9 COMMON MISTAKES IN WRITING FICTION by Susan Breen

NINE COMMON MISTAKES IN WRITING FICTION

By Susan Breen in The Gotham Writers Workshop

For more than a decade, I’ve taught fiction writing classes in New York City. A surprising variety of people have walked through my classroom doors, ranging from Broadway actors to retired English teachers to a few people unclassifiable. But oddly enough, although the students vary widely, as does the writing, the problems people run into stay remarkably the same. Nine writing mistakes crop up again and again.

1. Beginning the story too early.

Many writers start their stories before the interesting part. Way before. So instead of beginning with something intriguing, the author wallows for a few paragraphs or chapters, which causes the story to slow down. This is a particularly damaging mistake when you’re planning to send out material for publication. Anything that causes an editor’s attention to wilt is a bad thing.

Say you are writing a story about Cinderella. Here you have a vulnerable young woman whose step-family mistreats her. She longs for love, escape or a good time, depending on how you want to write the story. What should your opening paragraph say? Where are you going to begin?

You might decide to start with a bang and have the fairy godmother arrive in the opening paragraph.

“Who is that beautiful creature!” Cinderella cried out. She stared in awe at the vision in front of her. 

This sort of opening paragraph is the literary equivalent of shouting to the reader that she’s about to read an interesting story. Later in the story you’ll explain who Cinderella is and why we should care. For now, in this type of opening paragraph, you’re just grabbing attention.

You might prefer to start the story a little earlier in Cinderella’s day, before the fairy godmother gets there.  Perhaps when Cinderella is going about her chores.
 
Cinderella winced as she scrubbed the floor for the fiftieth time.

This sort of opening paragraph intrigues the reader with Cinderella’s character. Why does she have so much work? What sort of person is she that she’s not complaining? The reader suspects, from reading an opening like this, that something is going to happen that will disrupt Cinderella’s day.
 
Where writers go wrong is in starting the story much, much earlier in Cinderella’s day, around the time Cinderella wakes up.

Cinderella opened her eyes. She listened to the birds. She got out of bed and brushed her teeth. She hoped it would be a good day. She flossed.

This isn’t terrible, but it isn’t intriguing either. I don’t have a hint of what the plot’s going to be. Since waking up is something I do every day, so far, I’m not that excited that Cinderella’s doing it. Worst of all is that because so many writers start with someone waking up, it becomes just another waking up story to me. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Proust comes to mind. But if your story starts with someone waking up in bed, try cutting out the first three paragraphs. See how the story reads then. It almost always improves the story to chop out the beginning.

2. Leaving out the plot.

Have you ever run up to a friend and said, “I have the most amazing story to tell you. Nothing just happened!”

Probably not.

And yet I see stories all the time in which nothing happens. A mother sits at home with her kids and thinks about how difficult her life is. A man goes to work and thinks his job is boring. A kid thinks about how much homework he has. I’ve read variations of these stories countless times. These are all potentially great stories, but they need to be jump-started. They need to have a plot. Something has to happen.

Let’s go back to that harassed mother home with her kids. Her name is Carrie. What could happen that would set a story in motion for her? What if Carrie gets an email from a friend inviting her to meet for tea? Carrie would love to meet her. In fact, she’s desperate to get out of the house and have a normal conversation. But her toddlers are going through a difficult stage and the babysitter just quit and her mother has an important business meeting and can’t cancel it to help out Carrie. Now we’ve got Carrie in motion. We’ve made her want something. To get out of the house. We’ve given her an obstacle. Motherhood. She’s going to have to figure out a way to get a babysitter, or bundle those toddlers out of the house, or keep them quiet. The story could be funny, tragic, or somewhere in between. But something’s going to happen.

Notice, Carrie’s story is about a small thing: meeting for tea. There’s no tornado coming, or asteroid about to hit (though there could be). There’s plenty of drama in everyday life. Just make sure you ask your character what she wants, then make sure she has to work to get it.

3.  Letting the characters off too easily.

People show the stuff they’re made of when they’re put under stress. Sometimes they rise to the occasion and become heroic. Other times they run. Part of why war stories are so compelling is because soldiers face the ultimate stressful situations. They’re putting their lives on the line. Your character doesn’t need to face death, but he should have to deal with pressure.

