Dogberry's Watch -- Progress Journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Dogberry's Watch, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    Depends on which kinds of ships, but if you've specific questions about icebreakers or yachts, I'm willing to answer questions :)
     
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  2. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I'll get back to you. The ship I have in mind at the moment is big enough to hold several dozen people. More than 100 less than 200. Maybe. If such a thing exists. Like I said it's research stuff for the edit. If I edit it.
     
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  3. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Quick note before I get ready for work today (*Future Dogberry here, this was not a quick note):

    Writing a new genre is interesting, and as I don't read much in the way of sci-fi horror to begin with, I'm not surprised I'm uncertain of what I'm doing right now. I don't even know if this is one of those "fake it till you make it" kind of things because I feel like anyone who even has a slight interest in the genre will know I'm in way over my head.

    But! It's been really fun. And so I will keep having fun. I might get to write the "final night of terror" on board the ship today at work if I get a lunch break. Mondays are kind of hit or miss for lunch breaks. Also, we might be having people work from home again soon, so I'm crossing my fingers that happens today or this week. Such strange times. My family's already having fights over the holidays because people don't want to risk COVID exposure and I'm over here all, "y'all work it out amongst ya, I'm going to eat my green beans in peace."

    But I digress. I also got a decent chunk done on the third project I'm working on, which is my self-publishing goal (for one day, not soon), and I keep getting annoyed with the writing in it. It feels vapid and slow, yet rushed. Is that typical for romance novels? I don't know. I went on a ramble/rant on my main blog (not on here) about the danger behind romance novels, and the main issue I have with them is how fast the romances happen. There was one I read where the main character was essentially abducted by the main male and within two pages of meeting him, she's being eaten out in a peach orchard. Then by the end of it, some fifty pages later, she's in love with him and hoping to be pregnant after each romp in the bedroom.

    I'm not against people having a good time or having hopes and dreams, but I am against impossible timelines. Just an interesting genre in general, and the more I research, the less I'm inclined to continue my project. I know there are good romance novels out there. I've read some (some by a member here, actually), but the genre as a whole concerns me because of the expectations it imparts on both men and women. The men are usually damaged emotionally somehow and it takes the love of the woman (or in some cases it doesn't work and the woman stays with an abusive partner) to "change" him. Even the women who are seemingly independent usually get "taken down" by a supposedly more dominant man, and it gets a bit tedious and repetitive to read stories like that. Obviously this is a generalization of an entire genre, and I know there are more things behind the stories. But this is what I've been thinking about a lot lately.

    I don't know. This took on a ramble, sorry. Thanks for stopping by if you made it this far.
     
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  4. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Staff Contributor

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    That's the size of ship I was more than once, sometimes for extended periods of time :)
     
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  5. marshipan

    marshipan Contributor Contributor

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    Romance is a funny genre. I feel like it's the most formulaic and that simple writing is a plus, instead of something holding it back. Have to agree there is a lot of cringe stuff.
     
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  6. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Today's lunch break writing adventure was a solid effort. I'm making excellent progress on the first draft of this thing. The title of The Dust Chronicles feels a bit too fantasy for what it's become, but I don't know what else to call it. The Death Dust? That just sounds like a dog's name for a vacuum.

    Titles are important, but placeholders are good for now. I've been writing this in third person. It wasn't always third person, I don't think... I honestly can't remember. But I know I decided it because it felt right in third person. My biggest issue with that perspective is starting most sentences with he or she. Practice makes it better, so onward I go.

    Right now the main character is on the main deck of the boat they took for getting to the conference, and she's hiding so she can escape the creatures of doom before they eat her. Not many of the 128 or so people on the boat make it.

    It's a fun process. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you're well and safe!
     
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  7. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Taking a break from the NaNoWriMo project to work on my romance for a few days to regroup my brain a bit. It's jarring to spend a lot of time in the darkness of the world on purpose. Usually I do it out of unconscious habit. But purposefully being there is disconcerting a little.

    But I'm writing while watching Cold Case Files so I guess I'm not too far away from the awfulness of humanity. At least my characters are having a good time.

