Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Welcome writers!  I've been waiting for you!  

My name is Jay Rehak and I am an enthusiastic proponent of crowd sourced novels.  

"What's a crowd sourced novel?" you ask.  

A crowd sourced novel is  ONE story that is told by many people.   Crowd Sourced novels are NOT collections of short stories.  Crowd Sourced novels are a collection of CHAPTERS that makes ONE story.    I invite you to be one of the writers who helps me write my next book.

If you are a school teacher, I invite you to have all of your students each submit a chapter.

The novel I am currently writing with YOU is called Novel Changes.  Yes, WE are writing a novel together.  Here's the good news.  I've already written what many consider to be the "hardest parts" of a novel.  You see, I have written the beginning and the end of  Novel Changes, OUR novel.

Novel Changes is a novel idea I had many years ago.  The idea was simple enough.  It involved two time traveling students whose fate is controlled by the opening and closing of a mysterious Blue Book.  The idea was and is that the protagonists travel through time in search of a peaceful place and moment to live.  They are subject to the whim of someone opening or closing a mysterious Blue Book that travels in time with them.  As long as the Blue Book is undisturbed, the two stay in the circumstances they find themselves in. Sometimes those circumstances are pleasant.  More often, the circumstances are dangerous.

My intention is to make the book available to be created as a crowd sourced, eternal document.  I invite all readers to submit a chapter.  When I have between 15 and 20 chapters written, I will publish the book.  As time goes on, even more chapters will be written and sequels to Novel Changes will be published.

Just as in 30 Days to Empathy, the first crowd sourced high school novel ever published, Novel Changes is intended to give writers the opportunity to collectively tell an interesting story.  I have written both the first and last chapter of Novel Changes and now await 15 to 20 writers from around the world to provide the chapters necessary  to complete the book.  When I have  received  those 15 – 20 chapters, I will be publishing the book on  

Writers of the middle chapters will retain the copyright on their respective chapter and they will be given a writing credit.   No other compensation will be given.

If you would like to submit a chapter for consideration in Novel Changes please read the “rules” of the book listed below.  Your chapter can be any length, but the best chapters are often between 3 and 8 pages.

Longer or shorter chapters will be considered, however, as length is no determiner of quality.
When you have written your chapter and edited it to the best of your ability, please send in a Word file to

I will acknowledge receipt of your chapter and let you know as soon as possible as to whether or not your chapter has been accepted for inclusion in Novel Changes.

I look forward to hearing from you, my co-novelists.

Before you get started writing your chapter, please understand the rules of Novel Changes.

Here are the “Rules of Novel Changes.”

1.     The two characters Hugh and Gianni can travel backwards or forwards in time.  They both must appear in each chapter.
2.     Hugh and Gianni can be any age, but they are always in “positive” search of one another.  That is, they are not always recognizable to one another, but each is always looking for the other in the story. (For example, Hugh could be a slave and Gianni could be the daughter of a slave owner.  Each might not immediately recognize each other.  But they are always searching. Once they find each other, they will search for a “way out” if they are in unpleasant circumstances.  The “way out” is the opening of the Blue Book.
3.     Once the Blue Book is opened, the chapter is IMMEDIATELY over.  (See Chapter 1)
4.     The Blue Book is not always immediately observable; often, but not always, Hugh and Gianni are in a desperate search for it to escape their circumstances.
5.     The chapter does not end until the Blue Book is opened.
6.     Hugh and Gianni cannot die.
7.     Hugh and Gianni are noble, imperfect characters.  They do not “murder” or commit violence on other people.
8.     The chapter you write should include some element of danger or unpleasantness for the characters
9.     The discovery and subsequent “opening of the Blue Book” should happen at a critical point in the story.  (For example, the two are about to be shot by a firing squad, but escape when someone opens the Blue Book to read them the charges against them.
10.  Those who discover Hugh and Gianni’s secret (that they are time travelers) are condemned to remember it.  (See Chapter 1)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Novel Changes


