“The young woman stood on the edge of the cliff, looking out at the vast ocean below”

Google Bard tries its (metaphorical) hand at writing a novel.

Yesterday, I posted a “novel” written by ChatGPT. Today, I decided to see if Google Bard could come do any better.

Like ChatGPT, Bard couldn’t stay with the thread of any story for long. It didn’t even try. I’d ask it for a first chapter, and Bard would dutifully label it Chapter 1, then give me an entire novel, summarized and complete with an unearned happy ending.

Finally, I decided to get more specific.

Me: Write 12 chapters of a fantasy novel. Include all 12 chapters. Include dialogue as well. Make the story at least 20,000 words.

Bard: Sure, here is a fantasy novel with 12 chapters, dialogue, and at least 20,000 words.

The resulting story was not twelve chapters long. It did not contain 20,000 words.

It was, however, a fantasy.

The Writer’s Journey

Chapter 1

The young woman stood on the edge of the cliff, looking out at the vast ocean below. The waves crashed against the rocks below, and the wind whipped her hair around her face. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, savoring the feeling of the sun on her skin and the salt air in her lungs.

She had always loved coming to this place. It was her favorite spot in the world. It was here that she could come to think, to dream, and to be herself.

Today, she was feeling particularly lost. She had just graduated from college, and she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. She had always dreamed of being a writer, but she wasn’t sure if she had what it took.

She opened her eyes and looked out at the ocean again. The waves were still crashing against the rocks, but the wind had died down. The sun was starting to set, and the sky was ablaze with color.

She took another deep breath and smiled. She knew what she had to do. She was going to be a writer.

Chapter 2

The young woman sat at her desk, staring at the blank page in front of her. She had been trying to write for hours, but she couldn’t seem to find the right words.

She sighed and stood up. She needed a break. She walked over to the window and looked out at the city below. It was a beautiful day, but she couldn’t enjoy it. All she could think about was her story.

She turned away from the window and walked back to her desk. She sat down and stared at the blank page again. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She imagined the story in her head, and she started to write.

The words flowed easily at first, but as she got further into the story, she started to struggle. She found herself getting bogged down in the details. She stopped writing and stood up. She needed to clear her head.

She walked over to the window and looked out at the city again. This time, she saw the beauty in it. She saw the people going about their lives, the cars driving down the street, the birds flying overhead. She saw the potential for stories everywhere she looked.

She turned away from the window and walked back to her desk. She sat down and opened her eyes. She looked at the blank page and smiled. She knew what she had to do. She had to let the story flow naturally, without worrying about the details.

She started to write again, and this time, the words flowed easily. She wrote for hours, and when she was finished, she had written the first chapter of her book.

Chapter 3

The young woman’s book was a success. It was published by a major publisher, and it quickly became a bestseller. The young woman was now a published author, and she was able to quit her day job to write full-time.

She wrote several more books, and they were all successful. She became one of the most popular authors in the country.

But even though she was successful, she was not happy. She felt like she was missing something in her life. She felt like she was not living her true purpose.

One day, she was walking through the park when she saw a group of children playing. She stopped to watch them, and she felt a sense of peace that she had never felt before. She realized that her true purpose was to write for children.

She started writing children’s books, and they were even more successful than her adult books. She was now able to reach a whole new audience with her stories.

She wrote for children for the rest of her life, and she brought joy to millions of children around the world. She died at the age of 90, surrounded by her family and friends.

She was a successful author, but she was also a kind and compassionate person. She used her writing to make the world a better place. She will be remembered for her stories, and for the joy that she brought to so many people.

“The nightmare shattered into a thousand shards of darkness”

I went ahead and asked ChatGPT to write a novel. Here are the results.

Last October, I tried feeding the opening of Pride and Prejudice to some AI content generators. The results were by turns ridiculous and intriguing.

A little more than a month later, ChatGPT was released. Several other AI chatbots followed, and now a lot of novelists are genuinely concerned about a future where AIs might replace us.

Is that possible?

I asked ChatGPT to write an entire novel for me, just to see what would happen.

To start, I asked the AI for 10 ideas for a fantasy novel.

Good afternoon! Can you give me a list of 10 premises for a bestselling fantasy novel?

Good afternoon! Certainly! Here are ten premises for a bestselling fantasy novel:

A young orphan with mysterious powers is thrust into a world of magic and adventure when a long-lost prophecy reveals their destiny to defeat an ancient evil threatening to plunge the realm into darkness.
In a world divided between humans and mythical creatures, a forbidden romance blooms between a human princess and a captivating shapeshifter, leading them on a perilous journey to unite their warring kingdoms and restore balance.
A group of unlikely heroes, each possessing a unique elemental power, must embark on a quest to retrieve the lost artifacts of a legendary civilization in order to prevent an all-powerful tyrant from enslaving humanity.
In a land where dreams come to life, a gifted dreamweaver discovers that nightmares are infiltrating the waking world, and must assemble a team of dream warriors to protect humanity from the malevolent forces threatening their existence.
In a realm where magic is outlawed, a skilled thief finds herself in possession of an ancient artifact that grants unimaginable power. Pursued by a relentless sorcerer, she must learn to harness her newfound abilities and decide whether to use them for good or succumb to darkness.
A young warrior, the last of an ancient bloodline, is chosen by a mythical creature to wield a legendary weapon. With the aid of a wise mentor, they must navigate treacherous lands, face formidable foes, and unlock their true potential to bring peace to a war-torn realm.
The veil between the mortal realm and the fae realm is weakening, unleashing chaos and endangering both worlds. A human detective and a disgraced fae warrior are reluctantly paired up to investigate a series of supernatural crimes, exposing a conspiracy that could tear apart both realms forever.
In a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by dark magic, a group of survivors discovers a hidden sanctuary where the remnants of different magical races coexist. As they uncover ancient prophecies and uncover the truth about their past, they must unite to confront an ancient evil that threatens to annihilate what remains of civilization.
A gifted musician stumbles upon a magical instrument that can control the elements, but its power attracts the attention of a ruthless sorcerer who seeks to harness its energy for his own nefarious purposes. With the help of a group of eclectic allies, the musician must learn to master the instrument and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
In a world where humans coexist with sentient animals, a young animal trainer forms an unlikely bond with a mythical creature long thought to be extinct. Together, they embark on a quest to restore harmony between the human and animal realms, facing mythical beasts and uncovering ancient secrets along the way.
These premises offer a range of fantasy themes and storylines, and I hope they provide you with inspiration for your bestselling fantasy novel!
Of course I asked for a bestseller. Why start small?

