temple – this has been in my mind since I was a very small child, a lot of things about this movie can be seen in small snippets of some of my work.  I have mentioned Old father time and I have cats and dogs which can take on a human form, children trapped in dream time in a couple of my stories to date so far.  No Spoilers, because they were just passing things in the plot, not the actual plot at all.

The Karnstein Trilogy – I love this much more than Dracula, I love the movies and the books they were based on.  I loved it so much that I had been heavily influenced by this trilogy my whole life; I have had to be careful when writing my vampires in fear of coming off as a plagiarist.  You may see what I mean with what I mentioned in “The Blue Bird” paragraph.  I have had to learn to chop up everything I love and move them around genres and different stories, like some experimental stir fries. 

I shall write about the tropes and scenes and types of characters I like in future posts – keep eye out for those!

Happy reading! 

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Favourite genres to read

Reading is something I do often, but in more recent years I have noticed a decrease in reading fiction for non-fiction and I am starting to miss reading fiction as a whole.  I am trying to increase the fiction that I read, but a lust for research usually gets in the way of it.

I miss fiction a lot and I want to share with you the genres or types of books that I enjoy the most;

I obviously enjoy vampires, but they seem to have a broad genre rather than just slotted into one and ironically they don’t often get found where you expect at libraries and bookshops.  I expect to find them at the horror section, but oftentimes they are found in the YA section or even romance!

My favourite genres are fantasy, horror, YA, dystopia and graphic novels.  I love anthologies too and tend to read more short stories than full length novels and I love novellas too.

I dislike romance or having too much romance in the stories that I do read, I tend to skim past scenes like this a lot, and I am not at all a romantic person!  I think it has something to do with the fact that my mother consumed fifteen mills and boon a week as I was growing up!  If there is one thing I can say about my mother, is that she read faster than I ever could!

For a small time during my youth I did kind of get into some of her romance books, but the naughtier ones which made her laugh a bit but also side glanced me in concern as I was becoming more and more an adult; the silhouette, blaze and historical/regency ones I liked best.  But there are only so many gooey eyes and passionate forays in the bedroom you can read before you need to get a grip on your hormones and stop reading that sort of thing for sanities sake!

So for mental health reasons I avoid romance, not because I am a prude, far from it, but there comes a time when one gets tired of a constant sense of nonfulfillment, as it were.

Right anyway, enough of that!

Bitter about a misspent youth of being such a good girl and obeying her mother and never dating anyone until she was twenty purely because of the fear of the scene that would unfold just because I suggested that maybe I am old enough to go out on my own now mum?  Is it obvious?  Well… of course… it wasn’t normal back then and it isn’t normal now… well… Covid19 might have made that sort of thing normal now, but generally it isn’t normal is it?

But yes, I love horror and fantasy and I love humour too!  Those are my genres I love to read and even write.  Christopher Moore, Susan Hill, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Ransom Riggs, Roald Dhal, David Walliams, Frank L Baum, George McDonald, Edgar Allen Poe, Max Brook, Anne Rice, Brian Froud to name but a few of my favourites.

There will be more in depth posts in future about what I like and even why.

Happy reading all!

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World War Z – book review

I finished reading World War Z on Wednesday by Max Brooks and I have to say that it was incredibly thought provoking and the best example of world building I have come across in a long time!

There were things in this novel that I would never ever have dreamed of thinking as possibilities in a zombie infested world that I found very clever.  You understand that zombies are considered undead or dead people reanimated but do you really understand what that would really mean if it were real?

Think about it, what could the dead do that we could not if they happened to have become ravenously hungry reanimated autopilot predators?

Terrifying things actually!

They could survive climates and places that we as living breathing human beings would struggle with!

The story is absolutely amazing and without giving you too many spoilers I can’t really say much more than this… if you want a horror in a dystopian world and you want to be taught near perfect world building and keeping things real, then this is a must read, whether you like zombies or not!

This is how world building is done folks!

Happy reading!

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thought of the day 1

I will admit that sometimes I preschedule my posts, especially those of poetry. 

I had a very ecologically aware and poetic day on the 20th May. 

Sometimes the themes of my poetry come in bursts of phases and waves; much like my story writing does too.  I get days where it is more of a vampire day or a dystopian day and my art or stories or poems reflect this, I can’t force myself outside of the theme I feel for the day; that is my major fault.

Today I feel artistic, I want to practise art, for me it is one of the dreaded mixed days, where I have more than one theme; today I feel like practising dragon art, writing towards a dragon story but also dystopian, I also feel like shopping but that is not a creative theme for me, that’s just me!

At the point of writing this post, it is the 21st May.  This post has been prescheduled because my body is giving me warnings that my auto-immunity issues are preparing themselves for yet another hit of something that will knock me off my feet for a couple of weeks.  I hope it gets over and done with before Midsummer night, because around that week I have minor surgery.

