happy new year to you all!

if you’re reading this, you’re probably a better person than I am, because I am the worst at keeping up with blogs.

I don’t mean to bore y’all, but I want to talk about 2013.

folks, it was a great year. it was the most exciting, maturing, stressful, crazy, spontaneous, expensive year of my life and I’m so grateful for it.

what happened? so, so much. here are my highlights:

my church. oh man, my church. I have a family of 300+ people that I couldn’t love more. they’ve welcomed me, taught me, comforted me, encouraged me, loved me. I’m so in love.

NaNoWriMo Finding You stats-Finding You = complete. until I start editing, of course. it took me a year and a half, but it’s my favorite thing I’ve written; I’m proud of it, despite its flaws. this is unusual for me. it took me a year and a half, and I’m relieved and sad and excited to be done. it has definitely been my most emotional book to write so far.

-crazy friendships I didn’t expect: you may be reading this, and you may know who you are- people I knew a little, who have come to mean a lot to me over the past year, people I didn’t know at all yet, people I have never met face-to-face but who have made this year worth it.  I love you all.

-travel: to be honest, travel always makes my year. when people ask me what my hopes and dreams for the future are, I have my answer ready these days: all I is want to travel the world, write books, glorify God and love strangers, with a true love and a family in there as well. literally, that’s what I want from life, and the time I spent roaming the country (and visiting Canada on my own) this year has been some of the best- visiting friends, visiting places, visiting events. it’s been phenomenal.

-CULTURE! seeing Les Mis twice (American tour, Canadian cast), a Ramin Karimloo concert in Boston, Red Sox game, Newsies and Cinderella on Broadway, surprise Afie Boe concert in D.C., a 1960s party, Shakespeare in the Boston Commons, a Matt Nathanson/Joshua Radin concert at the House of Blues…I feel so enriched and in love with life. just give me a seat in front of a stage and I’m happy.

-Matt Smith is gone. this is not a positive aspect of 2013, but it is monumental. I won’t burden you with my frustrations with his last episode, or my other issues/heartbreak. I do very much miss Amy & Rory. (we *did* have the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and while I wasn’t 100% impressed, it was terribly exciting.) to sum up, this is what I felt/am feeling:tumblr_inline_mw359v1Mm61rhvd1v

-2013 was my first year not a part of TeenPact. to be honest, that’s hard. I wish there was a way I could have always been involved. but God has been so gracious to me in helping me handle “growing up”. I’m excited to be taking new steps in my life.

-I’ve had some really rough, stressful, depressing, and upsetting patches in the year, and I’ve been incredibly touched by the people who reached out to me. I am so grateful to all of you for caring about me, and not accepting “I’m fine” when I told you that.  thank you with all my heart for Jon McLaughlin - Holding My Breath signedseeing through me, sitting me down, and making me cry to you. I’m not good at the whole “being-vulnerable” thing. I like to think I can save the day or do a darn good job at faking it by myself.

-a few last things that made the year great: CATCHING FIRE CAME OUT. I started watching Supernatural. I went to Ikea for the first time. I registered for my first class with Harvard Extension, which is as close to all my dreams coming true (#nerdwholovesschool) as I’ve ever come. thanks to Jesus, I was able to restore a friendship that was was physically paining my heart and is now beautiful again. Jon McLaughin’s new album came out. I finally bought combat boots. I met a few of my real-life heroes.  I went Enjolrasing for the first time. and I found the love of my life aka Michael Vaughn on Alias.

 

and I finished out the year with my sister and a dear friend watching the fireworks at the Boston Harbor. it was magical. and freezing.

 

I promise I’m just about finished, but I want to list, online, publicly, what I have resolved for the new year.

-I will seek God’s voice and *actually listen*.

-I will practice self-control, in all areas.

-I will stop apologizing so much. it’s my worst habit.

-I will at least attempt to be published- something, somehow, somewhere.

-I will read good books; I have a tendency to stop reading when I write, and vice versa. I want to conquer that.

-possibly get a tattoo – nobody kill me, please. I’ve wanted one for a while. I’m just not certain yet, though I know what I want.

-finish another novel (either ‘Check’ or ‘Across the Lake’, I think).

