Thursday, May 30, 2013

Moms and Adult Daughters—A Conversation... #TBSU

We're in between Mother's Day and Father's Day, so mom/daughter relationships are still fair game, right? Who am I kidding? Mom/daughter relationships are always fair game! Throughout Who Is Candid?, Lucy struggles with her relationship with her mom. They love each other—a LOT—but they don't often see life through the same lens. 

In this excerpt, Lucy has been on her sexy fun road trip for a week. She decides to call her Mom, whom she calls Martina. Thank goodness, Martina knows nothing about Lucy's... adventures.

Lucy and Martina, on the Phone


“Lucy! You’re alive!”

“No sarcasm, Martina. You knew I was alive.”

“One little recorded message in seven days? I know they can fake those messages. They take bits and pieces of your voice and put it all back together. They can make you say sentences you never said.”

“Who would go to all that trouble over me?”

What about that N.S.A. thing? You thought you were clever with your New Mexico whatever. I found out. That’s the National Security Agency. You can’t be too careful around those guys.”

“You’ve been watching too much X-Files, Martina.”

“What’s my maiden name?”


“If you’re an imposter, you won’t know my maiden name.”

“I’m going to hang up, Martina. You are way over the edge.”

“Okay, okay. Are you healthy?”

“It’s Antonova.”

“Thank you. Are you eating properly? Are you getting enough sleep?”

“Yes. The truck is running great. I haven’t been mugged. Trigger protects me.”

“Oh, yes. The dog. What kind of dog did you say he was?”

“He’s a terrier, very fierce.”

“They’re territorial. Does he bark a lot?”

“He howls.”

“That’s good.”

“Not really.”


“Lucy… have you talked to Polly lately?” [Polly is Lucy's sister.]

“A few days ago. Why?”

“I’m worried about her and Daniel. Their marriage…”

“Is just fine. Don’t worry about them. They’re crazy about each other.”

“And what about you?”

“I’m crazy about them too.”

“That’s not what I mean and you know it. What about you and getting married? Are you going to come back and settle with Dick?”

“You mean settle for Dick? He’s a good man, Martina. Don’t underestimate him.”

“Good men have jobs. If he’s so terrific, why don’t you marry him?”

“We’re not going there, Martina. I’m going to hang up before we have a fight.”

“We’re not fighting. How long are they going to hold your teaching assistant job at the university? You can’t stay away forever.”

“The term’s over. Besides, I don’t have a job at the university any more. I’ve graduated.”

“I remember. Twice. Lucy?”


“Don’t think I’m not proud of you, honey. I am proud. I can’t believe you came out of my body. I just want you to be safe and happy.”

“I’m perfectly safe, Martina. Don’t worry about me.”

“And happy? Are you happy?”

“I’m working on it. Maybe it’s an illusion. Are you happy, Martina?”

“Happiness is having healthy children and grandchildren. Knowing what you’re doing here on the planet. That’s enough for me, having children at home, not wandering who-knows-where and maybe getting in dangerous situations.”

“I love you, Martina. I’m going to hang up now.”

“Lucy, wait a …”


You and Your Mom

Do you sometimes have conversations like this with your mom? This conversation could have been between my Mom and me, except Lucy and Martina are funnier.

Somewhat off topic, let me quickly remind you that Who Is Candid? is an erotic romance, with lots of sex. LOTS of SEX! Yes, it's also a novel about a grown daughter and her relationship with her mother, and about a recent graduate trying to figure out her life. That said, if you want to read about mothers and daughters, but don't want to read steamy sex, you may want to pick a different novel. Just saying.

If you DO want a steamy sexy fun road trip novel, click on the cover of Who Is Candid? at the top of the right sidebar!

Back to Mom! How would you describe your relationship with your mom? Do you ever bicker like Martina and Lucy? My Mom was a worrier like Martina, and sometimes she drove me a bit crazy. She also wanted me to have a traditional life, because she thought that was the path to happiness. Her route wasn't my route, and it took awhile for us both to accept that.

What do you admire most about your mom? How do you differ? Are you a parent yourself? Has that changed your perception of your own mother? Let's hang out in the comments and have an off the wall conversation. What do you say? I'll grab a coffee and meet you in a couple of minutes.