Jay Rehak et al
(c) 2013

     I am a high school English teacher in Chicago with a beautiful wife and two children.    Or should I say, I was.  Through no fault of my own,  I am no longer teaching.    My wife still comes and visits me, as do my two beautiful daughters, but things have changed.  Too much.   I am a victim  of a strange tale.  A victim of circumstances, not of my own making, but ones which I found myself in, nevertheless.  Worst of all, though I tell you the facts, I am  certain you won’t believe me.  You will cry, “ridiculous,” put this book down, and leave me trapped in my absurdity.
   Forgive me if I am skeptical of you, dear reader, but I know if I were in your position, reading this, and you were in mine, trapped inside an absurd tale, I wouldn't believe you.  I would read on a bit, then at some point put down this book and resist opening it again.  I understand.  But  that won’t do.  Not here, not now. You see, I have one gigantic problem.  I need you to hear me out. 
            Unfortunately, I’m in no position to bargain. I am asking you to keep your mind and this book open as I tell you where and when it all happened to me.  I leave the “how” to some future genius, as I could not begin to explain it, though I am exhausted from thinking about it. 
            As I said at the top, I was an English teacher.  I have since been institutionalized, as you suspected.   My credibility no doubt severely damaged by that admission, I'm still going to tell you the story.    
            Three years ago, my life could hardly have been better.  I was married to the aforementioned beautiful wife, was the father to two of the sweetest little girls born on either side of the time line, and I had a great job at a great high school in the city of Chicago.  (As a courtesy to all in the Chicago School system, I will not tell you which school, as it will do no one any good to get into particulars on that point.)
            Believe it or not,  I loved my job.  The pay was sufficient for my family's needs.  I didn't resent being an English teacher.  I was not a frustrated author who at some midpoint in life, realizes his dream of writing a best seller is beyond his grasp and as a consequence becomes a miserable English teacher destined to grumble his way through 5 classes a day.   No, I loved my job. Perhaps most surprising, I loved my students.   I did not believe “today’s students were not as ‘good’  or ‘talented’ as those back in my day.”  I thought them to be of superior mind, and I delighted in their writings.   You think me a liar.  I tell you, I enjoyed reading their writings, be they journal entries, creative writing projects, or research papers.  Oh, I suppose the research papers tired me occasionally, but overall, I was excited by the level of writing talent that sat before me each day.
            For this, you think I am institutionalized.  My faith and joy in the writing talents of my students.  No.  Perhaps I was a bit odd, in that I was impressed by my students.  But hardly alone.  There were others in the school I was at, and other teachers I had met along the way.  Perhaps in the minority; it wouldn’t be fair for me to say.  I never counted heads.  Some teachers like their students, some don’t.  We all know that.  Debating the quality and opinions of teachers in general is not my point.   I only wish to point out that I am not crazy just because I liked my job.
            I had been working at the particular high school (let’s call it ‘Walden’ and be done with it.) for a year. I was well respected by most of my peers (though some did find me odd in my cheerful attitude towards coming to work). At that time, I was teaching two classes of sophomore honors, and three classes of ‘regular’ senior writing.  I had fairly well established myself at the school as an “honest grader” by the students, and as friendly by my peers.   I was also the girls’ softball coach at “Walden”, though that particular fact has no bearing on the story whatsoever, except inasmuch as it points to the fact that I was somewhat well-rounded.  By that, I mean to say, I was not and am not just some fool English teacher with no life and nothing better to do but sit up at night next to a computer and type up phony stories.
I had a life.  It has since been taken from me, but as I sit here let me tell you I would much rather be coaching Walden’s team to the city league championship.  Which, by the way, we would have done the year this all happened were it not for... all this that happened.  But that’s another story, for another time, which won’t get me anywhere but aggravated.
               It was late February of that year.  We had just begun the second semester.  My students had just gotten their grades.  Most felt they had been given justice.  The few that felt “cheated” or convinced that I had made a mistake, talked to me.  One or two rather loudly, but nothing serious.  Virtually everyone was satisfied that I had done my best.  It was what it was.  Better than you might think.  The kids tried and they accepted that I tried.  We all got along.  I bored them occasionally, perhaps as I am boring you now.  But they forgave me my lapses.  I occasionally got around to making a valid point.  What I said eventually added up to something, I still like to think.
