Friday, January 31, 2014

The 'Sorting Out Sid' Preview Day at Harpers

A few days ago, we had a really cool 'Preview' at the HarperCollins Office in Noida for 'Sorting Out Sid' with 5 very special people, who have two things in common - their love for books and blogging! 

By the time I reached the office, they had all already been through a large portion of my book. We had a really interesting chat about writing, blogging, the book and various other things - Jaideep's captured it all pretty well in his ongoing series - here and here

As a part of the busy day they had, one of the tasks they were given was to come up with a description of Sid using 5 adjectives and the one who was the closest was to be declared the winner by me.

 So, without further ado, here are the entries: 

Descriptions of Sid as sent to me by:   

1. Yatin: ( A man of few, but powerful words as the interaction with him as well as his review of Sorting Out Sid shows). 

Witty, Emotionally practical, Submissive, Confident, Outspoken 

2. Jaideep(who appeared to be at no loss for words either during our interaction or in his email that contained the following adjectives! Had a great time answering his barrage of questions and reading his posts about the day, especially this one.

 Instinctive,Manipulative, Sensitive, Confident, Decisive
 Artistic, Opportunistic, Overreactive, Amusing, Curious
 Perversive, Obsessive, Dutiful, Responsible, Caring
 Funny, Cryptic, Snappy

3. Anant (having a super-busy week and therefore submitting these on twitter. Anant was the only one I didn't get to meet that day - but someday soon, we shall catch up!) 

lovely, hungry for life, helpless, ambitious, interesting

4. Priyanka ( Her week seems even busier, because this just came in over SMS! Enjoyed interacting with her, and all her questions !)

'Sid according to me is Capricious, A Total Buffoon, Callous, Effervescent, and Lampoon - who lives by sarcastic wit.' In Short, a cocktail of a man!

Okay, so far, out of the above entries, I'd say that the guys are pretty close, but the lady seemed to have got into Sid's character pretty well ( maybe it's a woman thing...we tend to nail the men nicely, right Priyanka?)

HOWEVER...the winning entry has to that of the gentleman who  decided that the words in the English language by themselves cannot do justice to Sid's character, and therefore invented words himself for the purpose of his analysis. I like the way Arvind Passey combined his entry to this contest with a review of 'Sorting Out Sid', and therefore, I present to you the winner -

5. Arvind: 

 Who describes Sid as : 

* A Brownie-sophical S-o-b
* Bollockseer
*The toilorous gonado-giggle
*The comittic attraction around
*The prickewed hilarity of Sid

Huh? I thought so too...until I read his post right here, which explains it all pretty well. After which, all I had to say was 'Brill-arious'! 

So that's it. Mr. Passey Wins. And it was lovely meeting everybody! Thank you all for being a part of this :) and to Dinesh and Ayushi from the team who actually thought this all up! 

I leave you with my favourite picture from the day. 

I don't quite remember what Arvind was saying, but it must have been very funny given everyone's reaction, including mine! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sorting Out Sid: Beer and Blogger Contest

I'm really happy to announce the ''Beer & Blogger'' contest around my new book 'Sorting Out Sid'' - where 10 Bloggers will get to hang out with me and Karthika VK (Chief Editor and Publisher, at HarperCollins and all around super-cool person) over a mug of beer at The Beer Cafe, New Delhi - on Saturday, 8th February 2014.

We did something similar about a year and a half ago for my first book, and it was fabulous meeting so many of you  over a riotous lunch - we can expect it to be even more riotous this time, given that this is beer-themed - a natural choice because Sid in the story is very fond of his beer! In fact, I think that's his only steady relationship. Ha ha. (And no, he's not an alcoholic) 

So here are the very simple rules: 

1. Write a post (in about 500 words) on your blog about why you would like to read Sorting Out Sid. (You will of course get a copy of the book when we meet) (Click here for book trailer, description and excerpt) 


Write a post ( in about 500 words) on your blog about any Funny/Embarassing/Awkward/Memorable Incident involving beer!

Extra points for being saucy, witty, funny since that is what the book is like!

