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Eat Me: My Dinner With….by Mark Edgemon and Robert Moriyama

PostPosted: September 15, 2009, 06:20:39 PM
by Bill_Wolfe
Okay,

Now this was funny. I know I asked for more along these lines, and this one did not disappoint.

The humor was consistent, and the pacing of the silliness just seems to keep the reader going, accepting each outrageous new premise in the vein in which it is offered.

Quite enjoyable, and a form of talespinning that deserves more consideration.

Only one play on words escaped me. . .I tried for a good half-hour to figure-out what clever wordplay Ndeiram Kabur was supposed to mean.

Imagine my disappointment when I finally looked it up.

Very cool.


Bill Wolfe

Writing this piece

PostPosted: September 20, 2009, 10:40:46 AM
by Mark Edgemon
Bill,

Thank you for your kind comments. I'm greatful that you liked it. It was the third of three stories ("My Brief Affair With Marilyn Monroe" and "...But That's Another Story" being the other two) which featured a character I call "the hapless fool" who gets away with murder, by causing careless accidents which devastates or destroys others around them while they themselves get off without a scratch. I suppose that kind of person makes me angry and why I can write humor pointing it out.

There was a huge hole in the original version of the story that I did not see until the voice artist who read the performance pointed it out to me "after" making the recording. I had sent it in to Robert before realizing the problem, but he fixed it seemlessly and had added some of his own creative and imaginative prose, which filled out the story even more and added some additional clever humor.

So, thank you for the favorable review, Bill.

Mark

Eat Me

PostPosted: September 23, 2009, 08:03:35 AM
by bottomdweller
I really did not care for this at all. I really enjoyed Marilyn, but this installment seemed thrown together and un-orginal. It reminded me a lot of John O'Hurley's character on Seinfeld - and if you can't do it better - why do it at all?
Specifically:
1st paragraph: I don't think the character would say 'I'm', he would emphasize his importance by beginning 'I am' - almost with the same tone of voice as the obivious 'I am' (god). 3rd sentence, I'd rather see 'rather' at the beginning than 'or'.
para 6: The However at the start of the 3rd sentence works as a stop sign. How about, "I took some solice in the fact, however, that the animal..."
para 6 4th sentence: It really doesn't have a verb in the 1st half of the sentence - so it's confusing. How about:"Soon after the notion of lying in piesces in some large animal's stomach occured to me, the mystery in the ...."
paragraph 7: 2nd sentence: There are too many 'that's so lose one of them. The same problem occurs in paragraph 8, 2nd sentence.
paragraph 8, last sentence: ...so I would have to wait to see if I was in the clutches of friends - huh? No one would say "I'm in the clutches of friends. How about: in the safety of friends or in the clutches of foes...
paragraph 13: sentence 3: sack is singular so the verb should be 'was'.
paragraph 17 should contain: And then the most remarkable thing happened: (colon instead of comma because you are going to explain what happened). 2nd sentence: until the entire tribe WAS sneezing (tribe is the subject of your paragraph, not 'another one and another one'
Anyway, I really enjoyed the piece about Marilyn and was disappointed in this one. I know you can do better.

Re: Eat Me

PostPosted: September 23, 2009, 11:03:26 AM
by Mark Edgemon
bottomdweller wrote:I really did not care for this at all. I really enjoyed Marilyn, but this installment seemed thrown together and un-orginal....

Anyway, I really enjoyed the piece about Marilyn and was disappointed in this one. I know you can do better.


Somehow. your take and review of this story is not surprising . It doesn't have a strong female lead and there are no horror related themes such as zombies and decaying flesh.

It "was" kind of you to take great pains to break down so many sentence structures of a story you clearly didn't like in the first place to locate word choices you would rather have seen written differently...of a story you didn't like to begin with. :o

I'll tell you what I'm going to do. Since others have liked the story as written, I'll leave it untampered. However, Dan Edelman and I have a private challenge going for Halloween to write the most horrid, horror story we each can write, going into the depths of depravity as only we can, which will soon be on coffee tables shortly after Halloween. I'll dress it up and deliver it to you by way of Aphelion or e-mail attachment for your amusement and horrific entertainment.