            Okay. So it was  the beginning of the second semester of that year.  All was beautiful.  And then I got my roster changes.   As it did every year, the school reshuffled itself at that time.  Students dropped out of classes, others dropped in.  Sometimes it was because of personality conflicts with teachers, other times it was because students moved or quit school.  In any case, each of my classes added or dropped a person or two.  For administrative reasons, and the strength of the union contract, my class size remained constant.  28 students per class, give or take one student. 140 students maximum for the five classes I taught, anyway the administration sliced it.  So in my sophomore classes I had 28 per class, while my senior classes had 27, 28, 29 respectively.  
            And then it happened.  Two new students.  One senior and one sophomore.  Hugh Painfield in my sophomore honors class and Gianni Singleton in my senior writing class.  Two separate events.  One senior transferring into my class, one sophomore.  Unrelated to each other or so I thought at the time.  The fact that they entered my classes on the same day meant nothing.  They entered within the “normal” period of semester changes.  There was no reason for me to dwell on it.  I gave each their respective books along with a seating assignment and thought nothing more of it.
             I assumed someone in my class would drop.  I was now over the union limit. I had a total of 142 students.  I didn’t get excited about it.  I assumed the administration knew it, and I assumed someone in the class would change into a different class.  After two weeks, when no one did drop the class, and I was still over the contractual limit, I was mystified, but not angry.   I was no militant.   I thought to bring it to my union representative or the assistant principal’s attention, but I decided to wait it out another week.  By nature, I am non-confrontational, and I certainly didn’t think it was a big deal.  Both Hugh and Gianni were nice enough students, and I certainly didn’t fault them for being student 141 and 142.  It wasn’t their fault that  they had apparently been put into my classes by mistake.
             So I didn’t get around to mentioning it to anyone.  Their paperwork was in order.  I didn’t really look hard at their transfer sheets. Only by chance, three weeks into the term, as I transferred the student number of each into my grade book (I am very slow and disorganized when it comes to school paperwork)  did I happen to notice that each had transferred into Walden from the same school out West.  I was struck by this because the two had different last names.  I never thought of them as brother and sister, although, of course,  they could have been.  Enough students are brother and sister with different names.  Different fathers, different life circumstances, of course, it was possible.  One day I called Hugh to my desk.
             “Hugh, I see here that you transferred in from a school in Eugene, Oregon.”
            “Yeah.  I just moved to Chicago.”
            “How do you like it?”  I said cheerfully.
            “Chicago?  It’s all right. I hope to stay for a while.” he said flatly.
            “You aren’t planning on moving, are you?”  I said, with in an alarmed tone, as I felt bad for him if her were planning on moving on, but also because I had just entered his name permanently into my grade book. I hate doing things for nothing and I also didn’t feel like messing up my official records with a scratch out.
            “Not planning on it, but you never know.” he said with a sad look to some far off point.
            “Good.  I don’t want you to move.  I’d hate to mess up my grade book.” I said lightly.
            “I’ll try not to mess it up.” he said, turning to go.
            “By the way, Hugh, do you know Gianni Singleton?  She’s in my senior writing class.  She went to the same high school you went to.  Do you know her?”
            “Yeah, I know her.” he said softly as he continued to his seat.
            Not leaving well enough alone, I persisted, “You aren’t related to her, are you?”
            “No, I’m not.” he shot back decisively.
            The class moved on.  Though I vowed not to press the issue with Hugh again, I decided I would ask Gianni about it later on that day in senior writing.  It would be a mistake.  I should have just left it alone. 
            “Gianni, could you come up here a minute.”  
            “Yes, Mr. Paterson.”
            “Gianni.  I was looking at your records and I noticed that you transferred into Walden the same day that another student of mine did.  His name is Hugh Painfield.”
            “Yeah.” she said blankly.
            “Did you know he went to the same school that you went to?  I mean, do you know him?”
            “Yeah, I know him.   We’re related.”
            “Oh.”  I measured my response.  Someone was lying and I loved catching students in lies.  It was an ego boost.  I felt superior for knowing the lie.  I often let a student indict herself or himself before revealing that I knew they had to be lying.  Watching students trying to lie themselves out of a situation  afterwards was always a kick to me.  I love good fiction better than most.