-do a cartwheel. I’ve never done one; this year I’m going to learn.

 

what are your resolutions, victories, regrets? tell me while you listen to this song, about the last night of the year. it’s my favorite.

~Lydia

[retweet][/retweet]

[facebook][/facebook]

 

I do it continually.  Every day, all day.

And because my problem could be mistaken for humility, it’s easy for me to ignore it or forget that it’s a problem at all.

I need to talk about self-loathing.

I couldn’t tell you at what point in my life I started hating myself.  My family and friends love me, sure, and I’ve been raised all of my life being told that the Creator of the universe does as well- enough to die to save me.

I don’t know why that won’t sink in.

Most of you know that for the past five+ years I’ve struggled with depression, off and on.  During those bouts of despair, it’s difficult – it feels impossible – to remember that life is precious, and to call to mind the great things my God has done for me.  I don’t want to talk about the details of all that.  I don’t want to defend the reality of my depression to you or belittle it so I feel superior either: I know that it was not as bad as it could have been, but I also know that for me it was very real.*  I felt like I was distant from God on those days, and I felt like it was my fault- and that made me hate myself, and feel like there was a wall separating me from my Savior – a wall that I had to tear down before He could help me.  I’m making progress- or rather, Jesus is, in me.  We’ll see what happens.  I haven’t been seriously depressed for a couple of months, hallelujah.

But this post is about something different.

I’m not writing this because I’ve finally come to terms with God’s love for me and I’m “all better”, or because I’ve discovered how to get over this self-loathing that punctuates every aspect of my life.

I’m writing this because every day of my life it seems like it’s getting worse.

And I need to talk about it.

My church, ‘Aletheia Boston’, blesses me beyond belief.  I started going there in January and have since been challenged in my relationship with God, drawn closer to Him, and convicted about the sins in my daily life.  I’ve also made some amazing friends.  The people who surround me on Sunday mornings (and any other time I spend time with them) pursue God, and encourage me to pursue God.  My pastors don’t water down the truth (that’s what the church is named for, after all), and I love it.  I’ve never felt so keenly that I’m in the right place, even if I am among the quieter members of my family and slower to get to know people.

All that to lead into a sermon that Pastor Adam Mabry preached a few weeks back (you can listen to the podcast of it here)- a message about the value of human life.

Honestly, I couldn’t summarize the sermon for you perfectly, but I did take some notes that, for me, were mind-blowing.

Pastor Adam read from Genesis 1, and said this: “You and I are made in the image of God- we are intentional and we are blessed.”  The scriptures don’t give us permission to put people into boxes because they come from a certain hemisphere or have a particular color skin.

Galatians 3:26-29 says, “26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

We are equal children of God; Pastor Adam made the point that when we hold onto our prejudices, we do so at the expense of the Gospel in the eyes of those around us.  We don’t get to see the world through “white eyes” or “black eyes” or through any other prejudice or point of view.  We get to have “Jesus eyes”, and that’s it.

We don’t get to assign our own value to any human life- we don’t get to say that one person is less important because they’re old or because they’re not yet born or because their skin is darker or lighter than ours.  We don’t get to view any person as a mistake, as worthless, as unimportant.  In God’s eyes, we are each beautiful and purposeful and have been fearfully and wonderfully made- and let’s not forget, in His image.

My favorite thing that Pastor Adam said in his message was this: “There is no version of Christianity where we get to decide who lives and who dies- because every human life is intentional.”  (He sort of shouted it too, which I loved. I was tempted to jump up and cheer.)

But guys.

In all humility, I don’t think I have a problem with putting people in boxes, with de-valuing them or having a racist/sexist/ageist/’you-name-it’-ist viewpoint on the lives of those around me.  In all humility, I adore people.  The more unique, the better.  I love watching strangers, finding a random act of kindness with which I can make someone’s day, observing my incredibly diverse church interact…  I love worshiping with a body of believers that represents more nations than I can count on both hands.  (*shameless plug for my wonderful Every Nation church*)

So when Pastor Adam finished preaching (and as I was volunteering that week, I got to sit in on both services), I was pumped because it was a great message, but I wasn’t initially challenged to go out and change something about myself.  I thought that, as this topic went, I was all set.  No conviction, just encouragement.

