In Lieu of… the Q1 StoryFix Newsletter

Wherein we catch up on Storyfix-related stuff.


Over 4000 of you have subscribed to my quarterly newsletter.  About two dozen of you are confused about the difference between these newsletters and the twice-weekly (roughly) posts on this site.

The newsletter is for news.  A round up the latest , some media referrals, and a chance for me to rant about whatever.

The posts are all about content and craft.

The posts remain available via directly-delivery subscription, via RSS or email. Click on the FEEDBURNER icon to the right.

As for the quarterly newsletter… I’ve put it on indefinite hold.  Reason: the economics, which don’t pencil out.  The third- party newsletter vendors charge a pretty penny for distribution to over 4000 recipients.  I will get it going again when I find a vendor with pricing that works for me, and the existing database will plug right in.

Meanwhile, another issue: You know that little pop-up window, the irritating one that appears when you arrive at this site, asking you to sign up for the newsletter?  I get one to three emails a day informing me that mechanism “broken.”

Yes, it is.  That signup form connects to… nothing at all at the present time.

Trouble is, I have no freaking idea how to SHUT DOWN that dang popup window.  If you know WordPress and can point me toward the means of disabling it, I’d love to hear from you.

Lame, I know.  But I don’t have a webmaster, and WordPress is about as user friendly as the cockpit of the space shuttle.  Seriously.


My next Writers Digest University live online webinar is THURSDAY, March 21.

CLICK HERE to get the skinny.  It’s going to be hugely and immediately useful – comparable to an entire weekend workshop, or several dozen Storyfix posts – for writers at any level.

Let me add this to the significant nuts and bolts description you’ll find via that link.  Out of 1000 pitches submitted to agents, about 250 will get a “request for pages” response.  Of those, about ten will receive an offer of representation.  Of those, two to five might sell to a publisher.

Not because of the writing and execution – that’s a given, you have to bring that to the party to even get past the parking attendant – but because of the STORY.

Agents and editors aren’t looking for the next great writer, they’re looking for the next great STORY.  And the bar for that is quite high, and the path to it anything but simple.

Rough odds.  Just keeping it real here.

This webinar is more than “how to write a good story.” the old fashioned way.  This webinar is about writing a novel or a screenplay that is good ENOUGH to survive these cuts.  What it takes to emerge from an inbox full of decent stories to become a potential success.

There are criteria and benchmarks for that level of storytelling, which are rarely discussed or defined (the general conversation is about basics).  Such an understanding resides beyond the intuitive and is a rare thing indeed, leading toward a story that is a whole in excess of the story’s parts.

This webinar is about THAT.  About what it takes to write stories at THAT level.

Which I’m betting is your goal.  And am sure it should be.

Then again there’s always luck and good timing.

Writers Digest is allowing me to offer you a TEN DOLLAR DISCOUNT when you sign up for the webinar on their site (which is the only place you can sign up).  Just enter this code –  WDS321LW – in the space provided, and the $10 discount off the regular $89 tuition is yours.

Please join me for this experience. We’re going to cut right to it. If clarity and direct access to the truth about what your story needs to be to land an agent and a publisher and then – this is for self-published authors, too, ESPECIALLY – how to grab readers and generate referral word of mouth… then I invite you to join me.


I heard from a StoryFix reader today, telling me he’s reviewed “Story Engineering” on his website.  His opening hook in that review reads like this:

 “When I read first Larry Brooks, and after I got over my very British attitude to his very American style, my first reaction was, ‘this is crap’, and I set out to prove it.

Yeah, I winced, too.  Despite looking like I can bench press a Volkswagen (can’t do that, though I can lift the end of one off the ground), I’m a sensitive guy who’s genuinely just trying to help.

The book actually gets that a lot.  It’s human nature to reject that which challenges your paradigms or illusions.  And the truth hurts when you realize you don’t actually know what you thought you knew, or enough, about storytelling.

Which is why I urge you to read the rest of this guy’s review.  Click HERE to read his thoughts on how “Story Engineering” turned out to be his friend, despite his first impression.  (Also, the most recent review of SE on Amazon is pretty cool, too… that’s why I do this.)

Then read more from his website, which is killer stuff.  The author (David Powell) has also just self-published his first novel (a conceptual literary drama), which you can get HERE, for only $1.56 on Kindle. Haven’t read it yet, but the concept is compelling (take note), and based on his blog, he deserves a shot.