For example, consider Bailey. He likes to play golf, but he’s not that good at it. Then he meets a woman who’s a very good golfer. He begins to care a little more about his game. Then the woman’s father invites them on a golfing vacation. Now our friend begins to care even more because he doesn’t want to look like a fool. Then it turns out that the father has been advising his daughter to break up with Bailey because he doesn’t consider him manly enough. Now Bailey cares even more. He’s going to beat this man if it’s the last thing he does. Then, on vacation, they run into the daughter’s old boyfriend, who just won a golfing tournament.

I could go on and on, but the point is that each twist of the wheel puts this poor man under more pressure. His actions are going to have more significant consequences if someone he loves is involved. His choices will be harder to make. The reader’s going to care about him more because we know how hard he’s struggling.  As a writer, I’m going to have an easier time writing a story when the stakes are higher. Is he going to crack? Or is he going to reach inside himself and find some strength of character he didn’t know he had?

In order to put your characters under pressure, you have to know them well. This is why fleshing out character is so important. For this story, I would want to know how Bailey learned to golf, how he met this woman, what sort of romantic history he has, where he works,  what he looks like, how much confidence he has, how he dresses and why on earth his parents decided to name him Bailey. The more I know about him, the more fully I can make him come alive. What if, in thinking about Bailey’s character, I realize that he was captain of his high school football team? Does that change things? I think so. Explore your characters. Get to know them. Make them suffer.

4. Being unwilling to make things up.

Almost all of us draw on autobiographical material when writing. This leads to a lot of powerful prose, and probably saves a ton of money in psychiatric bills. But it can also cause major problems with fiction writing because it can make it hard for the writer to make stuff up. And if you’re not making something up, you’re writing a journal entry, which can be beautiful, but is probably not a story.

Say you are inspired by your Uncle Louis, a real one-of-a-kind sort of guy who was one of the most colorful figures you ever knew. You always thought you wanted to write about him. He applied for a patent on a copying machine, and he got it. You write up the story, give it to me, and I say, “That’s great that Uncle Louis got the patent, but the story would have more tension if he didn’t get it.”

“But he did get it,” you say.

“Yes,” I say, “but the story would be better if he didn’t.”
 
“But he did get it. Patent number 3333.”
 
“Well,” I say, “what if a woman steals his patent then?”

“But he was married to Aunt Irene for 50 years.”

You see where I’m going with this? Keeping the story too tied to Uncle Louis makes it difficult for the writer to use his imagination. It’s locking him into someone else’s story. It’s taking away the author’s power.

What to do? First, think of why Uncle Louis appeals to you. Why do you want to write his story? Is it because you admire his fighting spirit? Can you create a character who has that same fighting spirit but is different than Uncle Louis? Maybe, instead of making your character a little old man, you could make him a young man with red hair. Or, make him into a woman. The key thing is to take ownership of him. He’s no longer your uncle. He’s your character. You can do with him what you want.

5. Muddying point of view

If there’s one issue writing students worry about more than any other, it’s point of view. What is it? they ask.  Am I doing right? Am I in omniscient or third? Should I be in omniscient or third? Many times the confusion over point of view overwhelms the story, and it certainly overwhelms the writer. The key thing to keep in mind is that choosing the right point of view will help you tell your story. That’s all. No one will come out and arrest you if you get it wrong. You’re just likely to confuse the reader.

Consider the differences between these two paragraphs.

In the first:

Cinderella longed to go to the ball. She dreamed of finding true love because no one ever loved her. She looked at the rose bush in front of her, inhaled its delicate bouquet and hoped that someday she would hold a bouquet like this when she married.

In the second:

Cinderella wanted to go to the ball. Prince Charming hoped he met her there. She put on a dress. He wanted to find some slippers. There was a pumpkin in the window.

In the first example, (which I hope you think is better), we’re seeing the world through Cinderella’s eyes. We’re feeling what she feels. We’re identifying with her. In the second example we don’t know who we’re rooting for: Cinderella, Prince Charming or the pumpkin. Finding the right point of view helps the reader understand what the story is about.

Culled from Gotham Writer Workshop blog.

here is a link to the part 2: http://bit.ly/KoVshp HAPPY READING. WE HOPE YOU BECOME A BETTER WRITER FROM THIS.

Debonair’s Book Marketing Workshop

Introduction by Debonair Bookstore.

Now more than ever, writing and publishing a book has never been easier.