    Hope you're well.
     
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  8. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I stayed up until 4:45 in the morning last night working on the romance thing. It's all garbage and I'm okay with that. There's no actual plot. I don't know what the story is for it, so I'm kind of just writing scenes and hoping they'll connect at some point. I think I'm doing some sketching. Getting the bare bones down so when/if I feel like going back to edit it for publishing (self-publishing), I can wrangle a story out of it. I had the thought that the main issue/conflict could be that the male lead's family thinks the female lead is a gold digger (because of course he's rich), but they don't know he's never told her about his wealth. So when they realize she loves him because she loves him, they worry they've wrecked the romance. But that is so weak. It's like drinking watered down vodka and you can tell it is, so the experience is unpleasant and doesn't give you the desired results.

    Writing the Dust Chronicles is going to resume soon, I just . . . well, it takes a lot out of me because I'm putting so much emotion into it and it's new writing for me, so I'm kind of drained by that story every time I work on it. The plot is all outlined, though, so I don't have to worry about what's going to happen.

    On the subject of storytelling, I've been rewatching Criminal Minds for the 90th time, and the beginning seasons are not as good as I think I thought they were. The acting is a bit subpar, and the stories are very forced. But they find their groove along the fourth season all the way up to the 10th, and then it gets funky in an unpleasant way. I've noticed that whenever writers try to force emotional moments, they often fall completely flat and do the opposite of what they were trying to do. It gets to the point where I wonder if writers know how to properly use emotion in a story. I include myself in that, so don't worry, I'm not getting bigger than my shoes here. But there's a part of me that thinks maybe the world doesn't know how to show emotion very well anymore. We're very fast paced and there's not a lot of time for dwelling on things that make us feel intensely. It has to be over quickly so we can move on to the next part of whatever it is we have to get done. And maybe that's a product of what I live in, a society where I'm only as useful as what I produce at work, who knows?

    But yeah. Sorry, I really should be sleeping, but I felt like writing this down first so I didn't forget what I wanted to try and say. If it doesn't make sense, my excuse is my eyes keep closing. I had something more to say about emotion and writing and how it's being forced upon a reader during a very specific "THIS IS WHERE YOU FEEL THIS NOW" moment, but I don't remember what it was. I think it goes along with what a YouTuber I watch was saying about a song by Mr. Bieber, where it sounded like he was forcing his voice to be emotive, and he went on to say that it just sounds like he's trying to make it sound like that part of the song is making the singer emotional, but it was really kind of faked. I think that's more what I meant to say above, that lately I've noticed stories having emotions tossed in to have a bigger supposed impact on things when it's really manipulative behavior? I don't know what I'm saying now. I'm going to go.

    Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I hope you are doing all right and that your world around you is as safe as it can be.
     
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  9. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I haven't written for a few days but I'm not really bothered by that. I think I was getting burnt out on it. I'll get back to it, but for now I'm just going to let it be.

    Hope you're well.
     
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  10. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I didn't write at all last week and it's leaking into this week, too. I think I'm going to take an extended break and get back to reading and see how that goes. I'm a bit bored with my stories, so if *I'm* bored there's probably going to be a bunch of others bored, too. It's not all of them I'm bored with, but writing feels like it's not enough right now. I don't know how to explain it.

    So I'm going to try and work on my backlog of reading and see where that gets me. Maybe I'll be invigorated again and I'll go back to where I got stuck in my main wip and it'll go smoother. I'm not feeling like a failure or anything negative, really. Just indifferent.

    Hope you're well.
     
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  11. montecarlo

    montecarlo Active Member

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    Reading is creativity fuel for me! Best of luck!

    -MC
     
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  12. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I fooled myself into writing last night. Found a fancy pen that was almost out of ink and I told myself I should write until it was empty. I didn't empty the pen, but I did write. Hated all of it so I scratched it out. I think I need to go back even further. Redo some bits. See what happens then.

    I'm further in my reading, which is good because the book I'm reading is dragging so much. It's showing me more and more what I don't want to do as a writer.