That was going just fine… until the last post.  A post that I spent – not an exaggeration – over 10 hours preparing, include two more viewings of the movie.

Talk about economics that don’t pencil out.

Exactly ONE person responded (thank you, Robert).  The three previous posts in the series received 21, 27 and 17 comments, respectively.  Which is actually sort of thin, given the intentions and the amount of work required.

Not sure what went wrong, but I think this deconstruction is done.  The learning is all here and available (check the archive)… the beat sheet, the story milestones (placement and discussion), wrestling with the concept and execution, all in context to the principles that make this story so much more than what it seems at first, and more than the tepid market response it’s getting.

“Side Effects” is actually TOO smart for the mass market, I believe.  Which means that we, as writers, need to dive in and soak up what it teaches us, despite our targeted reading level.

If you want more on “Side Effects,” leave a comment with a specific focus.  Meanwhile, I’ll put all the unused dishes away from the proverbial party that everyone left early, and move on.

Going forward… I’ll be addressing the topics that came in (in abundance) in my recent call for Storyfix post ideas.


Yes, this site has one, and it works.  It’s newly placed and titled in the right column, right under the intro section.


My forthcoming writing book is pre-selling pretty well.  You can find it on Amazon HERE.  It releases mid-June in paperback and Kindle (and the other digital venues).

My new novel (“Deadly Faux”), by the way, will be released by Turner Publishing in October.  See the cover to the right and click on it to go to Amazon, where you can pre-order.  That would be nice.

In support of the launch all five of my earlier novels are being republished this fall and early in 2014, also by Turner Publishing.  It’s like a rebirth with a better body (trade paperbacks, new covers, etc.).

Those, too, are up on Amazon, though the covers (which are on the Books page) aren’t posted there yet.

Gotta go… somebody parked a Volkswagen in front of the mailboxes, and the Mail dude is asking for help.

Thanks for playing.  More soon.



Filed under other cool stuff

41 Responses to In Lieu of… the Q1 StoryFix Newsletter

  1. I didn’t respond on the Side Effects deconstruction. Spoilers. Truth is, I skipped it because I haven’t seen the movie yet. And that is a yet. I will come back to your deconstruction later. Promise. I fear that you are right – too smart for the average viewer. But is it really his swansong?

  2. @AM — I doubt Soderbergh will go away. Look at the people clammoring to work with him, and he’s young, can’t see him “retiring” to do… what? Hope I’m right, love his stuff. After you see the film and re-enter the deconstruction series, let me know what you think, k? Thanks for commenting – L.

  3. Peter

    Re the pop-up: Log into WP, select Plugins in the left sidebar, and a list of all of your plugins should come up. Scan through it and look for a name or a description of one of the plugins that has something to do with a pop-up. DO NOT DELETE IT (in case it’s the wrong one). Click on Deactivate. That should do it.

  4. Sorry you didn’t get the feedback you were looking for on the SIDE EFFECTS posts. I’ve been printing out those babies and saving them to re-read in the future. Loved the beat sheet. Thanks for all your hard work and efforts. Your long hours spent on the deconstruction are truly appreciated even though you didn’t feel that on your end. It’s a fascinating, amazing movie.

  5. I’ll echo AM Gray. I skipped the Side Effects posts because I haven’t seen the movie (and don’t plan to). I think it may be a simple matter of the popularity of the movie you picked. But I have been following your blog for ages and definitely plan to continue. I love the previous story analyses you’ve done, and it’s something I always want more of (assuming they’re stories that I have read/seen!).

    I would actually like to see more analyses, but less in depth, across a wide range of story types. I feel like that would give me a better idea of the big picture and how it applies to different stories.

  6. Shaun

    I also haven’t seen the movie yet. I plan on seeing it when it comes out. On top of that, I personally don’t care for the story enough to pay to see to see it. Just doesn’t really grab my attention. Especially when (like you) it would take me a couple viewings to digest the material. So I’d rather have the movie at my disposal to pause and rewind if needed. Thanks for all the hard work. I plan on going back to these last three deconstruction posts later!