Mark

I'm surprised that that 'that' annoyed bottomdweller...

PostPosted: September 23, 2009, 11:50:40 AM
by Robert_Moriyama
Given that bottomdweller has such a clear idea of how Mark's pompous buffoon of a narrator SHOULD speak, I would have thought that excessive precision (no dropping of grammatically-correct conjunctions, please -- we're anal!) in his speech would have seemed entirely appropriate.

(Upon review, however, I think the "however" could be removed entirely.)

:twisted:

Re: I'm surprised that that 'that' annoyed bottomdweller...

PostPosted: September 23, 2009, 01:12:43 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Robert_Moriyama wrote:Post title: I'm surprised that that 'that' annoyed bottomdweller...

Given that bottomdweller has such a clear idea of how Mark's pompous buffoon of a narrator SHOULD speak, I would have thought that excessive precision (no dropping of grammatically-correct conjunctions, please -- we're anal!) in his speech would have seemed entirely appropriate.

(Upon review, however, I think the "however" could be removed entirely.)


Funny and accurate observations!

So, let it be hereforth determined and forewith expelled by the secret powers, embeded in the elements of Earth, Wind and Fire that that word "however" be cast into The Fifth Dimension and into any other 70's music icons from this day forward.

That word however, that caused some of the comments about that word however, didn't seem excessive to me. But that however...is just me!

Mark

Eat me

PostPosted: September 24, 2009, 08:30:44 AM
by bottomdweller
It's been stated as a good rule for editing your own writing, to go back through and take out 1/3 of the words - to make the story as clean as possible. I have a big problem with the word 'that' in my spoken language and my stories - so I really try to be cautious not to use THAT word too many times, too closely together.
Overall, the thing I did not like about the story is that it is not really a story as much as a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I saw exactly this scenerio, in fact, in a 1940s Bugs Bunny cartoon. The only thing that was left out in this story were the tribesmen in black-face that kept peeking out of their row of huts.
If someone is new to fiction - or is just not a writer - I tend to be charitable...but Mark is too good a writer to settle for common.
More specifically - with Marilyn Monroe's story, some kind of research was going on about the topic (the 1950s and early 1960s). There was no research here - you could have included the genus of the trees in the jungle, or some of the odd creatures found there - but this piece was just lazy writing - especially for a writer with his talent.
The reason I include thoughts on grammer is that anyone can use punctuation properly.

Eat Me

PostPosted: September 24, 2009, 08:43:37 AM
by bottomdweller
And since Mark brought up how his book will be on coffeetables just after Halloween, allow me to follow up with the opportunity to have my book on your coffeetable NOW - you can read it Against A Diamond Sky if you hold it up to the stars at night. Eat Me? bite me.

Re: Eat me

PostPosted: September 24, 2009, 09:03:16 AM
by Mark Edgemon
bottomdweller wrote:It's been stated as a good rule for editing your own writing, to go back through and take out 1/3 of the words - to make the story as clean as possible. I have a big problem with the word 'that' in my spoken language and my stories - so I really try to be cautious not to use THAT word too many times, too closely together.
Overall, the thing I did not like about the story is that it is not really a story as much as a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I saw exactly this scenerio, in fact, in a 1940s Bugs Bunny cartoon. The only thing that was left out in this story were the tribesmen in black-face that kept peeking out of their row of huts.


Thanks for the kind words.

The technique of removing 1/3 of the words to clean up a story, making it tighter was something I haven't heard before and will give it some thought in the future.

I had not seen the Bugs Bunny cartoon you mentioned and wondered if the tribesmen sneezed themselves to death at the end. If so, that would be eery.

The story was in fact a light hearted spoof of the old type travel programs like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and was actually meant to be cartoonish and bafoonish, more like a cartoon than a serious story. It was meant to just have fun with the stupidity of the character and show how these kind of people always seems to land on their feet while wreaking havoc with those around them.

As far as the language and the correctness of the grammer, I wasn't caring at the time and didn't reread it a dozen times like I normally would to tighten the languauge, I just thought it was funny and released it thinking others would think so as well.