    I finally got my office set up in a productive way with a separate space for my creative projects so my desk is strictly writing. And I have a little library area tucked in the corner so that just adds to the happy. Good spaces designed for productivity make it easier for me to work. Which makes sense, but I often find myself writing in a contorted way on the couch more often than I should.

    Hope you're well.
     
  13. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    The idea that my desk is just for writing paid off because I got over 3000 words written tonight. Not all of it is rat poison either! Hooray! Probably! I spent some time on my lunch break sitting in my reading chair (lol it's a 96 dollar chair from Walmart and my bad back hates it, but I love it) and looking at my office space (you have my stapler). I don't know how to explain the sense of accomplishment I feel because this room hasn't been put together since I moved in back in April. And now it is. I've been struggling, as many have in this world of isolation, but not because I'm lonely. I've had to look at myself without the barrier of others around and it's uncomfortable.

    That's getting too personal, and while this is a journal, it's not a blog, so I'll limit it to that because it has affected my writing. I've felt lackluster and bored with it. Mediocre and below average. But you know, I keep trying. Perhaps that's not such a bad thing. Even if it does smell like fruity garlic afterward, at least I'm getting a basic story down. Editing will get rid of the stench. Ideally.

    Anyway... ramble and a half done. Thanks for reading. I hope you are doing as well as you can. I am rooting for you, even if I don't know you. I'll always believe in you.
     
  14. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I watched too much tv today, but it was in the name of research because I really like the way Tommy Shelby is written for Peaky Blinders. He's so despicable, so cruel, and it always feels like there's no saving him, but then they go and do something dastardly to his family and I feel for him because all he wants is a better life for them. It's weaving me into this web of deceit because he's a shitty, shitty person. Most of the characters on the show are terrible people. No one genuinely wants to help others. They all want something in return for their "good works," regardless of whose blood got spilled for it. I did cry for one character death because it was . . . I don't know. I didn't relate to them or anything, but the . . . Something about it just struck me, is all.

    The whole show has gotten me thinking about how I'm approaching the villain in my main work in progress, Mr. Fogg. He's 100% a bastard. He treats people as objects because they are to him as the creator of life. He uses people and disposes of them when he's done with them. I don't think I want any part of him to be sympathetic except for the veracity of his feelings for Frankie's mom. That's how he is taken down eventually because his desire for genocide comes from the fact the moarteans represent everything bad that's happened to him, so he's determined (dee-ter-myned) to destroy them.

    The thing I think that's most fascinating about historical fiction drama is how rampant the seedy underbelly of the cities are exposed. Cliche yes, but the idea that this is all that exists, that the poor population needs some kind of hero to rise up and show the rich who keeps their businesses running, well, it's all nice, I suppose. But inevitably there's someone who takes the hero down a peg for being above their station or whatever, so then the revolution becomes a personal matter for the affronted hero. It's an interesting trope. Because it gives the hero (or anti-hero in Peaky Blinders' case) a few options. They can keep fighting the powers that be for the good of the people, or they can become corrupt in their values and twist some honor code into fitting their new direction, or finally, they can just fade into the background and become nothing once more to have those who believed in them ridicule their ambition and mock their failure.

    I don't know if I'm making sense. Clearly I had some thoughts about Peaky Blinders, and I guess I wanted to smack those down somewhere for me to come back to.

    If you read all of this, thank you. I hope you are doing well.
     
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  15. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Had the brilliant realization that I can write from another character's point of view in my main piece of pie, and that got me going again on it. I think I might alternate chapters. This will certainly help me explore other characters better, and it will help extend the story more. So when shit goes down in book three, it'll be easier to have a kind of "Oh yeah, this is why that thing happened in book two!" moment.

    I am very tired. The past few days have been full of headaches and stomach issues, as well as my eyeball feeling like it's being pulled from my face. But physical ailments aside, I feel fairly confident in my ability to get the writing back on track. I don't know if I mentioned this already (I don't feel like scrolling up) but I tend to be better at short bursts instead of longer pieces when it comes to the kind of writing I want to do, so hopefully I can work that into the big boi piece with the chapters in different perspectives.