2. The Team at HarperCollins and I will shortlist 10 Delhi-NCR based bloggers to join us at the Beer and Blogger meet. You'll all be treated to a fine afternoon hosted by the nice folks at The Beer Cafe

Not Delhi-based? Fear not! As before, I have kept 10 copies of the book in reserve for Non-Delhi based bloggers. You can participate in the contest with the same rules above and if your story wins, you will receive in the mail an author-signed copy too. (Note: they will not be shipped abroad, but you can win them for family and friends here!)

Keep the following in mind, please: 

1. The Title of your blogpost must be ''Sorting Out Sid - Beer and Blogger Contest''
2. You must include a link back to this post somewhere in your post for your entry to be valid. (Let your readers find their way here and check out the contest for themselves!)
3. Please ensure you leave a comment to this post with a link to your entry ( Otherwise, how the heck will we find it?)
4. It is optional to include the book cover, book trailer or book description in your blog post. (You'll find them all right here.)
5. It is also optional to spread the word on social media about your entry to this contest, or to include the link to the book page on Flipkart 
6. Both points 4 and 5 above will certainly win you my love and affection, if not necessarily the contest ;)
7. The contest is open until 31st January 2014 only. The decision of the judges will be final. No late entries will be entertained. In fact, if you get your post up before 15th Jan, you may be one of the Early Bird winners to be announced on Jan 20th. So don't procrastinate - get going. Come on - there's free beer at stake! Ha ha. 

Look forward to getting your entries. All the very best! And remember, there will be 20 people who get free signed copies of the book (10 from Delhi and 10 from other locations!). So go on and let the beery ride begin! 

Cheers! *Clinking together of beer mugs*. 

When Sid Met Sophie

(So this is something that Judy Balan and I were very kicked about trying out and we had great fun doing it too! 

Judy is the author of 'Two Fates' and came out recently with her second, 'Sophie Says'. We were keen to figure out what would happen if my 'Sid' and her 'Sophie' ever caught up. And so one fine day, we put this scene together, where she played Sophie and I , of course, played Sid! 

Check it out and also head on over to Judy's blog 'Woman and a Quarter'

Thanks for a fun 'date', Judy! Ha ha...)

                                                          When Sid Met Sophie

Setting: A Bar in Chennai. Lights Dim. A guy and a girl find themselves sitting next to each other at the counter. Both are on their third or fourth drinks.

Sid: (Preens, trying to get her to notice his newly sprouting French Beard. He refuses to be the one to say something first even though he feels like a conversation. It would be too forward of him.)

Sophie: And this is a day I never thought I'd see in Chennai..

Sid: (Hoping she isn't one of those crazies who end up in places like this) Excuse me?

Sophie: (completely ignoring his cautious approach) Nothing, I find it charming that you think you're being subtle while checking me out.

Sid ( sputters and chokes-he was in the middle of taking another swig of his Beer. Recovers and says with as much dignity as possible). Madam. I assure you I was not. I was merely looking at MYSELF in the mirror to see how my new French Beard is coming along. I apologize if you thought I was looking at you. (He adds) I am very much a married man. Married fifteen long years, actually. (Shows her his ring to convince her of the fact.)

Sophie (rolling eyes) Okay, relax, take a breath and all that, Gilderoy Lockhart. (a beat, speaking more to herself ) Wow, so there's hope for that sinking institution after all…

Sid: Gilderoy..who? Oh I see. I understand. I'm sometimes mistaken for a foreigner. Well, it happened once. Oh, but that's when I was in China, so I guess I was a foreigner only (Shakes head to clear it). Anyway. My name is Sid. Siddharth, actually, but everyone calls me Sid. And you are...?

Sophie: Never mind. You might be too old for a Harry Potter reference anyway (quickly realizes she's too old as well and tries to change the subject). I'm Sophie. And everyone calls me Sophie. Or The Breakup Coach.

Sid (shocked) A ...break up coach? I didn't know there was such a thing. How unusual (Suddenly realizes she was making a barb at his age). Hey. I'm only 36. I've been TRYING to look older because I might soon become a VP at my company. And I'll have you know that my marriage is JUST FINE. No sinking institution at all. (Sinks lower in his chair, trying to keep thoughts of his last fight at home at bay)

Sophie I was actually commenting on marriage as an institution and not your marriage specifically, but interesting response (looks at him like she's making a psycho analytic observation). Also, VP at 36, huh? Good for you. I'm 31, fashionably quit my job a few months ago because it wasn't "fulfilling" and now I have nooooo idea what I want to do… (smiles vaguely, looking straight ahead.) (a long pause). You know, at this point, it is polite to offer a sad fact about your life.

