Sunday, August 28, 2011

Where Have all the Recluses Gone?

Are you a little shutter shy?
How reclusive are you?
Much like Paula Cole asked back in 1997 when it came to the cowboys, I too have a similar question. We live in a day and age where just about any pertinent (and some that isn't) piece of information one wants to know about a film star, a musician, a reality junkie, or heck, even an author, is out there for all to see. But there was a time when no one really cared about that black and white glossy on the back flap of a book or the quick bio indicating how many dogs the author lived with and what he/she enjoyed about living in (insert a state that doesn't come easily to mind). No. There was a time when the unknown author was, well, unknown.

Today, any aspiring author is told that in order for her work to sell, she must have a built-in audience already in place for that big day when her book hits the shelf. Anymore, there seems to be an endless list of what aspiring authors should be doing and not really focusing on what's most important to a writing career -- the writing. I've heard more than one agent or editor stress that those time-consuming things we do on the side (i.e. blogging, tweeting, etc.) are almost more important than what's written on the page. How have we gotten so off-track in the publishing world, to the point that the writing has been placed on the back burner?

I'd like to take a look at a few of the authors many of us have come to know and love and, yet, they shunned the public eye. They pretty much thumbed their noses at it and told everyone to leave them alone. But we love them to this day, and not because of their "platform" or how many "followers" they have tagging along behind them. No, we love them for . . . you guessed it, their writing.

J.D. Salinger -- 1950
J.D. Salinger, who is known for his one and only full-length novel, Catcher in the Rye, was probably one of the most reclusive writers in American literature. Catcher in the Rye took Salinger ten years to write and when it was published it became an instant hit. The book has never gone out of print, but according to, "as the novel's popularity grew its author became more and more reclusive, refusing all interview requests and virtually never being seen in public." Even his neighbors in Cornish, New Hampshire fiercely protected his privacy. Up until the time he passed away on January 27, 2010, he reportedly spent his time writing, but for himself and not for the public. His last work to ever appear in print was a novella entitled "Hapworth 16, 1924," which was published in The New Yorker in 1965. Talk about longevity and basically off of one novel! I'm assuming he never opened a Facebook account, right?

Marcel Proust -- 1900
Marcel Proust was a French novelist who became a permanent fixture in Paris salon society up until the turn of the century. With his brother's marriage, his parents' death and health issues, including crippling asthma, he lived a reclusive lifestyle during the last seventeen years of his life. According to, "Proust, who soundproofed his studio with cork walls and installed layers of heavy curtains to keep the light out, would stay up for days on end working on his 3,200-page masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time. When greeting guests, he was often unsure of whether it was day or night." Before his death in 1922, there was a three year period where Proust rarely (if ever) left his apartment.

Cormac McCarthy
Cormac McCarthy isn't quite as reclusive as the aforementioned authors, since he showed up on Oprah not too many years ago. But it had been a while. Fifteen years to be exact, since his last interview. Although McCarthy's first novel, The Orchard Keeper, came out in 1965, it wasn't until the 1992 publication of All the Pretty Horses (Yeah, you remember that dud of a movie starring Matt Damon, right?) that he earned recognition for his writing (and most of his career he's spent without an agent). All the Pretty Horses would go on to win the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. The only newspaper interview McCarthy has ever done was for the New York Times and the only on-air interview he's ever done was for Oprah Winfrey in 2007, when he told Winfrey that he doesn't know any writers and much prefers the company of scientists (interestingly enough, he doesn't care for Marcel Proust's literature, either). His most recent bestsellers include No Country for Old Men (2005) and The Road (2006). He leads a quiet life in Tesuque, New Mexico.

Thomas Pynchon on The Simpsons
Thomas Pynchon has lived a similar reclusive lifestyle to that of Salinger, although with a little twist of humor along the way. His most celebrated appearances? The three that took place on The Simpsons, most notably with a bag over his head. Pynchon has a penchant for fooling the public and most wonder why he's chosen such a low-key lifestyle. He's been praised for his novel Gravity's Rainbow which was released in 1974 and won the National Book Award. He sent comedian Irwin Corey in his place to accept the award. It took four decades before New York magazine tracked him down in 1996. Although he's reportedly spent much of his career living in Mexico with brief stints in California, the magazine found him living a quiet life in New York. He shuns the public eye and has rarely been photographed or seen on camera (surprisingly enough, per his request).