I chose one of the ideas.

I like this one! "In a land where dreams come to life, a gifted dreamweaver discovers that nightmares are infiltrating the waking world, and must assemble a team of dream warriors to protect humanity from the malevolent forces threatening their existence."

Can you show me what the first few paragraphs might look like?
Let’s see what’s behind door number 4.

And I set a rule for myself: I could ask the AI for more text, but I could not revise that text or in any way try to shape the story by suggesting what might happen next. If ChatGPT was going to take my job, after all, it needed to be prepared to do its own work.

And we’re off.

I kept prompting the AI until the story reached something like a conclusion. Then I asked for a title, and “Dreamweavers: Guardians of the Everdream” was born.

Sort of.

I’ll post the complete story below, but first, here are my observations.

  • The prose was clean. I think this is the thing that scares writers about AI–any handful of sentences, taken alone, mostly sound okay.
  • The cliche level was high. Voices quaver, hearts blaze, chests heave, legends are forged, destinies are intertwined, visages are ethereal, and of course, prophecies and artifacts are ancient. If a village is being saved from the darkness, a resilient child who has lost his entire family to the darkness appears on cue to tug at our heartstrings.
    AI chatbots don’t do anything so direct as to remix the words of the works that came before it. Instead they learn that patterns of our stories, what words frequently follow each other, what tropes are most often found together. They don’t commit straightforward cut-and-paste acts of plagiarism, but they also don’t create anything new.
  • The AI got the rule show, don’t tell backwards. Beneath the deceptively competent prose, the story read more like a summary or outline of a novel, not like an actual story for a reader to watch unfold.
  • The “novel” was short. ChatGPT kept trying to end it even sooner, and I kept encouraging it to go on, but after 5000 words we reached a place where I could no longer convince myself the story was anything but done.
    Partly this was because of all that summarizing, and partly it was because of a tendency on ChatGPT’s part to keep trying to circle around to an unearned dramatic ending. Much like when Smart Copy tried to write a Jane Austen vampire novel for me, ChatGPT could only keep its forward momentum going for so long.
  • The AI couldn’t hold on to the thread of the narrative. This may be its greatest weakness as a storyteller. Artifacts were granted to the protagonist, used once or twice, and forgotten. The protagonist, Ariella, returned to places she had never actually left. Characters were introduced and forgotten–including a team of “destined” dreamweaver companions who Ariella assembles just in time for the story to never mention them again.
    AI chatbots can only keep track of what they’re talking about for so long.

This is just one anecdote, of course, but for now, my take is that getting a complete, coherent, readable novel from an AI chatbot would take as much work or more work than writing the book oneself. It would require constant feedback and reworking and rethinking and editing–things that, together, are a large part of the writing process. Little time would be saved, and even then, the results probably wouldn’t be all that great.

I can’t know whether AIs might replace writers one day, though I’m pretty skeptical. But right now?

We’re not even close. AI chatbots like ChatGPT aren’t really even designed for writing novels right now, as even a short time working with them makes clear.

Instead I think one of the greatest dangers–not only for writers and those who hire them, but for those using AI for other purposes as well–may be in imagining that AI is capable of more than it is, and in moving forward and making decisions based on this assumption.

The full “novel” follows. You can also visit ChatGPT to read the story alongside the prompts that generated it.

Dreamweavers: Guardians of the Everdream

In the quiet realm of Somnia, where dreams held sway and imagination was the currency of the land, a young woman named Ariella wandered through the ethereal landscapes of slumber. Ariella was no ordinary dreamer; she was a gifted dreamweaver, blessed with the rare ability to shape and mold the dreams of others. With a delicate touch and a vibrant imagination, she wove tapestries of wonder, bringing joy and solace to those who sought refuge in the realm of sleep.

But on this moonlit night, as Ariella ventured deeper into the recesses of Somnia, a foreboding chill wrapped around her heart. The once-vibrant dreamscape seemed tainted, its colors muted, as if a shadow had fallen across its magical horizons. Unease prickled at her skin, and her senses tingled with an otherworldly presence.

As she neared the edge of a crystalline lake, Ariella’s keen eyes caught a glimpse of movement beneath the tranquil surface. Ripples disrupted the mirror-like stillness, revealing distorted reflections that twisted and contorted with dark intent. A surge of panic coursed through her veins, for she realized with a shudder that nightmares had breached the boundaries of sleep, seeping into the waking world.

With a determined resolve, Ariella raced back through the winding corridors of Somnia, her footsteps echoing through the hallowed halls. She sought the council of the Dreamkeepers, the ancient guardians entrusted with safeguarding the realm from malevolent forces. In the heart of the Dreamkeep Citadel, she found herself standing before a gathering of wise elders, their eyes brimming with concern.

“Elders,” she began, her voice quivering with urgency. “The realm is under siege. Nightmares have invaded our waking world, their tendrils spreading like a sinister plague. We must act swiftly, lest the fabric of reality crumbles under their malevolent influence.”

The Dreamkeepers exchanged worried glances, the weight of the situation etched upon their weathered faces. They knew the dire consequences of allowing nightmares to roam free beyond the boundaries of sleep, for if left unchecked, the very essence of humanity could be consumed by darkness.

“We hear your plea, Ariella,” one of the elders spoke, his voice resonating with ancient wisdom. “But the eradication of these nightmares requires a unique alliance of dreamweavers. You must gather a team, for together, your combined strength may be enough to push back the encroaching darkness.”

Ariella nodded, her determination igniting like a flickering flame within her core. She would assemble a band of dream warriors, those who could traverse the dreamscape and stand against the nightmarish intruders. Their journey would be treacherous, fraught with perils both tangible and intangible, but the fate of humanity rested upon their shoulders.

As she stepped out into the moonlit night, Ariella gazed up at the starry sky, drawing strength from the infinite expanse above. The task ahead was daunting, but she had the power of dreams on her side. With unwavering resolve, she set forth on a quest to protect the waking world from the encroaching nightmares that threatened its very existence.

Ariella ventured into the realm of Somnia once more, her steps guided by an unseen force. She sought out those who possessed the extraordinary ability to manipulate dreams, searching for allies who could stand beside her in the battle against the encroaching nightmares. Her path took her through twisted forests of surreal foliage, where dreams and reality intertwined, and across shimmering plains where forgotten memories danced in the moonlight.