Sid (caught off guard) Sad fact...well, I would except that my life is fine, FINE. It's Rockin'! (thinks for a bit, realizing he may be overdoing it) Well, I could get better. Mandira and I have been, having differences of opinion rather a lot. But that's normal in any relationship, right? (Changes track, embarrassed at having opened up to this strange girl, although she is kind of cute. But he's married!) So, no job eh? A free bird-types?! I'm sure joblessness has its moments. Doesn't it?

 Sophie (noticing he's embarrassed about opening up and getting a kick out of making him feel worse): Whoa, whoa, Sid…too much information.. It's not cool to discuss fights with your wife with strange women at the bar, you know? (impish smile)
Sid (feeling uncomfortable) Yes, yes...well, you're the one who started with the whole break up, sinking institution thing. Never mind. Wait, so you're not really jobless then, right? You do that...Break up Engineering thing?

Sophie (laughing) You're so cute... (Doing a Sid impression) "you're the one who started it..nananana" (chuckling again)..sorry, sorry,  I'm 4 margaritas down. And yeah the Breakup "Engineering" thing is more of a blog I write. It's called Sophie Says. Hey, you should look it up on Facebook! Uhh, not that you need it or anything.

Sid (Tips of his ears turning pink at having been called cute. But wait, she's just making fun of him) Yeah. I definitely, so definitely don't need your services. (Doesn't like the way that sounds) Er, what I mean is ... yeah, my marriage is fine, but still. What do you do exactly? I would look it up, but I'm not much on Facebook. I don't get the time at work, busy long days, meetings, emails, important stuff, you know. Plus (confessing a little shamefacedly) They keep using some Firewall thingy to block it at office.

Sophie (laughs): Well, as a Breakup Coach, I get to slap some sense into Breakees. Uh, Breakees is a word I coined for people who get dumped. You know Relationship Junkies who think they're entitled to whine all over town, throw tantrums and boil your bunny because you dumped them? Yeah, I like to fix those losers. Kind of like a contribution to society and all. Also, this whole thing is built around the philosophy that it is the Breakers who suffer more at the end of a relationship and NOT the Breakees who have friends, countless tubs of Baskin Robbins and good old fashioned self-pity to fall back on…(Looks at Sid thoughtfully).Also, you keep saying that your marriage is fine A LOT. Just an observation. Feel free to ignore it. But you know, you strike me as the king of denial.

Sid (defensive) That's because it is Fine. A LOT. That's just how it is. I am so totally NOT the king of Denial. That's just ( Realizing he's denying it too hard) ...And I have no idea what this Breaker and Breakee business is. Isn't it possible for two people to just mutually decide that it's not working, at some point? ( He takes another large swig to fortify himself. This conversation is taking a toll on him. Looks at her, with almost a plea in his eyes this time) Doesn't that EVER happen?

Sophie: Like I said, just an observation. But I feel like you're very all-caps-y every time you talk about your marriage, you know?  (she sighs, there's a pause) And I wait for that day as much as you…the day when the breaker and the breakee deal with their own problems…(examines her glass. it's empty.) So tell me, mysterious stranger with too many unresolved issues, should I order another one or are you afraid you might fall in love with me? (drunk laughs).

Sid ( trying to suppress the strange attraction he feels towards her. Come on, you're the master of suppressing things, he tells himself) I'll take that chance. (turns away from her)  Bhaiiya! I mean Waiter! We'll have another refill, this lovely young lady and I.( Searches his head for a safe topic) So...are you from Chennai?

Sophie: (thinking to herself: Oh, crap. What did I do. I already have a Ryan and a Yatan to deal with and after all the grief I gave Bonnie about the married guy… oh, please God..I've learnt my lesson! I shall never judge again!) (Smiles). Yup. Been here all my wife. Er, life. You?