Harper Lee -- 1960
Harper Lee's one and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, came out in 1960. She was a long-time friend of Truman Capote and based most of her novel off her life growing up in Alabama. Her novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year, but that didn't mean Lee was doling out interviews. For years, Lee politely refused interviews and public appearances. It wasn't until 2006 that Lee broke her longtime silence. She finally agreed to do an interview for the New York Times but would only answer questions pertaining to the University of Alabama's annual awards banquet honoring essays written about To Kill a Mockingbird. To this day, at the age of 85, she politely refuses all interviews with a handwritten note.

After seeing how some notable authors have been able to retain their privacy to this day, my question is, why is the social network so important when it comes to selling fiction? I recently attended a writers' meeting where the guest speaker spoke about the imbalance between those who follow him on Facebook and Twitter and how many books he sells on average. Basically, what he said is that followers on those sites don't translate into sales, something he's worked long and hard to attain through social networking.

Perhaps you're a little like me and don't care for all the details when it comes to the author. Does a little ambiguity make us enjoy an author more, and does it lend a little mystery to the writing craft?

What do you think?

Do you believe the online community has helped or harmed your writing career? Do you waste time connecting to others, or do you use your time wisely and learn to balance your writing with your online social life? Do you believe a writing career today would be harmed by adopting such a reclusive lifestyle?

☞ Make sure to stop by The Random Book Review and see what Sister Stephanie has to say about this week's controversial novel! ☜


  1. Confession:

    'Catcher in the Rye took Salinger ten years to write'

    I read up to this point and felt my heart flutter in my chest with such force that I had to stop reading and comment on that sentence alone.

    I recently read that O'Connor took eight years to write, 'The Violent Bear It Away.' And I remember reading a wikipedia article about the original 'Space Opera' guy waiting six years before his first novel made it through the machinery of publication (I'm thinking this was in the fifties.) I remember reading that Hinton had 'writer's block' for three years after publishing 'The Outsiders' and that a recent non-fiction book that was critically acclaimed about the use of Henrietta Lacks' cancer cells in research took ten years to write. Then there was some similarly acclaimed novel with 'dog' in the title that took a decade to write, as well. (You like that? How specific I was with that last example?)

    At any rate, one of the great frustrations of a career novelist prior to publication is the incredibly dwarfing process, which invariably takes years. 'The Catcher in the Rye' is my all-time favorite novel. It amuses me that it has escaped my notice how long it took Salinger to write it.

    I'm sorry, I know this post was about something else, and a topic which grabbed my interest when I saw it on the blogroll so I popped right on over.

    Just had to comment on the one tidbit that sent my old clanker pitter-pat.

    Back to reading the rest of the post ...

  2. Salinger on Facebook! Ha!

    Okay. I loved this post. I loved this post!

    I'm not on blogger to drum up sales. I blog because writing is a solitary vocation and I am not, by nature, hermetic. I blog because of the instant combustion with my words and the responses of minds that I have grown to admire and respect. I blog because I can.

    It's a very personal, non-marketing kinda reason and I won't speak to the other (online media as marketing tool) because I'll come off sounding like a major crank, and I don't think I am one. :)

    Mary Mary, I really enjoyed reading this, have a tremendous respect for those who reflexively exercise discretion-- I love the detail of the hand-written note-- and believe, in a deep space, that no one really knows the consequences, ramifications and endgames of social media. We participate at our own risk and for our own reasons. And if we don't know what those reasons are, we should take the time to have a nice heart-to-heart with ourselves and discover why.

    Super, super post.

  3. Okay, so I'd logged off, powered down, gone into the den with my husband and daughter and was about to suggest a nice game of 'Clue' when I began to laugh heartily at myself.

    I did not mean to communicate that I am not vacuum-packed, by nature. I meant to say, I am not hermit-like.

    Had to clarify. :) :)

  4. Great post, Sister Mary! I've been giving this some thought, too. It doesn't make much sense to have fans (aka: a platform) before you publish your book, does it? In my personal experience, blogs and social networks can be extremely time-consuming. After all, it's a form of entertainment. Sometimes, it's more fun to go read what our blogger friends are saying or look at our friends' photographs in FB than sitting down to revise a scene for the 11th time. This is why I think it's important to set time-limits for ourselves so we don't get too distracted.

    I recently read this "Goodbye to Facebook" letter author Robert Goolrick wrote and loved it. I thought I'd share with you guys:

    Suze, "The Historian" also took Elizabeth Kostova ten years to write.

