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Saturday, June 28, 2014

BOOK DRAMA ~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ ELISSA GABRIELLE





When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

 I first realized I wanted to be a writer when I heard my Jazz musician father’s song “Peace In The Storm” when I was around the age of 10. The words and melody to that song inspired me to write poetry. From poetry, I went onto screenplays, then from there novels.

How long does it take you to write a book? 

Good question. Anywhere from 4 months to 1 year.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

 I write when the spirit moves me. It can be at 8am, 4pm or 10pm in the evening. When God gives me the words, I write.

What is your latest release and what's next? 

My latest release is EYE OF THE BEHOLDER and here’s the synopsis and the industry endorsements. Jerusalem "Jay" Jones, Iraq war veteran is a hero to most as he's bravely put his life on the line to serve his country. His second tour of duty has ended and Jay lies in a veterans hospital bed recovering from injuries he sustained while at war. His present circumstances should be a cake-walk for Jerusalem considering the tragedies he experienced as a child. Love, laughter and life have always seemed to elude Jerusalem, unfortunately, from his early days as a child growing up abused and terrorized on the tough streets of Newark. Vulnerable and reclusive, Jerusalem must now face the world in which he escaped, seeking a more fulfilled life, albeit, with dark secrets that burden his psyche as well as his physicality.

Jill Lopes, a hospital social worker who recently made a career change, longs to heal the broken. But, before she can heal the sick, she must first break through inner battles of unhappiness and resistance. When fate boldly enter Jerusalem's and Jill's life, they realize that the challenges we meet in life hold the power to open us to higher consciousness. Will Life become both meaningful and joyful when Jerusalem and Jill know the greater truth of who they are? Does beauty really lie in the eye of the beholder? Experience the power of love on this redemptive journey where the purpose of the problems in one's life, will be empowered to uncover the gifts they bring.







Empowering, Enlightening, Engaging and Inspirational, Elissa Gabrielle is a powerhouse in the literary industry. Respected by many, revered in the highest regard, Elissa Gabrielle maintains a spirit of excellence in all she does. She is known to have the midas touch. The sky is the limit for this sassy, sundry and prolific author. Elissa Gabrielle has broken the ceiling of literary excellence with her gift in the skill of multi-genre writing. The author of multiple poetry books, numerous novels and contributor to several anthologies, Elissa has proven herself to be well-versed in artistic creativity.
Elissa Gabrielle has the uncanny ability to take newcomers and mold, shape them into literary superstars and has created multiple award-winning authors and best-selling books in the process.
Her colloquial and imaginative creations have lead to sensual and seductive inclusions in Zane's Purple Panties, Erogenous Zone: A Sexual Voyage, Mocha Chocolate: A Taste of Ecstasy, The Heat of the Night, Historie Chocolate D'Amour, Pillow Talk in the Heat of The Night, Zane's Busy Bodies: Chocolate Flava 4 and more.
As a Literary Entrepreneur, Elissa is the founder of the greeting card line, Greetings from the Soul: The Elissa Gabrielle Collection, collaborator and creator of The Triumph of My Soul, and publisher of Peace In The Storm Publishing. Elissa has managed to turn relatively unknown authors into household names and has molded and shaped the careers of some of today's brightest literary stars. In addition to these innovative achievements, Elissa has graced the covers of Conversations Magazine, Big Time Publishing Magazine, Disilgold Soul Magazine and has been featured in Urbania Magazine and Black Literature Magazine.
Elissa Gabrielle has been named Executive Director, Brand and Business Development for Modern Flavor Magazine.
Peace In The Storm Publishing has been nominated in several categories in the African American Literary Awards Show, and has won Independent Publisher of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition, Elissa Gabrielle won for Self-Published Author of the Year in 2010 for her explosive novel, "A Whisper to a Scream." Elissa also won for Self-Published Author of the Year for the collaborative effort, "The Heat of the Night."
Her writing and publishing passion is rooted in her desire to give a reader's soul a rise, one page at a time and grounded in her quest to bring forth the Triumph Anthology series, an ongoing testament of faith. The first anthology in the series was the highly acclaimed The Triumph of My Soul, which will be followed by The Soul of a Man and The Breakthrough respectively. "I started the Triumph series because in life, we all fall down, but by the Grace of God, we get back up. There is always victory in tomorrow," Elissa says about the Triumph series.
From the novelty of her writing, to her highly-regarded greeting card line and the successful culmination of her publishing company; Elissa Gabrielle remains an ingenious and creative force to be reckoned with in terms of delivering distinct, fulfilling and entertaining literature. By pushing herself to stay a cut above the rest, Elissa Gabrielle brilliantly and consistently delivers Literary best.
