In the depths of a hidden grove, she discovered the first of her destined comrades. Lysander, a stoic figure with eyes that mirrored the starry skies, was a dreamwalker who traversed the vast expanse of dreams with grace and agility. With each step he took, the very ground seemed to ripple like a mirage, and the dreamscape responded to his presence. Lysander listened intently as Ariella spoke of the nightmares that plagued the waking world, his commitment to the cause evident in the determined set of his jaw.

Together, they journeyed further, their path leading them to the edge of a luminous waterfall that cascaded into an abyss of dreams below. It was there that they encountered Esme, a mischievous sprite who flitted through the air with ethereal grace. Esme was a dreamshaper, her touch capable of molding dreams into whimsical forms. She had witnessed the intrusion of nightmares firsthand, and her once-playful demeanor had been replaced by a steely resolve. She joined Ariella and Lysander without hesitation, her presence a testament to the urgency of their mission.

As their ranks swelled with dreamweavers of various talents and backgrounds, they forged deeper into the heart of Somnia, their destination clear—a mythical sanctuary known as the Veil of Reverie. Legends whispered of its existence, a sanctuary where dreams were forged and nightmares held no power. It was said that within its hallowed halls lay ancient knowledge and artifacts that could turn the tide against the encroaching darkness.

Their path grew treacherous, the very fabric of dreams unraveling around them as nightmares clawed at the boundaries of Somnia. The air grew thick with an oppressive aura, as if the dreams themselves mourned the intrusion of darkness. But Ariella’s resolve did not waver. She clung to the belief that the power of dreams, when united, could overcome any adversity.

With the Veil of Reverie shimmering in the distance, Ariella knew that their journey was far from over. The true battle had yet to begin, and the fate of both the waking world and the realm of dreams hung in the balance. As the moonlight bathed her in its gentle glow, she whispered a vow to herself and her companions: they would become the protectors of dreams, the warriors who would stand against the nightmares and preserve the hope and wonder that dreams held.

Through the Veil of Reverie they passed, stepping into a realm bathed in an ethereal glow. The sanctuary unfolded before them, a tapestry of shimmering mists and floating islands adorned with blossoms that emitted a soft luminescence. The air hummed with ancient whispers, and the dreamweavers felt the weight of history upon their shoulders.

In the heart of the sanctuary stood an enigmatic figure known as the Dream Guardian. With hair as silver as moonlight and eyes that mirrored the depths of the cosmos, the Guardian possessed wisdom earned through eons of vigilance. It was said that the Guardian’s power flowed from the very essence of dreams themselves.

Ariella and her companions bowed before the Dream Guardian, their eyes alight with determination and hope. They shared the tale of nightmares creeping into the waking world, of the impending doom that loomed over humanity. The Guardian listened, nodding solemnly as the gravity of the situation unfolded before them.

“You have come seeking answers and the means to safeguard dreams,” the Guardian spoke, their voice a melodious harmony that resonated through the sanctuary. “But know this, dear dreamweavers: the road ahead is fraught with trials and sacrifices. The nightmares that plague your world are born from a darkness that seeks to consume the essence of dreams themselves. To prevail, you must confront not only the external threat but also the shadows that dwell within.”

With those words, the Dream Guardian revealed the sacred artifacts of the dreamweavers—their weapons and tools imbued with the very essence of dreams. Each dreamweaver stepped forward, accepting their chosen artifact with reverence and understanding. These relics held the potential to channel their powers and enhance their abilities in the fight against the encroaching nightmares.

The Dream Guardian bestowed upon Ariella a staff adorned with celestial symbols. As her fingers wrapped around its smooth surface, a surge of energy coursed through her veins. She could feel the dreams of countless souls whispering within, urging her to rise and defend the realm.

Armed with their newfound artifacts and emboldened by the blessing of the Dream Guardian, Ariella and her assembled dream warriors set forth from the sanctuary, their path clear. They would journey back to the waking world, where darkness lurked at the edges of consciousness, threatening the balance of dreams and reality.

United in purpose and armed with the power of dreams, the dreamweavers braced themselves for the battle to come. They knew that their efforts would be a beacon of hope for a world on the brink of despair. With unwavering resolve, they stepped through the Veil of Reverie, ready to face the nightmares head-on and protect the fragile tapestry of dreams from being unraveled.

As the dreamweavers passed back through the Veil of Reverie, the borders between the realms of dreams and reality blurred, and they emerged into the waking world. The transition was palpable—the air felt heavier, laden with the residue of nightmares seeping into the cracks of existence. They found themselves in a desolate forest, where twisted trees loomed like skeletal sentinels, their branches reaching out like clawed fingers.

Ariella took a moment to survey her companions, a diverse assembly of dreamweavers who had pledged their abilities to this noble cause. Among them was Seraphine, a sorceress whose magic manifested through dazzling illusions, and Roran, a stoic guardian who could conjure ethereal shields to protect their allies. There was also Calder, a rogue with the ability to slip between shadows, and Aria, a bard whose melodic voice could weave enchantments.

Together, they formed an unbreakable bond, drawing strength from their shared purpose. Ariella looked into their eyes and saw reflections of her own determination mirrored back at her. They were ready to face the nightmares and restore balance to the realm.

Their first destination lay in a nearby village, where reports of sinister occurrences had surfaced. As they approached, the dreamweavers saw the aftermath of twisted dreams materialized into the waking world. Buildings were half-submerged in darkness, and the villagers moved about like specters, their faces etched with fear and despair.

Amidst the chaos, a young boy named Jonas caught Ariella’s attention. His wide eyes reflected a mixture of innocence and terror as he stared at the ominous shadows engulfing his home. Without hesitation, Ariella approached him, her voice gentle yet determined.

“What happened here, young one?” she inquired, crouching down to meet Jonas at eye level.

“The nightmares… they took my family,” Jonas whispered, his voice trembling with sadness. “They came from the darkness and… and…”

Ariella placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, her heart aching for the boy’s loss. “Fear not, for we are dreamweavers, defenders of dreams and protectors of the realm. We will bring an end to these nightmares and ensure your safety.”

Jonas glanced at the dreamweavers surrounding Ariella, hope kindling in his eyes. With newfound courage, he nodded, a spark of determination igniting within him. “I’ll help you in any way I can,” he vowed.