It may have struck you as lame, because it was the second in a row of this kind of story. Also, the Marilyn story was more dark tragic humor which was based in reality, while this story was just plain bafoonery.

I hope I will be able to pick up your spirits with the Halloween story I mentioned in the previous post. I intend it to be the most serious natured story I have ever written.

Dan Edelman had said in a Marilyn story post that he would have liked to see that story with a more serious ending and so through conversations afterwards, we devised a personal challenge between ourselves to write the most horrific story we are each able to write and this offering may be more to your liking. I hope it is.

You said you write, how do I find your written works? Are there any on Aphelion or on other sites I can access? Let me know.

And thanks for your sincere observations which I will take to heart.

Mark

Word Woes

PostPosted: September 24, 2009, 05:40:31 PM
by TaoPhoenix
I think there's an Accordion problem here.

Not counting special challenges, I for one gravitate to certain medium lengths, such that it does take a few sittings to really build out the tale. & The correct percentage to me feels like 20% rather than 33%.

I'd revise the rule to "1. Add 100% more words. Then remove 20% of the new result."

Eat Me

PostPosted: September 25, 2009, 07:44:45 AM
by bottomdweller
As far as my stories (since you asked) just Google me - Michele Dutcher - to get links to my tales. I try to Google myself at least once a day. If you'd like to read my novella: if you read it at night, you can see it Against a Diamond Sky, if it's not cloudy. See, I did it again (ha, ha).
Mickie D The brat
Artifical intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

New Author On My Reading List

PostPosted: September 26, 2009, 08:12:18 AM
by Mark Edgemon
Michele Dutcher said:
As far as my stories (since you asked) just Google me - Michele Dutcher - to get links to my tales.

I'm looking forward to searching out your written works and reading them during breaks this weekend and throughout the following week. May print them out to take with me during times that I'm out and waiting in between projects.

I'll get back with you. Thanks Michelle,

Mark

Reading your stories

PostPosted: September 27, 2009, 12:29:03 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Michele Dutcher said:
As far as my stories (since you asked) just Google me - Michele Dutcher - to get links to my tales.

Michele,

Well, you are definitely a writer of professional ability. I got a lot out of reading your work this morning and I have saved a link, so I can go to them and study elements of your writing. I'm impressed with your use of dialogue in "A Pocket Filled With Posies" while maintaining descriptive wording of the environment and inner workings of the minds of your characters.

A memorable passage from this story was, "At fifty-six thousand feet, the sliver of light on the Eastern horizon of Earth formed a perfect crescent, ushering in another day. The Eastern edge of the Atlantic Ocean was warming up to a sapphire color as the sunlight began to race across its surface."

Beautifully word crafted, creating worlds we as readers can live in.

I was also impressed with your imagination in your story, "Stormchasers", inventing a reversal in the food chain with pigs eating humans, "the third white meat" and making it believable. The dialogue right off not only gave you a description of the appearance of the character, but his personality and mindset. The passage I'm referring to, "The human was maybe forty sol-years old, and wore a beige, cloth jacket. He was heavy in a sturdy, muscled kind of way -- the kind of man who would gladly accept a duel of arm wrestling." set the stage from the beginning of what kind of person the character was.

So, I will learn a lot from reading your works. I'm appreciative of you pointing them out to me and I thank you for your comments on my stories.

Mark

PostPosted: September 27, 2009, 01:36:20 PM
by unforgibbon
I think this piece would've been far more poignant had it been played straight. Yes, I said that about Mark's last effort, but for a different reason.

To paraphrase Monty Python's Colonel, "This is just too silly," for my taste. It seemed that the story exists solely in service of the puns and one liners, as with a comedy skit, which may have been Mark's intent, but I did not find it compelling reading. Doesn't it seem the buffoonery we've witnessed thus far in the 21st century has had some pretty dark consequences? That the innocent and hapless pay dearly for the hubris of others? To me that's a theme with some resonance.

Lest anyone thinks I have absolutely no sense of humor—which is an understandable conclusion to draw given my posts on Mark's works—I did find it funny imagining Bill W. racking his gigantic brain for the play on words in Ndeiram Kabur.

