Monday, October 31, 2005

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo

November means its time to decide if I want to torture myself again. Do I want to write a 50,000 word novel in a month? On top of writing my column? Oh and I have an article for Broker Magazine due on the 8th that I haven't started yet.

If I do take part which of the twenty million plots that I have floating around in my head would I use? I really should have answered these questions earlier than one hour and a few minutes before the thing starts...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Thriller VS Horror Film

I don't care for slasher films. I like my horror to be more subtle. My last column was about horror films that don't get the attention they deserve. I noticed something odd while doing research for this column. All of the films I chose are called thrillers instead of horror. One has ghosts, one has zombies, one has Satan, they all have supernatural elements but at least one critic chose to label them all as thrillers, usually psychological thrillers. I suspect this is more snobbiness at work. If something is good and interesting it can't be horror because all horror sucks by definition. That's the mindset we're seeing here. It's kind of funny in a sad little way.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sin City, Vol 1. The Love Bug

Last night I read Sin City, Vol. One. I don't understand why the chick don't dig Marv. He's loyal, he's tough, he's fierce, he's big! He hates guys that hurt dames. Tell me you wouldn't feel safe walking down a dark alley with him at your side.

Okay, yes he is confused and somewhat crazy but hell, who isn't confused and crazy sometimes? We live in a crazy world.

Just as my friend Kathy once said that in the right circumstances she would date a Wookie, in the right circumstances I would date Marv.

After I finished Sin City I picked up the next book in my stack o reading material and read The Love Bug, novelisation of the 1960s film. I wouldn't exactly tell all my friends to go and read it.

The most interesting thing I noticed is that the author never said VW or Bug or Beetle. There were a very few quotes where characters say lines with the words beetle or bug but I got the feeling those came straight out of the script. Herbie is called "the little car" at least a hundred times. Did the writer forget the make and model? Did VW tell them they couldn't use the name? I wonder.

Monday, October 24, 2005

With this kind of money I can easily retire!

My blog is worth $564.54.
How much is your blog worth?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Censorship in Blogs

I ended up at this blog today when I was looking for something by Manly Wade Wellman. The link is to a thread about suggested reading material for a fourteen year old girl. Eventually I figured out that the author and commentators are Catholic and are pretty serious about not giving this girl anything to read which isn't supportive of Catholicism and its ideals. Readers warn against books which condone contraceptive and they all seem to despise Heinlein.

Some of the comments are extremely funny, some are just plain baffling (how do you not love Jane Yolen's Briar Rose?) and then at the end they are obscene and hateful. Someone has posted some descriptions of things he'd like to do to the daughter of the blog owner.

I am quite surprised that the comments haven't been removed. They are an attack, using sex and shock as the weapon and the target is under age.

The whole purpose of the thread is to create a reading list for the daughter. If I were her I'd be checking back every so often to make a new list of books to check out of the library. She really doesn't need to read comments like that. It's doubly odd to me that other people just kept on commenting as though the comments were appropriate.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Nameless Book, V for Vendetta and Primary Inversion

Cullen just burst into to my room to ask if I have finished reading a book we got out of the library. It's an old one by one of our favorite authors. I won't say what it is or who wrote it because that would spoil it. I said yes I did and he said it almost made him very angry because the book almost made the detective into the bad guy. And I said yes and we would have hated that because we like the detective and he said yes. I said we trust the author not to do that to us and he agreed and went off to go to sleep or something.

Trust is a major issue for us these days. There are authors that I read that I don't trust. Robin Cook is one of them. He almost always kills the first character I meet. As a result I never really let my guard down when reading one of his books and I don't get swept away. I stay in this world and just peer into the worlds he builds.

Dick Francis and PG Wodehouse are authors that I absolutely trust. In fact I am so comfortable with them that if I am sad, or cynical, or disillusioned I like to read their books because they always make me feel better. They don't just make me happier, they make me feel the world is a better place and there is hope for everyone.

Hope for the future is something that I used to get when I was young and reading sci fi. Growing up in the shadow of the nuclear bomb and coming from a terrifying and abusive background means you really don't think you'll live to be an adult. Either a family member or friend of the family is going to kill you or you'll die in a bomb attack. Either one seems pretty likely.