PRAISE FOR EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
by Elissa Gabrielle

"If the moon and the stars align Elissa Gabrielle will be a literary rock star. Eye of the Beholder marks in stunning fashion the return to readers the craft of writing that book lovers eyes should be awarded. A heartrending endorsement of losing trust, crossing lines and seeking forgiveness, Eye of the Beholder is a story of emotional deprivation beyond one's control, and searching for inner soul sustenance. Elissa Gabrielle has penned word by word and line by line from the beginning to the end poetic justice poetically in this novel. Eye of the Beholder is comparable in scope, texture, and depictions with the classics because of the strong wit and passionate intelligence."
~Alvin L. A. Horn, author of Perfect Circle

"Every now and then, God gives a talented artist a gift within their gift, a destiny-creating piece that illuminates so brightly it defies average definition. Elissa Gabrielle has brilliantly weaved a tale that is, simply put, for your eyes and heart to behold."
~William Fredrick Cooper
Award-Winning/Best-Selling Author of THERE’S ALWAYS A REASON

"If it's worth reading, it's worth waiting for...and I must say, Eye of the Beholder by Elissa Gabrielle is definitely worth the wait. Once again, Gabrielle reeled me in from the very beginning. I found the characters' names alone very intriguing and I wanted to learn every detail about them. Gabrielle makes her readers feel as if these characters are people they have met at some point or another in life. But, if you haven't met them, you certainly won't regret getting to know the latest cast penned by our beloved...Elissa Gabrielle!"

BOOK DRAMA ~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ VANNA B.





When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always knew! I have always written poems and stories from the time I was a child. Being a writer is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It depends. My first took over a year but each of my subsequent titles were written in six months or less.


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

It’s kind of all over the place. Being a mother and wife, I really just squeeze in writing time whenever I can. I’ll write while the baby is napping, or while the kids are occupied with something else. My favorite time to write, though, is at night after everyone has gone to bed. That’s when I get some real peace and quiet!


What was your latest release, and what's next?








My latest release is Waist Training 101: A Guide to Using Corsets to Slim Your Waistline. The next release under my company, Hope Street Publishing, will be a fiction novel entitled The Hustle: A Means to an End by authors Donisha Derice Council and Jai Darlene.








Vanna B. is an author and publisher of fiction novels. The Hope Street Publishing CEO is a native of Philadelphia, PA and received her BA in journalism from Temple University. Writing has been a life-long passion of hers and she always planned on authoring books.
Vanna's professional writing career began with newspapers and magazines, where she served as a restaurant reviewer, proofreader, advice columnist and staff writer covering a range of topics including current events, local politics and culture. After making the decision to leave the workforce to stay home to raise her son, she began penning her first novel, Fancy.
Fancy went on to be a huge success, landing on the Amazon Kindle best-sellers list for multiple categories, earning Vanna the 2012 Philly Hip Hop award for "Best Author," being featured in The Source Magazine, and receiving overwhelmingly positively reviews. This year its sequel, Fancy 2, also made the Kindle best-sellers list, and Vanna was nominated for two AAMBC Awards as well as two Urban Literary Awards.
"I'm incredibly grateful that my work is being so well received," Vanna says. "I love writing and sharing my gift with others, and I work very hard at providing top-notch material with the goal of bringing readers a unique and memorable experience."
You can check out my books at www.HopeStreePublishing.com or http://www.amazon.com/Vanna-B./e/B007ZTEP5U. Also check out www.WaistTraining101.com to learn more about my waist training manual or to shop for steel boned corsets.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What's My Writing Process?