Check Out These Posts from Different Stops on Lucy's Sexy Fun Road Trip!

Three fantastic blogs about mothers, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Developing Your Voice: Novel Writers Workshop #TBSU

Seumas Gallacher wrote about voice this morning on his wonderful blog, and his words reminded me of Voice Recognition Day at the Novel Writers Workshop, which I taught for several years through the Auburn University Outreach Program. Here are some thoughts and exercises on Voice.

Your Unique Voice!

Your voice is what makes you unique as a writer. As Albert Zuckerman says in Writing the Blockbuster Novel, “a distinctive voice… must grow out of your own special affinity for the English language, out of the rhythms, tones and nuances you hear and weave into your own mind of people’s speech, out of your own highly personal and somewhat skewed vision of the world.” BTW Zuckerman's book is the best guide I've found for practical, straightforward novel writing advice.

Does developing a voice sound like an impossible task? Don’t despair! When you write authentically, write for yourself, write what you like, your unique voice will emerge automatically. 

Two bothersome sidetracks 

Beware these two distractions that can snare the unwary.

Advice! Don’t take advice too seriously. [That includes mine!] Writers who are pushed and pulled by everyone’s opinion of their work may find it harder to find their own voice.

The market! Don’t try to write strictly for the market. If you’re writing only to please everyone else and not yourself, it's harder to find your authentic unique voice.

This warning doesn’t mean you should ignore the reader or ignore all advice, only that you need to remember what gives you pleasure in your work. 

Can you match the sample with the author?

Just for fun, let’s look at a few writers who have developed a distinctive voice. Can you recognize the author from the brief passage??

Number One
“And if I did, (which, however, I am far from allowing,) I should not feel that I had done wrong. Mr. Martin is a very respectable young man, but I cannot admit him to be Harriet’s equal; and am rather surprised indeed that he should have ventured to address her.”

Number Two
“Ain’t it a life?” Jack says.
Hogan brought in a quart of liquor and two glasses.
“Want some ginger ale?”

Number Three
At once I began to talk to her. I cannot remember precisely what I said. I was so flustered that I didn’t know what I should say to explain my appearance there, and very slowly I sensed danger just as surely as I had sensed it with Cortland years ago. 

Number Four
He walked on a dozen steps, then could hold it no longer. He leaned a forearm against a telephone pole, pressed his mouth to his arm, and laughed as quietly as he could – laughed until tears poured down his cheeks. When the fit (and that was what it really felt like; a kind of hysterical seizure) had passed, Ralph raised his head and looked around with attentive, curious, slightly teary eyes. He saw nothing that anyone else couldn’t see as well, and that was a relief.

Don't Peek!

Have you made your guesses? Okay, now you can look. The passages are from

Emma, by Jane Austen
“Fifty Grand”, a short story by Ernest Hemingway
The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
Insomnia, by Stephen King

Click on the links to buy the books. Thank you, master authors. You can step down now.

Voice Self-Quiz

As a start to recognizing your own voice, place your writing on the following scales:
[Arggg! The scales looked perfect on the preview! Sorry!]

short sentences        1 2 3 4 5 long sentences

more action       1 2 3 4 5 more description

one telling detail       1 2 3 4 5 accumulation of detail

short words       1 2 3 4 5 long words

rational               1 2 3 4 5 emotional

short paragraphs       1 2 3 4 5 long paragraphs

plot               1 2 3 4 5 character

short time span        1 2 3 4 5 long time span

If ten writers place themselves on these scales, I guarantee the circles will fall in ten different patterns. Your writing is unique! 

For fun, if you want, scale the authors above on the items you can pick out from the brief samples. Interesting, isn't it?!

Conscious Writing

As with everything else about writing, when you make conscious choices from awareness, your writing becomes a clear expression of your unique self. For example, you can choose to break a grammatical rule because it suits your purpose. But first, you need a good grasp of the rules!  

If you've never thought much about voice, think about it now. What is your voice? How do you honor it in your writing? Cultivate your strengths as a writer, and let your voice shine!