Sci fi set in the future, no matter how dark, meant we made it through what Heinlein called the crazy years. Even Star Trek made me feel like we could do it as a species.

Today I read Alan Moore's V for Vendetta. I bought this a few months ago and then put it in my pile of things that I want to read but I want to enjoy knowing I can read them for awhile first. (If you don't understand that I probably can't explain it to you.) Now that the movie is coming out I thought I had better read it before I want to talk about the film for my column.

It's an amazing book. It's beautiful and dark and sad and hopeful and disturbing. I'm now intensely curious about the film. I see our own government as increasingly totalitarian and I am surprised that someone would think this is a good time to make this film. I feel this way partly because of the news story that said that all references to God and religion were being removed from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials books for the film. It seems to me that if we are going to censor films because of fear of the religious right then we're not going to do very well with a film about overthrowing a totalitarian government either. I could see the same people who rant and rave about how the homosexuals are destroying the family saying yes, shipping them off to camps is a wonderful idea and yes, please do take the colored people and the foreigners with you. Is all of that going to stay in the film? I recall something happened that made Alan Moore pretty upset. Maybe the film is about a superhero overthrowing a terrorist instead of the lead being a terrorist. I wonder.

And then when I finished it and thought about it quite a bit I started Catherine Asaro's Primary Inversion, which is set in the same universe as Catch the Lightning, the audio book I heard earlier this week.

This is a lovely and compelling book. I would call it Romeo and Juliet set in space but that doesn't do it justice because Juliet wasn't doing things like fighting space battles while trying to save 600 million people from Romeo's father.

If you see this book anywhere pick it up and read it. The story is terrific and the science is extremely interesting. Catherine Asaro's writing makes me want to study quantum mechanics.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Writing Advice - Beware of Losing Momentum

Today's book club email brought a valuable piece of information from Joe, the 12 or 14 year old who is writing the introductions to this week's selection. Quick recap - this is an online book club through our library and each week we start a new book. You start at the beginning and get about five minutes of the story each day and then on Friday you can decide if you want to buy it or check it out or pretend it doesn't exist.

This week's book is called Palms to the Ground by Amy Stollis and starts off with a neurotic boy who is about to go across country and meet his pen pal in the flesh. He's hiding something from his parents about this pen pal and he is bristling with phobias. He's a boy a lot of teens can identify with and the introductions were pretty interested in what was going to happen. Joe was clearly engaged by the book.

But yesterday's entry was about the plane ride to meet the pen pal and this woman who talks the protagonist through his fear. And today I read this comment from Joe:

Well, today's entry is kind of interesting, but it's pretty much Calman talking with Mrs. Blenke some more. I don't know about you, but I've already put this book on hold...

Now look at that. Mrs. Blenke is actually an interesting character to me, she's going on about her deceased husband who used to pretend to be dead, to the point where he even sat in a tub of red water faking his own suicide. But the story has stopped moving forward while we listen to her talk and now Joe has lost interest. I expected him to be a kind of a cheerleader for the book but here he is telling everyone he's not going to finish it. A couple of days ago he was saying he was going to do a book report on this book.

Listen to Joe. Don't make your story stand still on page 23 or your readers will never get to the super cool exciting scenes you've got planned for later.


Edited to say:

Cameron read this and thinks that Joe is saying he is putting a hold on the book at the library. I don't think that is what he meant but I think Cam's interpretation is valid. Cam did say he agrees with my point about losing your reader. He is 13 so is exactly the target audience for this book.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

HIV and PTC - Comparing two systemic diseases

When I read this article by Carlos Perez I am struck by two things. First of all I feel terrible for this man. Being sick is hard. Having to fight for your medical care is harder. Having to fight for your medical care because you can't afford the PPO is demeaning.

The other thing that amazes me, and amazes me every time I end up at this AIDS/HIV resource site is how similar HIV and PTC symptoms are to each other. Fatigue, nausea, vomiting, weakness, memory loss and dizziness are all common complaints of both types of patients.

Sometimes I think this is because the brain is involved and so of course you are going to get overlaps. But mostly I just wish I knew more. I would love to read something explaining this.