I don't always feel good about being a tortured writer, but when I do feel good about it, I participate in all types of writerly shit. (yes writerly). I was tagged in this BLOG HOP by the fabulous Shonell Bacon-author, editor, blogger, teacher extraordinaire. You can read all about her writing process here.
 Shonell rocks harder than heavy metal. I loves me some her!

let us begin...
MY WRITING PROCESS

WHAT' AM I WORKING ON???
I am working on several books at once, and I am always working on several books at once. Hence the whole, "tortured writer," comment.  There is five tabs opened on my desktop. 

SM4: A Hustler's Heart is the fourth and final book to my Strawberry Mansion series. The book follows Begonia Brown, and her sisters to east jabip, a small town in the middle of nowhere. The young ladies have to learn how to live in a new environment after being placed in the witness protection program. ( I promise the synopsis will get better as I continue to figure shit out!)

Bound Together is the continuation of the short story Bound: An Erotic ShortDarnell Jackson made a living out of making lonely women moan. He was 6’2 inches and 230 lbs of pure chocolate sexual energy, and in his world sex was king—it paid the bills and passed the time. For a nominal fee Mr. Jackson would make all of your fantasies a reality. He prided himself on never getting emotionally involved with any of his clients no matter how good they were in the sack. Sex was business and business was booming, until he met Audrey Williams, a 45 year-old school teacher from South Carolina. Audrey Williams had never been with a gigolo before, in fact, she’d never done anything out of the ordinary in her life. Audrey went to work and went home, day in and day out. She yearned for excitement but had no idea how to get it until she overheard two women talking about paying for sex on her way to work. Every freaky thing that Audrey ever dreamed of doing flashed through her head and her panties were soaked by the time she reached her train stop. It took a little digging but she found a male prostitute by the name of Darnell who used personal training as a cover.  I have over a thousand emails requesting this short be extended, so extend it I will! 

The other tabs are Swinger: Based On True Events, Adjua's Fire, my first full length fantasy novel, and Facebook I am always on facebook (sigh)


HOW DOES YOUR WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE???

I write drama, Bitch! And, I write it across the genres. I am a poet, and a playwright, so my books tend to be character driven with strong dialogue.   I also don't write weak women. You will rarely find a damsel in distress in my books. All my chicks be #badass. (was a hashtag really necessary within a blog post?) lol


WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO???

The whole story has to come to me, and stay with me... for me to write it. Sometimes I am driven by curiosity of a particular subject matter, like my upcoming book Swinger. I have a friend in the lifestyle, and I wanted to know more about his world. I didn't participate in any swinger activities, but I ain't going to lie and say watching wasn't fun... researching that book was a damn good time. 


HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK???

It starts with an idea. I get overly excited about said idea, and I can't stop thinking/talking/texting about it. When I know how the book will end, I go to the dollar store and go overboard on poster board. I then tack the boards all over my office, and start outlining on the walls. I'm an outline girl, can't write a lick without em. After I've inked in the boards, I start to write in composition books. I seem to get blocked when I type on a computer because I cannot turn off my inner editor. I'll spend hours making a paragraph perfect. (sigh) When I've filled my notebook up halfway, I'll start to type it up. I sometimes stray from this method, but not much, and definitely not often. 

*****

Next week look out for three more blog post in the "Writing Process" blog tour... (I waited till the very last minute to complete this hop, and three author/shero friends of mine responded to my distress call) Procrastination is the devil! lol

My inspiration, Adrienne Thompson, a music-loving native of Arkansas, doting mother of three, grandmother of one, and author of 11 Women's Fiction and Edgy Inspirational Romance Novels. Website Amazon Youtube

My Literary Jewel Dropper, Kisha Green is a Author/Publisher who has a passion for writing and sharing her witty personality with many through social media. For more info about Kisha, visit her Website follow her on Twitter

My sissypoo, Junnita Jackson is the CEO of WeRead Literary Services, a wickedly erotic author, and kick-ass graphic designer. Website Amazon Facebook




While you wait for their posts, check out their websites and social media links!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The day after the doctor visit.

