October 31 – November 6: “What moved you to write your first novel?”

Writing a novel is not an easy thing—especially if you’ve never written one before. What moved you to write your first novel? Is that still what moves you today? Join ITW Members Camille MinichinoEd KovacsGina RobinsonYvonne AndersonBeth Groundwater and George Ebey for what’s sure to be a thrilling discussion!


Camille Minichino, a retired physicist turned writer, has published eight novels in the periodic table mystery series. As Margaret Grace, she’s published five novels in the miniature mystery series, with a sixth due April 2012. As Ada Madison, she has launched the Professor Sophie Knowles mysteries, with THE SQUARE ROOT OF MURDER in July 2011. She’s a member of ITW, MWA, SinC, and RWA.

Ed Kovacs has worked and traveled all over the world as a private security contractor, journalist, and screenwriter.  His novel STORM DAMAGE will be published by Minotaur in December, 2011.  Eight screenplays he has written have been produced under various pen names.  He splits his time between his home in Southeast Asia and his aircraft hangar home at a Southern California airport.

Gina Robinson has always been a storyteller. An avid book lover, she grew up reading romance, mysteries, and suspense novels, but majored in Electrical Engineering. Eventually Gina gave up the glamorous engineering life for the equally glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom. Her first published novels received rave reviews, establishing Gina as one of today’s most exciting new authors of romantic suspense. THE SPY WHO LEFT ME releases from St. Martin’s Press on November 1, 2011.

Yvonne Anderson’s first novel, THE STORY IN THE STARS (Risen Books), debuted in June 2011. She is contest administrator for the blog Novel Rocket, named to Writer’s Digest’s list of 101 Best Websites for Writers in 2008, 2010 and 2011. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Lost Genre Guild, and International Thriller Writers, Inc., she works as a Virtual Assistant but spends most of her time on the planet Gannah, researching her stories.

Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series (A REAL BASKET CASE, a 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, and TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, 2009) and the RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner (DEADLY CURRENTS, March, 2011 and WICKED EDDIES, to be released May, 2011). Beth lives in Colorado and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing and whitewater rafting, and loves talking to book clubs.

George Ebey is the author of BROKEN CLOCK, DIMENSIONS: TALES OF SUSPENSE, THE RED BAG, and WIDOWFIELD. He is a graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in writing. He lives with his wife, Gail, in Northeast Ohio.

  1. Happy Halloween and welcome to all of the talented writers who will take part in yet another great roundtable topic.

    After having written more than 30 screenplays, I was burned out on the medium. I had long held the notion—lingering somewhere in the back recesses of my brain—that I should write a novel.

    So I decided to take the plunge, to challenge myself as a writer, as much as anything else. As I wrote that first novel, UNSEEN FORCES, I felt liberated, awash with the feeling, the knowing, that this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

    I have been hired to write a few screenplays since, but I no longer develop them on spec. I only want to write books.

  2. In the eighties, as a technical consultant to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, I co-authored a book on nuclear waste management. It was such a thrill to see my name on the spine of a book that I wanted more! It took a few years for me to realize that if I wanted more readers than a handful of researchers and librarians, I needed to switch genres. “The Hydrogen Murder” debuted in 1997 and is about to be re-issued as an ebook. There have been 13 books in between, all of them selling better than the WM book.

  3. Happy Halloween, everyone!

    I have loved stories, reading them and writing them, since I was a child. And I’m still an avid reader of both short stories and novels of many genres. Shortly before I retired from my career as a software engineer, I started writing fiction stories again and submitting them to publications. But I wanted to tackle something larger, a full-scale novel, basically to see if I could do it.

    My first attempt was a futuristic romantic suspense. I used some of my technology training and experience to come up with that tale, but the first draft was absolute dreck. I joined a writing critique group and worked for two years on that manuscript, pulling it apart and putting it back together, changing the timeline, deleting and changing characters, and so on. I eventually had to abandon the project, but I learned a LOT about the structure of novels and the art of storytelling in the process.

    My next manuscript was a straightforward mystery, and as soon as I got into it, I knew I’d found the genre that was right for me. You see, I’m a puzzle person, and plotting a mystery is like designing a puzzle for the sleuth and the reader to solve together. That manuscript became my first published book, A REAL BASKET CASE, the first in the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series. And this week I’m celebrating its re-release in trade paperback and ebook. That’s why I felt this discussion topic was a particularly appropriate and timely one for me to participate in.