Sid: I'm from Delhi. Er, well, I'm actually from Lucknow but now I live in Delhi. Used to be in Bombay, but my wife got a great job opportunity in Delhi so we moved there. Good for me, though! Doing very well at work. The VP thing you know. ( Realizes he sounds like a bit of an ass but it's too late to backtrack)

Sophie:  I was just at that point in my margarita buzz when I had gotten past my existential pain. But now that you've reminded me again about what an unaccomplished mess I am what with that VP thing you keep bringing up and all.. (pouts at the mirror, trying to see if she can appear girly for a change) Anyway… this has been peculiar, Sid. I never thought I'd see the day in Chennai.. when a cute guy would check me out at a bar and then tell me that he was only checking out his new french beard. (smiles)

Sid (Humorless laugh) Okay! Fine! You want to hear it? I will TELL YOU (getting very loud)...I'm a VP at my company, all right...BUT YOU HAVEN'T ASKED WHAT WE MAKE!

Sophie: Ohh-kay. My girl erection just went down.

Sid: So You're not the one with existential problems! I'm the LOSER! Ha ha! I WIN! (suddenly realizes what she just said, and looks hopeful) You mean I could have...we could have...can we rewind and maybe ...

Sophie: (laughs) I think this is the point in that drunk cocky boy meets drunk damaged girl scenario, where they should both get up and leave. (Leans in to whisper to him mock-seductively) You know? Since your marriage is FINE and all? (picks up her bag to leave, flashes him a smile.) This has been sweet, Sid. But let's NOT keep in touch on Facebook. (winks).

Sid (calls after her) I wasn't interested anyway! You're not  my type after all! And I'm too loyal! My MARRIAGE IS FINE! ( Sees he is now alone except for the waiter staring at him with arms crossed. Looks at him haughtily) One more, Bhaiiya! (Slumps over the bar)


Monday, January 20, 2014

Things I got to hear today

"Mama! What if someone destroys the whole world? What will happen to us? We will all DIE!"

"Mama! What if I have an enemy? And then that enemy comes to my MARRIAGE and kills my HUSBAND? What will I do then?"

"Mama, mujhe plane mein jaana hai. Main kabhi bhi nahin Gaya plane mein. Mein Sikanderpur (he meant Singapore) jaunga plane mein."

"Mama, mujhe Hubba-bubba chahiye. Ek, do, paanch, eight, nine, SEVENTEEN!!" (Holding out ten grubby fingers)

"And mama, you know, in my secret seven book there is a famous five! Mumble mumble ( incoherent with excitement) and even Timmy the dog, woof woof!!"

"You bought only TWO chocolate eclairs? Can I have a whole chocolate eclair, Please? Okay fine, we will ALL share. Half-half for me, half-half for you?"

"And now DADDY is here to tell you all a story. Today we will hear the story of Superman and Doodhwala..."

Yes, there's never a dull moment around here. Ranges from the morbid to the cute to various other things. But dull? Nah. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The jujube lollipop

Everyone is busy drawing on a Sunday morning.

Peanut says "look mama, guess what I am making!"

I glance over and see that it's a blue square. I guess " a house?"

"No!" She exclaims. "It's a Lollipop!"

Before I can stop myself I say "a square Lollipop?"

She considers this and says "ok. It's a house!"

I immediately feel bad and say "no no, wait, a lollipop can be any shape". 

"Nope" she says "I don't want to make a wrong thing."

Every type of parenting guilt comes crashing down on me. I have just crushed her imagination. I have boxed her in. I have limited her creativity. I have...

(Inspiration hits me) "but wait- what about those special jujube lollipops we get sometimes?"

My child thinks about this and then lights up "oh yeah! That right..."

She proceeds to go ahead and create a long, multiple-layered, colourful jujube lollipop with squares, semi-circles and triangles.

I breathe a sigh of relief. 

Another parenting disaster averted. 

You can't blink, with this stuff. 

(Vijay teaching them tracing. " oh wow papad... That's a great circle... So round... Wait... Perfect! Wait, uh, that's the one I made.... Yours is okay too...") 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Writing Truths: On How Easy It Really Is

While I should probably be getting on with my story since there's a new book that I'm working on, I've been procrastinating it all morning and figured why not do it for a few more minutes as I kickstart something called Writing Truths. Please note that these are the Writing Truths that I am discovering on the way to being a 'real author.' I really didn't feel all that comfortable writing a series like this, because to be honest, I was like ''Well, I've only got one book out.'' But now that there's two of them out there, I feel I can at least share a few things about the journey on a regular basis. Also because a few of you said you'd like to know more about it. So here goes.