I woke up this morning with the weight of the doctor's prognosis on my mind. Staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out if I have the strength to truly change my life. 

I want to believe that I do. I want to feel this blog post up with confident words, and optimistic views of the future.

But....

The truth is, I really don't know.

I don't no if I have the strength of will required to save my life, and uphold the quality of my life. I don't know i I have the endurance needed to stay the course. The spirit to stay upbeat, and optimistic for the future. How do you change?

What's the secret to mastering will?

Will I learn it?

I don't know!

Here is what I do know... I am going to pray for divine help with my journey. I am going to the grocery store this morning, and I am going to buy the things the doctor said I should now eat. I am going to the gym this morning to walk on the treadmill. I am going to read and study the plan. That's it.

That's what I am going to do today. 
I have to take it one moment at a time.


Until the next moment
Julia

Friday, June 13, 2014

BOOK DRAMA ~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ STEVEN VAN PATTEN


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

It hit me when I was very young.  As early as second grade, I was killing the English lessons, probably due to my mother getting me into reading before I’d even started school. There were times during grade school where I’d end up in my own reading group, which needless to say, made me REAL unpopular with the other kids. But in the end, reading and writing were always something I felt a natural affinity to, so it was easy to gravitate that way.




How long does it take you to write a book?

It has varied.  My first book took nearly ten years, not just because I was a stage manager on TRL at the time but also because the book itself (Brookwater’s Curse Volume I) starts in 1860s Georgia and climaxes in 2001 Senegal, with stops in modern day England and an island filled with vampire samurais.  A staggering amount of research needed to pull this off without making some sort of ridiculous mistake, (like referencing something before it was invented or made available to the general public), was staggering.  

The other books took less time because much of the character building had been done in the first book, and the rest of the overall story is set in modern time.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Being the nocturnal sort, most of my writing happens at night and I try to stick to the page a day rule, even if it’s just journaling. However, my time and energy can be hampered by my day job.  Being a TV stage manager means that on certain days I’m on on my feet interfacing with an entire crew and celebrity talent for ten hours straight. It depends on the show. Sometimes I won’t have anything to do all morning and other days I don’t have time to like a Facebook status I’m tagged in.  Needless to say, the tougher days can exhaust me to the point where all I want is a drink and bed and writing is the last thing on my mind. Despite the rumors, I am only human.




What's your latest release, and what's up next?







Now that I’m three deep in the Brookwater’s Curse series, I decided to take a break from the vampires and write a serial killer story.  It’s set in the near future, and like most of my stuff, comes with subtle socio-political messages.  It’s also unique in that my killer is a black woman who has issues with both racist conservatives and the ‘rachet’.  Expect ‘The Genius’ late this year.  After a little break, I’ll finish up the fourth installment of Brookwater’s Curse.  Might be a couple of years, but it will be worth the wait.





Steven Van Patten is a Brooklyn native, raised in Fort Greene. After graduating from Long Island University on a full tuition scholarship, he pursued a career in television production. After paying his dues as a production assistant and later as an assistant lighting director for QVC, Steven went on to stage manage a plethora of TV shows, including MTV's Total Request Live and BET Tonight w/ Ed Gordon. However, there was an idea haunting Steven. A storyline born from watching horror movies as a child and noticing a lack of diversity, and character development when people of color were employed. So after pouring over historical research night after night, and traveling alone to various locales, including West Africa and Osaka, Japan, he wrote the first two installments of the Brookwater's Curse vampire novel series.

After receiving much praise, several glowing reviews from various book club heavy hitters, and literary awards for each book, Steven now sets forth on the path of marketing his tomes, while still stage managing TV shows during the day. If he were not busy enough, he's also taken to comedy, making appearances in video projects produced by his friends in the entertainment industry. He's also written a host of social commentary blogs on his Facebook, BlackPlanet and MySpace pages, as well as his own website--www.brookwaterscurse.com.

Steven also took on the additional challenge of producing, directing and starring in a series of short films about a retired assassin who is forced to resume work after his gambling addict brother falls in debt to a crime boss. The fourth and final installment is due sometime in late 2010. Brookwater's Curse Volume III is expected in late 2011. A novel based on the Reluctant Hitman series and an additional serial killer novel are all to follow.