    I’m now in the midst of drafting my seventh manuscript, the sixth one that will be published (in 2013). I’m still motivated by the challenge of designing a tricky and interesting puzzle for the reader that will keep him or her turning pages and discovering clues and surprises until the satisfying end that reveals all.

  4. My first novel was a drawer novel.
    I’m betting that a lot writers have them, that bundle bound by a rubber band taking up space on a shelf or the back of a drawer somewhere. No one’s ever read it. It wasn’t intended to be read, really. For me the motivation to write it was simple: I wanted to prove to myself that I could.
    I was twenty years old working on my second year of college when I finally convinced myself that it was time to attempt a full length book. Up until then I had written only short stories. Once I reached my goal of three hundred pages worth of short stories I decided that I was ready to write three hundred pages worth of one story. I soon found out that that there was a big difference between writing a short story collection and writing a novel – but that’s a topic for another discussion. Even still, I soldiered on, writing in my spare time, usually after a long day spent sitting in class, going to my part time job, and cramming for exams. After nearly a year of this, I finally had what amounted to a three hundred page stand-alone story. A novel. I had done it.
    It went right in my drawer. I knew that I was a long way from being ready for an audience. Every once and a while, when I’m feeling nostalgic, I’ll pull it out and thumb through it. Usually when I do my face puckers up so badly you’d think I had just sucked on a bucketful of lemons. Even still, it was probably the most important thing I’ve ever written. Now I knew that I could do it. Now I was hooked. I’ve been doing it ever since.

  5. My venture into novel-writing is similar to that of others in that it was more a compulsion than a decision. I lacked any sort of writing background previously, unless you count drafting letters and legal documents for attorneys, or novella-length personal letters to my mother. Plus two complete but absolutely ignorant “drawer novels” George mentioned.

    But there came a point in my life — more specifically, February 2002 — when I knew it was time to get serious about novel-writing. Nine months and 200K words later, I had completed my third novel. I was still ignorant, but this time I felt moved to do something about that, and jumped into the free but invaluable education of the online critique group experience. I realize the value of that depends largely on who makes up the group; but I was blessed to fall in with a wonderful gang of fellow-seekers with whom I was able to learn and grow and get frustrated with in good company, and nearly all of us in that first group are now either published or agented.

    Yes, it’s frustrating. We think we know something about writing, only to find out that novel writing is a whole different animal from anything in our experience. (Yes, even short stories, as George observed; less surprisingly, it’s light years different from legal pleadings and works about nuclear waste management.) The novel that started me on this journey is yet unpublished, and probably always will be. But it was a marvelous learning experience, and even if no one but my crit partners ever reads it, it will always be dear to my heart for its educational value alone.

    Perhaps one of the most substantial thing I’ve learned though the process is that I MUST write novels. On two occasions, I tried to quit, but couldn’t. I’m not sure whether to compare the novel-writing affliction to having an abusive lover, an addiction, or an incurable genetic condition, but whatever it is, I’ve got it. And it’s something I’m afraid I’m going to have to deal with the rest of my life.

  6. I think it was sheer madness that prompted me to write my first novel . I had two small children at the time. I was a stay-at-home mom and going a bit nutso from lack of adult conversation and intellectual stimulation. As wonderful as being a mom was, I longed for something more. I needed my own dream and pursuit. And someone handy to talk to. Someone over the age of five.

    Always a creative thinker, problem-solver, and champion daydreamer, I came up with the solution–invent my own grown up characters to keep me company. And so I wrote their story. It was better than having to explain about my imaginary friends. Or, at least, more respectable 😉

    Happy Halloween!

  7. Gina, I love the part in your bio where it says you “gave up the glamorous engineering life for the equally glamorous life of a stay-at-home mom.” As the mother of four now-grown kids, I appreciate people who appreciate that kids are worth staying home to raise (though I realize that’s not always financially feasible). As for me, I had to wait until my kids were grown before I could write a novel. Concentration is always an issue for me, and my body is of the firm belief that nighttime is for sleeping; if I don’t capitulate to its demands, my brain doesn’t function. Nevertheless I understand why you’d feel the need to create imaginary friends. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

  8. Like others here, I had a great awakening moment when I realized how different it would be to write fiction as opposed to reports on the melting curve of tungsten.