  7. Susie

    I can’t believe you didn’t get many comments on the deconstruction series. Maybe the reason is people are still working through it. It is so chock full of information that demands intense study and concentration – at least for me, that I have not had time (between working full time and writing) to finish the analysis. It’s intense. I’ve read your books and learned so much from them. Your story structure series has opened my eyes and helped me tremendously. Plus, I like your style. Thanks for all the hard work you put into everything you do for writers. You must be building some very good karma. ~Susie

  8. It looks like WPSubscribers is your popup plugin. Disable that and your popup should…disappear. For the record, I didn’t get the popup in Chrome, but did see the code for the plugin when I viewed your source code.

  9. Matt

    Loved every bit of the Side Effects deconstruction. The movie is a must-see and your insight proved really helpful in understanding its structural significance. Thank you for all the time spent there!!

  10. Sara Davies

    I read the post on the scenes in Side Effects, but couldn’t relate them to where I am, trying to figure out how to nail down plot points.

    Subject matter, style of delivery, relevance to the audience, emotional resonance…these are factors beyond structure and concept that won’t appeal to everyone all the time. Although I believe getting the structure right is a prerequisite to finding an audience, I don’t believe it guarantees appealing to everyone.

    Story-telling skill is powerful, like some kind of kinky bondage hell for the reader. In the past two days I read two trashy page-turners, which I was engrossed in and enjoyed, presumably for their story-telling structure…but the writing was terrible, so cringe-worthy that I couldn’t figure out why any publisher thought it was adequate. Clunky sentences. Choppy transitions. Stupid dialogue. They left me feeling cheap, dirty, and used. They may have had a “theme” but not one that resonates for me. Totally non-nutritive, like junk food for the mind. Yet somehow those books WERE published, and I read them. I read them in spite of myself. I read them, thinking the entire time, “This is terrible. I can’t believe how bad this is. What happens next?” Short-term gain – I’ll never read another book written by either of them. They got me once, jerked me around like a marionette, but I ain’t never comin’ back.

    Writers who do know how to put words together, the ones who make it onto best-seller lists, the ones who’ve made me want to read dozens of their books…sometimes offend me….but I forgive them and return, because their stories draw me in and their words generate atmosphere. On some level, their books resonate, even if what they say is out of sync with my worldview.

    My favorite writers tell a good story, write well, have something to say, and what they say resonates with my inner emotional life in a way that lasts over time. They write books I will read multiple times. The books I love are not the books everyone loves.

    Some of the greatest literary achievements of the 20th century bore the hell out of me. I’ve tried to read them and just can’t do it. That’s not about the writers’ skill, it’s about content and delivery. People don’t win Pulitzers because their writing sucks. Some of the greats I do love, but not all.

    It depends partly on who the reader (or audience) is.

  11. I have enjoyed your deconstruction of Side Effects and learned a lot from both the movie and your posts. A life event–lost my job–interfered with my ability to focus on the last couple of posts. But that’s in the past–done.

    Thank you for all the newsy items. I think joining the webinar is doable.

    And thank you for your continuing efforts on behalf of writers. I APPRECIATE what you do.

  12. For the newsletter problem, Wysija might be a solution. They charge a flat fee for anything over 2,000 subscribers.

  13. Judy Swofford

    Thank you for the amount of time, effort, and expense you’ve put forth on the Deconstruction of “Side Effects.” I have printed all you have posted and study them in depth. I’ve seen the movie and will see it again and again with the beat sheet.

    I have also read, reread, highlighted and taken notes on my copy of “Story Engineering,” and have pre-ordered “Story Physics.” I look forward to its June release. So far I’ve read “Darkness Bound” and “Bait and Switch” and look forward reading the others.

    You have convinced me to stop pantsing, and heed your guidance. I’m about 3/4 of the way through my first novel (pantsing all the way) with an undecided ending. I don’t know whether to stop, start over, or use what I have, decide how it should end, continue and then revise like hell.

    All of this to tell you that you are appreciated. You are helping all of us wanna be novelists. I will register for your upcoming Webinar.
    Thanks for all that you do.

  14. Robert Jones


    Sorry to hear that the “Side Effects” deconstruction won’t be going forward. I haven’t seen the movie, but that didn’t stop me from learning. Hell, I had to go back and look over the books and movies I have already read/seen after your deconstructions because it gave me a fresh eye in which to see them. So if truth be told, I wasn’t planning to see this movie until after the fact anyway. Spoilers don’t spoil a good story–not if the deconstruction sets all the ducks in a row. I actually prefer the “knowing” first.

