Where Did All My Free Time Go?

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. Mea culpa. I tore a tendon in my shoulder and the recuperation (ongoing) has really thrown my routines for a loop. I've been working from home a lot or not working and going to physical therapy a lot. It may have been a good habit to write on the train every day, but once I stopped taking the train, writing became a lot harder. I also waited longer before starting a second draft. It was helpful, but dear lord I finished the first draft at the end of February and here it is back end of April and I'm not done with the second draft yet. What the hell? So lazy! :)

With the shoulder, I'm not allowed to roller skate. The risk of a fall may move me from physical therapy to surgery, and that's not something I want to risk because I watched a YouTube video of what they do in the surgery and hell no I don't want them perforating my collarbone so they can tie my tendon in place. Screw that! The silver lining in that situation is that I had to come to terms that this most recent attempt to start a men's roller derby team in southern New Hampshire has flopped. For that reason, I volunteered to officiate for the very successful women's roller derby league. Come out to a match! I'll be the guy in a pink shirt they announce as Charles Dickins.

Board games are really big in the Northeast, I've mentioned before, and I have a group that meets every week to play. But that was my big group activity. Usually I worked, I wrote, and I spent time with my wife. Now that I've added roller derby to the mix, my time has evaporated. It's amazing how popular the sport is and how much people need help. If you're at all interested in seeing what the modern derby is like, head to the Googles. It's a safe bet something is going on near you.

Now that I'm going back into work more frequently, I'm writing again, and the second draft is coming along. The first few chapters were a slog, but I've whipped them into shape and the next chapters have gone much faster. I'll give them another pass before sending them out to beta readers. Gonna get this thing to its fighting weight.

Because I'm commuting, that means I'm on the subway, which is where I traditionally read. I broke from my comfortable genres (fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, or biography) and went with literary fiction, something I never read because BORING! I know I'm often told I write literary fantasy (another way of saying, your work is slow moving and focuses too much on character, where are all the explosions?), but I don't write literary literary because I don't want to focus on language and emotions and god aren't I see emo, tear. Or so was my perception of literary. But then I read Jamie Ford's HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET and holy shit, people, you have to read this book. It has cemented itself as a contender for my favorite non-fantasy/sf book of all time. I kept gushing on Twitter because it was just SO good. Even when it slowed down, I didn't stop reading, I just yelled GODDAMMIT FORD, WHEN DO THEY KISS? at my nook and kept on reading. If you're looking for something new to read, you HAVE to read this one. Have to. That's an order.

And once you're done with that one, keep an eye out for Jason Hough's debut sf THE DARWIN ELEVATOR. It comes out in July (I already pre-ordered), and I was lucky enough to get an eARC, which I'm reading right now. I'll offer my thoughts at greater length once I'm done.

For now, go read HOTEL and/or play roller derby. You'll thank me later.

Novice Juggler

I know it's been a while since I posted. I've been meaning to for a while, but some "things" happened. I hate things. Rarely does one converse about things and speak of good news. Good news is "events" or even "news". "Things" mean shit's gone down.

For me that's my labrum. What's a labrum you ask? Good question. We all hear about rotator cuffs because pitchers tear them all the time. They're what make you rotate. The labrum is the tendon that sits inside your shoulder socket to let your bones do their thing without grinding together. I tore mine in 1997 but thought it was only a bad muscle pull, so I let it heal naturally. This was stupid on my part and made my shoulder for shit ever since. Well never fear, it's torn again so maybe this time it'll get fixed for real. Of course that means drilling holes through things and tying things and being in pain until all that happens. I've been on vicodin, which, I don't know why anyone would want to be addicted to that shit. Your brain is fuzzy, you can't comprehend, you're tired ALL the time, and you can't poop! And people take this shit willingly? No thanks. If I'm going to be fuzzy headed, it'll be from the pain. At least I won't be tired.

But I have accomplished some things. The first draft of FAMILY JEWELS wrapped up at the end of February. I spent my writing time finishing Peter V. Brett's THE DAYLIGHT WAR. If you're reading his Demon Cycle, I expect you've already picked this one up. If you're not reading his Demon Cycle, you're missing the best epic fantasy being written in the market today, so go pick up THE WARDED MAN (in the US, THE PAINTED MAN in the UK). Normally after that very brief break, I would jump right into a second draft, but I'm considering a revision to "The Rules" and as such am trying new methods to see if they improve my process. I started the second draft but immediately stopped. I'm going to write a short story instead. One with mermaids! And not the Disney mermaids either.