With advances in technology, the cost of publishing a book is just a fraction of what it used to be several years ago.

As easy as it is to now publish books, Authors have to do their own marketing. That is the reality of the publishing industry whether you get a publishing deal or you self-publish.

This means before you even write the first word on your book, you need to know how you intend to market and promote your book! If you already have a manuscript or have already published your book it’s not too late.

These days anyone can market globally using just a computer and their time. It may take effort, but it doesn’t need to cost you anything – and you might even enjoy it!

Generally accepted statistics indicate that about 96% of published books sell less than 1000 copies meaning that less than 10% of authors can make a living from publishing books.

However, these odds do not have to be stacked against you if you take time to prepare and learn from the experts.

For the first time in Nigeria, a bestselling author and the founder of Nigeria’s first online bookstore have teamed up to bring you success keys on how to sell 10,000 copies of your book using real-life gems that they have unearthed in the course of their experience in the book industry.

This workshop is targeted at aspiring authors, existing authors, consultants, speakers, professionals, publishing firms and anyone interested or related to the book industry.

For workshop fees and other details, follow this link:

http://debonairbookstore.com/bookblog/?p=287

Debonair’s Book Marketing Workshop

Introduction by Debonair Bookstore.

Now more than ever, writing and publishing a book has never been easier.

With advances in technology, the cost of publishing a book is just a fraction of what it used to be several years ago.

As easy as it is to now publish books, Authors have to do their own marketing. That is the reality of the publishing industry whether you get a publishing deal or you self-publish.

This means before you even write the first word on your book, you need to know how you intend to market and promote your book! If you already have a manuscript or have already published your book it’s not too late.

These days anyone can market globally using just a computer and their time. It may take effort, but it doesn’t need to cost you anything – and you might even enjoy it!

Generally accepted statistics indicate that about 96% of published books sell less than 1000 copies meaning that less than 10% of authors can make a living from publishing books.

However, these odds do not have to be stacked against you if you take time to prepare and learn from the experts.

For the first time in Nigeria, a bestselling author and the founder of Nigeria’s first online bookstore have teamed up to bring you success keys on how to sell 10,000 copies of your book using real-life gems that they have unearthed in the course of their experience in the book industry.

This workshop is targeted at aspiring authors, existing authors, consultants, speakers, professionals, publishing firms and anyone interested or related to the book industry.

For workshop fees and other details, follow this link:

http://debonairbookstore.com/bookblog/?p=287

LAGOS AND GENTLEMEN

There are gentlemen in Lagos. Who ever said “gentle man no dey Lagos” lied. I am a Gentleman and I am in Lagos, dohh! But, then, what are the trappings of a gentleman? I know what they are though. But you tell me..

I do stuff like saying please, and saying thank you. I do lots of playing doorman to the ladies; I don’t walk behind her especially when climbing up a staircase, donning those mind-blowing skimpy-shorty-thingys; I don’t fart in the elevator; anytime I wandered into the ladies, I always say “pardone moi, madmoselles, moi est dyslexique ni”. After peeing, I always flush the toilet even if the shit isn’t mine, I don’t ogle too openly at those tantalizing cleavages; I give up my seat to ladies and elderly folks; I assist children and women and the bothersome elderly in crossing the road even if they were Zebras.

If these character traits don’t make me a Lagosian I understand, but they make me a Gentleman as gentlemen comes. Since I got born again, I’ve begun to reconsider my Emotional Intelligence Quotient. That is my attitude to people, places and things. GET REAL, THIS IS LAGOS, SHINE YOUR EYES, DON’T DULL.

Some folks are naturally endowed with high Emotional Intelligence Quotient, while some have to learn it- sometimes through hard knocks. Having acquired such virtues, we must, by any means necessary adapt to Lagos’ street-life. The life on the street is a crazy fast lane where a snail has no business at all. Everybody is in a rush to get somewhere and fast- elbowing, kicking, scratching, bitting, and pushing everything and everyone out of the way. There is no looking uche face.

Unless you are the paid doorman, there is no rhyme or reason in opening doors for others to get in before you, even if she is a lady. It makes sense to elbow her out of the way to get in first, and apologize for your crudeness later, only if she is your girlfriend, your wife, your sister, or your grandmother. A lady owes you no apologies if she head-butt you to get in before you. You just understand and roll with the punch. That’s getting real LAGOS STYLE.

