Category Archives: The Rose Chateau

Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea and Promotion

If you’ve got a reader on your Christmas list and you just don’t know what to get for them, I’d have to recommend several different books I love, but of course only one will change my life if you choose it.

The Rose Chateau: A Tale of Beauty Meets Beast

BookCoverFrontPreview

Treat your little reader to the story of Beauty and the Beast as they’ve never read it before.

Corinna Faune was just a farmer’s daughter, whose only regal connection was her runaway duke best friend, Alastar. But when her uncle returns home from the neighboring village with a horror tale and one glimmering rose, her entire life is interrupted. Now she’s the unwilling guest of a bad-tempered prince, who found himself at the wrong end of a witch’s curse. Her once normal life is now surrounded by magic with not one, not two, but three conniving witches involved, and none of their allegiances are clear.

Reader comments for The Rose Chateau:

“The Rose Chateau was a wonderfully written story about overcoming life’s circumstances, of finding the good in even a bad situation. It is well written and holds your attention. It is hard to put down because you are drawn into the lives and emotions of the characters. ” – Jean

“Well crafted plot twists laced with suspense, colorful and relatable characters, wonderful character development, and attention to the geography of the fictitious landscape paints a picture that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the curse is broken. 5/5 stars and definitely recommend it as a good read!” – Grant

“This book was beautifully written. It was hard for me to put it down. I loved the characters, especially Corinna. She was brave, caring, selfless, and kindhearted. She was there for people when no one else was. She is a person everyone should strive to be like. Rebecca Monaco’s writing style was perfect and very descriptive. She did a wonderful job at weaving a classical story into something unique and interesting. I absolutely loved it.” – Alexis

(Yeah, shameless self-promotion. Bad me.)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Ciao Tutti!

RM

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Reading and Reading

Turns out that the reflections I have to do each week for my internship at The Florida Review are actually rather course specific. I mention submissions to the magazine in detail and why I liked or disliked them. There is a small portion where I describe what I’ve learned or noticed about being an editor, but it is never enough to make a whole post about.

My reflections are not publicly decent.

That throws out my idea of using them as my weekly blog posts. Oh well.

In other news, I’m reading more lately. I set a goal for myself this year – 12 books in 12 months – on GoodReads. I’m reading several books at once right now. I just finished The Hunger Games and have started Catching Fire. I’m reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and I’m reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. They’re all such different styles, but I love them all the same.

It’s not against the rules to read multiple books at the same time, even if those books aren’t in the same vein or genre or length. The point of reading is to enjoy yourself, so having a few isn’t a problem. It just means you have several to choose from depending on your mood.

I’ve been setting a reading goal for a few years now and have always met it, even though the numbers have always been low compared to some of my friends – usually 10 or 12. Have you ever set a reading goal, with a website or with yourself? Did you meet it? Surpass it?

Its a good feeling, finishing a book or reaching a reading goal. I recommend it if you’re looking for a simple kind of goal to try for.

Thanks for reading.

Ciao Tutti!

~RM

ps. In a different turn of events, I have become more active in posting to my Facebook pages. If you want to get a more regular thought from me, follow my personal Facebook like page. I also have my movie review blog’s like page, and of course I have the like page for The Rose Chateau. I’m trying to keep up with all of those more regularly.

I’ve discovered I’m terrible at twitter and keeping up with that, but if you can tell me how to link my Facebook with my Twitter so my like page posts will go to my Twitter, that would be fantastic, and I would suddenly be tweeting all the time. Let me know if that’s possible.

Newly Graduated

It would never have occurred to me that I would be busier after graduation than before it. Or maybe it just feels busy because I seem to be receiving constant reminders that I am now jobless and running on limited funds. No matter what the cause behind my current status, that’s what it is.

I have officially earned my Bachelors of Arts degree in English with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. What does this allow me to do now? Well, funny you should ask that. Apparently it prepares me for nothing, although I was led to believe it would open countless doors for me.

The major issue I’m having is that job markets these days seem to have two levels. First, the jobs which require no formal education of a higher degree – like restaurant jobs, manual labor jobs, and desk clerks. The second level is the Masters Degree and up category. This means you must have a masters degree or doctoral degree or some combination of the same level of skill. I’m between these two levels. The jobs I want have all fallen into the second category, and most jobs hiring in my area in the lower category are in no way related to my field or experience. In short, they are all mostly IT or Labor Intensive jobs.