It wasn’t until later that day that I realized there was a message in between the lines for me- something Pastor Adam didn’t mention, but that he had spoken to, whether he realized it or not: how does walking around loving the world but hating myself glorify God?

All it does is tell God that He made a mistake when He called me to be His servant.  It says that His glorious plan for me would be great- but really I’m not what He thinks, and that He ought to go find someone else who is “better equipped”.  It’s me saying, “God, thanks for thinking of me, but I know myself better, and I’m not worth the trouble.

I don’t look at myself and think that I am one of God’s incredible creations.  I look at myself and wonder why He would even want me.  I wonder what He could possibly have been thinking when He made me.  I wonder why I had to be the boring person in my family.  I wonder why I don’t have any of the personality or beauty that I see and wish for in my family and friends.  I wonder why, why, why?

I don’t look at my person or my life and see value.  I don’t see the image of God stamped onto me.  I don’t see anything beautiful; I see the opposite. I don’t see the fact that He has called me for a reason.

And I don’t want to be crippled by hating myself any longer.  I’m tired of it.  My self-loathing and insecurity affect every conversation I have and every relationship I build.  I don’t want that any longer.  I’m writing this so that I’ll be accountable to start valuing God’s plan for my life.  So that I’ll remember that I have a purpose.  That I am special (not to go all Sesame St on you).

And I know that as long as I’m crippled by focusing on my negative view of myself instead of God’s love and grace and purpose for me, I will not be prepared or equipped or confident to do His will, and I will live a hampered, messed-up life.

I’d love if you could pray for me when you think of it.  It’s going to be a struggle.

Thanks for reading, my friends.

~Lydia

[job 42:2 – I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.]

(Aside: I’d really encourage you to check out the podcast from that sermon- the series our church is currently working on is called “Sex, Money, & Politics [and a few other things you’re not supposed to talk about in church]”.  The entire series is really phenomenal.  And if you’re anywhere near Boston, stop by- we meet at the YMCA in Cambridge at 9:25 & 11 on sunday mornings; there’s more information on the website.)

Web_Splahs

 

 

*Note: I also fully understand that teenagers go through crazy hormonal imbalances, and am willing to concede that health played a part in my depression.  But I’d like to state for the record that that does not mean I was any better for knowing what was to blame.

[retweet]

[twitter name=”lydalbano”]

[facebook]

I’m afraid I didn’t realize until after I had pressed “publish” that I was debutingCheck Cover a story about a girl deciding to commit suicide on “Self-Injury Awareness Day” itself. The (sad) irony of the fact did not occur to me until I was lying in bed later and then I wasn’t sure if I should be glad of the coincidence or sorry for it.

But there you have it, I’ve begun posting a new novel! You may have noticed the slew of updates on Figment, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and maybe you’ve even checked it out. I’ve had this story stewing in my brain for…a year and a half maybe? It’s been a little while.  But I’m finally really giving it a go, and posting it publicly so I’ll be accountable not to let it fail. 😉

I’m also a little nervous about writing this story, for one major reason: it’s a completely new venture.  I haven’t written a book that a) is in third-person present-tense (ever), b) alternates between two viewpoints (ever), or c) is set in a modern, real-world place (with any success).  So there’s lots of newness going on.  But I’m excited.

CarouselBesides, Stella is a mystery to me. I don’t really know as much about her as I would like.  And I’m figuring Cal out as well.

So here’s The Plan!  I’m going to update Check. every other day, and the other every-other days I’m going to update Finding You! Sound good? I hope so. 😉 Basically there will be some sort of update every day. 🙂

Hopefully “Check” will make an enjoyable read for y’all- please know that you can always tell me a brutally honest opinion on it.  It’s a first draft, of course, so there are going to be problems. 😉

[retweet]

[facebook]

January is over, and with it my writing fast.

