Two Pieces of Advice on Crafting the Perfect Opening Line

Ah, the much-discussed, celebrated, and labored over first line… Is it that important?

(See what I did there?)

Many in the writing and publishing world will go on at length on the critical importance of the opening line of any work, long or short. There are long-standing contests for opening lines – brilliant or cringingly terrible. Writers are expected to trot our their favorite first lines (which I notice is also part of this week’s assignment at the SFF Seven). But do those opening lines deserve the significance they’re given?

Yes and no. The thing is, first lines are low-hanging fruit. They’re easy to pick on. They require very little reading and it’s easy to analyze a single line of text. For the teachers, coaches, and advice-givers of all stripes, an opening line is a simple aspect of a work to assess. In that way, they’re probably given far more emphasis than they deserve.

Unfortunately, a whole lot of the advice out there – not unlike a lot of writing advice – isn’t terribly helpful. Writers are told that their opening line must “hook” the reader, who is presumably like a fish in this analogy, and reel them in to keep reading more. And hopefully buy the work in question.

And people rhapsodize over favorite opening lines, analyzing brilliance, but – again – this rarely yields useful advice on how to write them.

I spent a lot of years not sure what made an opening line a good one or not. Only recently, with a bunch of published works behind me, have I come across actually useful advice on how to craft an opening line: It needs to establish the sort of story it is, and pose some sort of question. It doesn’t have to be a literal question, but it should invite the reader to wonder about something of interest to them.

A famous example of this is Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem How Do I Love Thee. (Those who listen to my podcast, First Cup of Coffee, know I’ve been going down an Elizabeth Barrett Browning/Robert Browning rabbit hole lately. I blame Connie Willis.) Almost anyone can quote the opening line, even if they don’t know the rest of the poem:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

What does this line do? It establishes that the work is a love poem, and invites the reader to wonder about what those ways are.

Thus, my opening line above: I established what sort of writing this is – an informational article on first lines – and I posed a literal question that I’d be addressing.

Once I figured out this was all I needed to do, it made crafting that opening line much easier! Here’s one of the first ones that I used this technique to write, from DARK WIZARD.

Gabriel Phel crested the last ridge of the notorious Knifeblade Mountains that guarded Elal lands on nearly three sides, and faced the final barrier.

This first line isn’t brilliant by any stretch. What it does, however, is inform the reader that this is an alternate fantasy world, and it invites them to wonder about who Gabriel Phel is, why he’s in this inhospitable land, and what this final barrier is. That’s it. And you know what? It works. That book has done a better job of hooking new readers than anything else of mine. I think there are other reasons for that book’s success, but I think that opening helps.

What’s most important to remember is: just because the first line comes first, that doesn’t mean it has to be written first. Certainly not perfected first. A lot of writers spend forever crafting that opening, trying to get it perfect – possibly because of this emphasis on first lines – and can circle that effort endlessly. That’s my second piece of advice. Craft the opening once the work is finished, or at least drafted. It will wait. And that gives that low-hanging fruit time to ripen.


First Cup of Coffee – April 28, 2022

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee as the chimes echo away. Delicious. Today is I have no idea Thursday April Twenty Eighth and I am looking at my plant that I potted the lobelia does not seem to be doing well whyness lobelia always seemed to not do well. Just dries out so quickly here have to pause you now that we are back outside. We have Jeffe obsessively checking her plants all part of the brand here at first cup of coffee. Ah I will endeavor not to do that. So um, hope you all are having a wonderful week. My Week’s going pretty well so far knock on wood dive. No wood well does great plain. Oh the arbor knock on wood. Helping get my 2500 words on Storm Princess and the Raven King

