Saturday, April 30, 2011

Getting Better


By Keith N Fisher

When I began to blog on this site, I set up a file to save every article. Since I was writing about my struggle, I intended to perhaps, publish all the lessons I learned along the way. After reading what I wrote five-years ago, I wonder how I could’ve been so na├»ve to think it was good enough for a book.

Like many of you, I sit down everyday and labor over a keyboard, putting sentences together, hoping to find the right words. When I compare what I wrote then, with what I write now, I have to admit, I’m getting better.

That statement brings an old Beatles song to mind, but we won’t take the time to listen right now . . . Well, when you get time, it’s here, but read on.

As I write this, I’m waiting to hear from a publisher about a manuscript, I’m finishing up the sequel to that, and writing another story. I’m excited about my characters and the plots are flowing. There are occasional unproductive periods though, but I love writing and I hope to prevail.

Through it all, I’m learning my craft. Eventually, I’ll be a better writer, but will it be enough?

A few months ago, I wrote about a mentor telling me not to put much faith in being a successful, full time writer. It happened again recently with less devastation to me. To be fair, I think my mentor is trying to keep me from abandoning my day job, but It made me wonder whether he knows anything about the LDS market I’m writing in.

One of the first lessons learned by an LDS fiction author is, there isn’t much money in it. Visions of a six-figure income fade when they learn that 5,000 copies, is a good run. That’s chicken feed compared to a New York Times bestseller. Often, LDS titles never sell over 1,000.

Many of my peers write LDS fiction while struggling to succeed in the national market. I labor with keeping it clean. Like everyone else, I dream of living in a cottage on a cliff, overlooking a body of water. Writing full time, while agents fight over who will represent my next manuscript.

I accept, however, my role as provider in my family, and I work a full time job while trying to be a good enough writer to please, He, who planted a writing desire in my soul. Yes, I’m getting better, but there are so many who were born with more talent. I’m hoping He, will reward my efforts.

So, in order to clarify my intentions I say; I’m an author of women’s fiction, tailored for the LDS market. I have lofty goals, including writing a national market bestseller, or two, but I’m a realist. I work for a living and write for my soul. I have dreams to match the mountains, don’t stomp on my dreams.

Next week, I will be attending the LDStorymakers Writer’s conference. I’m not sure I’ll be able to post on Saturday, but I’ll be rubbing shoulders with people who get it. They understand my desire to write. It will be refreshing. See you there?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week, uh, time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Being True to Self

by G.Parker


Last week I talked about being honest to your readers.  Today I want to mention another side of that...being true to your voice.

I read a book this past week that drove me crazy.  I finally had to put it down and not finish it - it was actually so boring and contrived that it was a waste of time.  When you are going to bother putting so much time and effort into writing, wouldn't you want to do your best?  It felt like the author was trying too hard.  Wanting to come across as cutesie and funny, but it wasn't happening.  

Have you tried to write something that just doesn't come naturally to you?  It's a strain to make the words work and things sound right?  Sometimes that's a good thing, we all need to stretch our abilities.  I'm not talking about changing genre, but actually how you write.

All of us have a way of writing that is called voice.  A feeling of 'oh, that's so funny!' or man, 'that made my hair stand on end.' When it comes across a certain way, the reader comes to expect that type of writing, or that type of story when they pick up your book.  If you don't write in the same way and the reader doesn't like it, they'll be reluctant to pick up something by you again.  They want to know they can trust the name -- your name.

What is it that flows from your fingers?  Is it humor or romance?  Suspense, mystery, Gothic romance?  Whatever it is that seems to flow as you write, that is where your voice comes through.  You need to find that spot and nurture it.  This is the true writer in you.  That is where the stories are going to come from, and what people are going to want to read.

The real voice inside of you.  Find it.  Feed it.  Share it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I feel Like Celebrating

by Cheri Chesley

I went to bed last night so excited to be a writer. The Peasant Queen saga (for lack of a better phrase) is nearly complete, and this winter I'm going to get to work on something new. I've even started taking internal inventory to see which new character speaks loudest.

It's always fun to start a new project. The creative juices start to flow, and you get to meet all new characters. Settings are new, conflicts are different--you get to stretch more as a writer and grow more as a person.

