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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Grassroots Reviewer

Book bloggers are the unsung heroes of the publishing industry. There's so little written about them yet they are the seeds of change. An unknown author could conceivably strike it big by the strength of their reviews.

With a few choice words they tell the world how they feel about a book. Feelings are important. A book is more than just words and story. It's about passion and connecting with the reader.

That's why I hold so much stock in a book blogger's opinion. They spread a message.

It doesn't matter if you're an indie, a small press author, or a Big 6 megastar, book bloggers have a grassroots influence that transcends any fancy advertising you can buy.

Today, I'm visiting Jackie Burris. This is an extra special post because if you have a question about review blogs, you have an honest-to-goodness book blogger you can ask. So stop by. Add yourself to Jackie's follower list and feel free to join in on the conversation.

I met Jackie totally by accident when I was browsing on Goodreads. I noticed her avatar (one very cute Chihuahua) on one of my friends' lists and I clicked on her link. Well, Jackie is also from Texas and that was all it took for me to send a friend request. The rest as they say is history.

I hope you'll visit her and say howdy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mini Movie Review: Captain America

Of all of the comic book hero movies I've seen so far, Captain America has been my favorite. Not only did it transport me to an era with vestiges I only vaguely remember from my childhood, but Captain America was depicted as a regular guy. And he echoed a sentiment that's always been close to my heart: he doesn't like bullies.

1940s Brooklyn was very much like 1950s Chicago, so it was kind of nice to revisit the old neighborhood through the filter of Hollywood.

It starts out with Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) a skinny, undersized guy who desperately wants to serve his country during WWII. He's turned down time and again until a scientist spots him and offers him a chance if he's willing to undergo an experiment.

Throughout the movie Rogers demonstrates how noble and self-sacrificing he is, but nothing exemplifies it as much as when a grenade is tossed into a crowd and he throws himself onto it.  (That's not a spoiler since it's in the clip.) The grenade is a dummy and now everybody knows that Rogers is made of sterner stuff.

Rogers is brave, compassionate, and loyal to the last. All these qualities along with his physique are amplified through the regeneration process. But no matter his size, his resolve remains the same.

The filmmaker digitally removed bits of Chris Evans' physique so he could play 'skinny Steve Rogers', then compensated for the blank spaces by reinserting the background. Overall, I think it worked, though at times I thought the actor's head was just a tiny bit disproportional to the rest of his body.

I liked this movie. It reminded me of the sort of movies we used to watch when I was a kid where heroes were regular guys from Brooklyn and there were no grays in good and evil. The movie was sanitized to meet 21st century expectations for racial and sexual equality, but it was still enjoyable. 

It'll be interesting to see Captain America (with his 1940s morality) interact with the other (more emotionally flawed) characters in next year's The Avengers movie.

Did you see this movie? How about the other superhero movies? What do you think so far?

Addendum: Sarah Falen reminded me. You MUST stay until after the credits roll so you can see a teaser of The Avengers movie with all the superheroes.


Don't forget that Friday I will be with Jackie Burris on her blog talking about book bloggers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When Is Our Work Publishable?

Under traditional means, we normally have a filter in the form of an agent or editor telling us when a story is ready for its close-up. But when you go indie, the onus is all on you.

How do you know when your story is ready to tell? A lot of the decision lies in being honest about our writing ability. Unfortunately, we're excellent liars--at least to ourselves. We're not good judges of our work until we've had a little experience behind the 8-ball.

Me, with my doubting-Thomas persona deliberately waited until I'd had a few novels vetted and published by professionals before I ever attempted self-publishing.

Today, I'm visiting with Misha Gericke where we can discuss just that. Misha is a talented writer who runs a wildly popular blog. All the cool kids follow her!

I hope you'll pop in and join in on the conversation. Add your two pence. I'd love to hear your opinion on what defines a state of readiness. See you at Misha's!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tagging Party: Week 3

Every time you tag a book, a puppy wags his tail.

This will be our last week to tag so let's show some team spirit and tag everyone on today's post. If you're feeling virtuous you can also tag these books, and also these

Let's welcome this week's entries.

Tags I added: 
Identity theft, Cult leader, Angel romance, suspense
I also agreed with several tags already there. 