    The length of the chapter is another thing, too. I always feel like they need to be at least three handwritten pages minimum, but then I write something that has a natural ending point and I stare at it blindly for a while thinking maybe I could expand on it. Maybe that's why I get stuck.

    I don't know. Peace, love, and newspaper clippings of your favorite Sunday funnies. Hope you're well.
     
  16. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Decided to start typing up stuff as I have an entire backlog of typing to do and I keep adding to it. I spent an hour typing today, which seems like so little time put into a project, but I type all day for a living, so I was all right with the hour I got done today.

    Short and swift. Hope you're well.
     
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  17. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I feel like I've been really into the whole "not a villain, just a guy trying to do his best but everyone dies/gets hurt around him" trope lately. I've been working from home again, and Netflix slows my work computer down, so I went to YouTube to find some video game playthrough stuff. I'd watched The Last of Us when it first appeared, so when the sequel came out, I was pretty stoked. I rewatched the first game to remind myself of the story, and then I jumped right into the second one. I wasn't as impressed with the gameplay of the second one, and the set up of the story was really awful (played for ten hours as one character only to switch to another character and start from the beginning again--fuck off, that's stupid), but what we're looking at is the storytelling. I got so invested in the characters. The choices they made in the first game affected their lives in the second in such a huge way. I think part of me feels a bit guilty for disliking the second character you play as because I'd already spent so damn long watching the other one, that the leap back to the start of it felt rude. I also found her less likeable, but not in the "ugh she's that vindictive snot licker so she's automatically my least favorite because I love the other one so much" kind of way. She was badly written, I felt. Her story had less umph behind it.

    So yeah. I got invested in the story and when I try to consider how and why that is, the strength of the characters is a factor, yes, but the way they make it easy for me to sympathize with someone who killed for what they thought was right, well it made me question something in myself. I think that's what a good story does. Makes you question something within yourself and challenge the beliefs you have. Not every story needs to do this, of course, because we all need to turn off our brains now and then. But when I think of the stories that stuck with me the most, visual or printed, it's the ones that made me sit for a while and stare into nothing as I thought about my place in the world.

    Death Stranding did the same thing for me. I was very confused for a long time about what the story was, but once the game was done, I cried for a long time about it. Sure the dialogue in some parts was cheesy as hell, but the message behind the cheese is what came forward at the end. The growth of the main character from the beginning to the end is the kind of subtle storytelling I hope to achieve one day.

    In other words, I typed more on my lunch break and I think I'm going to try and redo some of the first book again because there's a lot different about me now than who I was when I wrote it last, so I think I'm going to try and apply my lessons to the beginning more.

    Thanks for sticking through that ramble. Maybe one day I'll follow through on my big thoughts instead of dropping them and leaving before fully exploring them. I was going to fold my laundry, but that feels like a tomorrow thing. Maybe it'll get done tonight still. The night is quite young considering I go to bed at 2 or 3 most nights.

    I hope you're well. If you were waiting for a sign to talk to someone you haven't for a while and you miss them, this is that shove. Take a breath before you hit the water.
     
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  18. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    So. I don't want to work on the romance story for a while, if ever again. And I think I'm going to remove the friends with benefits growth in the first book of my main slice of pizza. Not because I don't believe in love, but because that was the focus of things instead of the actual story. I know one can have both aspects, romance and story, but the romance payoff in the end of the second book is where I think it'd be the most impactful.

    I'd originally thought that my main character could have a love in three different people, one for each book, but the heft of her love by the third book needs to have this build up to it that putting her with others would make it feel cheaper. I used to think people might think she was a woman with loose morals, but the older I've gotten, the less I care about that because people love how they love and I'm not about to get in the way of progress.

    This decision will mean some changes to the way things kind of unfold, but I'm okay with approaching it differently. I think it'll challenge me to write something more meaningful--not to say romances can't be, of course. But I want Frankie to find the idea of being the chosen one a nifty idea. So, if I shift my focus to that instead, I think I can get the story to where I want it to be.