So I continue to apply to restaurants and stores and theaters while searching for writing/editing positions online. We’ll see where that gets me.

On the subject of writing, I have submitted The Rose Chateau into a self-published book contest with Writer’s Digest. The grand prize is $3,000 and national exposure. I need both money and notoriety, so it would really be a complete win for me if the book succeeds. I welcome any warm wishes and thoughts on the subject. Wish me luck, pray for me, or whatever it is you do for people you hope will succeed. All are welcome.

If you were thinking of buying my novel but don’t by physical  books anymore, no worries. My personal I.T. friend tells me he will help me set up a system for The Rose Chateau on this blog that will allow readers to purchase a PDF copy to be read on Kindle or Nook or any PDF supporting portable device. The sales will go through PayPal. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of that little wonder.

I consider the sending of my novel to a contest and the soon-to-be sales of the novel through this blog to be miniature graduations of their own. Every small step I take toward my dream deserves to be celebrated. It means I’m still trying, still working, and still moving forward despite any and all obstacles.

And in the spirit of that “Go Forward” attitude, I’m in the process of revamping my original first novel, and I have made more progress with it recently than in past months. Soon I’ll have a preview excerpt I can post up for my readers. There will be proof that I am actually productive and not just spouting out encouragement for everyone else’s benefits.

And with this done, I have to finish laundry. Ah, the day to day mundanes.

Ciao Tutti!

RM

The Coming of Emotional Death

I was planning on updating with something mildly literary again this week, but it turns out my mind is elsewhere – mainly on how much it hurts >.o Darn headaches.

This week has been quite eventful. Yesterday, my co-worker brought in his newborn son for us all to coo over in the office and distracted us from ‘work’ for a good 2 hours. We weren’t doing much anyway. Maddox is perhaps the most adorable baby I have ever seen – so tiny and cute. I can see in his facial structure and his eyes that he has the potential to be a very attractive man when he grows up.

I met with someone about graduating this coming spring. Let me tell you, school planning is a nightmare. I met with my adviser three weeks ago where we decided I was golden to graduate. The next week, I got an email saying one of my Spring classes has been cancelled. Shit. So I scheduled another advising meeting, enrolled in a new class to cover the new vacancy and we decided I was all good again. Now I meet with the Intent to Graduate people and find out I need to make another advising appointment just so my adviser can sign a paper that substitutes this new class in for the old class, because my degree audit isn’t registering that it counts. Also, my minor isn’t showing up properly, but based on the 2009 catalog, I’ve fulfilled all requirements. They think I must have completed everything for the 2010/2011 catalog because that’t the minor I signed up for, and I didn’t even start going to this school until 2010, and I didn’t apply to that minor until August of this year. So that has to be sorted out as well. Silly programs. Silly school. Golly!

I saw three movies over the weekend – Footloose (which is beyond epic and all the important scenes were just amazing adaptations of the old scenes, so none of the magic is lost. My mother, a die-hard fan of the old one, loves this new movie), The Three Musketeers (unlike Jeremy Jahns, I happen to love this movie too. I thought the graphics were awesome. The characters were hilarious and/or well acted. And the plot was well enough great.), and Real Steal (which was thiiiis close to being awesome). Today, my boyfriend has come over and invited me to Puss in Boots (which was witty and clever and would have been much more entertaining if all the 3 year olds had stopped talking for two minutes).  Those were all definite pluses to my week as well.

Now the downside – I’m making a costume for an anime convention on Nov 11. I found out I left the sewing pins at my mother’s house and my boyfriend was supposed to bring them with him this weekend, but my mother apparently couldn’t find them so now I have no pins. Since I just told my friend I would definitely have the costume done in time, this now puts me in the predicament of going out and finding where to buy more pins…. and shears, because I have none of those either. In the middle of this, I have a paper on Dante Rossetti due next week and I still haven’t finished my Grad school entrance paper to be edited by my professor. I also haven’t sent out my info to my other professor for a recommendation letter, I haven’t gotten my GRE test scores, I have that advising appointment to make, my neck is twinged so that I can’t fully turn it to the left, I’m supposed to send an email with a bunch of links and info to a girl who’s making The Rose Chateau bookmarks for me, and next Tuesday is the start of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo.