So here’s some closure for this whole situation, to let you know how it ended:

I did, despite all odds, survive.  I had a million, “Oh my gosh, what a brilliant idea I’ve had- I should go write that book this. very. second!” moments. But I jotted down the ideas and tried to focus elsewhere.  I think this was good for me.  For the first couple of days I felt like a total loser as I realized that I really didn’t have much of a life without my writing, in a way.  But my focus really changed, and there were several good changes I made:

1. I have a disciplined routine! Waking up by a certain time, spending time with the Lord, working out immediately, showering, juicing carrots, making a smoothie and then cleaning the house and getting to whatever the day held. It feels good.  This includes my renewed focus on getting healthier.

2. I realized I need direction for my life that sitting around writing all day has not given me, and I’m thinking that may begin with a long-term missions trip for a semester or so at some point, possibly to Haiti. I’m still looking around.  I also need a job, now that I’ve moved, and I need to stop procrastinating.

3. Most importantly I realized my need for a Savior more than ever.  Without my obsession to clog up my every thought, I realized at times just what a wretch I am, and what I need to focus on.  I started prioritizing my time in the morning spent reading the Word, and hopefully have become more focused in general.  And I plan on increasing that from here on.

So thanks for all of your prayers and the encouragement I found pouring into my inbox/figment page/blog from you, my lovely friends.

And now I need to wrap this up, because Isla and her plight are calling to me. 😉

(Oh, on a random/life-enriching note: you should check out “Jekyll and Hyde” the musical; the song “Confrontation” is my absolute favorite right now. It’s amazing. So…go listen to it.)

[facebook]

[retweet]

It’s MAJOR confession time, dears.

The verse in Luke 10 that says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” is terribly convicting to me.

I’ve heard so many times that whatever a person devotes their life to is what they worship.  It’s their god.  And as I examined my life this morning, following a really incredible church service, I realized that as much as I love Jesus, He is not the focus of my life.

Jesus is not first in my heart.

I am the first to admit that I’m a sinful wretch who deserves nothing but hell and damnation, but this confession isn’t necessarily easy.  I don’t really like being vulnerable, which is probably because I’m so insecure about myself.  But here’s the naked truth, dear readers: I made writing my god when I started thinking of it first thing in the morning, the last thing as I fall asleep, and at just about every free moment thought out the day.  Plotting my stories, planning my characters- writing occupies more of my thoughts than anything else.  I’ll always choose writing over  any alternative.  I’d like to think I could be better than I am one day, but in the meantime I just love creating and imagining.  I also think my love for it is probably a gift from God.

But God’s gifts aren’t not supposed to take the place of Him in my heart.  And that’s what has happened.

So I’m ashamed, dear readers.  I’m ashamed that something that was a gift from above could make me forget so much- like the fact that I should use my passion to glorify God in some way.  And the fact that nothing I could ever accomplish or create will a) last into eternity, and b) come close to meaning as much as the truth that Jesus Christ died for my sin and I owe Him my whole being.

So I’ve made a hard decision: for the month of January (at least), I’m fasting from writing.  I’ll jot down whatever ideas I get, but nothing more.  I’m giving up my stories. Because as much as I want to be a writer, I want to be a child of God more, and I cannot “serve two masters”.  So here’s to what might be a really rough month for me.

“Oh, to grace, how great a debtor, daily ‘m constrained to be-

Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wand’ring heart to thee.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it- seal it for thy courts above.”

[retweet]

[facebook]

Also, “blog, revamped”!  What do you think? But on to the important stuff.

I’ve already mentioned that Proxy is returning, so here are a few updates:

Roe: I’m gonna let y’all see her great big personality changes for yourselves, but I’ve altered her appearance as well.  Instead of a kind of Saoirse Ronan look, she’s more of a slightly plainer Katie McGrath, pictured below.

 

 

 

 

 

The Messenger.  Calder (Jude Law-like in appearance, but younger) is going to be quite different from my original intentions, mostly because I didn’t have all that much personality planned for him.  One of the many reasons that I restarted this book: realizing it was laaaaame.  I’ve done extensive “interviewing”, background describing, and personality delving, and I finally feel like I’ve got a real, breathing person to work with.  Now if only I can convey him (and the others) onto the page.

 

And Jude is still Jude, but I’m deepening his character as well, with lots of character profiles and fake interviews .  He’s also still Liam Hemsworth with dark hair.