    My feeling is that a current film, probably in terms of most needing more than one viewing to get it, was why more people didn’t clamber to see it. People just aren’t spending in that way in the current economy. Even if the movie was half the price, it’s just not geared into people’s brains to spend for what might entail multiple purchases in these conservative times. Still not sure why more weren’t following the learning curve in the deconstruction, but everyone learns in their own way. So in absence of having a movie in hand (or to stream) I’m just thinking most were not able to understand, or felt they were–or would be–missing something in the written translation.

    I’m a little bit disappointed that things turned out as they did, but I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. This site has really helped to fuel me, as well as teach me, over the recent months I’ve been here. So thank you for all your hard work.

  15. Christine Lind


    I am studying the deconstruction right now, and working hard on it. It’s a gift from you I’m not ignoring. I am applying it to my novel, and then resubmitting my questionnaire to you soon (and hopefully move on to the next step of your coaching). This is serious business that I’m taking seriously. I even think I got the concept thing nailed, really I do, but only because you don’t let go, and come at us Six Ways to Sunday and finally one of those “ways” got to my brain.

    But just for the record for this post – I’m completely engaged. Sometimes I forget that the “comments” are here for us to be interactive.

    Also, caught your article in the latest WD on sub-plots, and read it with fresh new eyes….

  16. Laureli

    “… It’s human nature to reject that which challenges your paradigms or illusions. And the truth hurts when you realize you don’t actually know what you thought you knew, or enough, about storytelling.
    Which is why I urge you to read the rest of this guy’s review. ”

    Preaching to the choir on this one- your fans & followers already know the ending of that story… because we already found out the hard way -or if we were lucky, were convinced before stepping into that spiderweb quagmire of trial and error… that your methods are sound.
    It’s always awesome to see a convert though – what better review could there be?!

    By the way, I didn’t notice that dang pop-up this time!

  17. Sara Davies

    Would like to do the webinar but can’t make it at that time of day.

    What is the purpose of a pre-order? I don’t usually pre-order anything because…well, I want it now. I was planning to buy Story Physics when it comes out. What if I’m dead before then? But if that helps you…OK. I definitely want it. Story Engineering = best book on writing I’ve ever found. No contest.

  18. Kenneth Fuquay

    Just had to drop a note to say how much I appreciate your hard work, great advice, and passion for teaching. Right now, I am still in the “student” phase, soaking up your books and all your past posts on this website. The information is invaluable and I am excited to put this new-found knowledge to work. Might be hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but your advice is clear, succinct, and easily understood.

    Thanks for all you do.

  19. Robert Jones

    @Christine Lind–You’ve hit on exactly how diverse the learning process can be. I’ve read about cases where a dozen or more teachers have put the same subject into their own words, and the students will keep scratching their heads until that one teacher frames in the way that they can see it. The “Oh, I get it,” moment.

    And the challenge for Larry, as one man, hasn’t been lost on me. He’s really had to stretch himself to become all those different teachers, framing the same subject in a myriad of ways. That in itself has been educational to watch.

    @Sara–I agree, Story Engineering is one of the few writing books that really challenged me. I prefer a scientific approach, one that bears up under the evidence of books and movies that have been successful. SE does that. You still have to find your writing voice and individuality, but once you begin to grasp story stucture, everything you read and watch afterward becomes more enlightening. It really is one of the great missing weapons (from most beginning novelist’s arsenal) that most agents and editors try to frame successful stories around.

    The proof is all around us. Most of us have seen it already–we just didn’t observe it.

  20. @ Larry

    I’m going to guess that not all deconstructions are created equal. The more subtle the movie i.e. “TOO smart for the mass market” the more nuanced , challenging and for you satisfying the deconstruction will be. i.e. “dive deeper.” ( It is a rare professor who wants to teach Chemistry 101 forever. Her imagination and understanding has carried her far beyond the basic understanding of established elements.) Thankfully, you happen to be one of them. But, now and then it does get a little tedious not to mention a less than efficient use of your time.)

    Don’t give up on the crew. We’re still paddling around in the shallows, most of us. Well, I am anyway. 🙂 The first time I saw the periodic table it was as abstract and as irritating as listening to the English professor explain a gerund phrase. It takes awhile, but we get there.