    But I do think that my science papers and technical writing skills have served me well through more than a dozen novels. I came to the task at least with the discipline to write no matter what else is going on in my life, the commitment it takes to meet deadlines, and a command of the language, even if it was passive voice!

  9. Hi Camille,
    As a “software engineer who could write,” which indeed is a rare commodity, I was given all sorts of technical writing projects–reports, conference presentations, users manuals, design guides, proposals, etc. etc. I am sooo glad that I get to write fiction now for pleasure rather than technical documents. In both cases, though, having a good command of English grammar and punctuation is necessary.

    For all of you other authors, do still get as much of a pleasure or thrill from writing your current novel as you did when writing your first?

  10. Yvonne–I need my beauty sleep, too . I always wished I was one of those people, like my husband, who can get by on only a few hours of sleep a night. Sadly, I’m an eight-hour-a-night-or-be-totally-worthless-the-next-day kind of girl.

    Beth–just giving a shout-out to another engineer who can write 🙂 In my college technical writing class, where I was the only female in the class, the guys all claimed I got the only A that semester because the prof, a woman, favored me out of a sense of solidarity. I always argued it was because I really was a superior writer. Now maybe they’d believe me 😉

  11. My physicists colleagues ask me all the time to compare the kinds of writing I’ve done. It’s impossible to say which I enjoy more. I now do tech editing on a consultant basis and I enjoy it as much as I do writing my series mysteries. I change mental hats the way I change physical shoes.

  12. Yes, Beth, I do still get a thrill from novel writing. I doubt that will ever get old, but I don’t have enough completed stories under my belt to be able to say that for sure. However, since I published my first novel at age 55, I don’t have so many productive decades ahead of me that I worry about getting bored before I run out of gas.

    I agree with Beth and Camille that no matter what writing you’ve done in the past, it provides a solid foundation for novel writing, for the self-discipline aspect as well as writing fundamentals. And being able to write clearly and concisely, I think, is a gift more than a learned ability. I expect Ed’s experience with screenplays would give him a leg up on things like plot and dialogue, whereas some other backgrounds might help some to better write description of action and events.

    The people who amaze me are the ones who don’t like to write, have a difficult time constructing a coherent sentence — and don’t even care to try. I can’t imagine not wanting to write.

  13. Beth – Good question. I can safely say that I feel the same sense of satisfaction today that I felt years ago when I wrote that first book. If anything, I think that feeling just gets better each time out. For me, the process never gets old. Each story takes on its own life and becomes its own thing. Usually when I’m finished I can’t wait to start the next one and see where it goes.

  14. Great comments all around the table!

    Like others here, telling stories for me is a compulsion. At a particularly low point in my life and career I seriously tried walking away from the craft. But writing had simply come to define who I was; a powerful drug, indeed.

    With two crime novels—STORM DAMAGE and GOOD JUNK—coming from Minotaur, I still hold down my regular job. I’m currently deployed to a Muslim country ending in “stan.” I work 13.5 hour shifts six days a week. Eight hours sleep? Ummm, not till I rotate out of here.

    As busy and tired as I am, during a break last week I had a creative spurt and outlined my third Cliff St. James novel. It flowed out in a tremendous rush. And yes, it was just as exciting as sitting down to begin that first novel, years ago.

    Maybe I’m crazy, maybe delusional, or maybe just real lucky and blessed to be able to sit in the gunner’s seat of the novelist and face the target.

  15. Sleep is overrated, Ed! I’m glad you don’t need a lot, either.

    I seem to enjoy writing each book a little more than the last, because I think/hope (!) I’m a better writer with each one. For example, I take more risks with plot complexity now that character and dialogue flow more freely for me than 15 books ago.

    Yvonne, I wish I knew what to say to people who tell me they hate to write, can’t write, won’t write!

  16. I agree with Camille that I enjoy writing more and more with each book. But maybe that’s because right now I’ve found a hook that I love. Of course, that’s not to say I don’t sometimes struggle. I’m always trying to stretch myself and grow as a writer so each book isn’t necessarily easier.

    And I’m not always in a humorous mood. Sometimes life intrudes with sad events. Because I write lighthearted books, those are the days when I struggle.