Feels like it’s going well um, yeah, so we’ll see if we can sustain that get that done in the next few weeks um been uploading the rebranded covers. For um, Sorcerous Moons. They are ah so far I’ve gotten the first 3 books up did my 4 matters getting me 1 per day so they’ll release starting tomorrow. So Friday Saturday Sunday. Ah yeah, so. 1 reader commented about the pretty covers being gone I mean they’re not gone. They’re immortalized in history but but yeah, um, I’m I’m trying to rebrand I’m trying to reach a new audience and so. I mean that’s always a balance right? You know you try to reach new readers but sometimes the old readers feel left behind old in a former sense. Not an aged sense. Ah, she commented that that these looked like mill. Fantasy which I thought was funny because I don’t think they look like male fantasy. Um there’s definitely more masculine element to it and lonen’s double bladed axe is front and center a consistent element for all the covers and. That’s not to emphasize Lonen necessarily one is it’s a striking image. Um, and for me partly symbolic of of Oria’s power as well. But yeah, she said oh well the horses were gone and. Female elements were gone and it was like but and dragons were gone but they’re not, they’re still there. They’re just more subtle elements. There’s the dragon’s tail and dragon wings. There’s the representation of the the horse silhouette in the background. It’s there if you look for it and oria’s hair and her magic which is really the one of the most essential parts of oriah so of but. That’s the thing is when you try to reach new readers. You know you’re trying I’m trying to reach people who who maybe haven’t read my books at all before that’s partly why I’m putting them in Kindle unlimited because there’s a lot of readers that only read on Kindle unlimited as I talk about on here.

Probably ad nauseum and yeah so I’m excited about it I’m I’m interested to see what happens it says an experiment.

Ah, sucking down the coffee this morning I am going to ride her coffee later this morning so that’ll be fun first time in a few weeks. She’ll be able to sit outside just like I’m sitting outside here this morning in the secret garden planning to do a lot of gardening this weekend I have a lot of cleanup. To get after here and it’ll finally be nice enough to do that I think we’re supposed to have wind again this afternoon and tomorrow but hopefully looking like the weekend should be pretty nice. So I watched the movie gifted. Um, with adorable Chris Evans and what’s the little girl’s name Mckenna Grace Octavia Spencer is in it to always want to call her Octavia Butler which I think is funny. Ah the actress not the writer. Maybe because I don’t know that many Octavia ah not that I know her anyway I watch this movie because it was brought up at the Jack Williamson lectureship I know I keep referencing that but we had so many great conversations there. And that movie had been recommended I think by Connie Willis and I had never seen it. Um, what was it 2013 movie I’ll link to it the show notes maybe not even that old. Well we won’t look it up right now. Anyway, it’s um, it’s it’s an amazing movie I I loved watching this movie. It’s about Chris Evans is this um uncle who. After the death of his sister is raising his niece who is 7 at the time of the movie and he is living in is it Florida or South Carolina I think they say it’s Florida um. Preparing boats for a living. The script is so great. It’s really well written within a few moments of of like the opening scene of his conversation with this little girl. Her character is Mary. You learn so much about them and they’re arguing about whether or not she has to go to school and she’s you could just tell by the way that she’s debating this that she is really super smart and and he replies to her. Ah.

There’s just a couple of different things he says but 1 thing is he says we’ve already discuss this ad nauseum and she says ah and she said what does as ad nauseam mean and he goes ah looks like somebody needs to go to school to learn some things. And then later when he’s having a conversation with her teacher who is identifying Mary as a math prodigy which she is and he says no, she’s just using the the trakteberg formula I think I have that correct to to do these multiplications. It’s not a big deal. Which he’s putting her off because he knows it’s a big deal and you you put together very quickly that he is also a genius but is very deliberately not using his intellect and we find out later that he had been teaching. Ah, had been a professor of philosophy at Boston University and had quit after his sister died and and it’s wonderful. How these things are revealed why he’s doing what he’s doing and his sister was a math prodigy and his mother is a math prodigy and you know they. Want to have them go and work on these important you know unsolvable math problems which I’ve read some interesting essays on how on these like supposedly unsolvable problems and and what they really mean, but it’s a great device for. For movies because otherwise it’s like there’s not a um, a tangible goal when you want to give like your genius character a tangible goal that they’re striving for a math problem makes a lot more sense to an audience then I don’t know what you know like. Writing the great novel or whatever it is whatever that means