I thought I'd start with the first one. Many people ask ''How long does it take you to write a book?'' And I very truthfully answer ''About 3 months.'' But if I examine it, it's actually both shorter and longer. Shorter, in the sense, that there are times when I manage to write a chapter a day and it takes about a month to write a first draft. That's quite a pace, and I've been able to manage that one only after I quit the full-time job thing.

But it's also much longer. For example, I wrote ''Still Married, Thank You'', the follow up to ''Just Married, Please Excuse'' in about 30 days, but it's still lying in draft. When I re-read it, I just didn't feel like it was right, so it's on the backburner for now. I'm hoping to pick it up some day, but I know it will take some serious rework - so in the meantime, I've started work on another story - which also doesn't always ''feel right'' as I'm writing, but that's the main thing that I've learnt - just go ahead and write anyway. Tell that inner critic to go take a walk. Because you'll never finish if you listen too hard to her.

So yes, the thing is - it's hard. It may look easy, and maybe I've been making it look easy. But it's just really hard work to write a whole book. Because there's this little thing which takes up a LOT of time. And that's called Re-writing. It may not turn out anywhere near perfect the first time. But getting it out there and then taking a deep breath and then re-writing it again so that you feel better about it is the key. And then a small group of trusted people giving their honest (and brutal) opinion on your draft is important before going ahead and requesting an editor to spend time on it. In all my books, I've seen that I've had to re-write significant parts of it. The thing is - to not be afraid of the work, and just go ahead and do the damn thing. Getting started is the hardest part, always. And then, keeping at it. And then, finishing. Hah! So yes. Simple. Not Easy.

With that, my few more minutes of procrastination are over and it's time get out of my pajamas, take a shower and head to my writing place, which is a cafe thankfully situated within my colony.

Oh wait, but then there's this new Zumba routine I've been wanting to master for the class I'm taking tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thank you much :)

Just a quick post to say -

- I really appreciate the comments to the previous post. Yes, I'll keep the blog alive and just write whatever comes to mind. It will continue to be stuff around family life, but now with more snippets around the process of writing, basis your feedback.
- I'm going to try and be more regular with writing here. Posts may not be very long going forward, but I'm going to try and ensure that at least the blog is not neglected for weeks at a time. Once a week should be good.
- This month is an important one for me - as you likely know, my new book 'Sorting Out Sid'  is launching, and I would really value your support to get the word out. I'll be doing a blogger's contest soon, so please do participate. There's a fabulous pre-order offer, if you're intending to give the book a go, buy it before the launch at this link- which means now!  (200 Happily Unmarried Mobile Beanbags worth Rs.300 will be sent out with the pre-ordered books). And of course, Facebook shares of the link are most welcome, or whichever form of social media you favour. Every little bit helps.
-In case you'd like to give the book a trial, here's an extract. If you'd like to read more, you could also just go ahead and sign up with your email ID on the form near the top right of this page and I'll mail you the first 3 chapters. It's as simple as that. (If you feel like emailing me for them, go ahead - I'm at yashodhara dot lal at gmail dot com. It's just perhaps a little easier for me to organize stuff if you sign up in the box)
-If you're on Facebook, you'll be able to find me here. And on Twitter here. Just in case you want to stay updated on some other shorter-format stuff on a more regular basis.

So that's it. You guys are awesome. Please do stay in touch! 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wow! It's 2014 Already?

2014. It sounds like one of those years that Marty McFly would have time-travelled to in Back To The Future. And if you're one of those children of the nineties or thereafter who have no clue what I'm talking about...sigh. You missed something.

Meandering back to the point - the New Year is here, in case you hadn't noticed and a Happy one to you. Things have been a little crazy around here, but a quick round-up in no particular order:

-  At the current moment, I've just finished putting one of the twins to bed and young Peanut has just finished practising her piano. It's about 10 p.m. already but when I remembered that I hadn't seen her play, I sent her off to practice for a bit. I've already taught her 'Every day you don't play is a day you're getting worse.' Some people may say I'm too strict about this stuff, but her piano, which she started in Feb of last year, is progressing very well. She just gave her Initial Grade examination, and we're awaiting the results eagerly. Well, I am, she couldn't care less, which is about right for a six year old. In this one matter, I am pretty Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother sorts. She is now sitting next to me reading some Famous Five book about Ghost Trains - her speed-reading amazes Vijay, and she's already read way more books than him. True Story. The progress with her reading and her piano are actually two big highlights of 2013 in the Lal-Sharma household.