And on another note, Dr. Bob from the forums is such a great guy. He's funny and optimistic and smart. If you have any questions about HIV/AIDS he is the one to ask.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Anne Arundel County Library's Digital Media Policy - Confusion or Malice?

I signed up for my local library's digital media with a fair amount of anticipation. My stupid illness makes it pretty hard for me to get out and go to the library and when I do go I always end up throwing up in the parking lot. (Thankfully no actual vomiting in the stacks yet.) I like to read tactile books best but I'll settle for a digital book and when it comes to a choice of a digital book or no book, clearly the digital book is the better choice. Audio books are all over the map, some being extremely good (Anansi Boys read by Lenny Henry) and some unlistenable. (Anything by the guys who do the Left Behind series.) So when you take all this into account the digital library for my county and I should go together like green eggs and ham but so far I am not precisely pleased.

Of course you need a library card, that is a given. But you need more than that. You have to sign up for an account and you can only do it at the library. So much for being friendly to those of us who never go out. This is one reason I have been thinking about joining for a year and getting nowhere.

The electronic bounty is divided into two parts. I looked at every single work offered under one name and it was all Cliff Notes and things like Our Friends the Bears. I did not see anything I would find interesting or entertaining.

The second option is more popular work I suppose, offered in OverDrive Media and Adobe Acrobat. The notice says you can't play the audio books on your iPod because of licensing issues. What they really mean is they have made a pact with Microsoft and to maintain the monopoly you can't use your iPod. It looks like you can get away from Microsoft by using the OverDrive but it's all lies. I couldn't even open a file that I checked out until I updated the security in Windows Media Player. Yep, it's the dreaded DRM. Microsoft says that I am getting a higher level of protection by upgrading my DRM (something I didn't want to do but did eventually, fuming the whole time) and they make it sound like I am the one being protected but of course that's not true. I'm the one who is being restricted as to how I can use something that is temporarily mine.

But let's pretend I don't care about that and let's look at how the library handles their digital media.

All items are checked out for 21 days. After that they expire and you can't get them to work anymore. Okay, that is reasonable, I suppose, although if it were a regular book you could renew it up to three times so you are being kind of shorted if you need more time.

The thing that stinks is that you are stuck with the 21 days. I know it doesn't sound bad, but bear with me a moment. You can only have six electronic items out on your card. Why? I have no idea. You can have 99 regular items on your card so that doesn't make any sense to me. Possibly it is because there aren't a whole lot of electronic items at this stage of development. But what does that matter, you ask. Electronic means the entire population of patrons could have the same book out at the same time, right?

Wrong. If you want a popular book you have to put a hold on it. You have to wait until the book is "returned" by everyone in front of you before you can check it out. You can put a hold on an item if you want. I did that with a few audio books and a PDF version of Coraline that promises swoony secret material not available in my home copy. You give them an email address and they email you when the book is ready.

And that's exactly what happened. I got an email telling me the book was in and I had 72 hours to pick it up. Once I log in to the site and put it in my "bookbag" I have 30 minutes to check out and then it will vanish from my account. So I head straight to checkout only to discover I can't get it because I checked out six books already yesterday when I joined. Fine then, I'll return something I checked out and hope that I can check it out again later, although it says you can only download it once maybe they mean per checkout cycle.

But I find I can't return the audio books. They just stay on my computer for 21 days taking up space. I already listened to Catch the Lightning and would be happy to return it but I can't. I just have to wait for it expire. Meanwhile I lose my chances at any books that come off the waiting list. It's frustrating.

I think it's particularly frustrating because it could be so grand and glorious and instead its got crap software with DRM, incomprehensible rules and meaningless hoops to jump through. Maybe some day it will be a thing of beauty, but not today.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


The kids and I were at Capclave this weekend. It was super fabulous. Loads of smart and interesting people, a great con suite (potassium central with both oranges and bananas), sweet programming, terrific authors and, as a special bonus treat, a Jamaican wedding down the hall. One of my favorite moments was running into a very handsome Jamaican man in the elevator who had a bottle of Ting. My eyes not being what they were, I wasn't sure that is what it was, although the bottles are kind of distinctive so I asked him if it was Ting and he looked surprised and asked me in a very thick, wonderful accent, "What you know about Ting?" I was torn between saying "I know everyting about Ting" or "I know the price of fish!" but I settled for laughing and saying my one of my very dear friends' grandfather is from Jamaica and then he asked me if I drank Red Stripe beer but I just giggled like a schoolgirl. Any day you can giggle like a schoolgirl is a good day.