Moved by the boy’s resilience, Ariella gave him a warm smile. “Your bravery is commendable, Jonas. Together, we shall reclaim this village from the clutches of darkness.”

The dreamweavers spread out through the village, their artifacts pulsing with radiant energy as they confronted the nightmares that haunted the waking world. Ariella summoned her dreamweaver staff, its celestial symbols glowing with a soft luminescence. She channeled her power, calling upon the essence of dreams that flowed within her, and weaved intricate patterns in the air. Dreams took shape, manifested into protective barriers that pushed back the encroaching darkness.

The battle against the nightmares was fierce and relentless. The dreamweavers fought side by side, their unique abilities intertwining in a symphony of magic. Seraphine cast illusions to disorient the nightmares, while Roran unleashed powerful strikes with his ethereal blades. Calder darted through shadows, delivering swift and precise strikes, and Aria sang enchanting melodies that soothed the restless spirits.

The dreamweavers’ efforts were not in vain. With each nightmare banished, the light of hope began to flicker within the villagers’ hearts. They witnessed firsthand the power

As the dreamweavers continued their valiant struggle against the nightmares, a glimmer of renewed hope spread through the village. The nightmares, once unrelenting in their assault, began to falter in the face of the dreamweavers’ resilience. The dark tendrils that gripped the buildings and streets weakened, and the encroaching shadows receded.

Emboldened by their progress, Ariella rallied her companions. “We’re making a difference,” she declared, her voice carrying a note of triumph. “But we cannot falter now. We must press on until every last trace of darkness is banished from this village.”

With their determination rekindled, the dreamweavers pushed forward, their movements a harmonious dance of power and purpose. They reached the village square, where a towering nightmare loomed, its presence suffocating. It thrashed and writhed, its form shifting and contorting in an unsettling display.

Ariella and her comrades stood before the nightmare, their hearts pounding in unison. They knew that defeating this monstrous embodiment of fear would not only save the village but also send a powerful message to the encroaching darkness that their resolve was unwavering.

Seraphine raised her hands, conjuring a dazzling display of illusions that obscured the nightmare’s vision. Roran charged forward, his ethereal blades slashing through the darkness, while Calder unleashed a flurry of swift and deadly strikes. Aria’s voice soared, her enchanting melodies infusing the dreamweavers with renewed strength.

Ariella, wielding her dreamweaver staff, channeled her deepest connection to the realm of dreams. She closed her eyes, allowing the dreams of the villagers and her fellow dreamweavers to intertwine with her own. Energy surged through her, an unstoppable force that flowed through her veins like a river of pure light.

With a resolute cry, Ariella unleashed a torrent of dream energy upon the nightmare. The very fabric of dreams responded, weaving around the creature like ethereal chains, binding it with the strength of collective hope. The nightmare writhed in agony, its monstrous form weakening with every passing moment.

Then, with a final surge of power, the nightmare shattered into a thousand shards of darkness, dissolving into nothingness. The village square was bathed in a warm glow as the nightmare’s influence evaporated, leaving behind only the echoes of victory.

The dreamweavers stood amidst the triumphant silence, catching their breath and surveying the transformed village. The once desolate and twisted forest had given way to vibrant flora, while the spectral villagers emerged from their homes, their faces etched with relief and gratitude.

Jonas, the young boy who had lost his family, approached Ariella with tears glistening in his eyes. “Thank you,” he whispered, his voice filled with a mixture of grief and gratitude. “You saved us.”

Ariella knelt down and embraced him, the weight of the moment lingering in the air. “We did it together, Jonas,” she replied, her voice filled with compassion. “Remember, darkness may seek to consume, but the power of dreams and unity can bring forth the light.”

The dreamweavers became revered figures in the village, their deeds spoken of in hushed whispers and tales passed down through generations. They continued their quest, traveling far and wide to confront nightmares wherever they arose. With each battle, they grew stronger and their bond deeper.

As they ventured forth, their reputation spread throughout the land, inspiring others to stand against the encroaching darkness. Dreamweavers from distant realms joined their cause, forging an alliance that transcended borders and united dreamers of all kinds. Together, they became

With their ranks swelling, the dreamweaver alliance embarked on a grand quest to protect not only their own realms but also the collective dreams of humanity. They traversed treacherous landscapes, delved into ancient temples, and braved the darkest corners of the subconscious. Their battles were fierce, their victories hard-earned, but their resolve remained unyielding.

As their reputation grew, whispers of their exploits reached even the highest echelons of power. Kings and queens sought their aid, knowing that the fate of their realms rested on the dreamweavers’ shoulders. It was in these royal courts that legends were forged and destinies intertwined.

Ariella, now a seasoned leader, stood at the forefront of this noble cause. She embodied the essence of a true dreamweaver—fierce yet compassionate, steadfast yet adaptable. The dreamweavers looked to her for guidance, and her wisdom guided them through the most perilous of trials.

Together, they uncovered ancient prophecies that foretold of a cataclysmic clash between dreams and nightmares—a battle that would decide the very fate of existence. Armed with this knowledge, they prepared for their greatest challenge yet, uniting dreamers from every realm in a mighty alliance that spanned dimensions.

As the final confrontation loomed, Ariella stood before the assembled dreamweavers, her voice carrying across the vast expanse. “We are the dreamweavers, guardians of the realms and protectors of dreams,” she proclaimed, her words infused with a resolute determination. “In the face of darkness, we shall be the light. Together, we shall prevail.”

And so, the dreamweavers embarked on their ultimate quest, their hearts aflame with courage and hope. Through the realms they traveled, their unity resonating like a beacon of defiance against the encroaching nightmares. Their journey would lead them to the very heart of the dream realm, where dreams and nightmares waged an eternal battle for dominion.

The dreamweavers traversed the ethereal planes, guided by ancient prophecies and the collective dreams of countless souls. They encountered celestial beings who bestowed upon them otherworldly blessings, augmenting their powers in preparation for the impending battle. The very fabric of the dream realm seemed to ripple with anticipation, aware of the pivotal role the dreamweavers played in shaping its destiny.

At long last, they reached the Sanctum of Dreams, a place of unimaginable beauty and power. Its towering spires pierced the heavens, and its shimmering halls echoed with the whispers of forgotten dreams. In this sacred haven, the dreamweavers would make their final stand against the nightmarish forces that sought to devour the realm of dreams.