- As far as the men in our lives go, they are all doing pretty good. Quick summary:

* Vijay has most of last year blaming his lack of sports shoes for his lack of exercise. Of course, every time we went shoe-shopping, he ended up rejecting all of the 'Options' for various reasons. The good news is that after an agonising ten days of deliberation and checking of Flipkart/Jabong/Myntra, he has finally purchased a pair of shoes that he seems satisfied with, although he says they looked better on the website ( Honey, I'm pretty sure this is shot by some guy whose job it is to make them look really know like those Food shots by what are they called, Food Photologists or whatever). Anyway, now I'm waiting to see when he actually does start the jogging. Will update in 2015 on this.

* Pickle and Papad are now three and a half. They are an absolute riot, and I can't imagine two people who could possibly be having more fun. They are the best of friends and yet of course, they fight over absolutely everything. I'm happy to report that their English is now improving and I get to hear statements like 'Mama, I love you sho much.' This fills my heart with joy, even though the next sentence is an innocent 'Now I can watch da TV?' They are always up to something or the other, often causing the otherwise sedate Peanut to lose it and regress to a 3-year old state herself -and basically, the advantage of having three children is that it's a real party all the time, and play dates are really optional - usually exercised when some poor unsuspecting parent invites all three of them over. I send them out gladly, chuckling to myself, pretty sure the invitation will not be repeated, but determined to enjoy the peace and quiet at home for a while.

- And as for me. Well, a lot has been going on. Firstly, there is the new book, Sorting Out Sid. The book is on pre-order right now (with a fabulous offer so I am really encouraging everyone who intends to pick up a copy not to wait till launch and get it right here at this link quickly.) I'm feeling the excitement all over again, since it's now a year and a half since the launch of Just Married, Please Excuse. In the meantime, this month I've started work on a third book - I'm just going with the flow and trying not to think too much about it, so let's see where that goes

Apart from the writing, I've been doing another couple of things. December was the month where I taught a month-long marketing course for the first time, at Hindustan Times Bridge School of Management. It was an interesting experience, but took up a lot more time than I had anticipated so I'm taking a break from that as of now. I also started teaching Zumba at my local community and have decided to increase from two to three classes a week. That's fun and the best part is that it keeps me fit, and is scheduled in the mornings so it doesn't interfere with other stuff during the day. I continue to support the Happy School, Gurgaon and just had the most brilliant time playing Santa to my Grade 2 students. I wish I could do more, but as of now, the little bit of story-telling I do on Saturdays is all I can manage, and it's been over a year with them so that's good.

I am still in the process of figuring out what to do when I grow up, of course, but for now there's a book launch, the family, another book being written and plenty of other stuff that's going on.

In the meantime, there's a resolution regarding this blog. I've kept this blog going for the last, 7 years now, November 2006 was when I started. A lot has changed over the years -many of the mommy bloggers I used to read are now Facebook friends; my Link list got really outdated because many bloggers on it stopped blogging regularly. The kind of interaction that used to happen in the comments are no longer happening, even though I know there are hundreds of page views each day. I'm therefore trying to figure out what to do with this space. So here's a special couple of requests to you guys:

- Delurk on this post. Please. Tell me about yourself. And tell me about what you'd like to see more of on this blog in 2014, assuming I manage to blog at least once a week. Is it stuff around married life? Or stories about the kids? Is it stuff around writing and the process of writing? Is it something else that you'd like to know about? Look...while blogging is about self-expression, there's very clearly a motivation to continue writing in a public space if you know what your readers like. So for once, get out of the Facebook-commenting mode and comment here.

- Help me get to the other blogs and bloggers you like. I'm trying to rediscover the community. Leave a link to the blogs you enjoy, and of course, your own. As I said, my earlier circle of bloggers has become a lot less regular - direct me to ones you think I'd like, for whatever reason.

That's it. These are my two requests. And with this, I hope to take my blog in a whole new direction with more regularity and a specific purpose in 2014.

And yes...thanks for sticking around. Let me assure you, there's a lot more to come.

This is me wishing you a Happy, Productive 2014. I hope your plans fructify and your wishes come true.