BOOK DRAMA ~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ ADRIENNE THOMPSON






When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realized it in 2009. I was working as an RN, taking care of my three kids as a single mother and my second child had just graduated from high school. I finally had time to think and I realized that nursing was not my passion. I remembered that I’d always been good at writing poetry and writing anything, really. I was even good at charting at work, lol. And then I remembered that I was a great verbal storyteller, so after much prayer I realized my calling was in writing.


How long does it take you to write a book?
It varies. It took me 6 months to write my first book but I was working full time and was a single mother at the time. I’m still a single mother, but now that I am a full-time writer and I have some books under my belt, I could write a book in a month or so if the characters are really calling me.


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
It really depends on the characters. If they are really loud in my head, I can write all day, every day with few breaks and that’s usually what I do. I’ll binge write and then get so tired that I’ll have to take a break and won’t be able to write for a couple of weeks. I don’t have sense enough to plan out a schedule, lol. I also work on three or four books at the same time. I know, crazy, right?



TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE, BEEN SO LONG III




My latest book is Been So Long III (Whatever It Takes). Been So Long III is actuallt 5th book in my Been So Long Series which also includes a companion novel and a prequel. Here’s a short synopsis:

They’re back…
Mona-Lisa, Corey, and Wasif return in the third installment of the popular Been So Long Series with more drama, more ups and downs, and the ongoing battle of love vs. lust. Full of fast-paced drama and twists and turns, Been So Long III is a surefire must-read for fans of this series.

And tell us about what's coming next.

Next up is If (Wasif’s Story) A Been So Long Prequel that will be available for FREE on my website (http://adriennethompsonwrites.webs.com) as a gift to fans of the series. It will be available as a PDF download on 6.19.14 so readers should be on the lookout for it J





ADRIENNE THOMPSON'S BIO
Married at sixteen, a mother twice by seventeen, and thrice a mother and divorced by twenty-four, Adrienne Thompson is no stranger to adversity. Not your typical teenage mother, she went on to complete her college degree and to earn her nursing license. She attributes God's faithfulness as the catalyst for her success in life. Now, having raised two children as a divorced mother, with a third fast-approaching adulthood, she is sharing a long hidden talent and passion with the world. Using the lessons that life has so expertly taught her as a guideline (betrayal, abusive relationships, self-esteem issues, witnessing the deteriorating effects of drug abuse), she has created stories that will both entertain and inspire the reader.
Adrienne currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter. Formerly an RN, she now writes and publishes her stories full time.




Twitter: FOLLOW ADRIENNE
Instagram:ADRIENNE'S IG
Amazon Author Page: ADRIENNE ON KINDLE
Barnes and Noble: ADRIENNE ON NOOK
YouTube Channel: WATCH ADRIENNE

BOOK DRAMA ~ AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ AARON BEBO





When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer at age eight

How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes me anywhere between 60 to 90 days to get a complete first draft no edit done. 


What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I'm writing I'm wring periodically throughout the day. Writing a chapter, pacing the floor as I think of the direction of the next chapter. Jotting down notes on areas of development and so forth. This goes on daily if I am actually working on a story. 


TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE, TIL MY CASKET DROPS...


Latest synopsis for Til My Casket Drops: Marla Eubanks was hell in heels until she found herself pregnant and facing a twenty-year prison sentence at age seventeen. The bitter world she’d come from before her incarceration, left an even more bitter taste in her mouth; leaving Marla to face consequences her soul could not bear. When she gives birth to her son, Naseer Delux’ Eubanks, all of the coldness runs from her veins and into his.

Delux’ grows up at war with his own soul. He strives to right the wrongs done to his mother, while living in the same deadly underworld that sent her to prison. However, the stakes have grown higher over time. His mothers’ enemies, disguised as friends, could be anyone; and his mission to find out who’s who could cost him his life.
Even though Delux’ is cautioned, over and over again, to watch each player in this deadly game, he ignores all warnings in opposition to his need to quench his thirst for revenge. He vows that nothing except the blood from the treacherous and disloyal hearts responsible for his mother’s imprisonment will even the score. The hunt is on; but it won’t be long before one of the ghosts from his mother’s past finds him. Will Delux’ survive, or will the sins of his mother cause his casket to drop?