I got to talk to Ellen Datlow and tell her how thankful I am to her for all the new writers she has introduced me to through the Year's Best Horror and Fantasy series and she was very kind, especially considering I am still having a very hard time with the PTC and was semi-incoherent. We talked a little about a book that is coming out in 2007 that is in the series started with Fairy Reel, I think it was Coyote Road, I'll have to check.

I chimed in with some thoughts about prejudices on both sides coming from romance and sci fi readers and explained why I thought that fantasy romance was easier to try than sci fi romance for a hard core romance reader and Catherine Asaro said I had a good comment and that made me happy.

I was very taken with the sharp with and braininess of Yoji Kondo, who writes under the name of Eric Kotani, and when I told him so and introduced my sons to him he told me I was far too young to have children and then insisted that I couldn't have been any older than twelve when I had Chris. Swoon!

It was just really super, fun, happy dancing times. I'm so glad I went.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thoughts about being literary

It's been awhile since I workshopped anything at zoetrope. I go through these phases where I can't bear to read ninety percent of work out there. I hate to review someone's work when I can't say something helpful and saying sorry I couldn't get past your opening sentence is probably not useful and is certainly hurtful.

But yesterday I read a few stories and found two I could say something about and then I had enough submissions so that I could submit a new short story. I put up Pyrexia, Unknown Etiology, an InfernoKrusher story I wrote last year. It's something I almost didn't write because I had just written a story about being newly dead and didn't feel I should write two newly dead stories right in a row but A. was extremely helpful and told me to write it. I did and it was rather different than I imagined and I love it. So anyway, I got my first review last night. It's not bad but I didn't really agree with much of what my reviewer had to say and I vehemently disagreed with this:

I would continue to work on your command of the language; you have a good basic structure here, and I would try to give it a more literary sound. For example, the paragraph where you describe pouring beer on the ground as an offering to God is excellent: clever and appropriate (you might want to use the word "libation" there, too). I'd endeavor to find more places where you can use language like that.
This is what I wrote back to him and I believe this with every tiny bit of me:

Thanks for reviewing my story, Pyrexia, Unknown Etiology.

I appreciate your advice but when you suggest trying to sound more literary I can't agree. The purpose of writing is to communicate. The purpose of storytelling is to communicate, entertain, educate and share with the audience. Share feelings, insights, mores, etc.

When we focus on using "literary words" instead of telling the story in the voice of that particular story we lose clarity and create distance from our audience.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden says that story is a force of nature. With that in mind, we don't want to do anything to slow down that force. We want to have a cat five hurricane when it comes to our writing.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Stroke detection

I've been particularly sick lately. Sometimes I can't even sit up in bed without getting dizzy and throwing up and passing out. This has been going on for at least a week, heading for two. Friday was bad enough that I took some phenergan and then a narcotic (oh so precious few remain) because I was in such terrible pain.

Today is a holiday for my office, Columbus Day so I tried to sleep in. Of course I can't because one of my neighbors appears to be trying to chainsaw his entire house apart and another is working on his car, a surprisingly noisy endeavor even when you don't count the cursing involved. Finally I fell asleep again, despite a nasty headache, despite everything and had a really interesting dream. As I was waking up, I was just dreaming that I was hugely angry, the kind of seeing red, nose bleeding angry that does feel like part of your brain is going to give out, and I was just about to scream really loudly when I woke up to one of these headaches where I feel like my head is nailed to the bed.

I say nailed to the bed not just because it does feel like a giant iron spike through my head but also because it feels impossible to lift my head from the pillow. It really does feel like something big and terrible has stuck my head down permanently. This time the left side of my face was also numb. Not the side that was touching the pillow and could conceivably be numb but the other side. I also had muscle weakness and numbness all down my arm. So I started to wonder if this was it, had I had a *stroke? As I was wondering this and trying to touch my face I suddenly had to pee like mad.