Within the Sanctum, they discovered a dormant entity—the Dreamweaver’s Heart, an ancient artifact said to be the source of all dreams. Its radiance pulsed with a gentle rhythm, waiting to be awakened. Ariella approached the heart, her hand trembling with reverence. As her fingertips brushed against its surface, a surge of energy coursed through her, intertwining her destiny with that of the realm.

The dreamweavers gathered around Ariella, their presence lending strength and unity. Together, they channeled their collective dream energy into the Dreamweaver’s Heart, awakening its dormant power. A blinding light engulfed them, and the Sanctum trembled as the heart radiated with newfound vigor.

Empowered by the heart’s awakening, the dreamweavers were granted the ability to venture into the deepest recesses of the nightmare realm, where the malevolent forces awaited their arrival. They donned armor forged from the essence of dreams, their artifacts glowing with an intensity that matched the blaze in their hearts.

As they stepped into the nightmare realm, the dreamweavers were confronted by unimaginable horrors—the embodiment of twisted fears and forgotten nightmares. But they did not waver. With every strike, every spell, and every harmonious note, they pushed back the darkness, unraveling the nightmares one by one.

Through battles that tested their resolve and sacrifice that pushed their limits, the dreamweavers neared the heart of the nightmare realm. They faced the ultimate adversary—the Nightmare Weaver, a sinister being that sought to submerge the realms in eternal darkness.

Ariella, infused with the power of the Dreamweaver’s Heart, stood at the forefront of the final clash. She met the Nightmare Weaver’s gaze, her eyes ablaze with determination. With a surge of energy, she unleashed a torrent of dream energy, a cascade of brilliance that enveloped the Nightmare Weaver.

The realm shook as the clash between light and darkness reached its crescendo. The Nightmare Weaver fought desperately, but Ariella’s resolve was unyielding. With a final strike, she shattered the nightmare’s form, dispersing the darkness that had plagued the realms.

With the Nightmare Weaver defeated and the nightmare realm cleansed of its malevolent presence, a wave of tranquility washed over the realms of dreams and reality. The dreamweavers stood in the aftermath of their victory, their chests heaving with exertion and triumph. The Sanctum of Dreams echoed with the collective sigh of relief from dreamers across dimensions.

As the dreamweavers basked in the moment, a gentle voice echoed through the sanctum. It was the voice of the Elder Dreamer, a wise and ancient being who had watched over the realms since time immemorial. The dreamweavers turned their attention to the ethereal figure that materialized before them, its luminous form shimmering with boundless wisdom.

“Brave dreamweavers,” the Elder Dreamer spoke, its voice like a soothing melody. “You have fulfilled your destinies and safeguarded the realm of dreams. The harmony between dreams and reality owes you a debt of gratitude.”

Ariella stepped forward, her gaze fixed upon the Elder Dreamer. “We are honored to have served,” she replied, her voice filled with reverence. “But our journey does not end here. There is much work to be done to ensure that the realms remain in balance.”

The Elder Dreamer nodded, a gentle smile gracing its ethereal visage. “Indeed, the realms are ever-evolving. As the dreamweavers, your purpose transcends a single victory. The threads of dreams and reality are intertwined, and your guidance shall be sought in times of need.”

With those words, the Elder Dreamer extended a hand, and a brilliant light emanated from its palm. The dreamweavers watched in awe as a constellation of stars materialized, forming a celestial map that spanned across realms. It revealed the intricate connections between dreams, realities, and the path the dreamweavers must traverse.

“The journey continues,” the Elder Dreamer said, its voice resolute. “In every dreamer’s heart, a spark of your light resides. Guide them, protect them, and ensure that the power of dreams remains a beacon of hope in their lives.”

Embracing their newfound purpose, the dreamweavers pledged their unwavering commitment to the eternal balance. They vowed to nurture dreams, ward off nightmares, and champion the potential within every slumbering mind.

And so, the dreamweavers set forth on a new quest—one that would take them to unexplored realms, where dreams awaited their touch and nightmares cowered in fear. They became the guardians of dreams, the harbingers of inspiration, and the defenders of the realm’s collective imagination.

As their story unfolded, legends were etched in the annals of time. Dreamers across dimensions whispered their names in awe and shared tales of their heroic deeds. The dreamweavers were no longer mere mortals—they had become immortalized symbols of courage, hope, and the indomitable power of dreams.

Together, they would navigate the intricate tapestry of dreams and reality, their hearts forever intertwined with the very essence of existence. And wherever darkness threatened to encroach upon the realms, the dreamweavers would rise, their unity an unbreakable force against the tides of night.

For as long as dreams were cherished, their legacy would endure—a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit and the resplendent beauty that lies within the realm of dreams.

And so, the dreamweavers embarked on their timeless quest, their souls forever intertwined with the dreams of humanity, as the realms of dreams and reality found solace in their watchful presence.

“I could never explain how a story could be worth more than a dance with a prince”

My short story “Heart’s Desire” is now online at Read Me A Story, Ink., a reading resource site for kids, parents, and teachers. Take a look–or a listen!

“PERFUME SCENTED the air as my stepsisters left the house, trading names of princes they longed to dance with at the ball. My stepmother, Vivienne, crossed the room behind them, taking Papa’s hand with a small, elegant smile. ‘There’s still time, Cinderella,’ she told me. ‘We’ll hold the coach while you dress.’

“I shook my head, and Vivienne frowned. I knew what she was thinking. Ungrateful child—after all I do for you. She often spoke such words aloud, when my father couldn’t hear.

“I frowned back while Papa glanced between us, looking trapped. But he said only, ‘Be good, Cinderella,’ before following my stepmother outside. Papa spoke little, so I sometimes wondered how he’d found enough words to ask for Vivienne’s hand.

“I closed the door behind them, listening as the carriage bells faded into the night.

“Alone at last! I reached beneath the sofa, grabbing the book I’d hidden there, and settled down to read in one of my mother’s patched old dresses. I thought of Charlotte and Jeannette, squeezing tighter and tighter into their bodices. What was the point of clothes if you couldn’t do anything in them?

“I sighed. Six hours until they returned, assuming they left the ball at midnight as planned — six hours during which Vivienne couldn’t snatch the book away, hand me a mop or dust rag, and tell me to make myself useful …”

Read more

All Those Defiant Sparks

All my life, I’ve believed that no matter how dark this world gets, there’s light behind that darkness, light that always shines through in the end.