    Ed–I don’t know how you keep up a schedule like that! Yikes, just the thought of it tires me out, lol.

  17. Most of you seemed to start writing mainly due to a desire to write a story, a compulsion. In my case I started out of sheer boredom in a job that seemed to offer no way out of sitting for 8 hours a day behind a desk, like the Maytag repairman doing almost no work. I was an IT guy in an office where stuff just didn’t break and I was going crazy sitting there. So I started doodling short stories and posting them online. After one such posting of a single chapter short about a space tourism pilot crashing into an unknown desert here on earth someone asked “What happened next?”.

    I didn’t know. Then I started wondering myself, and next thing out came my first novel. Followed by two more and a bunch of other shorts. Now the fourth is in the works and I can’t remember what it was like to not have a story running through my mind.

    Are there many other writers who, through no initial desire to be a writer, fell into this habit accidentally?

  18. Interesting, Basil! Not many people just fall into writing their first novel. For most, it’s a deliberate decision because it’s such a heck of an amount of work! I still have problems “putting my butt in the chair” and making myself crank out those words every day on the rough draft manuscript. Once I get into each writing session and the characters start talking and interacting in my head, I enjoy the process, though. And I always enjoy the planning phase of a book (research, outlining, t profiles) and the editing and polishing phase after the rough draft is written.

  19. Well, once I fell in I couldn’t get out…and didn’t want to. Now I am fully engrossed and wish I could leave the IT nerd day job (which is no longer a techno-maytag guy, but with a promotion got seriously busy) to write faster. In addition to writing my own works I also ended up started a studio narrating audiobooks which took off faster than I expected and has me booked four months in advance with recording projects, thus taking up more of my writing time. I feel like I am now being denied my literary crack when I can’t put in a few hours writing each week. At the moment my WIP sits panting at my feet waiting to be taken for a walk. I’m hoping it doesn’t poop all over the carpet.

  20. Same here, Beth. Sometimes I’ll do anything rather than sit at the computer, but once I’m there, I’m lost in the book. I think that’s the key as to whether writing is for you — as long as you love the process once you overcome inertia!

  21. Basil–Maybe you were always a storyteller and didn’t know it? Did you tell yourself stories when you were bored when you were a kid? Make up scenarios for TV shows you watched or alternate endings for books you read? Were you the ringleader in pretend play?

    I used to do all those things as a child. I never wrote things down so I never thought of myself as a writer. But I was always a storyteller.

  22. Great discussion everyone.

    I’m interested in how a lot of people here mentioned how their professional / technical writing skills helped them when it came time to write fiction. For me it was kind of the opposite. I think that my fiction writing helped me out when it came time to write things like memos and reports for my job.

    Ed, here’s hoping you get a chance to grab some Z’s soon.

    Did anyone here start out writing a different genre than they do now?

  23. That’s funny Gina, because that’s exactly how I’ve always been. From as far as I can remember I listened to Columbo on TV as a 6 year old and would imagine the parts of the story I couldn’t see, and inject myself into it of course.

    I’ve also been an actor, amateur stage, since I was twelve. Just last week even I was doing campfire story telling for my Boy Scout troop as we hunkered down on a chilly night in Seward Alaska. They got to hear my rendition of Beowolf over a two night run, had them white knuckled as he battled Grendel the first night and the dragon that took his life the second.

    With all that I had just never considered or desired writing a whole story until it fell out of my brain onto my keyboard playing like a movie in my head so fast I could barely keep up with the typing. Stained several nice shirts with the cerebral ink that dripped from my pores.

    Must be DNA in there somewhere that has that storyteller stamp on it.

  24. Yes, George, I started out in a different genre. I wrote a really crappy contemporary fiction of no particular description and a couple of historicals. Then, when I was ready to throw in the towel, I stumbled into science fiction. I’ve never had so much fun. Am just getting started plotting my fourth SciFi and am confident I’ve found my my niche. They always say you should write what you read, but that wasn’t the case with me. I never read much in this genre until I started writing it. Now I can’t figure out why I didn’t like it before.