  5. Great, now I have the "cowboys song" stuck in my head! :-)

  6. I don't need to love the author to love the writing. If I wasn't a writer-in-practice (and into supporting blogging authors), then I wouldn't care whether an author had an online presence or not. I like the whole idea of recluses. :P

  7. Sister Mary, Mary thanks for touching a delicate and bothersome subject! Something that you didn’t mention: physical appearance. In bygones days, nobody cared what writers looked like. In contemporary America, age and looks are considered to be assets in any aspiring novelist. That fact alone makes you long for the recluse days.
    I remember going over some slideshow of celebrities at a Red Carpet in a Brit newspaper. Of course the captions were all about who were the best and worst dressed and you had all the usual suspects (Keira Knightley, "Posh" Beckham, a Royal or two) and suddenly J.K. Rowlings popped up. Her outfit was one of the "worst." And I was “What? This is a novelist for Pete´s sake. What is she doing on a Red Carpet? Who cares what she is wearing?”
    Sad as it is, we live in the days of public exposure, of social networks, when “privacy” is a bad word. Agents and publishers demand authors who can “sell themselves,” that means to be on the spotlight forever. Suddenly, it´s not about fine prose or storytelling skills. It´s about You Tube videos and Facebook snapshots.
    I remember the shock I experienced on seeing a picture of Colleen McCullough for the first time. She was at her Norfolk Island home, at a time when her novels were on top of all bestsellers lists, and all I could think was. “How large she is! Lucky for her she´s a novelist. Nobody cares about her weight”. Today any obese writer would be forced to undergo extensive dieting and lipo, and botox, and whatever it takes to look glamorous. Honestly, folks, do we eve read or buy a book because the author is gorgeous?

    About your question, I constantly hear of writers who "have made it" thanks to social networking. Good for them! I can't seem to share their good luck or enthusiasm. Not all writers have social skills. Imagine grumpy Dickens blogging? Nobody would read his books!

  8. Suze -- I hear you on the ten year plan! I've read about many authors' long journeys to the publishing house, so it doesn't surprise me that it happened for someone like Salinger. It's all about timing. Salinger hit a nerve with his novel and that's why it needed to be published when it was published. Getting published is all about patience, I believe. I'm glad you enjoyed this post and I agree with many of the viewpoints you have when it comes to going public and doing things like blogging and the like. I think social media is still too new to understand the ramifications as well. Just the other night I watched a 20/20 in depth about a documentary coming out entitled "Catfish." It's all about how a small time NY filmmaker falls in love with a woman he met online. Unfortunately, she wasn't at all what he was led to believe. It is said that 1 in 5 profiles on Facebook are made up. Kind of makes you wonder . . .

  9. Lorena -- Thanks for sharing the Robert Goolrick link. I am so going to read it! And yes, much as reading a novel is a form of entertainment, so is blogging. Anything online always distracts a frustrated writer! (Sorry I got that song stuck in your head!)

    A.A. -- With writing (unlike many other career paths) the online world now plays a big part in how we connect and support others of our craft. It's just that there are growing pains and pitfalls to the social networking route. And I usually don't care what the author looks like either! (I didn't know what Salinger even looked like until I read an article about his death!)

  10. Violante -- I find it sad as well that there seems to be more emphasis placed on how a writer looks. You're right. Who cares what Rowlings is wearing to a red carpet event? But if we place ourselves out there in the entertainment world, then I guess we need to take whatever comes our way. And yes, there are writers who do not have the greatest social skills. That's why many of us are writers! We don't all have people skills. Could you imagine Dickens on Facebook! Ha!

  11. Yes i wonder the same thing. I guess if it is good and it's discovered then it doesn't matter if you are a recluse or not.