  21. Ditto to many other comments about the Side Effects deconstruction. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but looking forward to it. Don’t know if it’s in the theaters here yet, but they’re too outrageously expensive anyway. $50 for two adults with a single popcorn and drink to share. That’s reserved for special occasions like anniversaries. Waiting till it comes out on pay-per-view.

    I don’t usually comment anyway, unless I have something genuine to add or ask. But I read every post.

  22. Marcia

    As an overwhelmed novice, I am unwrapping your gift slowly. Thank you.

  23. @Sara — no “purpose” at all of a pre-order. And no agenda, I get nothing out of pre-pub sales (other than a normal royalty). Hope the new book lives up to Story Engineering, it actually “sandwiches” that content with overall context (pre) and then infuses it with a massive “why?” factor relative to the six core competencies. L.

  24. @R.E.Hunter — okay, gotta ask… where are you? Fifty bucks for two movie tickets, wow, that’s… you must be on some wonderful exotic island where they have to bring the film in via catamaran. At least I hope, because that sounds terrific. Anyhow, it’ll be on Netflix soon, I’d guess by May. Worth the wait. L.

  25. VAG

    The “Side Effects” deconstruction coupled with the beat sheet was a revelation. I have read your book, and in fact studied the structure section because there, it turns out, is where I suck at this. I previously wasted a lot of time reading books dealing with “plot” and “structure,” and yours is the first one with a real payoff. This deconstruction (along with Avatar to a lesser extent) brought it all together. The beat sheet alone was priceless. Which brings me to another point. Maybe you are giving too much away, if you will forgive my presumption in saying that. For someone who actually wants to tell a story vice just talking about being a “writer,” your stuff is solid gold. Your analytical ability coupled with your talent for imparting that analysis in an actionable way is unmatched in my experience. A package of the deconstructions plus the beat sheet would be a great companion piece to the book, and not for free.

  26. Thomas

    I feel like we let you down. I rarely comment on anything. My mistake. I follow your deconstructions and everything else you write about over and over again until it sinks in. I have purchased Story Engineering and it is very good and has helped me considerably.

    THANK YOU for all you do for us would be writers. As you can see, only getting a few comments does not mean squat.

    You have many “silent” fams and readers and buyers.

  27. Helen Weder

    Just wanted you to know that I do read your stuff and I save it in a folder on my desktop for future reference. I also have a copy of Story Engineering which I’ve looked at and check listed against my first draft of a YA novel written last year. Unfortunately real life has gotten in the way and I’m back in my teaching job (at least I am teaching kids about creative writing and can pass on what I’ve learned – i.e. it doesn’t come with the press of a button! Thanks for sharing your knowledge – I do appreciate it!

  28. Sandy

    Hi Larry. Totally bummed that Side Effects Deconstruction is over. It was my first one! I couldn’t wait for Mondays. The three posts created an exciting learning curve. Wasn’t sure what the Decon rules were so I was just learning along; jaw sprung wide. Thank you for the Deconstruction – extremely educational for my learning style.

    I’ve only just found this remarkable website and studied your Deconstruction of Shutter Island (amazing job). So, when I read of your upcoming Decon of Side Effects, I grabbed my hubby and raced to the Cinemark (as R.E.Hunter stated – it too costs us about $45 (Plano, TX) for two movie tickets, popcorn and drinks — maybe it’s the Junior Mints). We are ready to see it again after following you on this Series.

    I’m writing my first novel and after discovering Story Engineering (and consuming it – twice) I finally, finally understand. I can remove the volumes of writing books from my shelves and just keep Story Engineering (okay, and The Writer’s Journey). Your book has it all. Job well done!

    Please, if you get the urge, at least discuss other amazing Side Effects marvels you had planned for us, in some of your bi-weekly posts along the way. I sincerely appreciate your willingness to teach and share. You are making a difference. Thank you, Larry.

  29. Hi Larry

    Not normally a commenter, normally a watch and lurker.
    I was following your deconstruction but when you posted the beat sheet i wasn’t in a place to be able to read it. Given life at the mo it got forgetten about so apologies but as you know from our discussions i’ve very into your four part story mechanism and I will now go check it out before life takes over and I forget again!

  30. Robert Jones

    @ R. E. Hunter and Sandy–Wow, glad I don’t live in Texas. Those movie prices are pretty darn high. Is there any sort of logical reason for that?