What I don't know is how my typing will be affected if they drill holes into my bones. I go for an MRI on Monday and things should become more clear after that. Until then, mermaids and future private detectives and lots of Aleve because my head remains clear on Aleve. Screw you, vicodin.

Hell, Flip it on its Ear

I'm reading Tad Williams' DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN. Not only is this the latest novel from one of my favorite authors, it is officially the first novel I've ever paid more than $9.99 for, without some kind of asterisk attached1.

Williams does a wonderful job building out a recognizable Judeo-Christian angelic hierarchy without necessarily committing to Judeo-Christion affirmation2. Watching the bureaucracy and power games played out by Heaven and Hell not only against each other but also against their own foot soldiers adds a lot of layers to the book. I wonder how much research Williams did ahead of time and how much is just pure imagination woven together by an expert author.

There is one thing that's nagging at me, though. For all the questions put forth of how this works or that works, what do they do and why do they do it, one underpinning facet of our real life mythology is the understanding of God and the fall of Lucifer and those cast out of heaven that populated hell. That's a very Christian bit of religious mythology and one that isn't questioned in the book at all.

In fact, anyone writing angel stories (and they've exploded the last few years--so much so that I've abandoned my own fledgling idea for an angel story) seems to keep this one line consistent. God created the angels, Lucifer rebelled, there was a war among the angels, and the rebels lost. They were cast down into perdition to burn for all eternity.

But here is this book with all these wheels within wheels and political maneuvering and propaganda. Wouldn't it be interesting if Lucifer hadn't rebelled at all? If the Christian mythos of the fallen angels was all propaganda by the true victors?

There were five archangels: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, and Lucifer. Lucifer was the proudest of the lot and thought himself equal to God3, so he rose up. But what if that's not true. What if he was the only one faithful. What if the archangels conspired against their creator and Lucifer was the scapegoat. The angels rose up, God was cast out of heaven and imprisoned in a shadowy/fiery pit (depending on your leaning toward the Judeo or the -Christian). The four archangels then spun their propaganda to the various choirs and armies and angels and the story spread. You might have the whole hierarchy of heaven operating on the perverted instructions of a long-absent deity.

And you might have that scapegoat spending the rest of his immortality dealing with the repercussions of everyone thinking him a monster and a traitor all the while he remains faithful and trying to free God from his prison.

I don't know what dealings he would have on earth to accomplish this goal, but that's where the story would likely take place, at least in part. And his name would be Luc. If I ever come up with the larger details of this plot, I will make it into a story.

1 I paid more for A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, but I split the cost with my wife, so really it only cost me $7. I paid more for THE MAGICIANS AND MRS. QUENT, but I used a gift card so really it only cost me $2. And I paid more for HitRecord.org's TINY BOOK OF TINY STORIES, VOL. 2, but that's an enhanced eBook and if a book comes with videos, I'm cool with breaking my ten-dollar limit.

2 The main character at one point makes the astute observation that perhaps their understanding of heaven is only framed in a context that they understand from their experiences as mortals4 and that if they had been Hindu in life, they wouldn't have been given such Judeo-Christian terminology. That was interesting. I'd like to see that explored further.

3 A number of stories change his motivations to him feeling sorry for the lot humans were given or some other reason for breaking his fidelity to the highest, but originally it was just a matter of pride. One of the seven deadly sins.

4 I know the author gets to make the rules, but given the various shootings lately and the frequent use of the word angel, the pedant in me feels obligated to point out that angels are separate beings from humans all together and no one alive, according to current religious mythology can ascend to become an angel. That's like a dog aspiring to become a cat after it dies. Sainthood is the highest reaches for a human. Angels are something different. That's why Alan Rickman doesn't have a dick in "Dogma".


If you know anything about me, you know that my favorite author is Lois McMaster Bujold. And guess what? She has a new book out! There are four categories of Bujold books: Vorkosigan saga, Challion tetralogy, the Sharing Knife, and the Spirit Ring.