This belief has been fundamental to my writing, to the sometimes-dark stories I tell and to all the stories I tell. Terrible things happen. But light—something within humanity that generates light—finds ways to fight that darkness.

This belief has been fundamental to my life, too, helping me see my way through the challenges of childhood—bullying by my peers, growing up in a home with a share of love but also a share of chaos and yelling and strife.

Things might look dark, but no darkness is absolute. Light finds a way through, one way or another. For so many years, I believed that. I was never sure where my belief came from: The stories I raised myself on? God? Some mix of these things or some other thing entirely? Whatever the source, I’d always been grateful for this conviction, always known it for the gift it was. 

Until the pandemic—and the years leading up to the pandemic, too—challenged all that.

Not because of the virus itself. Because of the many people—not just outwardly problematic people, not just actively hateful people, but more people than not out of all people—who’ve decided that in the face of the virus, they’re just not up for caring about each other anymore. At least not when it comes to slowing the spread of a contagious disease that even now kills thousands of people a day and disables a great many more.

Not if they have to do it for more than a handful of months. Not if they have to be inconvenienced or change habits or rethink how they live and socialize over the long term.

Not if they have to make real sacrifices.

Some people are out and out vicious about their lack of care for one another, bursting into hateful screaming and abuse and occasionally even violence when asked to do something as simple as put on a mask. A great many more people are merely indifferent, though, and in many ways I think this is worse. These are the people who shrug and say if mitigation measures like masking and testing and contact tracing are no longer required, they just won’t go to the trouble. The people who go with the flow and wear masks and get vaccinated and avoid indoor dining when other people are doing it, but when other people stop, they stop too. The people who say they care, but also that they miss concerts and conferences and indoor sporting events too much to do without them.

The people who instinctively reach for the “normal” they know and miss, and don’t think twice about the cost.

And then there’s the most indifferent, most immoral, and most common reason for pursuing that normalcy of all: 

I’ve evaluated my personal risk and decided it’s low.

My risk. Not the risk posed to others, even though during a pandemic no risk is truly “personal.” Our actions affect other people; that’s how contagious diseases work. We’re all more vulnerable than we think, but beyond that, the infection that’s mild for one person becomes part of a chain of transmission that could kill a vulnerable stranger they’ll never meet.

Yet more and more people are saying, with disconcerting directness, not just, “I’m taking care of myself (a good and necessary thing),” but “I’m only taking care of myself.” Everyone else is on their own.

Everyone is on their own. That’s the part of the pandemic that has broken me. We’re denying our connection to one another, denying it so deeply that we’d rather see strangers die than admit the world has changed without warning and might never change fully back.

Everyone is on their own. Where did all that light I saw shining through the darkness even come from, if it wasn’t from people finding ways to connect with one another, to care about one another, to in some small way redeem one another, even in dark times?

These are dark times, not because of the virus, but because of what we as humans have let the virus turn us into. (And because of other things too. If I’m honest I have to admit all of this began long before Covid, and that I bear a fair amount of privilege and responsibility for the fact that I’ve been able to avoid fully feeling and facing it until the past few years.)

But how do we come back from this? How do I come back from this?

How do I find my way back to believing in a world where light can be hidden, sometimes for a long time, but is still always out there, waiting to be found, waiting to shine through once more?

How do I find my way back when all around me are people so scared of the dark that instead of trying to light one another’s way they’ve turning their own small lights off entirely, because their personal risk is low and they no longer know how to think beyond that?

The fact that I want to believe such a world still exists is a start, I suppose.

Now I just have to figure out whether I really do still believe in it—and where to go from there.

I was ready to end this essay here. Yet even as I wrote the lines above, something inside me spoke up and said:

Start by focusing on your light—the light you yourself have to offer, the light you’ve defiantly refused to let gutter out, even now. Focus on that light and what you can still do with it, rather than on the light others have forgotten they even possess.

That sounds hard, honestly. It sounds lonely. 

But light sparks light, after all. Somewhere deep down I still know that. And shining our own light can make us more aware of all those other defiant lights out there sparking, too. 

Maybe, just maybe, that can be a start, too.

Decades Come and Decades Go

Or what I’ve been doing the past ten years

Recently, when I told an extended family member I had work to do, he snapped back at me, “What work? When was the last time you wrote a book — ten years ago?”

His response says more about him than me, of course. I’ve gotten “come on, you’re not really working reactions” from the occasional person near to me at every stage of my career—though less and less frequently over time—and I’ve come to know this response as a sort of leveling, a way of saying, “Don’t think too well of yourself.”

I’ve also come to understand that most people don’t bother saying “Don’t think too well of yourself” unless they’re feeling badly about their own selves, and are looking for some way to soothe that insecurity.

And yet. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t an inner voice in my own head, too, after so many years, that also sometimes chimes in to say, “Come on, really, who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing?

When that voice speaks up, the answer can seem like, “Not much.”

So I’m writing a post to push back against that inner voice. I’m writing a post to list out something of what I actually have been doing this past decade. Because from the outside, these might look like quiet years, but from the inside, they look really rich and full and challenging and significant and wonderful, and I need to remind myself of that.

Along the way, maybe this post will help some of you reading it to push back against your inner voices, too. Because whatever you’ve been doing the past ten years, it matters, and it’s enough, and you have every right to be proud of it.

And in the end, really, whatever we do or fail to do, whatever we achieve or fail to achieve, isn’t the entirety of who we are anyway. Every single one of us is bigger and more wondrous and more wonderful than that.