I already have an inkling of what story I'm going to write next. It's a definite departure from YA fantasy, being contemporary LDS fiction. Recently, while working on my current project, I got a completely out of the blue inspiration to change the time line and setting of this particular story.

And I can't wait.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Here Lies?


By Keith N Fisher

Have you ever wondered what your epitaph will be? A few years ago, I wrote my father’s obituary. It was an honor, but it left me wanting to know more. I had a wonderful, rich relationship with him. We spent hours talking, and he related many stories about his past, but I still wanted more.

Back in 2005 I lost both my grandmothers. I was blessed to be able to speak at their funerals and in each talk, I wanted to give them a voice of their own. Even though their physical bodies could not speak for themselves, I wanted to let them have one more moment.

I began to search everything I had in my memory and otherwise. Glimpses into their personalities. Things I remembered from their interaction with me. I read letters from them sent to me when I served a mission. I read a testimony left in a saved Book of Mormon. I read the poetry written by one of them. I think my talks turned out to be close to what they would’ve said, assuming their modesty allowed them to talk about themselves.

When Dad died, I tried to do the same thing. I quoted things he’d said on the miles of videotape I recorded at family gatherings. I did my best to give him a voice, but he didn’t write much. I was able to relate feelings he’d shared with me about my brothers, but it was mostly from my memory.

Have you seen the movie, The Ultimate Gift? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, like in the movie, we could get a video projection of our dead loved one, expressing personal messages to each of us?

As a writer, I often feel a sense of writing across generations. Ironically though, considering I used to write every day, I haven’t kept up with my journal. The sad thing is I missed writing some of the most important events in my life. Well, I have written a few things.

While reading those meager entries, I began to wonder what someone speaking at my funeral would make of my journal. Perhaps, I’d better make a rebuttal video.

Yes, I think writing in Journals is a good idea. Beyond a treatment for writer’s block, there is no better way for people to get to know you, and understand the way you think. Perhaps you’ll have a voice at your own funeral.

While thinking about the subject, I began to wonder, what would be carved into my headstone? What words of wisdom will somebody choose to describe my life?

Here lies Mr. Fisher. He lived. Now he’s gone.

How about these sentiments to describe my argumentative nature?

The man in this hole didn’t know, although he thought so.

Perhaps this one will be right.

Here lies what’s his name.

Whatever the epitaph, I want to be remembered for making a difference in people’s lives. I want people to think of me when they remember things that affected their lives for good. Perhaps in several years after my death, they will pull out an old book and want to learn about the author.

That is the best remembrance of all. To be the man who wrote the book, or spoke at the fireside that changed a person’s life. So, what ever gets on my headstone, (mostly bird poop I think), I want my epitaph to be in the lives of those I might have helped along the way.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Honesty is the Best Policy

by G.Parker



We've all heard that honesty is the best policy, and I've heard a story this week that underlines that thought.  Several years ago, my daughter wanted me to read this 'amazing' book that was the real story of this man's struggle with addiction, yada yada.  Well, it turns out that the book was a hoax.  Not real.  I'm sooo glad I didn't suffer through the language to read it.  (I'd tried and gave up after having to sift through too many swear words.)

This week I heard another story, similar in nature.  A man, who has apparently made millions from his story and become a 'hero' to many, has been accused of lying in the book he'd written.  Apparently he'd based the book on three stories from his life that have now come to light as never happened. 

I'm beginning to wonder if some people are confused with the words fiction and non-fiction.  Let's review.  Fiction means NOT REAL - Made up, fake, fairy tale, etc.  Non-Fiction means BASED ON REAL FACT, STORY or such.  The information is usually heavily researched, documented and provable.  One can write a non-fiction story and add items from their own life to it, but they don't write non-fiction and add imaginary items to it.  The two don't mix.

There are basically two types of people.  Those who, like my mother-in-law, find reading fiction a waste of time and those who think reading non-fiction is for the literary crowd.  There are some who will read both (like myself) and find both equally enjoyable.  However, I must point out that non-fiction has to come in small doses to me, sometimes I don't have the brain cells to absorb it as much as I'd like.