In short – there is just too much too do and I’m going to commit accidental emotional suicide over it all. Wish me luck in living.

Ciao Tutti!

RM

Potential on the Book Front

A friend of mine is well into working her way into the life of an editor. She’s finding internships and networking with people and showing her work ethic and skills. Her name is Rebecca Grace, and I met her in a basic creative writing class in which we both felt our talents were being held back by a limited range of possible subjects. In that class we had three Rebeccas, including me. I was called Rebecca. Rebecca Grace was called Becca. and Rebecca Carter was called Carter. We also had two Pauls. Crazy world and interesting class.

Becca became an intern at The Florida Review, a bi-annual literary journal, where she is starting her trek to becoming a full-time professional editor. From personal experience, I know she can be rather stingy, but she knows when something has potential and she knows when things are good, even if they aren’t in her preferred categories of stories. For my next book, she told me she’d give me a great discount on editing services since we’re friends, and by then we should both have improved our skills because that one isn’t moving as fast as I’d like due to school priorities.

It turns out that The Florida Review is holding a writer’s conference next February, and Becca mentioned me and my book to her boss. Her boss seems genuinely interested, and Becca plans to bring me up again to see if she can convince her boss to get me into the conference as an author. I would receive a table where I could set up books and meet potential readers. It would be free since I’d be one of their signed up authors. Beyond the fact that it would cost me a great deal to get the amount of books I’d like for such an event, it would be a huge step toward marketing my book to a wider audience. In other words, I hope the plan goes through.

Becca also says she’s going to see about getting me some advertising through her job as well. At the rate she’s going, she’ll make a great agent as well as an editor. She’s doing me a ton of favors and work I hope she’ll one day get recognition for outside of just this simple blog with only two subscribers. But for now, this is a great opportunity for me, so I’m going to use it to the best of my ability. I’ll post more about it later if it looks like it’ll happen.

Ciao tutti!

RM

Month 3 – Self Publishing

Being published is a road of constant entertainment. I may be self-published, and my sales may be a measly 8 books, but I still have fun every week when it comes to being published.

The first month, six books were purchased. Five were by family and friends. One was by a stranger online who alerted me to a rather large typo near the end and then professed the book to be one of her favorite books. I count this as a HUGE win… including the typo bit. Month two, one book was purchased… by a family member. I bought four copies of my book. One was given to a good friend of mine, who happens to be an employee in the young adult department at the Bartow Public Library. After distracting her from work for a good twenty minutes, she held the book close and claimed she would claim the chance to be the first to read it once it was on the shelves. The other three books were for my Goodreads Giveaway – which ended on the 30th of September.

The books have gone out but wont arrive at their destinations for at least a week – sad as the mail service is. Le sigh. But in the meantime, a new friend of mine found the book fascinating and decided he wanted to borrow it, read it religiously, and then probably purchase his own copy. More power to him! Part of me thinks he’d prefer the typo’d copy of mine. He thought it was fantastic. The very next day, I’m at work and a girl comes in and wants to interview me about my college experience for one of her classes. We discuss my major in Literature and she asks if I write creatively. I calmly reply that I in fact most definitely do and mention as a side note that I’ve self-published. As I try to continue about my Literature degree, she stops me and very quickly copies down the name of the book and where to buy it because she’d suddenly extremely interested.

Somehow I managed to market my book to two random people in two days, and the conversations surrounding the book talk are enough to make me smile when I think on them. Now I have to wait for the giveaway books to reach their new owners, hope those readers are generous and leave me reviews, and then see what kind of reaction I get from the 1107 people who didn’t win and the 209 people with The Rose Chateau on their to-read lists on GoodReads.

Hopefully soon I’ll have bookmarks to put around campus and flyers to hang on the backs of toilet stall doors like those poor women who desperately need a new roommate.  In the world of marketing, no time can be wasted. Everyday of self-publishing is interesting. I can’t wait for the publishing house adventure.

Ciao tutti!