Getting up and getting to the bathroom seemed as likely as sprouting wings and fluttering out my bedroom window but it also seemed like a good diagnostic opportunity. Could I walk? Hell, could I sit up? I could and I staggered into the bathroom. After taking care of urgent business I looked in the mirror. Are my pupils the same size? I can't tell, my eyes are not good enough.

My breathing sounds okay, I haven't got that awful sound that you get from stroke victims. I try and squeeze a wet washcloth, I have some strength in my hands, although they feel weak and debilitated, like all the strength has run out of them, leaving just these shells.

Humans need to be able to communicate, it's intrinsic. We wonder at Helen Keller not just because of her amazing will and the incredible dedication of Ann Sullivan but because she represents something that terrifies us, a person cut off from the world by three of the most important things that make us who we are, the ability to see and learn, the ability to hear and learn and bond and the ability to talk and learn and bond and express what we have learned and become. To imagine being in her shoes, to really feel it, is unbearable.

Can I still communicate? Can I write? Can I talk? I can still hear, I hear a plane that is going to land at BWI but sounds like it is going to crash into my house. I can see, well, as well as I can since I got sick and my eyes started bleeding. But can I communicate? I am afraid to try.

I come back into my room, sink into my bed and pick up the laptop. To most writers and
empty screen is frightening but this is worse than any empty screen I have seen before. This is a screen that represents my ability to still be me. I pull up a screen and I start to type and I see real words and I feel relief (although my head still feels like it is bleeding, bleeding right down my spine as a matter of fact) and realize I have been breathing shallowly and I take a deep, deep breath.

While I am writing, my perception of my headache fades. It's still there, as bad as ever but the drug of writing is working and everything fades a little, everything but the words. At some point Cameron, who is home sick again today, walks in and asks me a question and I respond absently, without even noticing that yes, I can talk. It only sinks in later and I smile a little. I have dodged the bullet again. For now.

*There is a theory that PTC is caused by a series of tiny strokes. Before I got PTC, when I had migraines, which started when I was pregnant with Cullen, the neurologist said much the same thing, that migraines are often because of a series of small strokes. Because I take blood thinners and because my chemistry is odd, my blood levels are all over the map. My bleeding time has been elevated enough that I have had to get transfusions of fresh frozen plasma to bring them down to a better range. It's been high enough that ERA doctors have to sit down when they get the numbers because they have never seen them that high before. It's perfectly possible that I will actually start bleeding in my brain while I sleep. I'm just hoping every night that I won't. I bet it's one reason I have trouble sleeping though.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bag of Bones

I started reading Stephen King's Bag of Bones last night. I guess early this morning would be more accurate because I finished reading the Enchanted Land around one a.m. and then started Bag of Bones. I read it before, but I remember very little of it. I didn't like it when I first read it and I don't know why.

It's quite frightening. Around three a.m. I realized I was not going to get any sleep because I was too scared. The descriptions of what it's like to be a writer are spot on, the story is interesting, the characters are good, it's precisely the kind of story I like. I wish I could remember why I disliked it. I hope there is nothing really awful lurking and waiting for me. I mean that when I read Needful Things I was so upset by the plot that I vowed to never read it again. I hope I didn't do something like that and forget about my promise to myself.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Dr. Ben Carson Won't Chop My Head Open

Apparently he only chops children's heads open. So much for that idea.

I spent some time today looking at other Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon's websites. How can you tell from a doctor's site if they are caring and compassionate? Some of them (not just at JHU, some other ones who have done scary studies) look like they'd sell their grandmother's up the river for a copper penny. Some of them look like they just escaped from prison and are pretty sure you've got an arrest warrant in your camera.

I did call another office and left a message. We'll see what happens.

Do you know, I have also been looking at some stuff about cover letters because I mean to submit my column for syndication and I when I think about the amount of time I have spent on this brain surgeon thing I think I could have gotten a novel through a slush pile faster and with better success.

Did I mention I discussed this potential surgery with Neil Gaiman at the Anansi Boys reading? He's so nice, quite kind and while he agreed with Will Shetterly that I have nothing to lose by the surgery and much knowledge to gain, he also said if it were his head he didn't know what choice he would make.

I'm awfully glad its not his head. I shudder at the thought.