The Spirit Ring is the first fantasy book she ever wrote. It shows. It's good, but nothing of the quality you should expect from her. The Sharing Knife is a four-part series that has concluded, though the world has room for more. The Challion tetralogy was not conceived of as a five-part series and there are only three books so far, but there better damn well be five books. This is some of the best fantasy you will ever read ever anywhere period don't argue. And then there is her most famous series, the Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan -> Miles Naismith Vorkosigan series with a bajillion novels, novellas, and short stories (including some stories like FALLING FREE that take place in the setting without any of the main characters).

This most recent offering is CAPTAIN VORPATRIL'S1 ALLIANCE, the often seen cousin of Miles, Ivan You Idiot. As the series has continued, Ivan has gone from a feckless womanizer to someone who is immensely capable and goes out of his way to hide it so no one notices and assigns him more responsibility. This book explores that motivation and it's AWESOME if you're a fan. If this is your first book in the Vorkosigan universe, put the book down and go read CORDELIA'S HONOR2. The book will feel incredibly mediocre unless you've read other books in the series.

Specifically, the climax will disappoint you if you don't know Miles and you don't know Ivan and you don't know the difference between them. I might not have spotted this as quickly if I hadn't seen Bujold in person at a book signing (where she signed my book and I promptly had an anxiety attack and ran away--yeah, behold my coolness). She mentioned that when she was writing, she caught herself writing a Miles book and not an Ivan book. Miles succeeds through perpetual forward motion. Ivan lets things come to him, and you see this in the book a LOT. Faced with a problem, the solution is to wait and hope it goes away. This is most obvious in the climax and if you don't know that this book is entirely Ivan, you might not like it.

But this novel is Ivan. This novel shows Bujold's mastery of character and voice. If you changed the names to something else and read this book, you'd easily know this is an Ivan book.

This book takes place chronologically before CRYOBURN. I know that doesn't mean they were written that way, but I wish they were. This is the better of the two books and CRYOBURN could have used some more work (except for the epilogues--Gregor's makes me cry). I started reading this book on Monday and finished it on Friday. I actually stopped writing on my train ride and just started reading the book.

So here's the short review: You read even some of the Miles books? Read this. You've never read any Miles book? Read CORDELIA'S HONOR. You'll get to this one eventually and you'll be rewarded for taking the extra time.

1 The Vor are a warrior caste on Barrayar, so take the last name and add Vor at the front. This makes names like Kosigan (KOS-i-gan) Vorkosigan (vor-KOS-i-gan). Despite the obvious rule of pronunciation that I applied to EVERY Vor name in the series, I have been pronouncing Vorpatril VOR-pa-tril instead of vor-PAT-ril as Bujold herself pronounces it. Turns out, I've been mispronouncing a LOT of names. E-ka-TER-in is actually e-KAT-er-in. Cetagandan like Set is actually actually like Seat. Even Barrayar which has TWO Rs is Bear-a-yar, which I think is totally unfair and I refuse to pronounce it that way.

2 CORDELIA'S HONOR is an omnibus3 that combines both SHARDS OF HONOR and BARRAYAR. I read SHARD'S OF HONOR every year. I didn't think I'd ever be one of those people, but it turns out I am.

3 Wonder to yourself, how are you going to read all these stories that have spanned nearly thirty years? Don't worry! The publisher, Baen, has collected almost all of them into omnibi. YOUNG MILES, MILES ERRANT, etc etc. The only ones you won't find are MEMORY4, CRYOBURN, and CAPTAIN VORPATRIL'S ALLIANCE. You'll actually find one story included a few times, which has to do about acceptable page counts and subject matter and not any nefarious decision on the part of Baen. Still, crap move not to include MEMORY anywhere.

Because 4 MEMORY is my second favorite Vorkosigan saga book after SHARDS OF HONOR. If you think you can do without this one, THINK AGAIN! Once you've gotten to the MILES IN LOVE omnibus, track down MEMORY and make sure to read it so we can huddle together and giggle about the scene where he wears his medals because that's AWESOME!!! *GOO!*

So...yeah, that's my review. I guess. Lots of fanboyishness in there, but I hope I was honest.