I promise I won’t go on a rant about what it means to write a great novel so tempting though it may be so anyway. Ah a lot of it is about him wanting her. To grow up having a normal life. Um and not suffer what her mother suffered by being treated as by not getting to have a normal life and it really just it’s it’s a beautifully done movie. It poses a lot of very interesting questions about. If you have a talent um or a genius. Even what that what responsibility do you owe to it. Um, if any yeah so I enjoyed that very much. And ad nauseum I won’t rant addd nauseum I can’t remember what it was. There’s something else that he says that he uses some sort of um, word you know like a $5 word or or something I don’t recall what but very. They do a nice job of revealing character through just how he behaves and and how he speaks even though he is trying not to be this thing anymore. It’s like inherent and and in the same way it is in his niece I also tried to watch Spencer um about princess Diana Lady Spencer played by ah Kristen Stewart which I’ve been wanting to see for a long time and we ended up with this subscription to hulu. Which I want to say it was an accident you know is sort of like oops I stumbled and tripped and fell into a subscription to hulu I think it was because David wanted to watch the super bowl and we were trying to figure out a way for him to watch the super bowl so you know like we signed up for the month free and then got charged for it and then I was like how did I end up subscribed to hulu. Which is I know entirely their scheme so I canceled it. But I’d already been charged so we have it for like thirty more days and when I canceled it. You know they want to know my reasons for canceling and one of them on there said, um, one of the options was too many ads. And now I wish I could have checked too many ads because we’ve been watching some stuff on hulu while we you know since we paid for thirty more days of it and the reader there are too many ads it. Ah just I know this is I’ll probably just be saying this from now on my gen x thing.

But it really pisses me off to pay for something that then also has ads. It’s either you pay for it or you suffer through ads you shouldn’t have to do both and I’m um I’m very bitter that the world has changed this people.

Ah, anyway, so I started watching this on hulu because I was like oh yeah cause David was he was napping and we’d already eat and did or I was getting ready I was cooking dinner and stuff and I thought oh well I’ll watch this because I bet he won’t want to and and then if I think he will. You know I can always stop and start over and it was um, discordant what is up with that people. It’s like they wanted to use all of this discordant jazz to show her mental breakdown which was this necessary. And I even looked at the reviews to see if anyone else bitched about it and I didn’t see any. So maybe it’s me I thought Kristen Stewart did a great job I thought she although I thought she made Diana awfully diffident which apparently like her bodyguard said that. Stewart got her meant got Diana’s mannerismism is better than anyone else. But yeah I didn’t I didn’t care for her diffidence and I don’t know it was just so over the top I thought you know it. It takes place at Christmas at sandra noon sandingham palace and it’s right before the divorce and all of this and so of course things are going badly but I just I don’t know I didn’t care for it. I’m not going to keep watching it I didn’t like how much of the victim. She’s portrayed as maybe. Maybe she rallies later in the movie but you know I’m one of those people that you know diana always my princess I was always on her side against camilla and after watching this, it’s like ah I don’t know so There’s my inarticulate review of that movie. Ah maybe I could watch it muted with only closed captions. So I don’t have to listen to that I found the music so disturbing in a way that I didn’t want to be disturbed. And then the other thing we started watching also on hulu too many ants cashhtag too many ads was ah pam and tommy about tommy lee and pamela anderson and ah it is really a delight. It has a lot of the same irreverence and sort of storytelling gambits that they used in the dirt about motley crew I’m sure tommy lee consulted heavily on this series. Apparently pamela anderson had nothing to do with it.

Ah, so I’m sure he like used the same writers I didn’t look but he he borrowed heavily from what made the dirt a charming movie to watch which we’ve watched a couple times because we’ve really it’s really fun if you haven’t seen that. Um. But pam and Tommy was it Tommy and pam I think it’s Pam and tommy a link to it ah is she is played by Lily James who I just adore ever since I saw her in Cinderella. I adore her and Tommy Lee is played by Sebastian Stan and I now Stan Sebastian Stan I didn’t really before you know like the whole bucky thing winter soldier. Never really floated my boat. But I’m getting I’m getting the mystique now and it is wittily done and my my only objection man that’s probably a strong word I think Lily James is doing a great job playing Pamela Anderson but Lily James has this essential sweetness to her. She’s I don’t know she’s lisome and has this artlessness to her personality that I don’t know if it means that she’s not a great actress. But she doesn’t come across to me the same way. Pamela Anderson always did she doesn’t come on. She’s not as brazen and confident in a way even though she’s trying to seem like that. It’s just that Lily James has this. Yeah, this. Artless wholesomeness to her. But anyway, it’s a really interesting show and I’m enjoying that and then I’m still finishing this book I’m almost done now on ah Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning and you know it’s it’s extraordinary I don’t. Read that much historical stuff unless it’s historical romance and I kind of fell off of reading those but it’s extraordinary to read about people living in victorian times and maybe this is just extraordinary for me because i. Haven’t read tons of it. You know like Jane Austen stuff regency stuff. Um, anyway, this maybe it’s because it’s nonfiction. But the um the prevalence of disease is just extraordinary. How people are for.