Oh did I say that Dr. Carson made me think of Spider the moment I saw him? Slick and confident and very sure of himself. I think of the way Neil read him just saying "Heeeeyyy," kind of like a thug and I think yes, that is Spider.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fatal mistakes in mystery fiction

For a story to work properly you've got to be able to trust the writer. There are quite a lot of things that go into that trust but right now I am just talking about getting things right. Of course we can't get things right all the time. We all make mistakes and we get the wrong information and we process it incorrectly and we end up saying ridiculous things from time to time so I am not talking about perfection.

What I am talking about is a basic flaw. If your skiffy universe says there is no faster than light drive and then you end up in another star system after traveling for two minutes well something is wrong.

I'm also not talking about conflict here. If you have a character who is an upstanding doctor who still makes housecalls and everyone loves him and then you find out that he is prescribing medication because he's being blackmailed by the pharmaceutical rep, well that is conflict. That makes an interesting character, an interesting setup and you want to find out what is going to happen and how he is going to be able to get out of this situation. Or how someone else is going to make him get out of it.

What I am talking about is this. I joined an online book club, actually because they featured Cory's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town so I thought they might have good taste. When I joined I signed up for six or seven different books per week, mystery, romance, prepub, skiffy, horror, teen and fiction. I think that's it.

Recently, the featured mystery book was Indelible by Karin Slaughter. This is the way the book was billed, although quite frankly I don't read these things in general, I prefer to find out for myself what the book is about officer is shot point-blank in the Grant County police station and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded, setting off a terrifying hostage situation with medical examiner Sara Linton at the center. Working outside the station, Lena Adams, newly reinstated to the force, and Frank Wallace, Jeffrey's second in command, must try to piece together who the shooter is and how to rescue their friends before Jeffrey dies. For the sins of the past have caught up with Sara and Jeffrey--with a vengeance...

Sounds exciting, right? Well look at this excerpt from the beginning of the book;

There were two young men in the lobby, one of them leaning against the back wall, the other standing in front of Marla. Sara took the standing one to be Jeffrey's visitor. Smith was young, probably Brad's age, and dressed in a quilted black jacket that was zipped closed despite the late August heat. His head was shaved and from what she could make of his body under the heavy coat, he was fit and well muscled. He kept scanning the room, his eyes furiously darting around, never resting his gaze on one person for long. He added the front door to his rotation every second time, checking the street. There was definitely something military in his bearing, and for some reason, his general demeanor put Sara on edge.

She looked around the room, taking in what Smith was seeing. Jeffrey had stopped at one of the desks to help a patrolman. He slid his paddle holster to his back as he sat on the edge of the desk and typed something into the computer. Brad was still talking over by the coffeemaker, his hand resting on the top of the mace spray in his belt. She counted five more cops, all of them busy writing reports or entering information into their computers. A sense of danger coursed through Sara's body like a bolt of lightning. Everything in her line of vision became too sharply focused.

The front door made a sucking sound as it opened and Matt Hogan walked in. Marla said, "There you are. We've been waiting for you."

The young man put his hand inside his coat, and Sara screamed,


They all turned to look at her, but Sara was watching Smith. In one fluid motion he pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, pointed it at Matt's face, and squeezed both triggers.

All right so I think this lady, Sara, is a cop. She is the partner of the Jeffrey guy anyway, near as I can tell. She's in a police station, there are police everywhere and this extremely suspicious person comes in and sets off her spidey sense. The guy is wearing a heavy coat in August, zipped up, he's acting hinky, time is kind of objective but someone has time to enter the station, someone else has time to greet them, the perp has time to unzip his coat, get his shotgun out and shoot someone, which must a few seconds, right? All she does is yell Jeffrey's name, rather useless behavior, and then who knows what happens because I stopped reading.

What about yelling get down? I'm thinking this chick has had some sort of emergency training, she should be good for something besides standing around acting like the heroine of a bad romance. What about yelling "he's got a gun?"

I don't know, maybe it's just me but the whole scene feels fake and contrived to me. Instead of feeling bad for the guy who got shot in the face I am disgusted with the woman who I should be bonding with, the main character. The only thing I can trust now is that the writer will be writing more irritating scenes like this one so I say no thank you and put this book on my list of books I don't want to read.