Tags I added:
Blog basics, Creating interesting posts, Blogging ideas
I also agreed with several tags already there. 

Falling Hard by JK Coi  

Tags I added: 
Personal demons, Angel bodyguard, Fantasy romance
I also agreed with several tags already there.

On Wednesday I will be visiting Misha Gericke where I discuss the perennial question: 'How do we know we're ready to publish?'. 

Thursday I'll post a mini movie review of Captain America.

On Friday I visit Jackie Burris where I talk about book bloggers and why we need them. 

This week, in between getting my regular writing done, guest posts, and eavesdropping on the group read, I also have company coming over Friday night. Greg is insisting we eat off real plates. Sheesh!

I'm coming up short on dessert ideas though. Aside from ice cream, what can I serve that's not too heavy or hot? The main course will probably be rib eye steaks or ribs, depending on what jumps out of the freezer first.

Monday, July 25, 2011

An Animated Response

Introducing my very first animated ad. I'm so proud of myself. LOL!

But I could really use a focus group before I let it air live. What do you think of it?

The ad is actual size and will appear at the top right of The Romance Studio's banner.

Is the text readable? Does it transition too fast for you or should the frames be slower? 

Any and all comments welcome. I'm spending money on this ad so I'd like some honest feedback.

I'm thinking the text in the first frame with the blurb should be a tad bigger, or maybe use more leading between lines. I'm not a good judge because I know what it says. So I need someone who hasn't seen it to give me a more unbiased opinion.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Secrets of Good Promotion

Probably one of the most important aspects for any published, traditional or indie author is good promotion. If you don't make a splash, no one will know you're there. Splash too much and people will treat you like a leper.

Today, I'm visiting with my friend Shelley Munro, multi-published author and world traveler. Honestly, I'd read her blog for her travel stories alone. That woman takes the BEST trips!

Shelley's blog has always been my template of what a blog should look like. It's clean, easy to read, short and interesting. Every post is different, so I'm never disappointed.

I was thrilled when she invited me to be on her blog. And considering her giant back list of books, it seemed only appropriate that I should write about promotion.

No matter how you're published, these will be good tips to keep on the back-burner when you decide how to spend your time and money.

Stop by and visit me at Shelley's!

Had a huge scare last night. I tried to add Google Analytics and before I even inserted the code, my blog disappeared for a whole twenty minutes. My other Google-owned sites worked fine. Only my blog went AWOL. Imagine me with a coronary. Has this ever happened to any of you?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Class Distinction Between Authors

It's a sticky wicket to be sure, but class divisions are still very evident in the publishing industry. It's like the 'funny' uncle no one wants to talk about.

Today, I visit Raelyn Barclay where I discuss the classes and whether the lines are beginning to fade. Although some writers do have a snooty disposition about their place in the hierarchy, most don't give it a second thought. 

Like the women's movement and race relations, people eventually realize that we're all just folks. Just because an author made a ten million dollar deal doesn't make her any better than the author next door. More successful, yes. But not necessarily a better writer.

I think it's the industry itself that's plugging us into pigeonholes, perhaps to secure their own futures. The verdict's not clear on that yet, but that's my suspicion.

Stop by Raelyn's and voice your opinion. I'm curious to know what you think of class distinctions and if I'm the only one who noticed them.

As with all my stops, I hope you add yourself to each host's follower list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is The Indie Label Legit?

I'm visiting with Angelina Rain where I discuss a topic that seems to breed a chord of discontent. Today I tackle the 'indie' label and ask whether it's legitimate.

I hope you'll go over and add your opinion. As I was writing that post I found an interesting link on how word meanings change and in turn, it changed my mind on why the indie label should expand. Hope to see you there.

Angelina Rain is one of the authors in the anthologies, Master Of Mine and Indecent Encounters. She's also a terrific blogger to follow because she always speaks from the heart.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tagging Party: Week 2

You guys have been so supportive, visiting me at all my various guest spots for the Indie Roadshow. On Wednesday and Thursday I'll visit two more authors, and this time I might get a little controversial. I'll leave that for you to decide.

But today is Tagging Day. It's your chance to give some sugar to a few deserving authors and tag their books.