Everyone getting sick and I’ve heard people reference this, you know and talking about like with the pandemic that with the pandemic talking about how they now understand why everyone in victorian times you know writes letters about their health. It’s um. It’s really interesting to to read this and you know like a child will get sick with gastric fever. Ah, and then be dead by evening and I looked up what gastric fever was and it was typhoid and and I guess I knew. Kind of distantly that you know of course antibiotics weren’t introduced yet but they had cholera and typhoid and tuberculosis I knew they had tuberculosis but I mean they were just. Um, you know, like with everything they ate and drank they were risking death. You know, no wonder the victorians had such a fascination with death because people could just die at the drop of a hat and of course Elizabeth’s Barett browning was not in great health for most of her life. And just the way she struggles with her health and at the end it’s sounding like probably a lot of depression just really is making me conscious of what a huge thing it is. For us to be liberated from the ravages of disease in you know, just ah, you know like 100 years that that changed so dramatically. Ah you know and now we have ah all the anti vaccine stuff. It’s such a luxury for people to you know, not want to get vaccines because we don’t have this thing where at any moment you could encounter the thing that kills you by nightfall definitely and. Interesting realignment of perspective for me. So um, on that note I’m going to go celebrate my good health get my words done. Um, hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 22, 2022

Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah. Had to take an extra sip there today is they haven’t done this for a while say it with me: Friday! Whoo, um April Twenty second so it’s 4 twenty two 22 and it’s beautiful morning here. Crab Apple tree is in glorious bloom and I’m realizing. However. That I need something on my little arms because we’re go have wins again today but today and tomorrow shall be the last for the big wins and then we get nice again? Um, but I’m going to go grab a jacket I shall be right back there I put on a pink. To match the crab Apple but you probably can’t see all that well because of the rising sun but um and I grab my notes because I made notes today. Um I think I haven’t given a writing. Update. And a while I’m still working on The Storm Princess and the Raven King I am well past midpoint I’m closing in on scene 5 and I’m at um, little shy 55000 words I I think it’s going fine. It’s funny because lately ah, several people have asked me how the writing is going which I guess people must ask me all the time and I’m just noticing it lately because I actually don’t have a good answer to it I think my head is so caught up with nebula planning and stuff with SFWA. Yeah, I’m actually not I don’t know I’m I’m not um, what is the word I want people. I want to say kvetching and that’s not right? Um I’m not all caught up in the book I’m not having my usual emotional turmoil over writing this book I feel like I’m circling in the book I thought that after the.

Break over Easter in Tucson with the family where I didn’t write it all for a few days that I that would be a great time to come back and revise from the beginning and I didn’t feel like doing that I felt like going forward with where I was on the book I keep wanting to turn the laptop but I want you guys to see the crap Apple. You probably don’t care. But. You get to see it anyway. Um yeah I wanted to keep going and and I feel like and I do think I’ve mentioned this before you know this is Rhyian and Lena’s story and they’re kind of caught in something of a vicious circle in their relationship. So I can’t tell how much of this is them circling and how much it’s me circling but to some extent I am oddly sanguine about it. How often do we get to use that word in daily conversation? I am I have a good plan I have time to revise and I realize that I may end up like doing a lot of cutting and streamlining by the time I get to it maybe I won’t I often think that I am and then i. I don’t so so we shall see um but so far I’m feeling fine about the book. Maybe that’s a bad sign. Ah, coffee tastes good I am also am on something of a rabbit hole I don’t know if it counts as a rabbit hole if I’m not lost to it but I’m doing so I started reading something unusual for me. And I do blame Connie Willis. Okay now I am turning the laptop so I can sit back a little bit here because she in her great epigraphs. Do you come epigraphs if it’s just like a little forwardy thing to her stories in the collection Firewatch. She mentioned the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the courtship between her and her husband the poet Robert Browning with stuff that I didn’t know um because before this. I think I knew about them that you know it’s like the result of of this education I don’t know maybe we could scathingly say american public school education which only gives a glancing overview. Also my um.