RM

A Few Amazing Things

Well, I can certainly say 2 things. 1, sorry for no blog last Friday. I dont know what happened. Oh wait. Yes I do. School and work. ha! They never fail to always slow down anything else in life. Actually, I’m currently supposed to be writing a paper, but that can wait five minutes. 2, this had been a rather amazing week. Oh, let me count the ways, in proper Browning word (sort of).

To start it off, my mother began to read

My book, a feat I thought would never succeed.

And next is the GoodReads giveaway

where 800+ requests have me in sway;

Not to mention the news of a great Christmas end

with family and famous Falls and a road trip in the bend.

Also Amazon treated me to one amazing present,

my only September sale – finally a dent

in the money I’ve spent on this project of mine.

Then there’s also the chance for this blog to shine.

My only known reader, deshipley, left me floored

For I was surprised with the Liebster Award!

How could one week get any better?

A sudden accepting publisher’s letter.

That’ll happen, some day, you’ll see.

Until then, goodbye! Ciao Tutti!

RM

P.s. I actually don’t have 5 people to put up for the Liebster (Most of the blogs I follow have 1k subscribers or so)- but I’m holding onto the image and the rules and will post a blog about it as soon as I have someone to award it to. 🙂

NaNoWriMo – A Kick in the Rear

So it’s September.  That means only two months between all of us and NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, is a worldwide event that takes place every year. Honestly it’s not so much ‘national’ unless the world of authors is now officially a nation. It’s name is often mistaken to stand for National November Writing Month… which I guess is okay since it lets you know when it happens, but it still isn’t the real title.

The goal is to write 50,000 words toward a novel in just 30 days.  You can write things for the same novel before November and after November, but you must write 50k words in November to be a true, certifiable winner of NaNoWriMo.

And here’s where people get confused. Winner.

To win NaNoWriMo, you simply copy and paste your 50,000 words into their word counter when you reach the goal. They verify your count and then you are whisked away to a glorious winners page. A video will greet you saying ‘Congratulations!’ and then you have links to click. You can get a free proof copy of your novel from CreateSpace.com. Last year the winners received a 50% off code for the marvelous Scrivener, which I blogged about previously.  You also receive access to little icons and banners to post around your internet life to show you met your quota for the month.

Winner, however, do not mean you actually beat anyone else. Anyone who meets the 50k goal is a winner. You only beat the people who didn’t have the time or energy to finish on schedule. No one is going to judge the entries and pick a top story. No one is going to edit or even read these 50,000 words unless you bind and sell them as a novel.  To be a winner means you made it. You wrote 50,000 words in 30 days, a feat considered impossible by most people around the world. It means you have the chance to feel proud of yourself, feel like you accomplished something. To win NaNoWriMo means to be one step closer toward a finished masterpiece of your own creation.

Of course it’s only for novel writers. Video editors, painters, and other mediums of creation will need to find their own methods for being kicked into action. For script writers, there’s always ScriptFrenzy in April.  I’m rather terrible at scripts, so I’ve never participated in that particular marathon. This past year, NaNo also hosted a ‘summer camp’, which was like a miniature version of NaNoWriMo.

I love NaNo. I’ve competed four years now and only failed once. Of course, I don’t have three novels out, but the point is that I made progress on the stories I was writing. I have plenty of notes, lots of built up ideas, and 50,000 words toward three novels. One of those novels is The Rose Chateau, which is defined in detail on the Purchase tab of my blog. It did, in fact, make it to completion. The final word count for it is 115k, most of which was written after NaNo had ended. I may not have needed NaNoWriMo to push me into writing it, but I used it anyway.

I believe NaNoWriMo is a very helpful and useful way of kicking writers with low ambition into finally cranking out their work. It is a fun and engaging time, although you may grow tired and look like a hermit when it’s all said and done. Grab some friends to try it with you and make a game out of it. Meet new people through Write-Ins with other participants in your region.

Long story short (too late), I highly suggest NaNoWriMo to anyone struggling to get their thoughts on the page. It truly can be a rewarding experience, and the weekly pep-talks will give you plenty to think about.

So who’s going to join me this year for National Novel Writing Month?