  31. Sandy

    Hi Robert,

    Only logical reason is greed. 🙂 And, we don’t go to the evening movies (ticket price too high). However, we usually pay more for 2 drinks, 1 popcorn and possibly (as I mentioned before) the ever pricey Junior Mints than for the tickets – that’s where they “get ya”. So, we COULD forego the treats – but where’s the fun in that??

    I’m not speaking for R.E. tho’. Don’t know where s/he lives.

    Just to be clear: I’m a Texan through and through and wouldn’t live anyplace else. I LOVE my State. 🙂

  32. Robert Jones

    We can get up around $30 for two people, with popcorn and drinks. I agree, those snacks are outrageously priced. And if you’re feeling muchy, you could technically pay more than dinner for two in a semi-decent restaurant.

    I hear ya on loving where you live. That counts for a lot in life.

  33. Have your wife bring a big purse (or either of you have big pockets), hit the quickie mart, get two boxes of candy, bottle of pop and a bag of prepared popcorn (granted, not as tasty as the theater’s)… total tab is about seven bucks. Fun to sneak it in, too… no guilt in beating the theater’s consumer-rape pricing. L.

  34. Despite the fact that I’m not planning on seeing the movie, I am absolutely riveted by the Side Effects deconstruction. Some of the most useful stuff I’ve read about craft.

    Haven’t commented because all I’d have to say (thus far) is “Yeah, that.”

    If we all promise to beg (or, conversely, promise NOT to beg) I hope you’ll reconsider. I *skim* lots of writing about craft. Your stuff, I read, slowly, methodically, with a notebook handy.

    Clutching my library copy of Story Engineering until mine arrives from Amazon.

  35. Oh, and I’d be delighted to help with your WP stuff, no charge. Until my writing makes me rich (ha!) WordPress pays my bills so I keep my skillset current, but when someone gives me as much as you have in your posts, I love giving back if I can. Give me a shout at if I can do anything at all to help with your site and blog.


  36. Dave H

    I’ve been loving the deconstructions – didn’t happen to respond to the third because I was enjoying absorbing the mountain of great content you’d provided.

    Glad to see you are actually capping it off with a new installment!
    Also – it may be to late to be helpful, but I create and manage WordPress sites – so might be able to help with those issues you’d mentioned (pro bono…..of course….or at least amateur bono).


  37. Jan Rydzon

    Like others, I printed out all the “Side Effects” deconstruction posts to study. I found them terrific examples of the principles in “Story Engineering.”

    Thanks for your time and effort!

  38. Matthew Brook


    Will the Story Physics book also be released as a Nook eBook?

  39. I’ve enjoyed some of your deconstructions, but they make more sense to me if I’ve actually read (or watched) the work in question. I’ve honestly never heard of this movie. I don’t have TV, so I don’t really see trailers. I tried your first in this series and just couldn’t stay interested because I knew nothing about the story.

    As for the rest, I look forward to your new book. I purchased the old one concurrently with rethinking how I write. Thanks to another book on writing, I had been outlining my latest attempt at fiction. Your book gave me a lot of specific help on story structure within that outline and also helped me to refocus the story so that it was actually about something, rather than a slice of life.

    This past week, I started the actual writing. I already see some tightening up I need to do (that’s what editing is for) but what I really love is that I am already foreshadowing and setting up things that will come next. More importantly, the scenes all lead in some way to the final scene in my outline. Knowing all about the story also freed me to think about personality quirks in a way I never did before. The outlining and your book together got me to think about more than stringing adventures together until I got bored with the characters. I’ve written 9 really bad books. This one is the first one where I can tell people in two sentences roughly what the book is about.

  40. Raijin

    Hi Larry
    I fing your posts great always full of info I have been reading them a while but have not left comment as yet. BUt I am reading them in the great thurst for knowladge.
    This line in your post :
    “Not because of the writing and execution – that’s a given, you have to bring that to the party to even get past the parking attendant – but because of the STORY.”
    Leads me to thinking the there is a great differance between “A Best Selling Author” and “A best writing Author” These must be 2 very different things.

  41. @Raijin – glad to have you… and you’re right, two very different things. One we have complete control over, the other, absolutely none. And we become the best storytellers we can be, and then let it be. L.