Reviews

PostPosted: September 27, 2009, 09:25:55 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Anyone up for a crucifixion? I know some Aphelion regulars who are running the nail concession.

The opposite problem...

PostPosted: September 27, 2009, 11:41:01 PM
by Robert_Moriyama
Don't feel bad, Mark. In the early stories in the Al Majius series, Al was something of a hapless buffoon (he and Janine, his wife, were at least somewhat modeled after Al and Peggy Bundy). When the stories took on a more serious tone (I blame Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels, and the later Harry Potter books), some people complained that they missed the magical screw-up element that provided some of the humor in the first two or three stories.

So in my case, they wanted more comedy -- in your case, they (or at least one reader) want(s) less!

(It seemed odd to me to say that a story would be more poignant if it had been told "straight", when even the title indicates that it is meant to be a farce, and poignancy wasn't what you were aiming for... but so it goes.)

RM

Re: The opposite problem...

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 12:05:29 AM
by unforgibbon
Robert_Moriyama wrote:(It seemed odd to me to say that a story would be more poignant if it had been told "straight", when even the title indicates that it is meant to be a farce, and poignancy wasn't what you were aiming for... but so it goes.)

RM


Perhaps it is odd, but this simply boils down to a question of my preference, and I suppose I should've qualified my remarks because I really didn't provide much in the way of constructive critique.

Of course this piece was meant to be farce. There was never a promise of anything other than light-hearted comedy. Great. But again, it didn't appeal to me. However, what did work--and was buried beneath the punny names and general fun--was the idea of the Western buffoon trashing yet another traditional society. And for me, I'd prefer a darker treatment of that theme. I think it deserves poignancy. Why? I dunno. Blame it on the weather.

Critiques in general

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 12:16:56 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Robert Moriyama said:
Don't feel bad, Mark. In the early stories in the Al Majius series, Al was something of a hapless buffoon (he and Janine, his wife, were at least somewhat modeled after Al and Peggy Bundy). When the stories took on a more serious tone (I blame Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels, and the later Harry Potter books), some people complained that they missed the magical screw-up element that provided some of the humor in the first two or three stories.

So in my case, they wanted more comedy -- in your case, they (or at least one reader) want(s) less!

(It seemed odd to me to say that a story would be more poignant if it had been told "straight", when even the title indicates that it is meant to be a farce, and poignancy wasn't what you were aiming for... but so it goes.)

RM


I don't feel bad, Robert. It's just that we have some seriously gifted writers such as bottomdweller and unforgibbon who take their writing and their reading more seriously and I wasn't able to do it for them in my last two comic send ups. That's okay. Ricky Nelson had it right when he sang the immortal words from the song "Garden Party" "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." He of course died in a flaming plane crash, so I'm not so sure I should be quoting him.

They also like darker themes and while the "Marilyn" story certainly had that going for it, I could not explore more darker, deeper possibilities which I believe would have muted the comedy aspect.

Having said that, I have a challenge with unforgibbon to write the most horrid, horror story each of us can write to be finished by Halloween Oct. 31. 5,000 word limit, extreme horror and in by Halloween are the only requirements.

As a writer, I know I'm perceived as a featherweight, which is only because I am, although I believe this time I can rise to the challenge and maybe surprise some people.

But let me say once again that I appreciate you repairing the hole in the plot of this story and adding some of your own humor, which you adapted seemlessly into the story. Believe me when I say that there are other people out there like Bill, who enjoy this type of genre and story.

Mark

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 01:33:49 PM
by unforgibbon
Mark Edgemon wrote:I don't feel bad, Robert. It's just that we have some seriously gifted writers such as bottomdweller and unforgibbon who take their writing and their reading more seriously and I wasn't able to do it for them in my last two comic send ups. That's okay. Ricky Nelson had it right when he sang the immortal words from the song "Garden Party" "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." He of course died in a flaming plane crash, so I'm not so sure I should be quoting him.

They also like darker themes and while the "Marilyn" story certainly had that going for it, I could not explore more darker, deeper possibilities which I believe would have muted the comedy aspect.

Having said that, I have a challenge with unforgibbon to write the most horrid, horror story each of us can write to be finished by Halloween Oct. 31. 5,000 word limit, extreme horror and in by Halloween are the only requirements.

