I need to go for a run . . .

No real comment. Just, the weather stinks and I'm tired of the gym and the ideas don't come until I get out on the trails. Also ready to be done with the latest class. Learned a lot but I need to get back to my stories, my characters. The class I've been taking is a craft class on writing better characters. The biggest lesson for me hasn't come directly from the class. It came because of it.

I write the characters I do - Callie in Finishing Kick and now Becca in Trail of Second Chances, Gracie when I get to her, Pete Archer who's waiting patiently at the start of The Lonesome Mile - because I care about them and their stories. When Callie is learning to be the leader that her team needs her to be, I'm cheering when for her. When Becca is struggling with her dad as her coach, I sympathize - and think of my poor girls, who handled it so well.

Some writers, James Patterson for example, outline the story and hand it off to someone else to write. He has (reportedly) a whole stable of people who will work with him on this. Other writers are very, very good at developing the stories within a framework, like the old writers of the Nick Carter series or Star Trek.

But I'm not that type of writer, at least for now, and I'm pretty sure I don't want to change that. The folks in my books are nearly real to me and, if I ever get enough skill, I hope that they become nearly real for my readers.

Which I think numbers about six people right now, but it's a very loyal six. That makes it worthwhile.