Happy reading

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Types of stories I have finished or are working on

Types of work that I am currently doing;

I have mentioned in several posts that there are certain themes I am writing in my novels and there has been a question of just how many novels are you working on at the moment?  Personally, I don’t know!  I know that sounds really funny to some, but I have been writing loads of stories almost my whole life and I have never really sat back and wondered how many I am working on, because I just write what I feel like at the time.  Yes, there are many novels which are 100% finished now, but to me they could still be in redrafting stages and many have been redrafted umpteempth times since two years ago.  I only started redrafting my 30yrs of work two years ago, simply because I never thought it would be necessary and also because I was never sure if I could cope with writing as a career.

I think I am ready to say, I am now ready for this career, hence why a lot of my writing habits have changed recently.

I am totally self-taught, I have no formal education and I was home educated by a dyslexic parent throughout most of my childhood and pretty much neglected by social services to get on with it without too much interference.  As an adult I have been kept too busy to take up education, but even now, I am trying to teach myself.  I can’t afford even the cheapest monthly fee on skillshare yet, but I am hoping by the end of the year that I can do some of their courses to learn how to punctuate properly and use grammar and anything else I need to improve my writing for both my blog and my novels, before finally approaching that agent I want to.  I have found an agent I like, but whether or not they will like me this time next year is another matter!

This post is going to tell you the types of novels I am working on or that have been finished, without revealing too much of the plot; but the list is not conclusive, these are just stories I am willing to throw out into the world in the next couple of years, with any luck!

  1.  You all know how much I love my vampires; so it shouldn’t be a shock to tell you that I have twenty seven different stories already completed in both my mind and on paper, along with full encyclopaedias and fictional historical booklets based on that world.  I have been working on this massive project since I was ten years old, yes ten years old!  That’s a whopping twenty eight years!  However, there is a list of seventy eight other stories I haven’t even finished yet, not even once that has been on the go for years, some are new. 
  2. Recently you have learned my second favourite creature to write about are dragons and there are approximately five books I have been writing, three of which are near completion with hopefully their final drafts. 
  3. Pirates are another fantasy thing I like to write about regularly and there are three separate pirate books to date.  One of which is near its final draft and another is an off-shoot book to one of the dragon novels. 
  4. Gargoyles also have their own books with this author, I have six novels with those and in two of them they are the main characters.
  5. I have written two novels with phoenixes as the main theme too.
  6. I have a whole series based on a character that lives in a hot air balloon, this is currently five books long, but there are more being planned.
  7. There are seven books based on robots. Half of which are fantasy more than sci-fi.
  8. There is a big series about giants, that is almost ten books strong and again, they are off-shoots of a dragon novel I have.
  9. There are loads of mermaid novels I have and various other new sea creatures, I haven’t actually counted those, but I do know that there are at least six finished.  These are standalone novels, not a series.
  10. I have four separate series of werewolves, one of which I am very passionate about and spend a lot of time on.
  11. There is a demon erotica series I have been working on for the past eight years; the series is actually nearly complete now.
  12. There are three zombie books that are both standalone novels, too, two of which are more fantasy than horror and very comedic.
  13. There are five separate afterlife series I am working on, some are fantasy, some are horror and some are dystopian.
  14. There are fourteen dystopian series I am working on too, two of which are based on religious ideologies.
  15. There is a series of fairy stories for children too, which is approximately seven books and I regard as novellas.
  16. There are four Christmas themed books I have written too.
  17. There are four comics too, or, I think one of them is actually graphic novel rather than comic – this is dystopian and steam punk in style.
  18. I also have two ghost stories.
  19. I have a selection of horror too, which could be considered a series, but they are all standalones really.
  20. I know I have 777 poems on this blog, but there are at least 5000 off the blog that have never been published online anywhere.
  21. I have nine musical compositions as well, that has never been published anywhere.
  22. I have six operas written too as well as musicals for theatre, but I am so not confident about those right now.
  23. I have a series about little people that were inspired by Land of the giants and the borrowers. 

There are probably more I haven’t mentioned yet, but these are the only things that come to mind right now for me.  I do have a lot of work here, but I just haven’t had the confidence about really throwing myself out there.  I am terrified of the consequences.  I don’t want fame, I want my work to be enjoyed and I really want to see them as movies, but I don’t want to have a famous face.  But I am getting used to the idea that maybe I will have no choice someday?  I can’t keep my work hidden forever, I didn’t write it for it to be hidden and forgotten – those novels are like little people to me, they are like creatures that need to be nurtured and their only food is recognition.  Their only source of nourishment is to be enjoyed and read, it keeps them alive!  I believe in BIG MAGIC, I believe ideas are alive!

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