Hi, I'm a new member and look forward to participating in the forums. Originally from Florida, I've lived in Costa Rica for the past ten years and am working on my first novel, a contemporary thriller set in the U.S. and Latin America. I'm making good progress on it but am a long way from being ready to start sharing it. I hope that when I'm ready, some of you may volunteer as readers. In the meantime, I'll try to set aside time to participate here and help others with their writing. At age 63, I'm probably older than most of you, with a different background and experiences, but am here for the same reason you are - because I enjoy writing and would like to encourage and be encouraged by other writers. I'm a Vietnam combat veteran and a retired attorney with an undegraduate degree in English. I have a great deal of experience as a legal and professional writer but have never before attempted to write fiction. I've quickly discovered that writing a novel requires an entirely different set of skills and a degree of self-discipline and creativity I've never needed in my past writing career. It doesn't come naturally to me but I'm working at it and am determined to succeed. I registered using my real name and am curious as to why most of you haven't. It seems to me that if you're serious about writing, you'd want to network with other writers as much as possible and want everyone to know who you are.