Once upon a time I was a podcaster. In addition to the weekly audio recordings, it also afforded me a place to act like a more professional blogger. I could review books (and in fact, reviewed a Tad Williams book that I had been keen to receive). I no longer podcast (or I should say, I no longer host any podcasts; I would certainly be a guest on a show). That leaves me this location to do book reviews, and I'm more hesitant to do so. Here it makes it feel personal rather than professional, and I don't want people to think I'm attacking their work. (I'm also critical on everything, including my own work, but if people don't know me, they might not understand that.) I still have a review saved in my drafts of a book I LOVE (and have read multiple times) that I've never published because there's one part of the book I have a serious problem with and don't want the author to think I dislike his work.

Despite all that, an author asked me on Twitter to tell him what I think of his book when I was finished, and I can't do that in 140 words, so here it is, my first book review in this journal. Not to leave him out there by himself, I'm also going to review another book later this week. Two in one week! Two! It must be Christmas.

And so we begin. I recently read THE CITY'S SON by Tom Pollock. This is an urban fantasy, and I don't normally read urban fantasy. This is also a young adult novel, and I'm tired of young adult novels. It seems like that's all there is on the market, for the most part. So now that you know that, here are my opinions of the book:

Read it. It's a good book.

Boom. Review done.

Wait, I'm supposed to do more? Okay. Here's the general description: Set in modern-day London, there is a world-within-a-world, but not with fairies, vampires, or werewolves. This is a wholly new concoction of not-humans, which makes this the best urban fantasy I've read in years. YEARS! This is the kind of setting that gets turned into a role playing game and you get to play it for years and years until you forget that it was based on a book.

People live in the walls. People live in light bulbs and depending on what kind of light bulbs they are (phosphorus versus sodium) they may hate the other kind of light bulb person. Trainwraiths that remember their passengers, wolves made of scaffolding, and so on and so forth. It is AMAZING. The setting of this book is so awesome that I could give up the plot and just wander around marveling at the world beneath London.

Which also leads me to my first complaint. Much like Buffy, it is hand-waved away that normal people self-delude themselves if they're exposed to this world. They cannot accept it, thus they do not accept it. They forget or rationalize or in some other way dismiss what they've seen. Except for every human character we meet that actually interacts with them. One of the two main characters of the book is introduced to this world and NEVER EVEN BLINKS AN EYE. She rolls right into it like she's hanging out in Camden Market or something.

I had trouble accepting how readily the human characters interact with the other world, but you get over it just like the book does. It speeds along so you don't have time to think about that (which means you either keep reading and accept it or you stop reading, which I almost did, but I'm glad I didn't).

Speed along because there isn't just an imaginative setting, there's an imaginative history to that setting. You get to learn about the Pavement Priests (SO COOL!), the mother of the streets, the Chemical Synod (so cool, but the long Ses make me think they're speaking in parseltongue). The setting is cool, but so much cooler because of the people that make it up.

Which gets us to the people. Ups and downs here. There are the two main characters, boy and girl. Then there's the female main character's best friend. There was a little confusion for me at the beginning because the best friend's nickname is Pencil and THAT name gets truncated down to Pen. The thing is, I thought they both had nicknames, one was Pen and one was Pencil, so things got really confusing really quick. Once I realized that Pen was Pencil and only one had a nickname, it made more sense. I was also disappointed because I thought Pen and Pencil was a great way to describe their friendship in as few words as possible.

The relationship between Beth and Pen is the high point of this book. As personal interactions go, Pollock nails these two the best. It feels the most natural. It reads the most engrossing, and it feels the most realistic. Second is the relationship between Beth and her dad, which really hits its high point in the middle of the book when neither character are together. It really helps their individual arcs along, and I was a bit jealous at how subtly those arcs had their foundation lain in the early chapters with these two characters. That was some mighty fine character development.

The relationship between the two main characters, well, that was the inspiration for this post. Now that I've finished the book, my opinion remains the same. (The backstory of the male main character is pretty wicked as well, lest you think I am ignoring him.)

Speaking of previous posts inspired by the book, there is also this post. I almost quit reading the book because of the errors. And I'm not talking about "Oh no, that's not an error, it's a Britishism rather than an Americanism". I mean, there are errors. Words missing. Words included that shouldn't be (words included that shouldn't that be). ESPECIALLY at the beginning. It dies down after the beginning but never fully goes away. It's rampant at the beginning of the book and was driving me nuts. This suggests a number of possible options: the beginning of the book received the most revision closest to publication (such as editorial notes), thus was not edited as much as other parts of the book that remained the same. The publisher skimped on editing. Or the author is atrocious at self-editing and that was the best the publisher could do. I'm leaning toward the first option myself, as I want to give both the publisher and the author the benefit of the doubt. (Having worked in book production before moving on to media, I know how, why, and how often publishers skimp on editing to save time and money.)