Let's continue the conversation in the comments, shall we? What are your thoughts on voice? Did the self-analysis exercise help you recognize the quirks and habits in your writing that make you uniquely YOU? Are there other writing topics you'd like to explore here on the blog? I'm all ears! (*grin* Yes, we'll do a day on clichés!)

Check out these related posts:

Some great blogs, presented here in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tasty Humble Pie #TBSU

Do you know the Taoist story of the Chinese farmer and his son? If not, here’s a brief version.

A farmer has a strong young son. The neighbors say, “How lucky you are.” The farmer shrugs. The son breaks his leg and can’t work. The neighbors say, “How unlucky you are.” The farmer shrugs. The army comes and takes all the young men off to war, except the farmer’s son. The neighbors say, “How lucky you are.” The farmer shrugs.  And so on, and so on...
The point of the story is that we can’t see a big enough picture to know how something will ultimately turn out. The farmer knows that, but most of us are so caught up in the moment that we can’t help but react to ‘good’ and ‘bad’ news.

My Farmer Moment

I’m in the middle of a farmer moment myself right now. Twelve Nights shot up to #1 when it went for its Free Days on Amazon Kindle in early May. Amidst a frenzy of promotion, thousands of people all over the world downloaded copies. Of course, I was thrilled, happy dancing around the living room for days!
A small cloud appeared a week later when negative ratings began to appear on Goodreads. It seems some of the people who picked up the novel just because it was free ended up not liking it. The euphoria of having a #1 novel far outweighed the tiny downside. Overall though, I was quite happy to get back to a less promotional life, quietly blogging and walking my dogs.
Last week another of my novels, Who Is Candid?, was on Kindle Free Days. The downloads were in the hundreds, rather than the thousands. Same promotion. Same frenzy. Totally different outcome.

Can Humble Pie be Tasty?

Honestly, once the initial disappointment wore off (it took a few hours), I felt more in tune with the farmer than ever before in my life! It REALLY doesn’t matter! I kept on Tweeting and Facebooking the promotions, hopefully not obnoxiously, and at the same time I was laughing inside.
Already, by not feeling upset, I could see the upside of NOT having a best selling novel. My friends are amazingly supportive, some more upset than I am. When people are there for #1 and they are also there for #who-knows-how-low, you know you have strong real friendships! All sorts of new ways of supporting our friendships have occurred to me in the last few days. One is the book and blog trailer sharing on YouTube that I announced recently. 

Thank You, Readers!

I also appreciate more than ever the readers of this blog, most of whom are nameless and yet keep visiting by the hundreds every day. The same day my novel had the least downloads, I found out that the blog had been nominated for 2014 Blog of the Year. The next day I was invited to a write regular guest post column on a popular website. How cool is that?! You can read my How To post every Saturday at, starting with How to Let Go of Self-Consciousness.
I like to imagine myself as the Chinese farmer, stepping back and scratching my chin. Truth is, it’s all good. The good parts are good, and the bad parts are also good. With a shrug of Taoist chin scratching, Life is Awesome!
And humble pie is really quite tasty!
Hardly humble! Thank you Molly Ann Wishlade for the photo
of your cranberry and orange meringue pie!

Have you had an experience that could have felt awful, and instead felt okay, even comfortable? How do you ride the wave of outward success and outward less-than-success? Please share your secrets for serenity, your questions, your doubts and affirmations, in the comments. I look forward to a lively discussion!

Check Out These Related Posts

Five fantastic blogs about LIFE, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

YouTube Channel: Carole Remy and Friends! #TBSU

Now that I have a trailer for Twelve Nights, I've learned that it's not easy to find places to share it! The fantastic, wonderful trailer produced by T. N. Mohan, producer of the Twelve Nights movie, and created by Allan McCall, is on the sidebar to your left. Take a minute to watch!

Carole Remy and Friends

In an effort to promote all of our trailers, I've set up a YouTube channel we can all use. I've started with a playlist for book trailers and one for blog trailers. If you have other types of clips you'd like to have a place to share jointly, please let me know.

Link to Carole Remy and Friends YouTube channel.

The Value of a Shared Playlist URL

My hope is that by having a location for book and for blog trailers, we can ALL benefit when any one of us promotes the playlist URL. In other words, every time I share the playlist, your trailer also gets a look see from whoever goes there. And the same goes for every other share by any of us!

