When all else fails, read the directions! Crap! If I had a nickel for every time I opened something with the directions on top and bold print stating "read directions first" but didn't, I'd have a few more dollars. With all seriousness aside, it's a curse. Manly-man men never read, must less ask for directions. I think it's a combination of insanity and being et-up with the dumb-ass. Honestly, it's the visual-over load of pages and the mouse at my finger tip. I'm compelled to click until there's something I can focus on and I have 1 point to prove it. Anyways, finally found my way here and in the eternal words of Buckwheat, “Here I is!” My manuscript is 145k words and I'm busy as a beaver whittling. Pretty much a sure thing it will be a home-made Christmas gift for our grown children. Not just because I wrote it. Paper, glue, binding and cover, the whole-nine-yards. A new definition of "limited edition." Maybe I should use duct-tape. What self-respecting wana-be-author from Alabama wouldn't use duct-tape on his "limited edition?" I began writing Growing Pains in LA in 1996. But when my computer fried many years ago, it burnt about 40k words without back-up. I'm about as dumb as I look and superstitious to boot. While canoeing the Choctawhatchee River, I bumped into another wana-be-author. Dying of thirst in the Saharan Desert and finding an all-you-can-drink ice tea stand would have been more likely. I took it as an omen and stopped writing. A couple of years ago I asked myself the question, "What's the worst that can happen?" When that question was posed growing up in LA, the count-down clock started and a world-of-hurt was coming for someone. I began again and wah-lah. Wars, flying and world-wide adventures of the most unusual kind including an elephant rescue attempt was all part of family life. For me and my friends growing up, it was the natural world of LA. Tailor-made for boys to explore. Then there were the neighbors. The sheriff who hired a farmer turned safe-cracker as a deputy and pinned one of his crimes on a rapist to get him behind bars. And the pool hall owner who made so much possible. There was even a psycho chimpanzee that smoke Cuban Cigars and loved to watch "I Love Lucy" when he wasn't drowning cats. Many lives needed to be lived before I began this work of fiction and it took a bit of work to weave Growing Pains. Hence the 145k words. Sometime I think the fiction is more believable than the true events I based the story on. I wrote what I lived, what I learned and imagined the rest. Maybe our grandchildren will read it. Duct-tape lasts a long time. That's my "How-do-you-do" and I'm sticking to it.