Private Liberal Arts College education get this shallow overview of everything every once while he was like people especially the experts the experts of I put that in their quotes. Ah complain about that sort of thing. And and I always think whatever I think of that word I think of when I was in graduate school and one of my favorite professors had a poster up that said experts don’t know more than anybody else. They’re just better prepared and have slides. Guys it is so fucking true and those are words to live by. So ah how the experts I I think this is a theme with me I I circle back around to things about experts and people knowing stuff and. Putting a lot of pride in what they know anyway, I will admit without hesitation that I had this very um, shallow understanding of the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning which I suspect many of us have. Um, and I can quote the 1 poem. How do I love thee, let me count the ways but I did not know a lot about their courtship I did not know that she was a famous poet before I knew she’d married later in life I didn’t know that she was 40 that he was 9 years younger that he fell in love with her poetry and courted her because of that that she was basically an invalid and a shut-in fascinating things about her family. So I do get interested in biographies. But this was a little bit of a departure for me because I was reading about this while I was at my folks house in Tucson and impulsively bought a couple of books one on Kindle and 1 on paper of all things that are biographies of her and so I’ve been reading this book and. I could actually give you the actual title and I can link to it and be responsible by I’m reading a book called Dared and Done: the Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Marcus and it’s very interesting and I i. Enjoying it a whole bunch. Ah, it really feels like it’s feeding an unasked question. You know how the universe sometimes does that it supplies you stuff that you didn’t know you wanted to think about.

And there’s great stuff in this book that I didn’t know I wanted to think about. And and there’s going to be a lot here I think this is going to become a book slash series slash new world someday I try not to teach you guys with secret projects because you complain and I know you complain with? Love. Ah, um, yeah, this just gave me an idea with a capital I so but it’s far down the road I have um I mean I have I caught you guys up on stuff lately doesn’t matter. After I finish storm princess on the Raven King that ties off the heirs of magic series that’ll be done then I’m going to write another book in bonds of magic series for all of you wondering if there are more books after gray magic that’s what I’m writing once I finish this then I have 2 more books planned to write. 1 is one that I started that I think of something like a hundred pages on. Let’s see how many pages I have on that. Maybe it’s not so many I might be um, ah, overly optimistic there. Oh yeah. Well, but sorry at disneeze might be just the one I no, that’s not so bad I have 87 pages on it. 20 a little shy of 24000 words I want to finish writing that book and then I have another new shiny idea that I promised to write. For agent Sarah in the fall for possible submission. Our other thing is still out on submission and she Sarah wrote me an email the other day and actually let me find this because you guys will be interested. And think she won’t mind me sharing this but it’s very interesting industry wise so you know we just don’t have much going on with that secret project that’s been out you know since last fall genre departure and Sarah says she gave me a few updates. There’s really nothing much to say but she said. All submissions are going slow and to give you some perspective I’m currently out with 8 different submissions spanning all genres from historical to sweet contemporary to paranormal Rom -com all are going slow and I think this is more a symptom of publishing at the moment versus your book.

People are just hitting bandwidth walls and they need something. Oh oh I’m sorry and until they need something or something heats up. It’s going slow but going to be trying to as my dad would say kick the tires and light. The fires. Resubs and see if we can get some good news. She’s very sweet but and I am hearing this from more people than Sarah um, and it’s interesting even like with nebula planning. You know we have people just dropping out of doing stuff. Um, just. Like suddenly hitting overwhelm I think it’s just where we are bandwidth bandwidth is a real thing for people right now. So this feels like a good time for me to be contemplating new things. So a lot of. Writers talk about and I hear writers say this all the time that they won’t read anything in their genre while they’re writing a particular book which for me because I’m all always writing I don’t that wouldn’t be possible then I would never read in my own genre. But I also think that that’s a. It’s a consideration that’s not that important because and I know I emphasize this all the time that people who plagiarize are doing it on purpose and putting stuff into the stew of your creative mind is. That’s just partly how we refill the well so so I’m reading this stuff about Elizabeth Barrett and kind of storing it away into this stew for this story I want to write. But it’s also giving me interesting. Food for thought and one of them is is that she was as I said famous as a poet. Um, as as an invalid basically a shut in she didn’t leave her room for many many years and there’s. Different stuff about like what was wrong with her but we won’t go into all of that you can go read the book but this fine I mean it’s a great love story and it’s exactly the kind of thing that I write about and that I love in romance. Is that when she fell in love with Robert browning that gave her the impetus to take control of her health and to leave her room for the first time in I think you know in something like a decade and she ended up marrying him and running off you know of.

Avoiding her tyrannical father evading escaping running off to italy and lived and she lived there married deliriously happy for 15 years before she died still too young around my age. Ah.