This link goes to the page with both the Book Trailers and the Blog Trailers playlists.

This is the link we can use to send people directly to the playlist for Book Trailers.

Here's the link to send people to the playlist for Blog Trailers.

Of course, you can also send people to your individual Book or Blog Trailer on the playlist, though that minimizes the value of a shared playlist for all of the participants.

How to Join

If you have a book trailer or a blog trailer that you would like included, just leave the URL in a comment on this or any other post on the blog. You can also send it to me in an email if you'd like. This will be a PG to R rated channel, not for kids but not X-rated either.

Do you have a book trailer? How about a blog trailer? Would you like a place to share it where it will hopefully get extra exposure through shared promotion? Let me know what you think of this whole idea in the comments! I look forward to a lively discussion!

Check out These Related Posts

Four fantastic blogs presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

    Did Lucy's Sexy Fun Road Trip Really Happen?? #TBSU

    This post originally appeared as a guest post for March 29 on Krystal’s Enchanting Reads. This version includes some photos from the real trip and some that I found of the same places.

    First a reminder that Who Is Candid? is FREE on Amazon! All the Amazon links worldwide to download the novel directly are listed at the bottom of this linked post!

    Once you've downloaded the novel, it will be even more fun to follow Lucy's story here on the blog, with photos and personal anecdotes from stops along the way.

    The Real Trip! Not as Sexy, but Lots of Fun!

    In a sense, Who Is Candid? is as much a true story as it is a novel. My daughter and I wanted to take a long road trip together, and we brought along our little dog Joey. Yes, he was a blanket humper just like Trigger in the novel. We bought a trailer, hitched it to my pickup truck, and took off, much like Lucy does in the opening scenes of the novel.

    Joey! The model for Trigger, and a companion on our real road trip!

    It had occurred to me that I could write off some of the costs of the trip on my income tax if I did research as we went and then wrote a novel based on the research. Yup—thrifty and a little sneaky (but legal!), that’s me!

    One writes a novel from a road trip first!

    Since I was traveling with my daughter, and I’m not really Lucy, I only imagined the sex scenes as they appear in the novel. My libido got a sexy workout, as I tried to imagine a screaming hot chapter for each locale. We really did visit Lewis and Clark Caverns, the Mall of America, the frog at Fort Leonard Wood, and every other stop in the novel. And yes, the thought of having sex under the watchful eyes of President Lincoln at Mt. Rushmore freaked me out, just as it does Lucy!

    Seeing Mt. Rushmore was a huge thrill. You walk up a long flight of stairs, and suddenly the whole panorama appears. This photo just shows a small second flight, and you can just see the monument at the top.

    Lucy was worried about Lincoln. I don't know, all the Presidents look impressive to me!

    If you go, be sure to visit the museum as well. Here's the mountainside before they began in 1905. Imagine the vision it took to even begin!

    And some early workers creating one of the President's eyes.

    You can tell I was fascinated by Mt. Rushmore, can't you?! Okay, enough history. But if you get a chance to visit, it's worth the trip!

    Writing the Novel

    When we got home from our trip, I had dozens of brochures, maps, and photos, and a scribbler full of notes. All I needed was a backstory outrageous enough to match the sex scenes! I thought of Voltaire’s Candide, and how the main character travels the world, recounting his misadventures. Do you remember reading Candide in high school or college? I think Voltaire was on our freshman reading list, and Candide was one of the novels I really enjoyed. Here's a free Kindle download of Voltaire's novel.

    Read more about Voltaire here.

    Lucy was born in a moment of gender-switch (the original Candide is male), and Voltaire’s patient heroine got a major gender-swap makeover as the sexy, talented, but still patient, Dick! Not much of the plot carries over into my novel. The original Candide is a full-on satire, and Who Is Candid? does poke a bit of fun at the erotica boom, as well as at our media obsession with celebrity.

    To say that Who Is Candid? was fun to write is an understatement. I laughed my way through this book, as I hope you will too. Imagine Saturday Night Live doing a movie length riff on erotic novels. Really funny, REALLY sexy! As you read the novel, you'll see me standing on the sidelines, making notes as Lucy um, you know... all over the map!