If I hadn't read the book I like to study the synopsis on their Amazon page for clues on what kind of keywords are likely to draw people to these books.

Like last time, I've attached the book cover, the link and some possible tag choices. While you're at Amazon, you can agree with the tags, or add your own. Be creative with your tags. If you've read the book, all the better to liven it up with some cool tags. 
Oh and don't forget to 'like' the page or a review while you're there.
For the books we did last week, go here. This week's selections are below. Be good sports and tag all of them. Karma will smile upon you and the angels will put brownie points on your side of the balance sheet.
Finally, I have one last request. I have a friend and author, Angela Brown who is just starting her blog. Will you do me a favor and go over and add yourself to her follower list? 
I met Angela several years ago at a writer's conference and she is absolutely the sweetest person, and a lot of fun. I know you'll like her.
Okay, here's this week's selection. Tag often. Tag freely.

Tags I added: 
Lawyer, Investigator, Going home, Opposites attract
I also agreed with several tags already there.

Tags I added: 
Bug-out, Zombie survival, Guns, Gaming
I also agreed with several tags already there.

Tags I added: 
Personal experience, mental health, Generational mental illness
I also agreed with several tags already there. 

Writing front: I'm finally writing for myself again. I have the sequel for The Devil To Pay in the works. I also have a finished draft for the sequel to True Believers
I'm a little upset about the title for the sequel to True Believers because I noticed someone else is using it this year. There's no way I'd change the title because it's exactly right for the story. I'm just annoyed someone published with that title before I did.

The summer has been brutal here. I get more writing done, but I'm interrupted constantly because I have to keep checking the animals and watch for signs of heat exhaustion. We're breaking heat records left and right.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods? Is it normal for you this time of year?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Welcome, JK Coi

Today I do my magic act and appear at two places at once. I'm hosting JK Coi, whose book, FALLING HARD releases today!! You'll love this book!

And presto change-o, I'm also appearing on Rula Sinara's blog as her interview guest. I've been interviewed lots of times, but Rula really asked some terrific questions. The answers--well, I'll let you decide that for yourself. 

So please give JK a little love and then go over and visit me at Rula's where she grills me to juicy perfection. 


Priorities by J.K. Coi 

I’ve known Maria online for a couple of years now (how the time flies by!!) and whenever I come to the blog here, I’m so impressed by all that she does to live off her own land, maintain a frugal lifestyle, maximize her time and energy, and take care of the people (and animals) who are important to her! I have to admit, I can barely manage to spell my own name some days. 

As women, as writers, as professionals with day jobs. As mothers, wives, friends, and individuals who have to have some other interests besides all of that or we’d go crazy…it’s not hard to see why sometimes it can all seem overwhelming. 

And I was no exception. I went through a period not long ago when I can honestly say that I felt like I was burning myself out and I wasn’t sure I would write again.

But I really wanted to be writing. Even when the words wouldn’t come, or I couldn’t make time for them, I wanted to be writing so badly. The constant nagging of the story that fought to get out onto the page told me I had to give it a shot again, which meant re-organizing everything else so I could make it work and still get some sleep at night. 

So how do you do that? How do you put aside some things to make room for others when all of them are important to you? 

Lots of people will tell you that you have to learn to use the word “no”, and others will tell you that you have to decide that certain activities have to be sacrificed if you’re really committed to your writing career. And for those people, I say all the power to you. But for me, there was no way I could say no to my family. There was no way I could cut out any more activities—even some of the “frivolous” ones—because those are the things that helped me to relax and refill the creative well. 

What I did agree to, was a schedule which would get me writing regularly. Maybe not like gangbusters, but something is always better than nothing. I don’t write quickly. I agonize over every word. And yet I still learned to tell myself that it was okay to skip a day of writing. It was okay if I only had two hours a night to write. My self-imposed deadlines suffered because it would mean less quantity, but hopefully more quality. 

And I think my writing absolutely reflects this new outlook…but maybe I’ll leave that decision to the readers.   

So what lengths do you go to in order to make time for the things you love most?   