As a writer, I know I'm perceived as a featherweight, which is only because I am, although I believe this time I can rise to the challenge and maybe surprise some people.

But let me say once again that I appreciate you repairing the hole in the plot of this story and adding some of your own humor, which you adapted seemlessly into the story. Believe me when I say that there are other people out there like Bill, who enjoy this type of genre and story.

Mark


First of all, I reject two things here, Mark: (1) Who says I take my writing more seriously than you do? Because, in the case of your last two pieces, I preferred something "darker"? Nonsense. You're gonna tell me that MASH was, at its heart, less serious than Apocalypse Now? (2) You may be the only one who perceives you as a "featherweight." I hope everyone agrees that those are bullsh!t statements and Mark should take them back.

Mark must continue to write the stories he wants to write the way he wants to write them. End of conversation as far as I'm concerned.

PS - Hey Mark, I've overshot the 5,000-word limit and so I'll be mired in revisions for the next month desperately trying to trim the piece down. Well that and attempting to make the thing even remotely horrid.

Praise not, lest you anger them!

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 02:25:45 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Unforgibbon said:
First of all, I reject two things here, Mark: (1) Who says I take my writing more seriously than you do? Because, in the case of your last two pieces, I preferred something "darker"? Nonsense. You're gonna tell me that MASH was, at its heart, less serious than Apocalypse Now?

To an increasingly angrier unforgibbon,

I was paying you a high compliment having read your works over the last month or so with this quote.
It's just that we have some seriously gifted writers such as bottomdweller and unforgibbon who take their writing and their reading more seriously and I wasn't able to do it for them in my last two comic send ups.


What part of that wasn't praise? You and bottomdweller are both much better writers than I am. It was evident in your story "Helldiver" which was professional in word crafting, grammar, scene building, dialogue and plot development and in all ways superior to my offerings. What's wrong with that? I have to set goals for myself to get better as a writer and what better than reading and admiring better writers than myself.

(2) You may be the only one who perceives you as a "featherweight." I hope everyone agrees that those are bullsh!t statements and Mark should take them back.

Well that's a nice thought, but it is enough for me to believe it for me to say it! Wow! What language and to a friend at that.

Mark Edgemon said:
They also like darker themes and while the "Marilyn" story certainly had that going for it, I could not explore more darker, deeper possibilities which I believe would have muted the comedy aspect.


What's the problem with that! You do like darker themes you said so yourself!

Unforgibbon Said:
However, what did work--and was buried beneath the punny names and general fun--was the idea of the Western buffoon trashing yet another traditional society. And for me, I'd prefer a darker treatment of that theme.


I'm not sure what you're angry about. I agreed with your desire for darker themes, said I would try to give you something worth reading in the Halloween challenge and praised your word crafting ability.

Wait a minute...I see torches on the dimly lighted horizon and a crowd, no a mob with pitch forks are heading in my direction. It must have been my excessive use of the words "that" and "however" or I may have praised a writer a bit too much.

Mark

"Horrid"???

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 02:26:16 PM
by Robert_Moriyama
unforgibbon wrote:...PS - Hey Mark, I've overshot the 5,000-word limit and so I'll be mired in revisions for the next month desperately trying to trim the piece down. Well that and attempting to make the thing even remotely horrid.


Um, don't make it "horrid". I see enough "horrid" writing in the submissions queue. Make it gut-wrenchingly terrifying or horrifying instead. (Did you ever see the movie "The Cell"? They had a scene in that one that was literally gut-wrenching -- or perhaps gut-extracting-and-winding would be more precise...)

RM

Re: Praise not, lest you anger them!

PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 03:03:12 PM
by unforgibbon
Mark Edgemon wrote:I'm not sure what you're angry about.

Mark


That's what I love/hate about Internet forums (fora?), it's so easy to be misinterpreted.

Mark, I'm not angry at all. Motherf#&@er.

:P

I'm really not angry. However, I still reject the notions that I'm more serious about my writing than you are and that you're a featherweight.

And yes, I appreciate the praise. I do. You have been excessively kind to me about my writing, but I thought more important to address what I viewed as your self-deprecation.