 

 

So anyways, I’m excited, and I’m so happy that some of you are willing to give this another shot and struggle through it once more with me. 🙂  I’m planning on posting the first prologue (which seems as if it’s unchanged, but is, in fact, much altered) tomorrow.  See you then!  (And I’m using a new cover- let me know what you think!)

 

[retweet]

[facebook]

114k words.

11 months.

A stupid first draft.

Many facepalms and “head-to-desks”.

And I finally finished Esmeralda.

So….

“The End.”

I’m not gonna lie, it was super exciting to type out those two words.  I wrote Esmeralda’s first draft in 100 days exactly (350+ pages) and am quite proud of the fact.  A few of you read that original ending, and can attest to just how dreadful it was.  To be honest, I don’t know that I have the greatest ending now, but I think it’s better.  And for now – since this rewrite took me eleven months – I’m more than willing to just let it sit for a bit.

I felt like a whole chunk of my life was gone when I finished this time.  It was kinda weird, like empty-nesting.  But a good-weird.  I’ll kinda miss my characters, but Finding You is really taking off in my mind and I can’t wait to turn my attention there now.

I wish I had the time / patience to write a drawn out “author’s note” of a post here, but I don’t.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of you who read Esmeralda- especially for the comments and reviews that told me what you were thinking.  You are all so kind and encouraging, and when I’d read that you cared about what happened to the characters, it gave me this giddy feeling in my stomach.  I felt like a real writer, and I don’t know what would have happened to my poor book if I’d never gotten feedback.  There were definitely times when I felt like it wasn’t worth saving, and then I’d find a new comment asking for more.  And that always spurred me on.

I know there are several issues left to work out.  Someday I’ll write a third draft, after I have some understanding of the Russian language, perhaps, and can make Evy’s world into a Russian one.  I’ll fix the inconsistencies, maybe deepen the characters, and work out a few of the issues that Evy would have had after eight years a prison cell.  And amidst all that, I’ll manage to cut it down about 25,000 words.  Yeeaahhh.

(Screenshot of my title page in the word document. ^^  I’m totally laughing at the whole “short novel” thing.  That was a dream that passed quickly.)

There’s much teasing debate at my house as to who I’ll “dedicate” the book to- my little brother insists that he has always been there for me (though he mocks any hint of romance, so…), most of my family is saying that I’d “better not dedicate it to ‘some friend’ because they’ve always supported me”, and my sister Em says I should dedicate it to “Matthew, Marilla, and ‘Gil’” and give it to said “Gil” as he’s dying of scarlet fever.  I  think I like her suggestion best.  😉

My biggest thanks goes to my God, though- without His strength I would be a mess and a shoddy writer, and it’s only by His grace that I’ve gotten as far as I have.

So thanks so much for sticking with me, folks.  I love you all (and I mean that, really- my Figgie friends are some of my dearest).

[retweet]

[facebook]

Emphasis on “may”…the first one.

I’m just going to get right to the point: I’ve got writing issues.  I can’t go three months without something new on my plate, or I get stir-crazy and frantic, like my world is closing in.  It’s sad, people.  Pity me.

Thanksgiving night (after eating far too much food, playing thanksgiving-themed games, singing in a talent show, tying for first place in said talent show, and then eating far too much dessert)I had a dream.  It was so epic I think it might have tied with Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.  I’m not even joking.

It was set in the 1890s, in the alleys of London, carrying the feel of Newsies and themes from The Thief Lord, and woven with romance, jealousy, oppressive family ties, secret background-stories, betrayal, and adventure.  My favorite “character” in the dream was a carbon-copy of Alistair Brammer as he appears in the new Les Misérables film, and was consequently named Alistair.  (I’m more than happy to have him feature in my book since he’s rather a favorite of mine in the musical theater world.  If you don’t know his work, look him up!)

I definitely overslept, though it didn’t matter since I always do at Gramma’s house.  People kept trying to wake me up and I’d shove them away, because even mid-dream I could tell this would make a fantastic novel.  My consequence was that most of the Thanksgiving dinner left-overs had been eaten by the time I finally got up at almost noon.

But I think it was worth it.