And it’s some the part that ah the book that I’m yet getting into now is and it does as the title indicates really focuses on their marriage the book that I got on paper focuses a whole lot on her early life. But she continued to be a prolific poet and wrote a whole lot about the political events going on in italy at the time which is another big lacuna in my public school education that I really didn’t know much about what was going on in the middle eighteen hundreds in italy did you. Um, giving you all the inquiring look maybe it would be a little much to expect and and actually what this book is saying is is that even at the time very few people in England or America knew about the politics of italy and. Where the you know the period in Paris when all the writers were there. You know really made parisian politics very familiar to people Elizabeth was writing about the politics in italy and so was Robert browning but people weren’t interested. They. Just so didn’t care and another fascinating thing is is that once she was married and had a child which isn’t that cool I mean she had a child after she was she was like 41 or 42 I I think it’s interesting because. When I was 36 this gal that I knew I don’t know if I would color a friend but we were sort of it in the same circle but she she asked me one day kind of out of the blue if I had regretted never having children and I was 36 and I It took me aback and I said I didn’t think I’d never had them yet and and she was flustered and was all like oh I didn’t mean and it’s like well why do you ask somebody a question like that for the record I never tried to have children I I always use birth control I never. Woke up one day thinking that I needed to have a baby I kept thinking I might you know like that ticking clock would suddenly go off and I would hear the alarm and I didn’t but I also acquired 2 stepchildren when I was 24 and that kind of sucked up all of my. But little maternal bandwidths I apparently have um douglas either anyway after she was married her poetry got dismissed as being like Robert browning’s wife’s and it sort of.

Pens on the era and I found this fascinating because the author says that she refers to as criticism changed as as the critical community and critical in terms of literary criticism. Changed up through the 1950 s when they began to understand that a poem could also be and mean something that her her italian poems about politics were dismissed as being um, cheapened. By being about politics instead of being about like higher things isn’t that interesting and I know I touched on this the other day and Lexi Chantal made a lovely reel about it. Thank you Lexie ah, and. Reacted to it in a blog post on the SFF7 blog about whether or not we try to make our work outlive us whether we try to make it mean something and it was fascinating to me the idea that literary criticism evolves. Also. Which I mean I guess I thought I knew this but it was interesting hearing someone else say it because you guys hear me talk all the time about objecting to people qualifying stuff as whether or not it’s well writtent. Or is it a good book or a bad book and there’s there’s a great meme going around with Stephen King who personally pisses me off because I don’t know why Stephen King decided he got to be on a literary high horse that he gets to. Past judgment on whether or not other people are writing good books but I do think it’s interesting. The idea that how we view creative works changes over time. It makes sense that it does. But I’m molling this idea now that so much can be just what we see in the moment is very different with historical perspective right? Ah and 1 thing that the author who is a woman is talking about is how Elizabeth Barrett was she calls her describes her as being diffident and self-effacing. She was a very modest person even though she started out being hugely more famous than Robert Browning she was also a shutin she had a very very small world and.

She had many people who came to visit her and a lively correspondence. But she also just did not have a huge ego and so she would excuse herself saying ah you know I’m only watching this through my window and. You know I’m just as a woman and she used analogies after she married of being a wife and being a mother because of course she did this is going back to what I was talking about the other day with the pipes and how that colors the water that comes out of the pipes. What we are doing who we are at any given time. Is going to influence our creative voice. Well the critics damned her for her for it saying that again that she had made her work less important by using these womanly analogies you know and it’s like well you know fuck. Those guys. It’s just sort of like ah I want to say the more things change the more they stay the same. But I think we’re just still living out this same trajectory. So anyway, those are all the things that I’m thinking about right now. it’s it’s I really ah it’s a I call it a rabbit hole because I had not expected it all to be going in this direction and I’m finding it immensely rewarding and I suppose this is how we deepen our previously shallow educations. One of my favorite professors in college said that. Whole point of a college education is to teach you how to continue to learn for for the rest of your life and I think that is um that that has served me very well I absolutely believe that and this is an example right. I am continuing to learn about ah the politics of italy in the mid eighteen hundreds did you know that they were not a unified nation I didn’t know that and and about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert browning fascinating stuff. Filling that well, it’s really fun all right I’m going to head out I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope you find some delightful rabbit holes of your own and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.