Anyway - my point is this:  Be true to your medium.  If you are going to write a non-fiction book, please make it provable!  Don't wind up worrying if someone is going to come hunt you down and call you a fraud.  It's really not worth it.  While these two writers that I've used as an example made millions off their books, it all came crashing down in the end.

Kind of like the three little pigs and the big bad wolf - the media huffed and puffed and blew their houses down.  Make yours out of brick.  Make sure it's solid and dependable.  Your readers will thank you by continuing to buy what you print.  Just ask David McCullough, author extraordinare.  Or perhaps Gerald Lund.  Both of whom I find write amazing non-fiction.

Which brand do you plan on writing?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Today Is...

by Cheri Chesley

Today is Thursday, April 21st, which, in my house means birthday times 3. 12 years ago I gave birth to healthy and terrifying twin boys, and then on their 5th birthday I gave them a baby sister.

And people have accused me of planning that.

Seriously.

What today does NOT mean is I'll get any writing done. :) But that's okay.

This week I have posted poems I wrote for my boys both on my author BLOG and my mommy BLOG. They're kinda sweet. I have one for my daughter, but I'm not as satisfied with it. I don't feel it accurately describes her or the feelings she invokes. I'm still going to post it tomorrow for my weekly Mormon Mommy Writers POST.

One of the blessings I had recently states that I should look to my children for inspiration in my writing. Usually it's humorous status posts on Facebook. They are kind of nutty, but in a good way. And even though I sometimes worry that they won't behave unsupervised in public, I don't think it's possible to love them any more than I do now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Morning Thoughts



This morning I woke up to gray skies and dripping eaves. What that meant to me was that my children would need to be driven to school instead of walking. My son would have to take his road test on wet roads. It meant that I wouldn't get any gardening done today and it even meant that my resident state of Utah might experience flooding.

I also work up to birds singing. It sounded like a beautiful, sunny spring day. What kind of birds sing while it's raining? I believe at least some of them were robins, those harbingers of spring. They seemed completely unperturbed by the rain and sang anyway. Their song spoke to me of the hope of new beginnings, of green leaves and fragrant flowers. It raised my spirits much more than it would have had it been a sunny day.

I took this as a lesson. I can be the kind of bird that sings when the skies are gray and rain is falling. I can spread cheer and good news in a world that is dark and gloomy.

So can you. Have a great week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

You Never Know

By Keith N Fisher

As they often do, Writer’s Digest magazine recently included their list of best writer’s websites. While reading the publication, I had an epiphany, of sorts.

In jealous envy, I pondered how I could get my website on the list. Then I concluded, it would take a lot of work. It would help if I constantly provided fresh, engaging content. Also having a book on the market would be an asset.

Okay, my website is static, it doesn’t change much, but what about the blogs I write for? What would it take to get them noticed? Again, the answer lies in fresh content and following & commenting on other blogs. But we keep The Blogck updated for the most part, and we provide support for struggling writers. Shouldn’t we be listed?

That’s when I realized my possible blunder. I might’ve ruined the career of this blog site.

A few years ago, I claimed to write contemporary fiction, and I made a point of frequently making gibes at romance. It was good fun, intended to make light of my testosterone laden reading tastes, but then I wrote a blog about reading a story that tore my heart out.

The book was a national market romance and in my tongue in cheek way, I didn’t mention the title. It was, (I thought), my private joke with my readers. In the comment trail that followed, A person asked what the title was. I refused to say, and a small dispute ensued.

I felt bad about it, but I didn’t think I should have to mention the title, simply because someone thought my joke wasn’t funny. Like a bad revue, if I had to do it again, I’d ignore the comment.

Since then, I’ve wondered about the author of those comments. I really don’t know much about her. She’s published and I’m not. I’m glad she is doing well and hope she continues to find success. My dilemma, however, lies in the possibility, what if she had been looking at websites for Writer’s Digest . . .

Well, you get the point.

As writer’s we put ourselves in the public eye all the time, its called promotion. Ideally, we want our name and brand to reflect professionalism. We hope publishers and agents will recognize that professionalism and we want readers to think positively about us.

All of that could be damaged in one sentence if we aren’t careful with what we say and to whom we say it.