  25. Hi George,
    Yes, as I already stated, my first manuscript was a futuristic romantic suspense, which never got published. Also, I wrote a science fiction novella, which did get published, but I decided that hard science fiction was too much work–all that research! When I wrote A Real Basket Case (which is being re-released this month in trade paperback and ebook), I knew I’d found my genre, because it fit me like a comfortable slipper–much the way I felt when I met my future hubby! We fit!

    There is one aspect of my technical writing that did get in the way of my mystery writing. That was the need to be perfectly clear and to explain everything in the right order so the reader could understand the concepts, the design, or how to use the software. In mystery-writing, your goal is almost the exact opposite of that. You want to continually LEAVE OUT some of the explanation, deliberately withholding facts and evidence until later, so the reader is deliberately confused and doesn’t know whodunnit until you want him/her to know. Thus, I had to “unlearn” the skill of explaining things clearly, completely, and in order!

  26. Basil–Aha! I knew you were a born storyteller 😉

    George–I started out writing historical romance, none of which is published. The strange thing is my historical romances were all serious. It’s only when I switched to romantic suspense that I started to write humor. Seems kind of backwards, but there it is.

  27. Beth, you never confuse your readers! Keep them on edge, maybe, and send them in twisty paths, like rapids, toward the end, but never confusing. I think complexity and complication are different from confusion. And in a way that’s what tech writing is all about also, laying out a complex, complicated story in a manner that doesn’t confuse the user.

  28. I think we agree, Camille,. We’re just using our words differently. In technical writing, the goal is to make the complex simple, to lay out the whole story in straightforward, non-twisty path. While in a mystery, the goal of the writing is to take the readers on a twisty complex ride, hiding the whole truth from them until the end.

  29. This is indeed a great topic. So fascinating to read different authors’ sources of inspiration–and impulse.

    I myself always wrote, and wanted to be a writer, but my first real, adult, maybe-could-be-published novel was triggered by an especially intense stint as an employee of a psychiatric ER–and also a stint on a Stairmaster at the gym (which is a longer story).

    The psych ER part is that I think the level of danger and intensity in that kind of work finally brought about my own entry into suspense fiction, which I’d always loved to read but never thought about writing.

    Thanks for a great discussion!

  30. Thanks for joining in the discussion, Jenny! Yes, real-life experiences have been a jumping off point for many a mystery novel. My own experiences as a “river rat” led to the development of my RM Outdoor Adventures series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. I’m sure you were exposed to some very interesting people and situations in that psychiatric ER!

  31. Jenny–I’ve always admired people who do that kind of intense work. And I’m glad having that kind of work experience jump-started your writing muse.

  32. I gotta tell you, I love reading these Roundtable discussions–whether I’m traveling or sitting at home in front of a fireplace on a chilly Alaska night as I am now. It’s interesting to know how everyone got started–makes me feel less alone at my computer.
    Like many of you, I always scribbled–even told my librarian aunt that I was going to be a writer someday after I read My Side of the Mountain when I was around eight. But, I got serious about writing my junior year in HS when an English teacher assigned us to keep a journal. She’d read some of my attempts at short stories and told me I should make my journal a fictional one–an “epic novel of the semester’. The only rule was that I had to write something in it daily. I still have it, bound with three brass brads. Horrible stuff, but she stroked my ego enough to keep me going. I actually just found that dear teacher through Facebook while doing some PR stuff for the new book–and wrote her a letter. I’m telling you, writing a long-hand letter to your old English teacher is an exercise in nervousness, to be sure. I’m not sure if she’ll approve of the violence in my Thrillers, But I’m dedicating my WIP to Charlotte Skidmore. What a great lady.

  33. I have so many books on my To Read list as it is, but after participating in this roundtable I’ll have to add many more. Great stuff from everyone here.

    Marc: You have reminded me I owe letters to Mr. Gurly from junior high, Mrs. Johnson from senior high, and Mr. Hobbie from university!

    Basil: I see from your bio on your website that you’re a real slacker. Not! Semper fi.

    Beth: a river rat named Groundwater writing about a river ranger. Truth is stranger than fiction!

    Camille, Gina, George, Jenny, Yvonne: when pros like you guys share, there are always nuggets of gold, thanks.

  34. Jenny – I can relate. One of my books was heavily influenced by a brief stint I spent working as a mental health case manager when I first got out of college.

    Marc – I had a teacher in the ninth grade who transformed me from a reluctant reader into a complete and total book addict.