What I’ve Been Doing, 2012-2022 Edition 
(An Incomplete List)

  • Finished three novels, including Faerie Afterthe final book of my Bones of Faerie Trilogy
  • Published two of them, one under my own name and one under a pseudonym
  • Wrote a guest episode for the Zombies, Run! App
  • Wrote the video game script for The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse
  • Sold a new short story to Stars of Darkover (and then donated the proceeds when I learned some hard truths about Darkover’s creator)
  • Volunteered at a wildlife center
  • Volunteered with an expressive arts group for local refugee families
  • Camped and traveled and hiked and explored
  • Mourned several friends
  • Became a parent
  • Finished rough drafts of four novels-still-in-progress
  • Curated a Writing for the Long Haul blog series
  • Served as the inaugural Writer-in-Residence for the Pima County Public Library
  • Served as Guest of Honor at TusCon Science Fiction Convention
  • Spoke at countless other book festivals, conventions, comicons, and writing conferences
  • Practiced multiple styles of bookbinding
  • Created designs for t-shirts, journals, stickers, mugs, and more at my Redbubble store
  • Mourned my father
  • Settled my father’s estate 
  • Did I mention becoming a parent?
  • Became politically active and took part in dozens of pro-democracy actions
  • Battled depression
  • Wrote more than 400 blog posts
  • Redesigned and reorganized my blog and website
  • Launched and published two chapbooks in my new Writing Life series
  • Redesigned and re-released new editions of three short stories
  • Designed and published Unicorn Seasonsa new short story collection
  • Re-designed and re-released a new edition of Tiernay West, Professional Adventurer
  • Taught myself some basic Mandarin
  • Had open heart surgery
  • Recovered from open heart surgery and went through rehab
  • No, really, parenting needs more than a line or two on this list
  • Homeschooled my kid during a pandemic
  • Lived during a pandemic, one that is still ongoing
  • Volunteered at a vaccine clinic
  • Published a humor piece with the Weekly Humorist and three humor pieces with Frazzled.
  • Published a non-fiction piece with Modern Parent and two pieces with Blank Page
  • Mourned my mother
  • Redesigned and re-released a new edition of Thief Eyes
  • Redesigned and re-released new editions of Bones of Faerie Trilogy
  • Marketed the new Bones of Faerie editions well enough to have the best year, from a business perspective, of my entire career
  • Did I mention parenting? Because parenting could easily fill ten years all by itself 

So yeah, it’s been a decade. Love and loss. Lots of ups and downs. Lots of living. Lots to be proud of, some of it writing and career related, a whole lot of it not.

I’ll take it all. And I’ll look forward, with whatever cautious optimism as I can muster, to the next ten years.

[Arms outstretched in front of an image of a turkey vulture]
We all have larger wingspans than we realize.

Doing the “you” things—honoring our (highly individual) writing processes

I’m a messy writer. I jump in, with little more than a character or an idea, a few sentences or a scrap of voice, and I just start writing.

I don’t know where the story is going. I don’t know where it will end. Or maybe I think I know these things now, but I’ll find out later that I’m wrong. Either way I dive in, doing the story equivalent of throwing word-clay on the wheel and letting that clay splatter all over my hands and clothes, creating a rough draft that will ultimately bear only a ghost of a resemblance to my final one. I keep writing and rewriting over the course of five or more drafts, shaping the story, layering things in.

I love my writing process. There’s energy and joy in it, and in the end, I wind up with stories I’m proud of. If there’s angst along the way, a fear that this time, unlike all the other times, the story won’t happen, well, some part of me knows that’s part of my process, too.

My process.

For some reason we seat-of-the-pants, outline-eschewing writers are an insecure bunch. I hear new — and not-so-new — writers stressing about how they “need” to learn to outline, because not outlining is too slow or too inefficient or too … something.

Meanwhile, the Internet is filled with posts about how to map out our stories ahead of time. In one-on-one conversations with planning writers, I hear things like, “I don’t have the time not to outline” and “It’d be lovely to jump in, but I don’t have that luxury.”

As if it’s a luxury to write in the way that gives you the absolute best story possible.

I’m all for experimenting, for testing new processes, for trying new things. None of us should be hobbled by assuming that the way we do things now is the only way we can do things, ever. But there also comes a point when, no matter what our best process and best writing practices, we really do know what works for us.

When that point comes, I believe in accepting it — not with anxiety or fear, but with joy.

How much word clay you get on your skin and clothes doesn’t matter. Only the story you come away with in the end matters.

As for time, that thing none of us has enough us — well, nothing wastes time like fighting the way your story wants to be written, and along the way, the writing itself is usually much less fun.

Two stories:

One. A writer friend called me one day, wanting to know how I “organized” the work for my research-intensive novel Thief Eyes, because she was working on a research-intensive project of her own. After some hollow laughter at that word, organized, I allowed as how I didn’t write Thief Eyes with an up-front organized plan. Instead, I jumped in, and wrote, and let the story tell me what I needed to know. Only once I had words on the wheel did I begin researching and revising in earnest.

There was a moment’s silence, and then my friend asked, “So what did you do, then? Use notecards?”

Fortunately this was a voice call. When I banged my head against the wall, there was no one there to see.

When I say I don’t plan or outline, I mean I don’t plan or outline, not that I plan and outline differently. I think this process is sometimes alien to those who do follow a more outwardly organized process that they can’t imagine it working at all.

But it does.

Two. A while back, I had a book I wanted to write whose shape was already clear in my head, much more so than most of my books are. I could have honored that gift and made use of it by taking it with me into a messy first draft, but instead I thought, “Oh! Maybe this book is one that I actually can outline. Maybe I can finally speed everything up after all!”

That should have been my warning right there, that voice in my head looking, not for a new technique that would make my story better, but for a shortcut instead.

I now have that book outlined in a file, and no desire to work on it, because the story feels dead to me.

I put all the bright shining first-draft energy of discovery into an outline that in the end was nothing like a first draft for me, and now instead of joyous momentum and something I can revise into a second draft, I have lifeless words on the page.

Fortunately, this was a spec project, so I set my outline aside in the hopes that, with enough time and forgetfulness, that outline will fade from memory and the first draft energy will return. Which is fine, but also pretty much the opposite of saving time.

For another writer it might have been different, which is actually the point. We all have our own glorious processes, messy or otherwise. We need to honor them, not fight them.

Some years ago, writer Leah Bobet was talking about honoring her processes, and also about, just once, trying to fight them for a difficult project. “Everything just worked again when I just did Me Things,” Bobet said.

That strikes me as excellent of summarizing the most important thing I’ve learned in a decades-long career.

Learn your processes, challenge them even, and push yourself as hard as you can to write better. But in the end?

Just do the you things. It’s the best writing advice I know.

A version of this post originally appeared on my blog here, because some things really don’t change. Except that now, of course, I’d have to make sure I didn’t have video turned on when I banged my head against that wall.

Life isn’t a story. That’s probably a good thing.

Life isn’t a story.

This is, for the most part, a good thing. Stories need conflict. Stories need drama. Stories need, more often than not, for the worst possible thing to happen at the worst possible time.

No one wants to live in a well-written story.