I look back on the aforementioned blog and wince, because The LDS Writer’s Blogck might’ve been a contender for mention in Writer’s Digest. If I hadn’t given in to my argumentative nature, we might’ve been famous . . . well, maybe. (Insert laugh track here). Really I wince, because instead of making a friend, I gave into her criticism and tired to lash out.

On Facebook and other social media, blog sites, and writer’s groups, I have to keep reminding myself that I can be dead right and still be wrong. Even though I know what I’m talking about, arguing the point with others cheapens my name and brand. You never know who might be listening or reading. Or to what effect your comments will stifle your career.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Real Life or Imitation?

by G.Parker


Many writers take their inspiration from real life.  I think I've commented on that before, how many of my stories have real people as the inspiration for my characters.  Sometimes I used real events in my stories, and I discovered this week in my critique group that others do this too.  What's interesting is that sometimes what we think is a hilarious story doesn't seem to come across that way on paper.  Unfortunately reality has to be vamped up a little for fiction.  Strange how that happens.


Also, sometimes movies or books are inspired by real happenings, and we love to see those - at least I do - in the movies.  A co-worker of mine told me of an experience in her family that has 'great read' written all over it.  I'm thinking I'll have to use it in a story, I just haven't wrapped the fiction around the reality yet.  This isn't the first time I've wanted to write someone's reality into my fiction world.  It happens a lot when you are a people watcher.  Usually it's just a small situation that  you think will add to a current story, or would be a good character involvement.  But once in a while it's a whole complete plot that you have enough to build a story out of.

What do you see going on around you?  What is reality or fiction to you?  I guess we'll see the next time we pick up a novel.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Learning

by Cheri Chesley

April is not quite half over, but already it's been a month of learning. Between General Conference and the Write Here in Ephraim writers' conference, I feel like my head may explode.

But it's a wonderful feeling.

Someday, with practice, I'll get better at speaking in front of groups and presenting my prepared classes on writing--or my writing journey. I still felt like a student of the craft Saturday in Ephraim. Berin Stephens taught a comedy writing class. Abel Keogh shared his notes on writing memoir. Mike Knudsen taught us more effective self-editing tools, endorsed by the amazing Tristi Pinkston. And Clint Johnson had us all engaged at the end with an author trivia game, where I played an impromptu Vanna lol. I have to say I'm no good at it, because I kept having to restrain myself from muttering the right answers and tipping off the contestants. :)

I'm really bummed to miss the LDS Storymakers' Conference in May, but I'm carefully budgeting this year. It's probably good I take a break, anyway, since my last two attendances have been marked with severe illness. Still, I hate knowing what I'm going to miss. The worst part will be reading all the FaceBook posts about how much fun everyone's having and all they're learning. Maybe I'll take an internet break that week. I do have a rough draft to write in May, after all.

I'm looking forward to putting all I've learned so far this month into practice.

What are you learning?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

LDStorymakes Writers Conference

by C. LaRene Hall

The most important thing I could think about writing today is to remind everyone:

The 2011 - 8th Annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference
will be held at:

The Sheraton Hotel
150 West 500 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.

Bootcamp - May 5, 2011
Bootcamp - $30


Conference - May 6-7, 2011
2-Day Conference - $180
Friday-only Conference - $100
Saturday-only Conference - $80

(Registration deadline April 15, 2011. Sorry, no walk-ins.)Those of you who haven't registered, do you realize time is running out. That is only two days away. If you don't come, you will really miss a good informative time, and lots of fun.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Come Saturday Morning

By Keith N Fisher

I wrote a blog this morning, but with those that have been posted here lately, mine would appear insensitive. So I'm going to save it for another day.

Since I don't have anything for today, I was looking through my files of old blogs and focused on one I posted in December 2008, when I talked about getting out of my office to write. I was reminded of a conversation we had in critique group the other day.

We were talking about laptops and that escalated into best writing places, (and comfort positions). I've always said my favorite place to write is parked in a crowded parking lot with my laptop resting on the steering wheel.

It’s a wonderful place, because I can be alone with my thoughts. Distractions, if there are any, come from people walking through the parking lot, and bad drivers. It is a veritable character parade.