I’d love to promise that I’ll be unveiling this new book soon (since the dream covered all the major plot points, and since I wrote it all down the second I woke up, I only have to write it now! cha-ching.) but I’m afraid I have to finish at least Esmeralda before I can conscience that.  If it sounds at all interesting to you, though, never fear! It will appear soon enough.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a temporary cover image, since even before I post it I must have a cover (oh yes, I’m calling it simply “Dream” for now, since that’s what it was, even though that has nothing to do with the story).

(And I think that “Ava” looks something along the lines of the girl in this picture, though I’m not positive yet.)

[retweet]

[facebook]

Perhaps you’re familiar with the musical  Rent.  (Now before my fellow-homeschooler friends stop reading this and disown me, hear me out.)  It’s a tragic story, made more tragic by the fact that Jonathan Larson died the night before it opened.  I don’t support many of the themes of the story, and I don’t agree with much of Larson’s philosophy.  As a parody of La Bohème, I think it’s a piece of genius.  All moral quandaries aside, the show itself has some definite moments of brilliance and others of…insipidity.  (“Finale A”, for instance makes me want to cry, while “Light My Candle” is crude and just…awkward.)  My favorite character is definitely “Roger”, partially because he’s one that any aspiring writer can relate to.

Perhaps the best known song from the show is the famous, “One Song, Glory”, sung by “Roger” (originally Adam Pascal) as he worries that he will never make his mark musically on the world before he dies of AIDS.  The words speak to a writer like myself who hopes to make her mark somehow, someday (though I don’t believe I’m dying yet).  And the song is made more beautiful by the fact that it’s sung by Adam Pascal (who I have a major crush on) in his lovely, raspy, rocker-like voice (which I have another separate crush on).


While the entire song is SO applicable to my dreams as a writer, there’s a bit that I especially love:

“Glory, in a song that rings true
Truth like a blazing fire
An eternal flame
Find one song- a song about love
Glory, from the soul of a young man
A young man…”

I don’t need to be the next Suzanne Collins, Shannon Hale, or Veronica Roth.  I don’t think I ever could be, by any means.  But I want to accomplish something, and to know that I have.  The theme quotation for my life is one by Franz Kafka.  He says, “I want to escape the unrest, to shut out the voices around me and within me, and so I write.”  My soul needs to write.  I can’t survive without stories.

In all humility, I don’t think I’m without talent, at least.  There’s a line in Aida (another favorite Adam Pascal musical) in the reprise of “My Strongest Suit” where Amneris and Aida lament that, “a life of great potential is dismissed, inconsequential”.  I’d like to believe that I have potential, at least, as a writer.  And I don’t want whatever gifts God has deigned to bless me with to go to waste, for my life to be inconsequential.  In one sense I would be happy just sitting at home writing for the rest of my life, but at the same time, I don’t want only that.

I need to do something.

With God’s grace, hopefully I will.

[retweet]

[facebook]

How many of you have read even a bit of Esmeralda?  A few hands?  Okay, that’s good. I just need a couple of opinions.

I am nearly finished with my first draft (nearing that dreadful ending I have to somehow rewrite to work in with new elements of the plot) and I am starting the exciting/tedious process of setting it into book form, in the Blurb BookSmart editor, so I can send in the files and have a real live book-version of my story sent to me. *claps hands* Yay!!

I have this little love affair with witty/profound/poetic quotations (my “Wilkommen” about me page is proof of this) and I want to put a relevant quotation right before the title page.  I have scrutinized my “favorite quotations” Listhings board, and have narrowed the list of candidates to the five listed below.  Would you let me know which you think is/are best fitting for the story?

Here they are:

1. “We owe it to each other to tell stories.” ~Neil Gaiman

2. “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark.” ~Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Desperaux

3. “In the light, we read the inventions of others; in the darkness we invent our own stories. ” ~ Alberto Manguel

4. “Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.” ~Ben Okri

5. “All stories are lies. But good stories are lies made from light and fire. And they lift our hearts out of the dust, and out of the grave.” ~Mike Carey

And then, with the “book” version of Esmeralda comes a new cover…ish.  The image I’ve been using on Figment is too low in quality for a full-sized book cover, so I’ve done my best to enhance the stock image, and print the title as best as I can.  The font is new, but the picture is the same. Don’t be mad. 😉

Read Esmeralda Here!

[retweet]

[facebook]