Ciao tutti,

RM

The Rose Chateau – Chapter 20 Excerpt

“Are you sure you should be in here?” Alexander asked. Corinna groaned and sighed. She looked up from the book she was reading and over at Alexander. The prince was holding Corinna’s magic mirror and staring into it, tilting his head every few moments to get a different angle on whatever he was staring at. The curtains were drawn for the night, but the chandelier was bright and illuminating enough to be its own star. A fire burned and licked fog up the windows.

“I’m honestly getting tired of that question,” Corinna said. She tapped the cover of her book contemplatively and then nodded. “Yes. I feel fine.”

“You can’t blame us all for being worried,” Alexander said. He let out a grunt of a noise that Corinna thought was meant to be the prince clearing his throat. “You’ve been doing a horrible amount of coughing these last few days.”

“You’re exaggerating,” Corinna assured him and looked back at her book.

“You coughed once at both lunch and dinner yesterday, and the day before, and your fit in the snow the day before that. You didn’t cough at all a month ago. Is there something you’re not telling me?” Alexander asked.

The way he said ‘me’ instead of ‘us’ caused Corinna some slight joy. Alexander wasn’t the type to make things personal, but he was specifying himself in the question. Corinna almost wished she was hiding something so she could reward Alexander for the pronoun usage. Sadly, she had nothing. Alexander was right in the fact that Corinna had been coughing more often, but since that day in the snow, she had not coughed up even the slightest amount of blood. It must have been Morgana after all. And coughing wasn’t a secret. Corinna really had no clues to the cause.

“No. It’s probably just a raw throat,” Corinna said. She was tired of needing to defend her body’s automatic actions. “What are you looking at in there? You’ve been doing it for almost an hour.”

“Nothing,” Alexander grunted.

“Now who’s hiding things?” Corinna teased. She held her book up to her face so her eyes were the only things peeking over the top and grinned.  “Who is Prince Alexander looking at?”

“No one,” the blonde replied a bit too hastily for Corinna to accept it as true. “I was just checking on my father.”

“Oh?” Corinna lowered her book but was not convinced. She still let her lips tug upward at their own whim. “And how is he?”

“Recovering. Whatever Michael is giving him seems to be working. Today he was back in his throne to meet the people and hear their needs. He didn’t move much, but the color has returned to his features, at least,” Alexander said, setting the mirror down.

Corinna caught sight of a bright blonde figure in the glass before Alexander’s fingers moved off the handle and it returned to being normal glass.

“That’s good,” she said. “I suppose the court won’t be calling on you, though.”

“I suppose not,” Alexander agreed. “That’s alright, though. I’m happy enough here.”

“Hmm. I feel sorry for the people of Paesaggia,” Corinna said. “You would make a wonderful king.”

Alexander sat unmoving for a moment in which the clock on the mantle seemed to stop ticking, and then he snorted. “How would you know what a good king is or that I’d make one? We never discuss politics.”

“I read one of the books in the library,” Corinna said.

“One?” Alexander slapped his knee and a rumble moved in his throat. “I’ve read them all.”

“See? You’ll make a great king. I bet you’ve read every single one of the books in that library.” Corinna closed her book and set it to the side. She smiled, but Alexander’s grin evaporated. He looked as though Corinna had stabbed an old wound, insulted him rather than complimented him.

“I have,” he answered truthfully, “But there is a great difference between reading how to run an economy and a kingdom and actually performing the task. I haven’t met my people since I was fifteen, Corinna. My hopes for their loyalty are not high.”

“Nonsense,” Corinna said, shaking her head. “You are their prince. They will welcome you back with a party so large, you won’t know who to talk to first. All the beautiful girls will be dying to dance with you, and all the nobles will want to get close to you and show their eternal support.”

“Right. They’ll show their support so long as I’m cured of my curse first,” Alexander said. “And the girls will dance with me so long as I don’t have huge bear feet.”

“And you won’t,” Corinna assured. She stood from her couch and walked calmly to Alexander’s. Her fingers found the handle of the mirror and lifted it up to her chest, where she held it like a treasure. “You have someone special in your heart, Alexander, and they will break this curse for you.”

The blonde in the mirror… It could only be two people. Either Alexander had reverted back to looking into mirrors to remember his past glory, or he was checking up on the one he cared for. Corinna didn’t want Alexander to return to his old narcissistic ways, but the idea of Alexander looking in on someone he cared for deeply didn’t feel right either in Corinna’s chest.