FALLING HARD is available July 18 from Carina Press!
After a life filled with tragedy, rocker Gabriel Gunn thinks he's finally getting the better of his personal demons. Then he's attacked after a concert—and rescued by a warrior goddess brandishing a sword and white wings. As hard as it is to believe in an angelic bodyguard, Gabriel must face an even more impossible truth: he carries the devil's soul within him. 

Amelia has been watching over Gabriel for years, using her angelic powers to prevent Lucifer's return. Now she must also protect him from warring angel factions with their own agendas. Amelia would do anything to avert another angelic war, even sacrifice her own emotions to avoid temptation. Yet with Gabriel she feels things she no longer wants to deny, and pleasure she never imagined. 

But the closer Gabriel and Amelia get, the stronger Lucifer becomes. Will Amelia be forced to kill the man she's come to love to stop the war she's always feared?

JK Coi is a multi-published, award winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She makes her home in Ontario, Canada, with her husband and son and a feisty black cat who is the uncontested head of the household. While she spends her days immersed in the litigious world of insurance law, she is very happy to spend her nights writing dark and sexy characters who leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Creating Cover Art, Down & Dirty Tips

My guest post on creating cover art is up at Kristen Lamb's blog. Huzzah! I was so worried because I had no idea if Kristen ever got my files.

Now don't make me look bad. Go over there and ask me questions--or at least make funny faces.

This particular post was particularly important to me because it's the one thing I can talk about with expertise. Whether you're creating your own art or looking for a designer, I hope you find it useful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get Thee To An Editor

Today's Indie Roadshow stop is at Sandra Ulbrich Almazan's blog where I talk about the hardest job in the world. Editing.

I hope you'll stop by for a topic that's sure to spur some discussion and maybe even some dissension.


In other news...
Like my friend James Garcia, I too have decided to turn over a new leaf. For me, I'm giving Twitter a second third chance. 

I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter. I see these people with hundreds, if not thousands of followers, and it makes me sad because I know they're only paying attention to a fraction of those tweets. 

This is the reason why I'm rather particular about who I follow. If you mention or message me regularly, then yes, I will follow you and pay attention to your tweets. I follow a few people with scads of followers but only because they tweet information that interests me. Other than those few, I only follow people who want to have a relationship with me.

The other thing that is unavoidable with Twitter is that tweets are ephemeral. If you miss a conversation or only catch the tail end, it's a bear to catch up, especially if several people are involved in the thread. That's why I don't like following chats and Q&As on Twitter.

But I'm going to give it another try. Before, most of my tweets involved retweeting other people's messages. Occasionally, I added a few original ones, and my blog feeds through there so I have an automatic tweet every time I post.

This time I will make a concerted effort to have more conversations, even with strangers, as long as they're saying something interesting and not grousing about their toenail polish or their boss.

How do you feel about Twitter? Is it easy for you to chat with total strangers?


Finally, I have no idea if Friday's post will appear on schedule. I've tried contacting the host several times, but I still don't have confirmation that she got my files. Keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, visit me at Sandra's blog and let's talk editing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Was It Something I Said?

Yesterday was the lightest traffic I'd had on my blog in ages. I don't think I got more than a hundred hits. Was it something I said? Or maybe there was spinach between my teeth.

Fortunately, many of you came to visit me at JK Coi and we had a pretty good discussion there about the pros and cons of going rogue. Today, I'm visiting Mason Canyon where I talk about creating a game plan.

If you're going to self-publish, you need a plan. I listed all the steps I took before I clicked on the Publish button.

Mason Canyon is a book reviewer, and hosts authors regularly on her blog. She also edits and I used her services for the final proofing of The Devil To Pay. I can recommend her eagle eyes.


I think I'm sick. Sore throat, headachy, and overall blah. Hope it passes soon. I'm on my own for the next couple of weeks and the chickens don't care if I'm at death's door. They want their vittles. Demanding little cusses.


And here's a new one. Apparently, I am now famous enough to get my work pirated. I found out True Believers was on a pirate site. Shame on you, pirates. Don't you know how hard we have to work to get our few pennies from each sale?


Everybody's talking about Google+. Are you joining? I can't do it. If I add any more social networks, I'll never get any work done.