            “Is that it?  Can I sit down?”  she said as she turned to go.  Clearly, she was finished talking to me.  I could let it go if I wanted to.   Of course, I didn’t.
            “How..How are you related?” I stammered.
            “Distantly.” she said as she returned to her seat.
            So now I was in it.  These two weren’t forthcoming enough.  I wanted to know.  Coincidence that these two transferred in on the same day? Hardly.  Relatives?  Of course.  Why didn’t Hugh just say so.  What was the big deal?  You’d have thought I’d asked him something personal.
            I went back and looked at the transfer sheets.  Each had excellent grade point averages from the other school.  Each had separate Chicago addresses listed.  Hmm.  Well, they weren’t living together.  Two families, related in some way, move together from Eugene, Oregon to Chicago.  It happens.  Not all the time, but it happens.  So what?  
            It bugged me.
            “Hugh.  Could I see you for a minute.” I said, getting back to him the following day.  “I talked to Gianni, yesterday.” I said a bit smugly as he approached my desk.
            “Yeah” he said blankly.
            “”She tells me you two are related.”  I said triumphantly, thinking “I really could have been a detective.  If I have time, some day I might just take the city exam and become one, or at least prove to people that I could be if I wanted.”
            “Yeah.” he still didn’t follow.
            “So, yesterday, you told me you weren’t related to her.” 
            “I didn’t say that.”  he said matter of factly.
            I was stuck.  I thought he said...  Maybe I misunderstood him.  Maybe he’s not a liar.  Maybe...
            “So how are you related?”
            “Distant cousins. Can I sit down.” he said walking to his desk as if I had blown any trust he might have put in me.
            So why do distant cousins move to the same town and go to the same school mid-year.  I hate that.  I couldn’t sleep much that night.  My wife told me to let it go, but it bugged me.
            I asked Nan Cain, our assistant principal, about it the next day.
            “Nan.  Can I ask you.  Why did you give me two extra kids in my classes?”
            “What are you talking about?” She said in a friendly, mystified tone.
            “I’m not complaining, I just want to know why I have 142 students in my classes.  Those last two kids from Oregon put me two over.  I never said anything because I thought you’d pull two other kids out.  But we’re a month into semester and I’m still over.”  I rambled.
            “Whoa, whoa.  Mr. Paterson.  If you’re over the limit, a mistake has been made in programming.   I never put two extra kids in your classes.  Who are they?”
            “Hugh Plainfield is in my Sophomore honors class, and Gianni Singleton is in my Senior writing class.  Both of them are from Oregon.  I think they’re related.”
            “Hugh who?  Gianni What?  You better go talk to programming.  I don't know those particular students.”
            I headed for programming when I was met by Hugh and Gianni.  I had never seen them together before.  I felt very smug.  Although they didn’t show it at all, I’m sure both of them wanted to slap that smile off my face.
            “Mr. Paterson, we’d like to talk with you.”
            “Go ahead.  I’m just on my way to the programming office.  You can walk with me.” I said confidently.  It bothered me that they weren’t honest enough to tell me from the start.  Now I was going to show them that they didn’t have to tell me anything they didn’t want to.  I’d find out on my own.
            “We need your help.” Gianni said.
            "Now you want my help.  Before you wouldn’t give me the time of day.  You treated me like I was a prison guard  interrogating a prisoner.  Now I’m your friend." I thought. The old story.  I’d been through it with students before.
            “What can I do for you?  I said blandly.
            “It’s kind of hard to explain.” Gianni said.
             “It always is when you’re asking for favors,” I thought.
            “Could you stop walking, please.” Hugh said in a pleasant tone, though I knew he wanted to add, “So I can smack you upside your arrogant head.”
            “Sure.  But like I said, I’ve only got a minute, because I have to get to programming before the bell rings.”  They had three minutes to plead their case.
            “Look, Mr. Paterson.  We like you.  We don’t want to see you get hurt.” Gianni said, although it seemed to come out of both of their mouths simultaneously.  Though it didn’t sound threatening,  it still came out oddly.
            “Good.  I’d hate to see you get hurt either.”  
             I’m 6’3” with far too much machismo in me for my own good.  I don’t appreciate threats but am in some ways charged by them.  I love a good fight so long as I win.  The full weight of the educational system was behind me.  I could not lose in a “fight” with any student, unless of course I were shot and killed, but that was never really much of a threat at Walden and certainly not with these two.
            “Mr. Paterson.  I am sorry to tell you that you have now gotten yourself into an unpleasant situation with us.” Hugh said a little more forcefully.