She should be happy for Alexander. The prince had mentioned once before that he cared for someone. That person could break Alexander’s curse, could free him from the coat of fur and the loneliness. That person could be everything Alexander needed and wanted. And yet Corinna felt a cold throb deep in her chest. Why did it feel like losing Alexander? Why did it feel like losing someone dear all over again?

Corinna had left her home to come and live in this manor. She had left her friends, her best friend, her uncle, and her mother. She had left them all and come to live in a cage with strangers poking sticks in at her. She had broken her own heart to come here, but a lot changes in five months. Five months ago, Corinna didn’t think she would be friends with the servants. She didn’t know she would have a central role in helping to break a curse or be on friendly terms with a witch.  Five months ago, Corinna would have loved for Alexander to return home and let them all leave to go their separate ways.

This was not five months ago. Corinna didn’t want to lose Alexander anymore than her uncle or Alastar. But what was she to do but let Alexander find true love and get his proper life back?

What You Learn From Novel Research

While it may be counterproductive for some people and possibly not interesting to you, I must start this update with an announcement and sound ever so slightly like a car salesman. It is my great and amazing pleasure to announce that my first novel is available to buy from CreateSpace! Just follow that link. It’s called The Rose Chateau: A Tale of Beauty Meets Beast. Book properties are available there, but here is the summary:

Corinna Faune was just a farmer’s daughter, whose only regal connection was her runaway duke best friend, Alastar. But when her uncle returns home from the neighboring village with a horror tale and one glimmering rose, her entire life is interrupted. Now she’s the unwilling guest of a bad-tempered prince, who found himself at the wrong end of a witch’s curse. Her once normal life is now surrounded by magic with not one, not two, but three conniving witches involved, and none of their allegiances are clear. Can Corinna find the solution to the prince’s curse and return to her loved ones before they forget her? Can she break the spell before it becomes the end of an entire kingdom? And surrounded by unfamiliar faces and secrets, who can she trust to help her through it?

I’ll be posting an excerpt from the book later on today at about 3 for any interested parties who want to get a glimpse of the style before thinking of purchasing. I am very excited to see my novel go up to sell. I put a lot of effort into this one, and the feedback I’ve received has been so unbelievably good. I hope you like it as well – should you chose to purchase a copy.

Sort of on the same subject, I thought I’d talk about some things I found while writing this one. First of all, flowers. I’m not gardener, but I was recently planning to plant some flowers outside of my apartment to give it some pizzazz, and reading up on soil needs was surprising. Mind you, I was researching how to care for roses, but the fact remains that I learned something new. Raising beautiful plants, bushes and trees and flowers, can be hard. They need specific soil types, a monitored amount of fertilizer and water. The types of fertilizer are so diverse, and some are specifically for certain types of plants. I may be biased from my own childhood, but I still believe that one of the best fertilizers for a plant is a banana peel. My family used to toss our used peels out into the planter in front of our house, and I only remember good things happening.

Also, geography. My sister read TRC, in which none of the places mentioned are factual. She was near the end of the book when she suddenly stopped and said ‘Rebecca, I just realized something. You keep saying Alastar has an Irish accent, but you never mention Ireland.’ To which I replied with this explanation: Alastar is from the kingdom of Cavalleres. This kingdom resides past the north-western border of Paesaggia (the main kingdom in the book – based loosely on the word Pastoral). So if Alastar has an Irish accent and lives in the north-west, then we must assume the north-west is Ireland, or at least a part of it or close by. Also through this logic, Paesaggia must logically reside in the lower section of the United Kingdom – ex. England or Wales.  Since I don’t know much of Wales, I’ll stick with England as the assumption. This sudden importance to locate my story, especially for my sister, caused me to look up this amusing but informative video made by C.G.P. Grey, which explains not only the difference between the UK, England, and Great Britain, but also between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the relations between the areas, and then sort of spans out to wrap in all of the Commonwealth and Crown Dependent areas. The speed of the discussion plus the off-hand comments of the narrator made me enjoy learning about the British Isles quite a lot more than I ever did in school – and I understood it more… maybe thanks to the pretty and simple visuals.

This just goes to show bits of what you can learn when you do research for a novel. So if that wasn’t too much ranting, I hope you have a great day.

RDM