    Ed – Right back at you. Storm Damage is officially on the top of my To Read list. And I agree: Camille, Gina, Beth, Jenny, Yvonne, Basil, It’s an honor to get a chance to share in a discussion with all of you.

  35. Great idea, Marc, to look up old teachers who encouraged/influenced us to be who and where we are today. I wonder if any of my old teachers are still alive after all these years? (ha!) I know my French horn teacher, who was probably my greatest anchor in that storm that is adolescence, has been gone many years. I must try to look up some of those other positive influences. However, I was always a book addict. I have my dad to blame for that.

  36. The Big Thrill blog has been a great venue to interact with people I’d otherwise never “meet.”

    It always amazes me to learn how many different backgrounds are represented at your average writers’ meeting or blog. Physics is such a social profession—no one buys and works on her own 192-beam laser these days—I was worried that I be lonely as a writer. Not so! Writing networks are thriving, even more so than when my first book came out, and I’m extremely glad to be part of it all.

  37. An even those of us at the frozen edge of the civilized world get to interact in ways not possible just a few years ago thanks to the wonders of the web.

  38. Camille: I could not agree more. It is great to e-meet and talk with so many talented writers. I started out writing Westerns and still keep in touch with several of todays top Western writers who were sure enough my mentors as I was getting started. A couple of them are guys i read when I was in junior high. Now that I’ve moved to Thrillers I get to meet an entire new crop of talent.
    I enjoy reading a novel by a good technical writer. You all seem to get an added level of realism to your work. My career has had me writing investigative summaries, arrest reports and white papers weekly… not certain that sort of writing has helped my fiction, except to teach me organization–not to mention grammar and punctuation. My guys all called me the red-pen supervisor for years.

  39. Marc–your story of finding your English teacher reminded me of my elementary librarian, Mrs. Haggen. Sadly, she passed away before I could send her a copy of one of my published novels. She was the perfect children’s librarian, always encouraging us to read, to write to our favorite authors, teaching us how to repair books, and all about the Dewey decimal system. I still have fond memories of her.

    It has been a great week here in the forum. I’ve enjoyed meeting you all here. I agree with Ed, I have a bunch more books to add to my TBR pile.

  40. Thanks for the kind offer, Gina — very appreciated!
    Interesting about your elementary school librarian. Mine was a towering giant of dour-faced disapproval who should NOT have been allowed to work with small children, and we all lived in terror of her. (Funny that her name was Mrs. Anderson, as mine now is! No relation, I can assure you.) However, she had an assistant (who I think was also afraid of her) who was very sweet. I remember well the day she introduced me to Harold and the Purple Crayon. I love that book to this day.

  41. I’ve enjoyed hosting this discussion with all of you, Camille, Ed, Gina, Yvonne, and George, and getting to each of you and your books a little better.

    Ed, the story behind my last name is that it’s my husband’s, who has Scottish ancestry. It’s a fairly common name in northern Scotland and the family legend is that the name came from the fact that the family lived via fishing and farming, earning their keep from the ground and water. I have a different take on it, though. There is a tiny little hamlet in northern Scotland with just a few buildings that is called Groundwater. If you look at the elevation lines on Google Maps for it, the concentric circles go lower and lower around the hamlet. So, I say the Groundwaters were a family that was too stupid to move out of the bog! 😉

    And yes, the name is perfect for the series, and it’s my real name!

    My English teacher story is about a middle-school teacher who graded on the basis of punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure versus content. She wrung all the creativity out of her writers, including me, as we modified our approach to story-writing to get the good grades. It took me quite a few years to shed that negative influence on my fiction writing and regain my love for it and my creative passion.

    I hope to get the chance to see all of you fellow hosts and commenters at a mystery/thriller event or convention soon! In the meantime, I hope you’ll check out my friendly blog at: http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/

  42. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories.
    I’m more impressed by the day at ITWA, its members, and its conference! Hope to meet some of you in person — and reconnect with the lovely Beth! (love the Groundwater story!) — in July.

    Also, meant to say how great it was to have ARITHMETIC instead of squiggly letters as a captcha!

  43. Camille:

    Regarding: “Also, meant to say how great it was to have ARITHMETIC instead of squiggly letters as a captcha!”

    Easy for you to say. I had to break out the calculator.

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