            “How so?” I said as my muscles constricted reflexively.  Though I knew it wouldn’t come to fists, still, my childhood remained too vivid.  I was not afraid, but still I prepared for the unexpected.
            “Gianni and I have known each other for a long time.  Longer than you or anyone like you could imagine.”  Hugh said pedantically.
            Of course, I resented being talked down to.  I also didn’t appreciate being put in with a class of people that can only be described is “like everyone else”.  I was better than that, I had allows presumed.
            “Try me.” I said impatiently.
            “Gianni and I are related now.  We are distant cousins.” Hugh said slowly.
            “Yes, so?"
            “We are distant cousins.  Now.  Previously, we have been boyfriend and girlfriend.” Hugh spoke slowly.
            “You don’t have to get into your personal business.” I said as professionally as possible, though I wanted to add, “You’d have done a lot better to tell me what you needed to tell me before you aggravated me.”
            “We have also been married.  We have also fought each other.”
            “Yes, well, all marriages have their problems.  But, I didn’t think you could get married at 15 in Oregon.  Well, that’s none of my business.  Look, the bell's going to ring any minute.  Let’s talk about this after class.  I’m happy to sort this out with you later.”  I needed to rush these kids off.  Their lies were starting to irritate me and I didn’t want to show it.
            “The bell won’t ring until we finish.” Gianni said with her eyes to the floor.
             I looked at the clock on the wall, as if to burst her little bubble.  It had stopped running.  It struck me that the engineers should fix it as soon as possible, and I made a mental note to mention it to the first maintenance person I ran into on my way to programming.
            “We have been stuck on islands together, seen plagues together.  We have been king and queen.” Hugh said firmly.
            “Queen and King” Gianni corrected, laughing.
            “Yes, well, I’m sure you have.  I’ve got to go though.  So if you’ll excuse me, your majesties, I’ve got to go check on something.” I have no problem with insane people so long as they let you leave mid-sentence.  I hate being buttonholed my a crazy person and then not allowed to leave.  I enjoy listening for a little while, but then I have to go.  I consider myself a patient man in this area.  If someone tells me the world is going to end tomorrow or that we are being invaded by terrestrial aliens, I’ll listen to a point.  But when I have to go, I expect that I will be allowed to do so.
            “You said you’d give us until the bell rings.”
            “So I did.”  "Why hadn’t it rung?" I wondered.  How time drags when you need it to speed on its merry way. 
            “We have been jailer and jailed, patient and doctor, employer and employee.  You name it.”
            “Oh, you’ll let me name it?  How about if I name it ‘insane’.  You’re crazy kids.  Nice enough on the outside, but wacked.  I have no idea what drugs you’ve been taking.  I may have even taken them when I was younger myself, but you people have to know when to play games and when to straighten up and fly right.   You can’t go up to a teacher and tell him you’ve been to the moon or whatever.  It’s funny to a point and then it just gets people concerned.  My job is to help you in any way I can.  I would say “go talk to your counselors” but I think it’s beyond them, too.  You need something Walden can’t give you.  You need a different kind of help.”  I started to walk away.
            “The bell hasn’t rung.”
            “I want to get to programming before it does.”  I said somewhat forcefully.
            “You’re in it, Mr. Paterson.  It would be better if you stayed and listened.”
            I kept walking until I turned the corner.  I was about to break into a sprint when I was stunned.  Stunned by the sight of every student loitering in the hall frozen in mid step.  I was the only person moving.  Every other element of the school was frozen.  Like the clocks on the walls, each student in the hall was stopped.  Everything was mid sentence, mid thought, mid moment.  Gianni and Hugh walked up behind me. Patiently, as if speaking to an idiot, they explained.
            “We don't know how we came to be in the situation we are in, but we have been together for centuries.  We continue to tumble together in time.  We don’t understand it, we can only tell you that we seem to be following the script of a book.
            “A book”
            “Every time we get tossed through time, we look for each other.  Eventually, we meet up.  We stay together and acknowledge each other’s company. Once acknowledged, shortly thereafter, a non-descript blue book appears somewhere near us.
            “A blue book.”
             “Yes, that is the only part of our story that never changes.   Because we have been through this so many times, we call them “novel changes.”  It’s kind of an inside joke.
            “Yes, yes.  I get it.” I said with a feeble grin, irritated that they would think that I might need the title explained to me.  I was an English teacher, for God’s sake!