Okay, I'm done. Visit me at Mason Canyon's blog, or at JK Coi's. And don't forget to tag our books from yesterday's post. We could use your support.

I also hope I have more visitors today. You all got me kind of worried.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Indie Road Show Begins & Tagging

The day has arrived! Today begins a 12 post series on all things indie. We'll average 3 posts week, though we're having an extra one this week.

Today, I'm at JK Coi's blog where I discuss 'The Pros and Cons of Going Rogue'. Please stop by, add your thoughts, and tweet my links as we go along.

But while you're here, we can start tagging. There's still time to add your books. We'll probably do this once a week while the Indie Roadshow is going on. 

If you're an author without a book, or a reader in search of one, I hope you'll tag along with us. Let's support each other!

What I've done is display the book cover, the link and some possible tag choices. While you're at Amazon, you can agree with the tags, or add your own. Be creative with your tags. If you've read the book, all the better to liven it up with some cool tags. 

Tags I added: 
Government corruption, memory loss, genius, moon. 
I also agreed with several tags already there.

Tags I added:
Historical romance, steampunk, inventor
I also agreed with several tags already there.

And you might remember me mentioning this one...

Tags I added:
Angels and Demons, Heaven and Hell, preternatural, sexy romance

Somebody else added some weird tag which is just wrong on so many levels.

Please feel free to agree with any of the reviews you see on any of these books. And I feel pretty confident you wouldn't hurt any of our feelings if you also bought our books. Think of all the summer reading we still have ahead of us.

Next week, I'll showcase another three books. Email me if you want your book included.

So there you have it. Go and tag us then stop by and see me over at JK Coi. I have a lot planned for the next four weeks. I hope you'll find the posts useful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tagging Party

You've heard about 'em. You've talked about 'em. Now let's have one of our own. 

If I got this straight, basically what we do is go to the Amazon link for each book that I will post, and scroll down to the orange subheading where it says: Tags Customers Associate With This Product.

You can add a tag or agree with an existing tag. Charlie Alden also mentioned in an earlier comment that you can 'like' the page or vote for a review if you agree with it.

If you're an author with a book out (listed on Amazon) email me at writingweb AT argontech dot net and send me the link and a small jpg of your book cover. Depending on how many people sign up, we'll do two or three book showcases a week. 

If you're a reader or an author without a book, we need you too! Karma is a beautiful thing. Support your friends and authors by tagging the books I put up.

So who's with me? Send me your links and book covers and we can get started this week.


Indie Roadshow Blog Tour: It begins tomorrow at JK Coi's place. I'm going to cover all kinds of topics throughout the tour. Some will be discussion based. Others will give tips of things I learned along the way.


Riverina Romantics: I got the most amazing news from book blogger, Jodie Riverina Romantics. She selected The Devil To Pay as a group read on her blog. On July 30, they'll have a discussion on the book. No one's ever suggested such a thing and I was thrilled--and scared. What if no one shows up to discuss it? Yikes!

If you've read The Devil To Pay or plan to read it, I hope you'll visit Riverina Romantics. I'll post a reminder as we get closer to the date.


My last bit of news is that I joined the Kindleboards. I kept hearing it mentioned everywhere so I thought I should join, but so far not too many people have noticed me. I don't think anyone's even commented on my introduction post here. I'm starting to feel a little self-conscious. 

Must stay positive.

So tagging party...are you in?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Welcome, Krista D. Ball

Up until recently, the only thing I knew about Newfoundland was they had a big dog. Then I met Krista D. Ball and realized there was so much more to this rugged landscape.
So sit back and enjoy the view. It's time for a little armchair vacation.

Please welcome, Krista D. Ball.


Vacations are something I don't get to enjoy nearly as much as I'd like. First, I have eight cats (you read that right), so it's a challenge ensuring that they are looked after. Plus, I have the dog and the step-kids. Going away isn't that easy these days.

Last year, my vacation was spent heading back to Newfoundland, Canada. I grew up there and my parents are still there. Sadly, that vacation was to visit my mother, who'd had her leg amputated with no sign of escaping the hospital. 

This year, we're facing the reality that my partner has yet to meet my family and, so, we're heading back there. In fact, I'm writing this blog post ahead of time for Maria so that she can get this post up before I take off (don't worry, I'm back in town!).

