I know this needs to be done for the sake of community spirit, but I find myself overcome by bashfulness. If I'm so reluctant to step forward and expose myself, then why am I here, you might well be asking? The simple truth is that the predicament I find myself in is not a permanent state of being, it's being spurred on by a generalised lack of self-confidence, stemming from a life-changing event that forced me to leave school at the age of fifteen, long before I had any sort of grasp on my potential. I suffer from a condition that makes it difficult to concentrate and learn new things. It causes me to blow hot and cold, floors me and elevates me, and often renders it impossible to deal in abstractions, only in the tangible. I don't remember how I came to write my first awkward lines, even though it was only a short time ago, but I knew I had no choice but to continue. I have no intention to publish, perhaps because I fear that no-one in their right mind would would see value in my words. I'm not particularly intelligent or witty and I'm neither educated nor well read. I hold little in the way of strong opinions. So what, exactly, do I have to offer? In truth, I just don't know. The thought of criticism scares me half to death, although I realise it is a necessary evil that must be endured in order to facilitate improvement. I have great difficultly understanding punctuation; in fact, the only way I can relate to it is by viewing it in the same light as the note values and rests in music. Primarily this is the help I seek. Even if I write just for myself, I wish to properly understand the rules and concepts. If I wish to break them, that is up to me, but I'd at least like to understand what they are and how, ideally, they should be applied. I am a natural empath, who also has the unfortunate habit of projecting my own feelings onto others, whether it be the case or not. The thought of criticising others scares me, almost as much as having others dissect my own writing, but fair's fair. I can hardly expect to have my work constructively criticised if I'm not prepared to return the favour. I'm not fit to comment on the technical aspects but I can, at least, tell you how a passage makes me feel. Hopefully the words of others will make up for my shortcomings. Have I mentioned already how incredibly long-winded and verbose I can be? And with all that, I am now away to peruse the boards. My thanks, to all of you who have taken the time to read this; your perseverance is appreciated.