The pandemic isn’t a story. But if it were, I think we’d be at the part where it looks like everything is about to wrap up and wind down at last — but it isn’t, quite.

Vaccines are here and widely available, even if not as many people as hoped for are taking them. Covid case numbers are down, at least in our country and at least in certain communities within our country. Some of the time, for some of the people, things are beginning to feel almost … normal.

Which is why this would be the part of the story where readers begin flipping through the pages (physical books) or checking out the status bar (ebooks) to see if we’re really as close to the ending as we think.

It would be the part of the story where we realize that there are so many more pages left to go than we expected — too many for the story to really be winding down, too many for the resolution to be as simple as it seemed.

It would be the part where at least one more unexpected-yet-somehow-inevitable thing needed to happen. One more threat, one more unexpected twist, one more call for our weary characters to find their strength and rise above their weaknesses, to endure the unendurable and overcome one last overwhelming obstacle.

It would be where we realize the pandemic and its consequences aren’t over yet, that we were in too much of a hurry to think they were, that we need to keep reading for a while yet before we reach the satisfying conclusion and cathartic sigh of relief we’re longing for.

I’m glad the pandemic isn’t a story.

I’m glad those of us who hear those pages flipping have as much chance as being wrong as of being right. Maybe the pandemic still is building up to a dramatically satisfying ending. There are certainly enough unresolved plot threads left for one. But maybe, if we’re lucky, it’s instead just staggering to an undramatic, unsatisfying, mostly meaningless, utterly weary end.

Stories need meaning. Life, thankfully, does not.

But life also doesn’t let us skip ahead, doesn’t let us read the ending ahead of time for reassurance before returning to our carefully bookmarked place.

I hope the pandemic isn’t a story.

But if it is a story, I hope it’s a standalone story.

Because as readers know, if the pandemic isn’t a standalone story, then the end of book one is just a lull. A chance for readers to catch their breath — right before all those unresolved plot threads come crashing down, with all the force of a world that extends far beyond our own borders and a tale that was always, always more complicated than it seemed.

Love and Perfection

“We love the things we love for what they are.”

That’s from Robert Frost’s “Hyla Brook.”

Variations on the line had been bouncing around in my head for a while before my husband and fellow writer, Larry Hammer, reminded me where it came from.

I’d been thinking about Frost (without knowing it was Frost I was thinking about) because I’d been thinking about how once we reach a certain basic level of craft, writing is no longer about avoiding mistakes or carefully not doing anything wrong.

It’s about the things we do right.

No one ever loved a book, after all, simply for not making any mistakes, for all that there are (varied, individual) things that can throw each of us out of a story. But we don’t love a story just because we aren’t thrown out of it, either.

We love books for what they do, not for what they manage not to do. We love them for the thing or things that hit each of our particular story buttons, that reach out to bridge the gap between story and reader, that pull on us and make us want to or need to read on. A flawed book that does the things it does very right is far more powerful than an unflawed book that doesn’t.

None of my favorite books—the books I imprinted on as a child and teen, the books that have remained touchstones for me throughout my life—is perfect. I can see that clearly enough when I look at those books as a writer focused on craft—and that has never once stopped me from returning to those books, from treasuring them. 

We don’t love books for the things they aren’t, but for the things they are.

My bookshelves—filled with imperfect books that I adore.

But there’s more to it than that. A while back, in a stray moment when I thought I was thinking about a manuscript-in-progress, I found myself thinking instead: And the same thing is true for people.

On one level, I’d always known this. On another I hadn’t, or had forgotten, or needed to relearn it on that particular day in that particular way. People no more need to be perfect than stories do.

As writers who spend much of our time looking inward that we can become as critical of ourselves as of our stories, this is worth remembering, too. I doubt many people hold their friends and loved ones dear simply because they never make mistakes. Lack of mistakes is not the place love comes from.

We love one another for the same reason we love stories: not for what we aren’t, but for what we are.

As I dig deep to put words on the page, I find that a comforting thought.

Love and Perfection first appeared as a guest post on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Cynsations. I find I return to it every year or two as a reminder to myself.

Happy writerversary to me

Oh, right. It’s 2020.

Okay, you don’t need me to tell you that. What with the election and the pandemic and the wildfires and a thousand thousand other things, 2020 has seen to it that it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

But February 2020 was also, as this ten-year-old post just reminded me, my writingversary. As I explained then:

Back in February 1990, just a few months out of school, I spent the last of my student loan money on a computer with two 5 1/4″ floppy drives, promised myself I would write at least something every single day when I got home from my new day job, and decided to see if I could make a go of this writing thing. I knew enough to know it would take time, so I gave myself ten years before I would step back, evaluate, and decide whether to keep going.

In February 2000, I’d sold the three middle grade Phantom Rider books and a couple dozen short stories, though the Phantom Rider books were by then out of print and I was feeling more than a little anxious about not having sold any more novels. But I stepped back, looked around, and decided I was in for a second ten years.

I completely missed February 2010, because I was frantically finishing a draft of a sequel the YA fantasy I’d started on that first student-loan funded computer but not finished and sold until late 2006. That was the third YA fantasy I’d sold in the second half of that decade; along the way I’d also sold another middle grade novel. Being too busy to step back and decide whether to keep writing is, of course, an answer of its own. Still, it’s good to actually state these things, so: I’m in for a third decade. I’m in, as I pretty much knew before the end of that first decade, for the long haul.

[Author at keyboard]
One of a great many devices I’ve written on through the years.

I completely missed February 2020 because, well, it was part of 2020. Writing has brought its challenges over the past decade, as it does; parenting has brought its own challenges to the second half of that decade, as it also does. But I’m still here and I’m still writing and it feels good to say it aloud:

I’m in for a fourth decade. I’m in for another ten years.

Doing What You Love: Practical inspiration for writers

doingwhatyoulovecover-medium Doing What You Love: Practical Strategies for Living a Creative Life is now out in paperback! This chapbook draws on my quarter-century of writing experience to share insights and inspiration previously only available by attending one of my talks or, more recently, downloading an ebook.

It makes a great gift for any writer in your life who could use a bit of a pep talk. (Including you!)

['Taking risks, rather than being an impractical and foolhardy act, might be  one of the most practical and business-savvy things we can do.']

Available wherever books are sold:
Amazon (bundle with the ebook for 99 cents more)
Barnes & Noble
Or visit your favorite local bookstore and ask them to order you a copy!