Robert_Moriyama wrote:Um, don't make it "horrid". I see enough "horrid" writing in the submissions queue. Make it gut-wrenchingly terrifying or horrifying instead. (Did you ever see the movie "The Cell"? They had a scene in that one that was literally gut-wrenching -- or perhaps gut-extracting-and-winding would be more precise...)

RM


I did see that flick, and only seem to recall that it blew.

OK, you got me, but I may make it horrid out of spite. Frankly, I've tried to write horror, and I sincerely doubt my capacity to wrench guts. That said, Mark's challenge has been a good thing for me, whatever the outcome.

Eat Me

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 10:18:43 AM
by bottomdweller
Yeah, I guess THE CELL blew - if by 'blew' you mean it was one of the best horror movies ever made. As a dyslexic person, the scene where the villian is all powerful and walking down the stairs with the red satin cloak (pinned to his skin) has to be the epitamy of visualizing what a maniac might look like inside his own mind. Some of the visual scenes in that movie still haunt me. And what a concept - to be able to go inside the mind of a killer and try to 'heal' the small, hurt, child within...like I say, one of the best movies ever.

Original Plot Concepts

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 11:18:43 AM
by Mark Edgemon
bottomdweller wrote:...the scene where the villian is all powerful and walking down the stairs with the red satin cloak (pinned to his skin) has to be the epitamy of visualizing what a maniac might look like inside his own mind. Some of the visual scenes in that movie still haunt me. And what a concept - to be able to go inside the mind of a killer and try to 'heal' the small, hurt, child within...


Shoot! Well, I guess I need to cross go inside a maniac's mind and heal his inner child off my list of concepts for my Halloween story. I guess I will have to go with my previous original idea of having an all powerful witch be dissolved by simple water.

Thank goodness I always have a supply of original ideas!

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 12:46:42 PM
by Arnorris
I just finished this story last night and loved it. I thought the light humor and obvious singular mindset of the character was absolutely funny. He reminded me of the absent minded professor...oblivious to his surroundings.

The jokes were slap stick and well timed. Very good comedy writing.

Eat me!

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 01:19:00 PM
by bottomdweller
Mark says, "Well, I guess I need to cross go inside a maniac's mind and heal his inner child off my list of concepts for my Halloween story."

There's $5 sitting on the table in front of me that says you never even SAW the movie in question The Cell! - at least not all the way through.
They don't play that kind of thing on the Disney Channel. How about that - sprititual enough for ya?

Shots

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 06:28:58 PM
by Mark Edgemon
bottomdweller wrote:Mark says, "Well, I guess I need to cross go inside a maniac's mind and heal his inner child off my list of concepts for my Halloween story."

There's $5 sitting on the table in front of me that says you never even SAW the movie in question The Cell! - at least not all the way through.
They don't play that kind of thing on the Disney Channel. How about that - sprititual enough for ya?


Did you take that shot at me after your 4th or 8th shot of whiskey this morning. Your likely blurred vision would account for the incorrect spelling of the word "spiritual" a word you may not be too familiar with.

Nevertheless, after your next bender, pay me another back handed compliment. I can use your posts as inspiration for one of my future fictional characters.

Mark

Cut it out, or I'm turning this topic around.

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 06:58:20 PM
by Robert_Moriyama
If you kids don't settle down, there'll be no ice cream for ANYBODY tonight.

:evil:

Re: Cut it out, or I'm turning this topic around.

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 07:10:28 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Robert_Moriyama wrote:If you kids don't settle down, there'll be no ice cream for ANYBODY tonight.

:evil:


Okay, my bad!

P.S. But she stuck her tongue out at me first!

Good Review

PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 08:52:04 PM
by Mark Edgemon
Arnorris wrote:I just finished this story last night and loved it. I thought the light humor and obvious singular mindset of the character was absolutely funny. He reminded me of the absent minded professor...oblivious to his surroundings.

The jokes were slap stick and well timed. Very good comedy writing.


Man, oh man, I can really use your kind and good review of my story! It reinforces the idea that comedy is not lost in science fiction or fantasy. I really appreciate your stopping by and sending me that encouraging word.

Mark