    Man, I do tend to ramble. Sorry. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you're well.
     
  19. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    The line between genius and madness is often attributed to those high up in the world of academia or those who struggled mightily with the weight of their creativity. I've been watching The Queen's Gambit on Netflix and while I don't like the actress playing the main character, I will say she's doing a fantastic job of walking that line like a tightrope. She's a chess prodigy, and the episode I just finished had her asking a kid just four years younger than she was what his plans after winning the world championship were. It's a subtle nod to her adoptive mother telling her there's more to life than chess. This woman also allowed her to go to parties with college boys and drink, and no one ever seems to care she's an addict, but it also leans on what her chess mentor tells her, that the life she has is going to be hard for her because it's two sides of the same coin. She gets to just play chess, but at a great cost. She's academically gifted, so she does graduate high school, but it all just makes me think too hard about the characterization at play here. (Pun partially intended.

    Which makes me go too hard into my own characters. I've been working with them for ten plus years, and so you'd think I'd know them fairly well by now. But the more I work with Frankie, the more I realize she is more like her Father than she is her mother. In previous drafts, Frankie has been wildly emotional, letting how she feels sway her choices in life this far. It's not the reality of who she is. She has a rigid control over how she feels. Incredible compartmentalization. It's not until things begin to unfold in the first book that she realizes how restrained she's been. By the end of the first book, when the shit hits the fan, she's beginning to open up more. Of course, those events close her right back up, and she tells Blaise that if she tries to understand what's happened, she'll lose herself in the chaos of things she's not used to feeling. So she fights on.

    I want to do them justice. Because Frankie and her father are the ones who toe the line between genius and madness, and in order to get them right, I need to slow down and reevaluate what they are at the moment. Mr. Fogg has been rude in the latest draft, but that's not really working for how I need him to be at the end of this. He is stoic, severely so. And his drive to achieve his end game is all that fuels him.

    Anyway. There's my twisty thought flow on that for now. If you read it, thank you.

    Hope you're doing well and your loved ones are, too.
     
  20. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Burrowing into my head tonight to dig deep in the muck that is Mr. Fogg. I might write from his pov, or I might try to salvage more of what I've been working on if going into despicable territory is too much.

    Hope you're well.
     
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  21. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I am up to chapter four in book one with typing. It was surprisingly easy to remove the romance aspect between two characters, so that's exciting, I guess. The next couple of chapters need to be redone a little because it focuses pretty heavily on that now removed romance for a bit.

    That's really all I have for today. Hope you're well.
     
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  22. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    My soundtrack of choice while writing is either Game of Thrones season 7 or 8. The writing in those seasons of the show may not have been the best, but holy hell the music is fantastic with so much emotion. If I ever get a film done of anything I write (lawls, nahh), I want Ramin Djawadi to compose the film score.

    Anyway. I've combined some stuff to get rid of the romance, and I've written new stuff around that combined mess. This already feels like a better story. Feels good, bruh. And that's all I have for today. Thanks for dropping in. Hope you're well.

    edit: I got up to chapter 5. Considering I rewrote most of chapter four today, I'd say that's a pretty solid day's work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  23. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Get a score made for the book and include a CD inside the cover... :supersmile:
     
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  24. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    Level up: I write the film score but it's all just really tinkly sounds from a toy keyboard with the waw voice.
     
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  25. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    The excitement I have at revisiting this story just grows every time I sit down to work on it. I seriously forgot how much I love the first book, and now with it finally going the way it should have gone at least a year ago, it's been fantastic to tell this story again.

    I'm not who I was a year ago, and that's for the better. I won't go too far down the reminiscing path, but I think my writing this year has come away far better than I planned it to. My goal was to get all three books of the trilogy done this year, and while I didn't achieve that even a little, I did an astounding amount of work on it.

    And I started two new projects. One I don't know I'll ever go back to seriously, and one that will be worked on once the trilogy is done.

    Solid. I'll keep updating this as I keep going, but I'm kind of proud of the work I did this year. The growth I've made.

    Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing okay.
     

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