    Have you visited Mt. Rushmore? Were you as impressed as I was? What about some of the other sites along Lucy's route? Have you taken a road trip across America? What were the highlights for you? I look forward to hearing all about your trip in the comments!

    Check Out These Related Posts

    Five fantastic blogs that have featured Who Is Candid?, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013

    FREE Kindle Days and Sexy Idaho! #TBSU

    Today Lucy is in Idaho. I love Idaho! I found a beautiful photo and some fun tidbits to share! First a reminder that Who Is Candid? is FREE starting today on Amazon! All the Amazon links worldwide to download the novel directly are listed at the bottom of this post!

    This badge is off by one day, but who's counting?!

    Once you've downloaded the novel, it will be even more fun to follow Lucy's story here on the blog, with photos and personal anecdotes from stops along the way.

    Lucy in Idaho

    Idaho is one of my favorite states. It's hard to pinpoint why. Maybe the friendly people, or the spaciousness. Lucy drives across the northern part of the state, where it's skinny.

    Here's part of Interstate 90 between Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Gorgeous!

    A little more I-90 fun. Police have figured out that the best way to move moose off the roadway is... paintball guns! The moose might up with pink rear ends, but they move off the highway. No harm, no foul!

    Here's a link to read the full story. 

    Back in the novel, before you know it, Lucy pulls into an outlet mall. Luckily there's lots of parking space, so she doesn't have to try to back up the trailer. Can you back up a thirty foot trailer? Neither can I.

    The first place Lucy heads is a bookstore, where she stocks up on books for her trip. Here are links to the titles she buys, in case you share her eclectic tastes: The Tao of Love and Sex (a sex manual!), Carlos Casteneda's The Art of Dreaming, The Dictionary of Clichés (because who couldn't use a few more clichés!),   and Screaming Hawk, by Patton Boyle.

    It's a good thing the parking lot is fairly empty, because a few minutes later, Lucy and the bookstore clerk head out to her trailer for a little extracurricular excitement! You can read about their shall we say oral reading adventure in the novel!

    Have you ever been to Idaho? What was your favorite part? What's the strangest book on your bookshelf? Have you read it? Share all in the comments. I can't wait to hear!

    As promised, Who Is Candid? is FREE for the rest of this week on Amazon Kindle! Here are the links.

    International Amazon Links to Download 

    Who Is Candid?!

    Amazon US

    Check out these related posts:

    Four fun blogs from Idaho, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    Lucy's Trigger and My Own Rescue Dogs! #TBSU

    We're still on Lucy's awesome Sexy Fun Road Trip! Before we see what happens on May 20, let me take a minute to remind you that Who Is Candid? will be FREE tomorrow on Amazon Kindle!

    I bet you'd rescue him too! More about Trigger/Maxi in a few minutes.
    On May 20 in the novel, Lucy rescues a bedraggled Trigger, who becomes her trip companion. You can read all about the rescue, including an excerpt from the novel, here. I'll wait a minute while you read the story...

    Rescue Dogs

    For today's post, I thought I'd show you some pictures of real dogs in my life, almost all of them rescues.

    Pax was our first dog. My husband was a dog person; I wasn't, until Pax converted me.

    Sorry the photo is grainy. It's a poor scan done years ago of an old album photo. This is Pax with my oldest daughter, now an adult, on the beach near Gibson's Landing, British Columbia. Pax was one of the sweetest dogs that ever lived. I have a vivid memory of my daughter pulling a bone out of her mouth, playing with it, and giving it back. Lovely gentle Pax!

    This is Joey. He was advertised as a cocker/poodle mix at the pet store (I didn't know any better at the time). By now I was a single parent and Pax was living with my ex. I figured my daughter, who was 7, could have a dog, and when she went off to university, he'd be old and die and I wouldn't be burdened with a dog. Ha Ha. The joke was entirely on me. Joey turned out to be pure hell-on-wheels terrier, and he lived to the ripe old age of 18 years! Joey was the role model for Trigger in Who Is Candid?—a pint-sized escape artist with a Napoleon personality!