But lastly, and why I'm over the moon about the book, and why it means so little to you whether you'll like the book, his voice is SO similar to my own. I wouldn't have written this book. I've never been inspired to write urban fantasy. But if you had told me that you were from the future and I had written an urban fantasy and you let me read this book, you might convince me. Word usage, sentence style, cadence. It all sounds like me. And that's not to suggest that my voice makes it superior. It is to suggest that there is HOPE! I have improved significantly over the last year. I've moved on to the next level, I think in my brain. I'm ready to do this! But I'm not doing this. I'm still doing that other thing, and that can make it hard to keep one's chin up. But seeing Tom's book out there, that really makes it feel like there are agents out there that resonate to the way I write (just not necessarily what I've written to date). (That Tom's agent is on my short list of agents I want to work with only sweetens that pot, it is not the cause for this adulation.)

A pessimist (like myself) might think that an agent finding that voice wouldn't want another author that sounds similar, but that sliver of optimism I have in there says, but Tom writes urban fantasy and I never ever write urban fantasy (and with less finality, I rarely ever think of young adult stories either). So let's do this! Regardless of my dominant pessimism or my slight optimism, the simple fact that someone with a voice similar to mine has found an agent and a publisher says that YES there are fish out in that sea, so I need to keep swimming or I'll suffocate and the other fish who aren't those fish will eat me and crap me out to be food for phytoplankton. No one wants that.

So, back to the short review, THE CITY'S SON is worth the cost and worth the read. You should give it a try. I quit books in the first chapter ALL THE TIME, and I made it through this one. That should speak for itself. And follow Tom on Twitter. He's good people.

You Have a Proof, Read the Damn Thing!

Here's a little tradecraft for you. Copyediting and Proofreading are not the same thing. Copyediting often includes proofreading, but it's not its primary goal. It's the icing on the cake that makes your story better. Proofreading does not include copyediting (though occasionally a proofreader will attempt to do so and it usually means a lot of work cleaning up all their bad ideas--but I may be jaded with experiences past ;).

More tradecraft, copyediting costs more than proofreading. In instances where the schedule/budget are tight, you're more likely to see proofreading skipped rather than copyediting even though it's cheaper. Why? Because copyediting is more valuable. It doesn't just fix typos and bad grammar, it fixes holes in your plot, eliminates redundancy and cliche. It makes the story better. And surprisingly, readers are willing to accept a lot of typos if the story is good.

What does that mean? PROOFREAD YOUR SHIT! I hate reading authors talking about how bad their manuscript was when they turned it in. So and So cleaned that mess up and made it readable. Well then put So and So's name on the front cover since you weren't professional enough to make the effort yourself.

Tradecraft: No matter how hard you try, no matter how hard your editor tries, no matter how hard your copyediting and proofreader try, things will get missed. The more crap you leave in your manuscript for others to find, the more crap that will get missed. You get rid of as much as you possibly can before you turn it over. That way what's missed is minor and doesn't make you look like a writing slob.

I'm reading a book right now with an interesting premise and characters, but the frequency of errors is DRIVING ME NUTS! Complete words (articles or short prepositions) are absent in every other chapter. A) it knocks me out of the story. B) how shitty was your manuscript that you turned over that this many mistakes are present? and/or C) how shitty is your publisher that they didn't hire a quality freelancer that could find ENTIRE WORDS MISSING from a sentence.

*pant, pant, pant, pant* Okay, so the lesson, kiddies, is that a book is your face to the world. You can look like a slob and a slacker, or you can suit up and shine. Don't rely on other people to make your shit shiny. Put in the hard work. They'll think better of you for making their job easier and your readers will think better of you because it looks like you know how to write.

Filling Up the Tank

When I first started writing in a professional manner, I would have to take breaks every few months. I would take two weeks off and just read, letting my brain cool off and my creative juices to replenish. The more I wrote, the less frequently I had to do this and for shorter amounts of time until I haven't had to do it at all this past year. I had a pretty solid routine, take the train into Boston and write the entire way. Take the subway to work and read the entire way. I wrote and read every day and that seemed to balance creative intake and creative output.

But I'm unhealthy and I need to lose a lot of weight (a lot, so let's just leave it at that). I started participating in Boston's bike share program, riding a bike to work rather than riding the subway. While this did not have an immediate impact on my creativity, it seems to have had an effect over time. I've been feeling really burnt out the couple weeks. Now that the weather is cooling, I've started to take the subway again and started reading a new book (THE CITY'S SON by Tom Pollock) and I feel a spark I haven't felt for awhile. I've taken the past few days off and will resume writing tomorrow. I'm hoping a little break is what was necessary. I know there's been a lot of stress. Three full requests is no small thing and work has been incredibly difficult this year. Or rather, my editors have been incredibly difficult this year. My job is the same as it's always been, but content has been delivering later and later and I've had to turn it around faster and faster. I actually developed insomnia for a couple weeks. Let me tell you, that sucked.

I actually have (another) really exciting opportunity regarding one of the fulls I already delivered. Over-the-moon exciting, so of course I can't tell you about it. Cross your fingers for me, if you would be so kind.

So what does that leave? Well, I'm still fat. I need to lose weight and "working out" is something I detest. I always have. I always will. I do much better competing than I do simply standing on an elliptical and trudging for 45 minutes. I need a goal, a challenge, something I want to accomplish. I played kickball, but that was only once a week and our post-game dinners usually packed on more calories than we burned during the game. Serendipitously, they're starting a men's roller derby league in New Hampshire. I haven't skated in 25 years, but I think this might be just the kind of thing I would like to participate in. The biggest hurdle? My feet. I have insanely wide feet (8 EE if you're familiar with skate boots). No one has something that wide that I can borrow, which means I'll have to buy custom skates. It's a big deal if I choose to participate and I or it craps out. A skate made of quality components will hit me just under $600. How horrible would it be to spend that and then not be able to participate?

I can't keep doing what I'm doing. It may be cute to say "Oh bother" in a Whinnie the Pooh voice, but looking like him is not that cute.

The Other Side

I don't only read fantasy and science fiction. I think that's a good thing, to read outside of one's preferred genre. Keeps things fresh. Keeps things interesting. You get a view of how things are done elsewhere (setting doesn't matter as much in some genres as it does in sff where many call it another character in the novel). And you get a view of how things are changing there, maybe something you can use in your own work as well.

For me, when I'm not reading sff, I usually turn to a biography. Jerry Lewis' DEAN AND ME, Steve Martin's BORN STANDING UP, Craig Ferguson's AMERICAN BY CHOICE (a much more solid offering than his fiction BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE WATER1), and more. Some are awesome (see Ferguson). Some are completely self-serving (see Lewis). Some are a train wreck of good intentions (see Meghan McCain's DIRTY SEXY POLITICS). Currently, Russel Brand's first autobiography, MY BOOKY WOOKY. I tend to lean toward performers rather than historical, political, or military figures, who so often make up the bulk of the biography section. I like to see how they were drawn to their art, how they suffered, and how they overcame (if they did). Artists often tend to leave off a lot of the polish. Even with Jerry Lewis writing about how he and Dean Martin loved each other to the very end, he speaks on infidelity and ties to the mob.

With Russell Brand, his fiction follows a consciousness delivery much like his stand-up. Tangents come and go and you have to hold on for the ride. I love the book already because he makes a statement that perfectly sums up my childhood as well. "I was awake as a child." It's such a profound statement that people have trouble understanding unless they lived it. I made the local news when I was in kindergarten. My school did a balloon release2, and I was one of a handful of students whose balloons were found first. They interviewed the larger kids first, so I heard the kind of questions they were going to ask. I was prepared with a cogent, intelligent response, but when they asked me my question, I stuck my finger in my mouth and twisted in place, looking horribly cute. Of course, the entire time, I'm screaming in my mind "WHAT ARE YOU DOING" like some guy at the helm of a spaceship, the controls not responding, the circuit boards sparking, and the ship setting course for the closest star.

I was awake as a child.

I don't think I would have ever heard, I don't think I would have ever articulated that experience if I had not read Russell Brand's MY BOOKY WOOKY. Thanks for that Russell. It's a good read.