WHAT'S NEXT?
My next project is a surprise, but it is going to be very good. Bank on it.
Thank you very much Julia Press Simmons. For the wonderful spotlight. Reader's thank you for your time. Stay blessed.





Aaron Bebo is the of the critically acclaimed title Change For A Dollar. His debut. Aaron is a look into the urban terrain in a profound presentation of words. He spins tales so vividly that the reader is almost compelled to believe they are actually participating in every dialogue and location. His debut novel highlights the theme of transition. Bebo delivers the story in fine fashion with his detailed wit, and slick character dialogue. Her uses his uncanny view of the urban structure, and the conditions of the people that live there, to draw out a vivid tale. His is able to translate into words a broader spectrum of the ominous shadows that seemed to be an ever present force in the urban structure where he grew up. Aaron has also ghostwritten two novels outside the street fiction genre that have been published. One being a Non-fiction title on Cancer. He has also lent his time speaking to youths in the South Florida school system as well as juvenile detention centers. Aaron is also the author of Rat Hunters, Cupids Assassin, Bunches of Love, and Author Wives. The Long Story Short Series a collective of short stories which includes the titles; Accidental Nut, Area's Grey, On The Green, Mischievous. Bebo has also published works under the name Sadie Morris and Unique Styles.


Aaron most recently signed with the publishing house G Street Chronicles. Bebo's G Street Chronicles debut I Used To Love Her and Til My Casket Drops. Aaron Bebo currently resides in South Florida where he continues to write and connect with the people as a means of promoting literacy. You can connect with this author @AARON'S FACEBOOK , AARON'S TWITTER 
Read More Into Urban Culture....









Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weight Loss Journey Update

My journey so far...
.
October of last year everything changed. I realized I wanted to lose weight, but I wasn't able to commit to myself. So addicted to sugar, so convinced that I wasn't really going to be able to change, so uncomfortable with my weight, I was depressed. Truly sad inside. I experienced a series of personal loss and defeats. I became a different person, and that person scared me. She was weak. I didn't want to be her, so I started working out.

I went hard.



I would go to the gym 4 times a week and stay an hour each time. I did squat challenges, crunch challenges, every challenge. I didn't want to do it, but I didn't want to be weak, so I forced myself. In November I started to like it. I wanted to go to the gym. I couldn't really see the results, but I felt strong, and that was what I needed most, strength. December I was in a rhythm. I could see my body changing. Now, I was mad if I couldn't get to the gym. Food started to taste different. Sugar was less appealing. It was fucking working!!!!!

I went harder.

MISTAKE. I went to work after working out and my chest was hurting. I was rushed to the hospital. I thought they were going to tell me that I pulled a muscle, no such luck. I was being admitted to the stroke unit.

Did I have a stroke???

No but I was so anemic that I had to get several transfusions, my blood sugar kept bottoming out. I was told to stay out of the gym. My body couldn't handle the strain, and my heart was overworking. Come on man, I need to go to the gym. I need to sweat. I am trying to fix something that's broken.

Nope, no dice.

I stayed out of the gym, and started T25. That was enough for a while. I was getting toned, and still staying on the right track. Problem was, I was still working full time. My body couldn't take it. I had lost a total of 35lbs, but I gained back 10. I realized that I had to stop working and address my health issues if I really wanted to lose this weight. That's where I am right now. I am no longer working as a nurse. Back to full time authorhood, and full time lifestyle changes. Somewhere in the winter I fell in love with myself. I'm not thin... I still need to lose 90 lbs, but I'm not sad. I feel sexy in my clothes, and I am so blessed to have the Julia Press Simmons Weight Loss Group and their awesome support.


Until Next Time
Julia


Work From Home They Said with John H. Howard

I am a very stubborn and impulsive person. I always have been, and I probably always will be. And, although these attributes serve me w...