If anyone feels like going through Cheating Life (because it’s finished, a complete story, and you may even have read it before), or the rough draft of the first act of A Diamond in Snow (because you haven’t read it, or because the subject matter of Cheating Life isn’t really your cup of tea)*, I couldn’t imagine a better birthday present**.

*I know that this can be a very difficult undertaking, because whenever I try to read an author I like to analyze their writing style, I get caught up in the story and forget why I’m reading it or to look at the details. Hopefully, my stories aren’t so very dull that they force you to analyze the style.


**Seriously. Most of you know that somewhere in the back of my head I’ve always planned on being a writer of dubious quality or better, but I’d really like to be a writer of high quality – the kind of writer who would be read even by people who don’t know him. But my mirror for determining my own writing quality is very dull, so I need people who are willing to take the time to detail particulars about what works for them and what doesn’t, if surprises in the story are transparent, if the sentences are a struggle to work through and too dense, or too wordy and superfluous, if the characters are believeable, if the subject matter is trite or already overly saturated…. You know – things like that. That kind of analysis takes time and attention, which is the worst thing to ask of anyone who doesn’t offer it, but if you’re so inclined, it would be an amazingly outstanding gift.