I've seen people do things, while I'm writng, that I incorporated into a story. Describing characters is easy when they walk in front of your windshield while you write about them. Putting that aside, though, it’s just a comfortable position to write in. the screen is close, so I can remove my glasses, totally oblivious to the strains of bending over a keyboard to get a closer look at the monitor.

In the blog I mentioned above, I quoted the lyrics to a song that fits. Come Saturday Morning, I'm running away with my friend. Well, it's Saturday morning, again. I want to run away with my character friends.

Here are the lyrics I talked about. I'm humming the tune. Wish I could go.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Next Step

by Cheri Chesley

I think I enjoyed the Sunday afternoon session of Conference the best. We don't always get to spend the whole weekend getting each session in, but this past weekend we did. All of them had amazing messages, but Sunday afternoon resonated with me best.

But that's the way the Spirit works. Like when we read the scriptures, and even though we read the same passages, or verses, at different times in our lives we will take something new away from it. That's why, even in the repetition, it never ceases to be relevant to our lives.

This month, April, I'm embarking into the world of ebooks. Over the years I've written some fun and, at times, compelling short stories that would otherwise never see publication. Ebooks gives me a wonderful medium for these stories. And, maybe, a little pocket money for writers' conferences. :) It's also a way to get my name out there and into places where my print novels may not reach.

I'm not looking to get rich doing this. In fact, I'm working at pricing these stories as cheaply as possible. One thing I've heard overwhelmingly from people who purchase ebooks is they are far more likely to buy the inexpensive ones. There's even a lady out there who sold almost 500,000 copies of her ebooks in one MONTH because they are only 99 cents.

Here are the first two ebook covers I have:
Ghost Bride is a short story about the death of a beautiful bride on her wedding night.
The Wild Queen is a prequel to my print novel, The Peasant Queen. It's a story about King Gregory's parents, and sort of a study into what makes a tyrant. At least in Gregory's case.

The third ebook I plan to publish by the end of this month is called The Price of Love. In it, Alita travels to Scotland to meet her fiance's family, and ends up uncovering a centuries-old murder mystery.

How do you feel about ebooks? Will you consider publishing using that medium?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Support

by C. LaRene Hall

Sorry I’ve been gone again. My husband passed away on March 15th and I needed a little time before I could do this again. The reason I can do this is because he would have wanted me to keep going. He knew I loved writing and encouraged me to keep writing. He loved my writing friends and enjoyed attending dinners with them. He wasn’t much for reading and hated the idea of writing, but knew it was something I loved. It’s not going to be as easy as before because I don’t have his support and him prodding me along. On Wednesday morning’s he was always reminding me that I needed to get my blog posted.

So, I guess my blog is about support. Who supports you? Who or what keeps you wanting to write?

Monday, April 04, 2011

General Conference


Like most of you, I enjoyed viewing General Conference this past weekend. I felt much of the material presented was meant for me and I hope to become a better person for having heard it.

I hope, if you were not able to view General Conference, that you will take the opportunity to read the messages online or in the church magazines. This is one way we can insure that what we write is what Heavenly Father wants us to write. I believe as LDS writers we have a special mandate to rise above the crowd. We should not be trying to duplicate what's out there--we should be trying to supersede it. No pressure there, eh?

The good new is that along with the higher expectations comes better tools. We who have been baptized by the proper authority were also given the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can use this gift to write what we are meant to write. We just have to be in tune.

So, keep writing the good, uplifting things that will make a difference. We don't have to get "preachy" to make a positive difference in the world. We just have to live the way we should and our lives and attitudes will shine through our writing.

That's about it for my two cents this week. Have a great week!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

It's Subjective


By Keith N Fisher

I’ve been learning my craft for a long time. I go to writer’s conferences, workshops and a critique group. I read books about writing and try to incorporate that wisdom into my own work. I polish and worry that my manuscript isn’t good enough. I polish some more, submit, and write another great idea.

Its part of the process, some would say its paying my dues. Whatever it’s called, it makes me a better writer/editor, but the procedure has affected my reading. I can’t open a book without noticing errors. The thing is however, I might not read it the same way as other readers.