Lagos teaches you to be pro-active. You are pressed and the elevator is so god-awfully slow to reach the floor, just let-go in the corner where noboby may step on the poop, it would’ve been more convenient to have done it in the gutter on the street before you got to the elevator though. The elevator is nobody’s papa’s living room. If you are ridding in an elevator with a lady and someone just let off a bad stinker, pinch your nostrils and keep spitting into the corner till you reach the floor and get off. You are late for the job interview, or for work, or an appointment, it is understandable if you beat the Red Light or drive on the wrong lane, it is alright, everybody does it here, even lawyers and policemen, and prison wardens. The traffic rules are made to be broken for a price; you can always tip those traffic wardens and pay less. Sometimes you get lucky to get discounts- you pay for one and break one for free. THIS IS LAGOS and anything goes most of the time.

You are forgiven if you don’t use the pedestrian crossing, or if you ignore the stupid kindergarten, or the senile old lady waiting to cross the busy expressway. You don’t have 24 hours of daylight here. Get real, no dulling, THIS IS LAGOS, and every gentleman and Lady is heading somewhere fast. There is no dulling in this Lagos.

OF SISTAHS AND FAKING IT

During the middle passage, she was pinging away on her BlackBerry. While I huff and puff, and humph, bearing the weight of my payload back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. All that wouldn’t have bothered me at all, but for two things:

Firstly- the irritating beeps from her BlackBerry, that was rather too frequent and too loud, mingling with the “slip-slurp-slap sound from her RedCherry, turned me off. I mean, ‘off’ like flicking a light switch and everything becoming dark and glummy. The gripe was cutting into my concentration. I was trying to stay on course for more than the meager 5 minutes most quickies last.

Secondly- OMG, I am so peeved with this one; it really got my goat, I was so miffed I nearly had a seizure. This is unforgivable; it is a sin more grievous than the original one: SHE FORGOT TO FAKE A ORGASM.

She could have at least given a brotha that sense of accomplishment. It was a big fart waste: the time, the effort and the hard-earned money doled out before I could even get it on. This is sinful. Very sad and unforgivably sinful.

SCATTER-BRAINS & SHIT FOR BRAINS BOSSES

Chose you this Monday who you will work for. A Scatter-Brain or a Shit For Brain boss, who will you rather work for? I will give you a clue for free (friends only). And please do not share this, it is confidential.

I like Shit For Brain bosses less. They tend to have too much of nick, knack and junks stuffed up there in their attics. They always seem to have a bee buzzing round and round and round, in their golden bowls. They are too straight-faced for my comfort. So straight you would think a stick has been pushed up their spine through their rear openings. These sorta people are the geeks- special breeds like Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, and the Next Moron that makes it to the top of the digital food-chain.

These people (if we can call them people at all) are the Digital Natives of this planets, and the rest of us are the Aliens. Their dexterous fingers are always on our buttons, especially the CTRL and SHIFT buttons. Only they know how to work it, and make us work in their virtual plantations (no pun intended) but they are the kings and Queens, and we are the puns. We do the dirty jobs, they take the sweet-smelling dough, and lay us off in droves when we get burnt out.

You are supposed to think, act, breathe, pee, shit fuck like a robot if you got a SFB as boss. You think SFB are the endangered specie for their relatively small population on this dying planet? Pooh! Think again! they are just everywhere dictators could be found.

No, no, no, no, don’t you dare think Hitler, Mussolini, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Bob Mugabe or Muammar Gaddaffi- these guys are mere hot-air-for-brains, they ain’t as full of shit as the others. They are themselve underlings in the dung-pile of dictatorial fiefdom.

I like Scatter Brains better. They are the ideal sorta bosses. Excellent to work for. Great Team Players they are.

With a scatter-Brain boss, everyday is Good Friday because they hate Mondays too.

They often forget who is boss, and they play gofer, running the errands for coffee and cigarettes, bubble gums, and condoms too, if you ever needed one in the office.

A scatter brain boss lets you count the loot and do the math; and if you got it wrong they never notice, or simply ignore your dumb-ass mistakes.

You are never tight-assed around a Scatter Brain boss, because you are at liberty to go poop or take a leak or jack-off during bored meetings.