            “When we see the blue book, we know that we are shortly to disappear.   Two days ago, we noticed the blue book on the shelf in your room.  When that book is opened, and it soon will be, we will disappear.  Every trace of us will be gone from everyone’s  memory except yours.   No one you ask will remember that we were ever here.  You will be alone in your knowledge.   Though you will try to forget us, you probably won’t be able to.  It’s in your best interest to try, however, because no one will believe you when you tell them.  They’ll think you’re insane if you persist too long in trying to convince them. 
            “Why are you doing this to me.”
            “We are not doing this to you.  You happen to be the person who gets the knowledge at this time and in this place."
            “Do other people know about you?” 
            “Yes, different people in different centuries.”
            “No, I mean people, alive, today.”
            “Thank God.”
            “You’ll probably never meet any of them.”
            “There are approximately 4 billion people on earth.  Approximately 30 of them have met us.  It’s a small world but not that small.”
            “I’ll advertise for them.”
            “We wouldn’t do that.  People will probably think you’re nuts.  Think about it.”
            What happens if no one opens the book.” 
            “We stay in your class.”
            “But as soon as someone opens the book?”
            “Poof.   No one remembers us but you.”
            “What’s in the book?”
            “Our stories.”
            “Then this will be in the book”
            “Well, I like that.  I always wanted to be in a book.”
            “You may regret it later.”
            “So the book gets bigger all the time.
            “Yes.  it changes.”
            “What kind of changes.”
            “You’d have to read the book.”
            “But if I did that, you’d be gone.”
            “What should I do?”
            “Go to the programming office.”
            “What for?”
            “I think you were going to check on our addresses.”
            “But now I know.”
            “Yes. Now you know.  But do you believe it?”
            “Of course not.  Am I supposed to?”
            “Whatever works for you.  Whatever happens, we just want you to know we’re sorry we got you involved.  It wasn’t our intention.  It just happened.”
            “I understand.”
            “No you don’t”
            “You’re right.  Would it do me any good to choke you or beat the...”
            “No.  You couldn’t and it wouldn’t help anyway.”
            “I’d like to read the book.”
            “It’s still being written.”
            “As we speak?”
            “As we speak.”
            “So when I get back to class,  should I open the book or shouldn’t I?
            “Whatever you think is best.”
            “What do I know?”
            “Let me help you out a bit.  When you go upstairs, everything will be normal except you and us.  The book will be there, as we said, but everything else will be as it usually is.  Being a normal person, you’re naturally going to want to open the book.  You won’t, at first, because you feel yourself a superior man.  I’d like to tell you that the average person lasts a day before they open the book, because then you could hold of until tomorrow and feel good about yourself when you do open the book.  The bad news is, we don’t have an average time for you.  You can’t beat the odds no matter what you do.  Unless, of course, you never open the book.  In which case, you’re stuck with us in your classes for the year.  Which isn’t so bad.  We’ll do the work you assign.  We’ll answer questions in class.  We’ll be late occasionally just to be like most kids our age.  The problem is, you’ll get tired of us at some point and open the book.  If you’re looking for a way out, have one of your students open the book.  Then you won’t have to feel quite as  badly.   You won’t exactly have been the one to push the button of your own self-destruction.  Either way we’ll be gone.”
            “You’re sure I’ll self-destruct.”
            “What do we know?  We’re not gods.  We’re just two people trapped in a novel. We’ve only been through it a few hundred times.  All we can say is we’ve never seen it done.  Who knows.  Maybe you’ll be the first.  Whatever you do, just don’t tell anybody.  It’s the beginning of the end when you do."
            "Where will you end up?”
            “Who knows?  Wherever we get sent.”
            With that the bell rang and I headed for class.  I skipped the programming office.  I felt a certain pride as I did that.  When I got to room 220, it was waiting there for me on my bookshelf.  I looked at Hugh but he was looking down at his journal.  He certainly acted the part.  No one who looked at him at that moment could believe that minutes before he had told me this fantastic tale.
            I decided I would see how long I could hold out.  I went home that night and tried to sleep.  By the middle of the night I was ready to break into Walden to open the book.  The next day I hurried into class and opened it.  This was what was written.

Chapter 2(This is for you to write)  GO BACK TO THE RULES and then WRITE A CHAPTER FOR OUR NOVEL.  Send it to  I look forward to hearing from you, my co-author.