While attending, (as a spectator), the 2011 World Championship Dutch oven Cook off, I realized something I already knew. Judging is subjective and cooking is relative. I learned those facts while competing in a cook off in Southern Utah. Although perfect, our dishes didn’t score very high. Six months later, we cooked the same dishes in the same way, and took first place at worlds. We attributed the loss to the judges and unfair judging practices.

Afterward, I observed another truism, you could take the same cooks, making the same dishes, the same way, on a different day, with the same judges, and there could be a different outcome. Some people will never learn that fact. They want to attach blame. Either it’s the judge’s faults for being stupid and wrong, or its some other reason. It’s never the fault of the cooks, and it could never be dumb luck.

As a reader, I’m fairly dense. I want to get into the story and stay there so I try to overlook things like typos, spelling errors, and syntax. I even try not to notice an over abundance of foreshadowing, and phrases like, “little did he know”, but when those errors make me lose the story, I object. When the POV changes many times on the page, I lose my perspective.

Now, I’m not the best writer and as an editor, I sometimes suck, ask my critique group. I’ve been known to be wrong. I sometimes miss key sentences that explain what comes later. I’m not perfect, and neither are many proofreaders and editors.

Inevitably, we’ll all get our work in front of a reviewer or editor and they will tear it apart. Worse yet, they’ll like it, but there’ll only be a couple of things wrong. Like the cooking competition, things don’t always turn out the way we expect. It is possible to pour our heart and soul into something, to sweat blood over a project and have someone not like it. Even when we believe our work was inspired.

When it happens to us, we’re tempted to lash out. Sometimes we turn it inward, vowing to quit writing. At the very least, in no way, will we ever let that person see anything we’ve written again.

In the cook off circles, I used to hear competitors mention certain judges with scorn. They would always say something like, “If I find out so & so is judging I won’t cook.” I’m sure I said that once or twice, but I was missing the point. It’s true, the joy is in the journey as I discussed in a previous blog.

I’m not saying you have to agree with, or like the review/critique, just remember that on some days the cake will be perfect and not win. Judging and critiquing are subjective. The risk we take is in believing every word.

Sometimes reviewers can be wrong, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we might learn something. Still, how many of you read the bestseller, Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks? Here’s a book with POV issues. In one sentence we’re in Paul’s head. In the next sentence we’re in Adrienne’s. I even noticed a sentence started in Adrienne’s head and finished in Paul’s. Who can read that without getting lost? I wonder, how many editors overlooked the head hopping because of who wrote it?

I can’t afford to make those kinds of mistakes because I’m a first time Author, trying to break into the market. And when I do, break in, I hope I’ll take the criticism with a grain of salt. I expect to remember some cook off judges are crazy people . . . no, I’ll try to bear in mind that everything is subjective. It doesn’t make rejection easier, but at least I’ll know I’m not a terrible writer.

Still, some reviewers have it in for—uh, never mind.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Emotional Ties

by G.Parker

I wasn't going to post today.

I have many things on my mind, not the least of which is my brother passing away this week.  But as I was sitting this morning and contemplating life, I realized I had something to say - even though nothing came earlier in the week.  So you get my thoughts.

Emotions are a strong tie in writing and reading.  They bring us closer to the character, pull us into the story and make us want to know how things are going to end.  Is the girl going to find her birth mother?  Is the son ever going to get over finding his father hanging in the barn?  Stark emotion exists in our day to day world, though for some, not as much as others.

I've had a lot of death in my life, though I don't dwell on it.  I lost my parents at a young age, a foster father, my grandparents, a 20 year old niece, my 'adopted' mother, my father-in-law and now one of my younger brothers.  When my 'adopted' mother passed, we owned a pizza place and I had no choice but to go to work.  I remember being there while the high school lunch crowd came in, tears flowing down my cheeks.  The boys were so sweet...they asked what was wrong and when we told them, they all offered their sympathy and kind words.  I'll never forget that outpouring of compassion.  It's something that I could use in a story, I remember it so well.

I know I've mentioned before how I draw on my own life experiences to enliven or bring emotion to my writing, I would think every writer does.  We write best what we know, right?

So today, as I contemplate the life of my brother and how lucky I was to know him, I celebrate the chance I have to continue on and perhaps immortalize him in word somehow.  He will always be part of me and what I feel inside.  We'll meet again.

Life goes on.