  12. I feel slightly out of place writing to a 'sisterhood.' I am an 88 year old male, who for some reason, probably genetic, seems to have escaped Dr. Alzheimer's gift to man. I have not been a 'literary' person, but at the end of a happy, and successful career as an engineer; with the children on their way, and after discovering the Imac, four years ago, I commenced my novel, which I am now editing.
    In my teens, I read Proust, Colette,Thomas Mann, and my favorites, the novels of Sigrid Undset—especially, 'The Master of Hestviken'. Then with college, a career, raising a family etc. literary pursuits were forgotten, even though an idea for a novel came to mind every now and then.
    How anyone could write a long novel by hand, and go through the editing process by cutting it into pieces and reassembling, boggles my mind.. My final word count is 350k.
    I guess I should say here, that the reason, I am writing in this particular blog session, is that I find that creating the characters and situations of the story, is so interesting (to me), and compelling that I feel like any interruption during my writing time is a loss. I am just as excited, now that my book is nearly complete, as I was when I started.
    I won't bore you with more, except to say that the opus is 'another one of those damned coming of age stories', as one agent put it. Life was so different in the 1930's, for the smart but impecunious 'hero'. I hope that the erratic behavior of the M.C. might convince a YA to read all 80 chapters. My 20 yr. old grandson has been reading along as I wrote, and makes complimentary comments, but I take flattery from relatives for what it is. Even though several writers have suggested that I try to get an agent, or submit it to a publisher; at my age, I probably wouldn't live to see it on paper. Epublishing is the way to go, so I shall. P.S The sex scenes are very

  13. I don't need to know much about the author to appreciate the writing or love the story. But as a writer myself, all modern fingers point to modern publishing not appreciating the well-written recluse. Sadly.

  14. To Anonymous, I gather you are writing a historical coming-of-age. In the European publishing business, age has become less of a negative factor when it comes to memoirs or historical novels dealing with events the author has actually witnessed. I imagine it´s the same in America. So don´t sell you short, continue enjoying your creative process, and look forward to possible publication.
    By the way, The Sisterhood has been ardently looking for male followers so your presence is very welcome!

  15. Madeleine -- I agree when it comes to the content. It needs to be well-written for me or I won't give two hoots about what's below the surface of the writer. I'll just probably never read them again.

    Anonymous -- I second Sister Violante's motion that we need more male followers! Thank you for writing to 'the Sisterhood' and we love having you along. It's good to hear that even at where you are in life you have the hunger to write. The creative process is so much fun and it's good to hear from those who have really enjoyed their time doing it. Best of luck to you when you get to the point where you want to be published. (P.S. I'm glad you write tasteful sex scenes!) Oh, and I do love Undset! You should check out my interview under "Interviews" that I did with the translator Tiina Nunnally for the novel Kristin Lavransdatter. I'm sure you'd enjoy it!

    Jaye -- Being able to keep to oneself is a lost art. It's too bad there aren't more quirky writers like the ones I listed above. Their mystery makes them all the more interesting to read!

  16. Dear Anonymous Writer,

    Three things got my immediate interest:
    1. Coming of age story (love this stuff)
    2. 1930's
    3. Tasteful sex scenes

    I admit being a bit shocked with your word count, but I'm sure you've already heard ALL about how you should split it into two or three books, a series, blah, blah, blah. I've been warned about high word counts in almost every conference I've attended and my novels are only 95,000 and 104,000 (after a strict diet, ha! It once was 153K). At any rate, I doubt I would have been able to write a novel by hand or typewriter (isn't copy/paste the best tool ever?)

    I also have more interest in writing than blogging/social networks. That's why I belong to a group blog :-) (I love my writing sisters!) So I don't have to devote so much time to it. Maybe we should have an Honorary Brothers Division!

  17. I have to agree with Anonymous when he says, "I feel like any interruption during my writing time is a loss." When I am fully immersed in my writing, I don't want to be online. Facebook, while I love it for personal reasons, is a pretty big distraction from writing. We've heard from agents that it's important to have a platform or fan base or whatever, but as Lorena said, why? Even if every one of my FB friends buys my eventual novel, and gives one to their mom, that's still not going to amount to much in terms of sales. Anyway, it seems books should speak for themselves; we writers shouldn't be marketing ourselves, we should be marketing our books.

    On the other hand (she said, arguing with herself), it always helps people when they're attractive and charming, whether they're politicians, painters, or poets. Writers may be behind the curtain, art-wise, but when one has to pitch to an agent or go on a book tour, charisma helps: that's human nature. Heck, it's animal nature.

    So I wonder how big a difference reclusiveness makes, either way. Maybe my plan should be to hide in a cabin till I get my novel(s) done and polished (sorry husband! sorry kids!) and then get new wardrobe, fake tan, and expensive haircut for the pitching-it bit. :) The writers famous for being hermits ... were they prolific? I know Harper Lee wasn't. I wonder if being a hermit might correlate, in fact, with low output.