With a scatter-brain boss you always meet your deadline. If you get two weeks late in handing in your report, don’t worry, just explain the situation to her slowly, slowly, slowly. Make her see that the deadline is still two weeks away. Observe her roll her eyes heavenward and apologize for bothering you too soon.

If you arrived at your 9-5 by 4:30 pm, complaining about bad traffic or nagging wife or recalcitrant girlfriend, she gives you the rest of the day off, to unwind.

NOTE: I did not abbreviate “Scatter Brain” to the acronym “SB” because that will make my boss look like a Son-of-a-Bitch. He really is a nice guy, when he’s not jerking around, dramatizing Niccolo Machiavelli’s “The Prince”. My boss got brains as well as stashed-away vintage here, there, and everywhere.

My boss will let you use his crib or sit in his swivel chair to take a mid-monday nap if you came to work with a hang over. The jolly-good chap allows you access to the hoard of liquors stashed away under his desk, if only you would ask nicely.

If you emerged Best Staff of The Year, you get every Monday off thereinafter. A Scatter Brain kinda bossing is very good for Monday work ethics; A Monday could be such a drag you know, and we all could use some respite sometime.

Tomorrow is Monday (every dreary day is Monday except Friday) It will be your chance to find out if your boss is a native or a alien. Shit For Brain (SFB) boss is still a lot to be thankful for. Folks are worse off: they got computers and micro chips for bosses. With such Artificial Intelligences (A.I.) you never know where you stand.

GOOD LUCK AT WORK TOMORROW FOLKS

OF PICK UP LINES AND A PECULIAR MESS

She slapped me on the bum and said she liked the flatness of it, and that I must be hung like a horse. Now don’t jump to conclusion. Nothing new happened, trust me. Let’s concern ourselves with what transpired between when everything good came, and when things fall apart.

IT ALL BEGAN THUS :

“Hello, I yam Millicent, but you can ‘calls’ Mimi…”.

“Hi, my name is Chris. Chris, as in Pastor Chris…”

I had the premonition to let this one slide. I should have known sirens of Allen Avenue do not come to you by chance.

…AND IT ENDED THUS :

“Go f@rck ya sef, broke ass pin-dick!”

“Screw you, c@ck-sucking biyatch, ain’t paying anymore sh!t”

The moral of the story is simple: THE LOVE OF MONEY IS EVIL

OF ACCENTS AND PICK-UP LINES

Her Yoruba accent was so heavy, it wasn’t just dripping from her bright-red-lip-sticked mouth, it was like a rain of bricks. They were petering me about the ears like hailstones. Believe me, hailstones hurt, so does her accent. Ouch!

There is a certain wisdom in letting sleeping dogs lie, but I have not been discerning this time. I have opened my mouff too soon and too wide to chat up the delectable-looking belle. But who would have known that miss Redlip Belle would turn out this way. She wasn’t spotting any of those tribal makings favoured by Nigerian people and cultures. A tribal mark would have given her away. Placing her tribe would have afforded me an insight into what to expect and what not to.

I call to mind those deep, long vertical tribal scars favoured by The Native
People of Oyo. It would really have matched that heavy accent Miss Redlips Belle carry about. But she didn’t have any on her nicely sculptured face. What I saw there told a different story, even if her phonetic artillery was telling another entirely. This young lady should be a bill board model; not modeling Victoria’s Secrets, she should be modeling Fake Eyelashes, Gum-Gum Rubber Weave-ons, and Contacts lenses made in Aba.
Why did I try to toast her? I wasn’t really in the mood- frustrated with the grilling mid-day Lagos heat, sweaty in that cramped space in the smelly-belly of the beast 44-sitting 99 standing molue. I wasn’t in my best form it is not hunting season yet. Well, What Would jesus Do? I had to take my chances. Who knows when the best opportunities come knocking.

If you care to ask me, the most frustrating aspect of this tripe was her heavy-duty accented talkativeness. I could never have assumed, fertile as my imaginative perception is, that any one human being could have so much air in him or her. It had started from Obalende, when I first smiled and say “hi, I’m Chris; it will be nice to ride with you blah blah blah”.

I feel guilty now, telling you all this. Tribal idiosyncrasy is a all-pervasive social phenomenon, and I can’t discriminate against people on that. We all have it- idiosyncrasy. I do too: The Frogs speak English with a accent; the Ibo man (or woman) speak Chinese with a accent; in my case I can never seem to pronounce “egg” or “air” without a “H”. It sucks really. But what sucks the most is that I can never seem to operate my well-rehearsed Pick Up Line without a “h”itch. Eish!

In this regard I forgive Miss LaBelle De La Lipstick Rogue, and let her off my hook. But not before I’d asked for her phone number: she had reeled off the number in the same breath she’s been yakking on and on in: sero-hate-sero tatty-fife-sefenti-wan****. I fumbled with the Alpha-numeric keys of my Blackberry as I tried to type and save sero-hate-sero etc. I could have asked her to repeat for me, but I spared us the ordeal. I just wrote mine on a card and hand the card to her. Without a second look at it she slid the card into her bra, shortly before the bus rolled into Iyana-Iworo bus stop where she alighted.

A sweat-oozing, lace-clad, hairy, mountain of a man unceremoniously squeezed his smoldering bulk into the just-vacated space beside me. Ain’t talking to this gorilla. He has no curtsy. There, still hanging onto the hand-rails, is a lady that could used that seat beside me. Eish!

Fidelity Bank invites entries for Creative Writers Workshop

The Faculty for the workshop: Helon Habila, Aminatta Forna, and Sally Keith

Entries would be accepted from May 14 to June 4, 2012

The workshop this year would focus on fiction, poetry, and creative writing. Candidates must apply based on their field of interest.

To apply: email creative.writing@fidelitybankplc.com email should bear title ‘Workshop Entry’. Body of email should contain: 

1. Your Name

2. Your address.

3. A few sentences about yourself (not more than 500 words).

4. A writing sample between 200 – 1000 words. 

Acceptance would be based on quality of the entry. Entry must be pasted on body of mail, not in attachments! 

Successful applicants would be notified on June 20.

Copy & pasted with respect from:

http://ynaija.com/2012/05/16/thisshouldconcernyou-fidelity-bank-is-currently-accepting-entries-for-their-annual-creative-writers-workshop/

OF NATURE’S GIFT TO MEN

Man, did you see that ass today! I said to myself, “This is the place man! I will come again and again to this café.”

The chicken pie was a dream, the Coke was so criminally chilled I thought I might go to hell for my indulgence; Cool, dimly-lit ambient space, soulful music, I mean Music with a “M”, cascading so gently out of the muffled unseen speakers, fine aromatic oil burning with that heavenly scent. I am so inspired I can cry right now.

Haven done added to my karmic burden for my hedonistic indulgence, and feeling like I can fly, I walked up to her- from behind- with my eyes cross-haired on the cleavage Le Bon Deux has so masterfully carved on that thing her mama gave her. It was marvelous in my eyes. A lot of things are Nature’s gift to men, this masterpiece of arse was a lot of things to my mind. But I bungled it.

It was tempting to touch, but I didn’t touch it. I didn’t get the chance to touch it. She got up and stood straight, as I started to yammer “when do you go for lunch?”. That was a wrong pick up line. The look on her face was like “???Excuse me???”. My Blackberry beeped just then (talk about being saved by the bell) For loss of what to say further, I took my lusty eyes off her and pasted them on the screen of my BB. Spell “embarrass”, that was my name that awkward moment. I didn’t mean to say the wrong things, but those stupid words just came thumbling and fumbling out. “When do you go for lunch?”. Dohh!

I have a “tried and true” pick up line that works, I only just forgot it ni. I should have asked her for her number (matic number), or her pin (hairpin), or her mother’s maiden name, for that matter. That should have worked better than that silliest of questions about lunch breaks.

She got a pretty face, the kinda face I will want to put on my night nurse. The very kinda face I want to wake up to see lying next to me every cock-crow at dawn. Maybe I should off asked her to marry me. But such good-thinkings never occur to you when you needed them in such dire straits like I found my self in today.

Well, I’ve accomplished much for one day, at any rate. At least I’ve fed my famished body, my needy soul, my yearning spirit, and my lusty eyes. I feel fulfilled also that I have made a mistake. A mistake to learn from and be a better man when I grow up, if I grow up. Now I need not learn from other folks mistakes for a week at most. I got enough of my own to give me a PhD if I should care to learn from them.

I will certainly go back to La Caféteria De Musé tomorrow. I hope tomorrow comes, and if it comes, is not miss Fanny’s off day. I hope, and I pray.