Normally, going back home isn't a vacation to me. Perhaps it's been tainted by the recent hospital visits and family deaths. However, with my partner having never even seen the province before, I have this renewed vigour about the entire trip. After all, how many places have a Viking settlement, two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and areas where five distinct aboriginal cultures passed through the area over a 7500 year period? Not to mention the seafood.

What was once an obligatory trip, along with the sad realization that my parents aren't immortal, has become a really fun planning adventure! I'm rediscovering all of the awesomeness of the province that bred me, plus the historical and cultural richness that it has the offer. 

Plus, it's been a reminder of where my crazy sense of humour comes from. That road sign? Honest to all deities it's an actual, government-installed road sign warning visitors that moose are really that bad assed. 

How can you not feel refreshed visiting a place like that?

Tomorrow, I'll be back on my own blog talking about where my ideas come from. I'd love to see you there!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh, it's Friday

My week is so messed up. I thought today was Saturday. Just as well, I have to go and complain to my bank about some suspicious withdrawals. Just once, I wish companies would play nice and not gouge us to death with mystery fees.

Sunday: Armchair world travelers, come back Sunday when Krista D. Ball talks about vacations and going home again.

Monday: I just discovered 'tagging books' and I think we should have a party. Who's with me? I'm not sure I know what I'm doing and I'd love an Amazon expert to help me out. 

Also, recently, a book blogger emailed me about something cool and unusual she's planning for The Devil To Pay. If you read the book, you'll definitely want to be involved with that event. And if you haven't read it, what, don't ya love me? It's short. Even better, it's cheap!

Buy it at Amazon, and for those without Kindles, at Smashwords.  Thanks!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Do little zombie monkeys get together and and say: 'Hey, Maria doesn't have enough to do. Let's break some stuff, hide her tools, and remind her she's not twenty anymore.' Whew! I feel like I've been chasing myself all week.

Truck update: Would you believe the car mechanic found nothing wrong with my truck? The only thing he found amiss was the radiator cap wedged in between some doohickies.

We're speculating, but earlier in the week, I had had the oil changed and it's possible whoever checked the fluids didn't put the cap on tight. As I was driving around, it might've rattled around enough to blow out and wedge itself--leaving me with glycol splattered all over the engine and an overheated car.

I'm glad it wasn't serious, but now Greg is bugging me to get a  new car. My truck's warranty is nearly expired. My warranty isn't looking so good either. 

Speaking of Greg: We had a fantastic dinner out for his birthday, and splurged on Oysters Pappadeaux, frog legs, crawfish bisque, redfish in wine sauce, and a Greek salad. It was probably the best meal we've ever had out.

He deserved it. I worked the poor guy to skinny-bones that day because we were so far behind on our homestead projects. I hated that we couldn't take the day off. No one should have to work on his birthday.

Indie Tour update: I created a nice little badge for the blog tour.  Le quirky, no? My dad had a car like this, only ours was blue and white and a four-door. Darn thing was built like a tank and could hold a passel of kids.

I've started on my guest posts--though Barbara Ann Wright nearly gave me a stroke when we got our dates mixed up. Thanks, Barbara. I needed more gray hair on my head.

Writing these posts have really been useful to me because I'm beginning to see what I did right and what I can do better for next time. I hope it does the same for you.

Cover Contest: Embrace The Shadows had put the cover for Apocalypse Rising in a cover contest and it won! Thank you for voting for it. And thank you Embrace The Shadows for running the contest.

Homestead: We have been running into a series of problems with the goat pen. When we stretched the barbed wire, one of the posts shifted, twisting the other three sides. Now we're forced to add more bracing. The fence isn't so much to keep the goats in. It's to keep the predators (coyotes) out. This has turned out to be a lot more work than we expected. I just want it done.

The garden has slowed down because of the heat, so I let the chicks have at it. You should've seen them after they devoured a ton of weeds and bugs. They were so fat and lazy I nearly had to roll them back into their pen. They had a blast though. I'll do this a few more times. It'll help defray my feed costs.

So that's my report at my end, what's new at yours? Can you recall the best meal you ever had out?