  18. Sister Steph, I think you'll be gorgeous with your new tan, but please don't cut your hair!!! :-)

  19. Recluse - never. I like the camera too much. A fellow 'campaigner' joining in on the goss.

  20. Neil Gaiman said it best when he wrote in "American Gods" that America is a bad country for gods. This is true because in the modern age, everyone is a god. Back in Harper Lee's time and in J.D. Salinger's time as had an entire country of unknowns who knew they were not gods. So then you could have publishing companies tell you who to worship and they made gods of their authors. Nowadays, the "gods" are much more plentiful and have a far smaller worshiper base because the flock is spread between Snooki on Jersey Shore, Nicki Minaj, and the next upstart that tries to grab the spotlight with big boobs and a handsome face.

    Our society has moved away from the reclusive author. Now the recluse is shunned. If you aren't willing to be are irrelevant. Ideas are a dime a dozen. If you expect the world to hail you as a genius...think again. There's a hundred others that have your same idea and tweet about it. So yeah...that's just what I think.

    And for the record...I read Salinger, I read Harper Lee...recently...I heard that Harper Lee was going to do an interview. My response, "I could give a shit what you think Miss Lee. You had your chance to tell me about your book fifty years ago or anytime in-between. Now you want an interview? Go ahead...say what you will. I won't read it. I read your book. Everything else you have to say is irrelevant. Bye Bye Miss Lee. Too little too late."

  21. Love reading about the recluses. I feel social media networking has been both a blessing and a curse in my writing efforts. Mostly a blessing, because there's so much generosity with wonderful information and contacts, and feeling part of a vibrant community. The curse is the potential time suck, of course, and it's so hard to stay away when one is avoiding working!

  22. First and foremost you need a good story. If you don't have a page turning story then it won't matter how much social networking you do. The Social networking will get you sales--from those you've made a real connection with. But let's be honest. It's nigh impossible to make a REAL connection with 1000 or more people let alone the number of book sales we want to make. The time it would take would be extraordinary.
    And that's why we need to write that special book that takes on a life of its own. People will tell others about it because they genuinely loved it.

  23. Sister Steph -- I like your plan, but I second what Lorena has to say about the hair. You're a classy chick already!

    Pauline -- Welcome to the Campaign! Glad to have you aboard.

    Michael -- I can definitely see your point of view, and that's what's a little sad about the entertainment industry nowadays. So much fake crap going around posing as something it's really not (Snooki, classy? Never!). But the classics are there for a reason whether these authors dole out interviews or not. In the end, it was the writing that really made them who they are, whether that was fifty years ago or today (heck, look at McCarthy! He's still going strong and knows how to keep a low profile). In the end, for some individuals (those of the Snooki variety) have no problem in whoring themselves out. Writers, I think, are not only different, but shouldn't want to be in that category to begin with. It takes a brain to write something worth reading, but not to get drunk on MTV.

    Lynda -- I couldn't agree with you more! The story HAS TO be good. Plain and simple. 1000 online followers is not genuine, but your story certainly should be!

  24. The only thing I would like to add is how grateful I am to read something about Proust that doesn't bring up madelines. I know it's iconic, but I am sure the man ate other things!! (Perhaps none as life-changing, though...) :)

  25. I have seen Inception. I enjoyed it quite a lot but I thought the ending was a bit of a cop-out. What'd you think?

  26. Well, Jaye, that's a bit of a random question, but hey, I love the random ones! I saw Inception and wasn't quite as enchanted as everyone else seemed to be. I think that's because I read a lot about it before seeing it so I knew pretty much what happened in the story. The ending? I really don't like endings that keep you hanging and you know there will be no resolution, so I see your point. I wanted something to happen with that damn top! But, alas, we'll never know!

  27. Sister Mary, Jaye is not crazy, ha! She's just answering a conversation we started in her blog about stories that explore different kinds of "realities" and I asked her about Inception.

    Jaye, did you feel it was a cop-out because:
    a. The screen turned black and we didn't know if the top stopped spinning; or
    b. Because we were led to believe DiCaprio was still dreaming?

    I didn't think he was dreaming because of the wedding ring (and the whole "logic" of the story--it wouldn't really make sense otherwise.) I just think he didn't care any more and that's why he walked away (or maybe he already knew it was reality?) How did you interpret it?

    I read somewhere that the director may have wanted us to believe that the whole thing was a dream. But I don't think he would have intended to leave us with an Alice-in-Wonderland-ending. Do you? (This gives me an idea for a post!)