    Once I moved from Canada to Alabama, the dogs started accumulating, all rescues! BTW despite having broken his back (it healed), Joey was still going strong! Our first rescue dog in Alabama was Soos, plucked from the side of a rural highway as a baby bundle of red fur!

    Soos grew into a gorgeous, large Chow mix. She was the best dog and the best mama ever! She was impregnated very young on New Years Eve when we were camping out at a creek. Oops. Her five pups all found homes with family and friends. Jessie, the runt of the litter, is my daughter's dog, and has lived happily ever after in Alabama, Florida, New York City, and now Chicago! Soos died in her sleep of old age last year, having lived the ideal dog's life, hugely loved and with 100 acres of beautiful Alabama countryside to roam.

    Fast forward several years and as many as nine dogs at a time (we did have 100 acres). Trust me, they were all spayed and neutered as young as was safe! The one who is still with me, having stuck by my side through twelve years in five states and two countries, is my beloved Gemma.

    She's getting old now, aren't we all?, but is as gentle and loving and gorgeous as always! She's also been an excellent guard dog, and still loves to sit by the glass door and bark at passersby. I wrote a poem about rescuing her from the side of a highway in Alabama. My response to 9/11 was an overwhelming urge to rescue dogs. The poem appears in my second book of poems, Equivocal Blessings, and was anthologized in Whatever Remembers Us: an anthology of Alabama poetry. You can read it here, if you'd like.

    The newest addition to our household is Maximilian, Maxi for short. He was rescued from the streets of Colima, Mexico, where I live, by a neighbor. The photo at the top of the post was my first look at him, by the side of her house.

    Maxi is ten pounds of photogenic adorableness who has won over Gemma's and my hearts. He came to us skin and bones and scared, and in two weeks has been neutered, plumped up, and loved to bits.

    He started with us as a foster, and even had an prospective dad-in-waiting, but when I saw how much Gemma loved him, I couldn't give him up! Maxi has brought new life to what will probably be her last few months. My gratitude and love for them both is unbounded!

    These are a few of the fabulous dogs I've shared my life with. I can't wait to hear your stories about the dogs in your life! Please share photos too in the comments! Let's have a dogfest!!

    And don't forget to download Who Is Candid? tomorrow when it's FREE! Woohoo! You can continue to follow Lucy's story here on the blog, with photos and personal anecdotes from stops along the way.

    Check out these dog-related posts:

    Five fantastic blogs of friends who also love dogs!, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU 

    Sunday, May 19, 2013

    Lucy's Sexy Fun Road Trip: Lyle, Washington #TBSU

    Lucy from Who Is Candid? is on a sexy fun road trip, and we're tagging along! Today we're driving to Lyle, Washington, a town I know well. First a reminder,

    Starting Monday morning Who Is Candid? is FREE!

    Please share this badge wherever you can think to put it! Kind of like a lost dog poster, you know??

    To celebrate the start of Lucy's road trip and to make it easy for you to follow along, Who Is Candid? will be a FREE download on Amazon Kindle all next week!  Set yourself a reminder to download on Monday, and join us here for behind the scenes info and photos of the road trip stops.

    On the Road Again ♫ ♪ ♫

    On May 19, Lucy drives along the Columbia River Gorge, heading toward Lyle, Washington. The road pictured here is on the south side of the gorge, and Lucy travels on the north side, but you can see the splendor of the vistas.

    Read more here.
    I owned a piece of property a few miles north of Lyle for several years. Half the fun of driving to Lyle is the many tunnels. I love these tunnels!

    Read more here.
    Lucy stays at the lovely Lyle Hotel, where I stayed when I was looking for a piece of land, and later whenever I wanted a real shower! Each room is decorated in antiques. The Hotel has stayed pretty much the same since 1905.

    Read more here.
    Lyle and the Columbia River Gorge are well known for the wind surfing along the river. 

    Read more here.
    At dinner in the hotel, Lucy meets a hot blonde wind surfer, and you can read about the rest of her very sexy, very fun evening in the novel!

    Have you been to the Columbia River Gorge? Do you enjoy wind surfing? Do you like seeing photos and learning extra details about Lucy's story? Please join me in the comments for a lively discussion!

    Four fantastic blogs, presented in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU