Solving Crosswords in Ink

I know there are those who look down their noses at people who don't, but I've never been so cock-sure of myself to dare try to solve a crossword puzzle with a pen. In fact, as a person with all the self-assurance of a whipped puppy (you know the type--the ones who pee whenever someone looks at them wrong), one might wonder what on earth ever possessed me to pursue the business of writing! Talk about leaving myself wide open to rejection and criticism! I've had to develop a pretty thick skin at times, though I've not yet reached imperviousness. The barbs still do hurt.

All I ever wanted to do was tell some stories, and suddenly I found myself sucked inside a screaming cyclone filled with daggers and poison darts and sledge hammers and flying monkeys and . . . okay, maybe it's not quite that bad. But at times it can be a rather ruthless business with a definite ugly side. I have been the victim of bullies, scam artists, and piracy. I have had to learn not to bite back when needlessly attacked. I have poured countless hours, dollars, and energy into self-promotion with no tangible reults. I have isolated myself from the people I love in order to write stories that, once published, seem to simply sink into a dark abyss, never to rise again.

So why do I do it?

I do it because I love to tell stories.

I do it because, over the years, I actually have managed to garner a handful of genuine fans.

I do it because I have been privileged to become acquainted with a small, supportive network of people just like me--helpful, congenial, everyday people who are also indie writers with stories to tell. Without this kind of support, I might find it nearly impossible to keep going.

Writing is a solitary job that one cannot do without the solid support from friends. I know I couldn't do it without mine, and I appreciate each and every one of you!

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY MERRY HOLIDAY SEASON AND THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE NEW YEAR!

May we all use 2015 to help make our world a better place.

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