  28. I think there are still a lot of reclusive writers out there, even if they're on facebook. Most people use pen names which mask their true identity and some don't know what we look like. Although I'm very social on the web, in my personal life I'm very private and NO ONE except my immediate family know I write.

  29. Ha, Lorena! I had no idea, but hey, I'm game!

    Clarissa, I'd say I'm a lot like you. There are even many well-known authors who use pen names to write in other genres, and good for them for wanting a little mystery to what they do. My immediate family is aware of what I do (and there are many of them), but I think they're at the point where they could care less. And that's fine with me. That way I don't have to field all their questions anymore!

  30. Fun blog! I'm a fellow campaigner in your historical group. Just stopping by to say hi!

  31. Hey to you too, Heidi! Thanks for stopping by!

  32. Sites are a distraction but I like pretty shiny things and I'm willing to be distracted sometimes.

    HI from a fellow campaigner!


  33. Thanks, Lorena, for commenting on Friko's World.

    We live (I'll speak only for the UK) in a world of 'slebrity'. The famous are famous for being famous, not for any talent they might have.

    The writers I know (published and otherwise) are not on any of the social networks; in fact I have been told that I am more or less wasting my time reading mediocre blogs and commenting on them. In a way we bloggers are self-published, not an immediate recommendation to an agent or publisher. We tell each other how fabulous we are when we should be knuckling down to 'real' writing.

    Social networking does not help in getting published or finding buyers.Some of my stories and reminiscences are published locally. I try my hardest not to let anyone know that I often blog about local incidents, Incl. about fellow inhabitants).

    NOTE: I have said WE throughout. I belong in the category of those who are addicted to blogging.

  34. Hello Mary,
    I realize we live in a more fast paced society than authors as recent as 50 years ago did. As television became popular, somehow in my humble opinion, our brains have become wired differently. With the bombardment of advertising and marketing, I find it troublesome that there are so many "commercials." The books that are well written will be the ones that will become timeless classics long after the author is gone. Those are the ones that I prefer;) In my opinion, the recluses have it right, and put the emphasis on the work. Pleasure to meet you from the campaign trail. I am in your historical fiction group and couldn't resist listening to Paula Cole on the iPod as I read this. Excellent Post! :-)

  35. Tirzah -- It's good to meet you and we hope to see you around during the campaign!

    Friko -- I've honestly put a lot of thought into the social networking thing and blogging thing. I completely see why many writers (published or otherwise) would avoid it. And I also see how addicted some bloggers get. I love the idea of being a recluse and it bothers me a little (you think?) that we are almost forced anymore to do something that many of us don't really care for. I like the job, just not all the excess that I didn't really sign on for.

    Christy -- Good to meet another campaigner! I think the recluses do have it right! Every dog (the Snookis mainly) is fighting for their 15 minutes. I don't want 15 minutes! I want a piece or pieces of work that later on down the road people will still be reading. Will it happen? I don't know, but I also wouldn't mind being called a recluse. This day and age, being a writing recluse would be like seeing Lady Gaga in jeans and a t-shirt.

  36. Mary, Mary, you've raised some interesting points. I myself could care less what the author looks like, h/h personality and so on - but I'm a different generation - Social networking has, I think, a place in today's digital age. But, when one gets down to basics, Twitter doesn't improve what h/s wrote - hard to imagine Dickens on FB, LOL!

    Read your profile. OMG, you have a masters in foreign languages! This is sooooo awesome!! Wish we could have coffee so I could ask a million questions.

  37. Kittie -- I agree with you on Twitter. If anything, it downgrades how well someone can write (and I know it's not there to write a novel, I'm just saying, think about the generation coming up next and their spelling skills! Scary!). As to my masters, it's in French (I'm not sure if that's what you were hoping for or not) and I have always loved the language. If you have a million questions, I would try and answer them all for you! : ) If you do have any foreign language questions feel free to email me here at the Sisterhood ( and I'll see if I can answer them.

  38. Hi, I'm visiting from the Campaign, and I was delighted to read this post. As an introvert of the extreme variety, I am much happier behind a computer than out in public. Still, I like people -- I just can't be around them much, or I get easily worn out. The online community gives me a way to connect with people without exhausting myself.

    Good luck with the Campaign! Glad I found you here.

  39. Hey Nadine, welcome to the Sisterhood blog!

    I tried to post a comment in yours, but it didn't work. (I often have problems with WordPress.) Just wanted to let you know that I loved your "When Dreams Turn to Nightmares" post. I'll leave your link here so my writing sisters can read it:


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