Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Blood and Kissing (Insecure Writer's Support Group)


Hello fellow insecure writers! (If you are an insecure writer but don't know why I just called you one go HERE to find out and connect with other writers!)

It's been difficult to motivate myself to write in the last couple of years. I usually blame it on working full time in the corporate world and living completely on my own and spending so much time in traffic In all honesty though, those are  the excuses I use to avoid the more difficult to admit reasons writing has become harder and harder over the years. 

When I first started writing I was thirteen. I wanted to write a book because . . . I loved books. I figured I would publish it (of course) when it was finished but didn't think much about it. 

It wasn't until I had drafted and edited my third manuscript that I got around to researching how publishing actually works. By then I was nineteen and needed to start thinking about the "What am I going to do with my life?" question in a more tangible way. 

That was eleven years ago. I've learned a lot about literature, publishing and the ever changing writing world in that time. I've written four more manuscripts and published two of them. I've written a handful of short stories and lots of sonnets. I've performed my poetry on stage. I've learned about all this social media and marketing stuff. I've moved from working at a burger joint to working in a cubicle (with lots of interesting stops along the way including the zoo and a German deli). After all this time there's a question I've begun to ask myself that I don't like to admit to anyone that I've been asking.

What's the point of writing?

Not "What's the point of literature?" or "What's the point of reading?" I have very strong beliefs on why storytelling is massively important to us as human beings. It connects us in beautiful, honest, emotive way that nothing else can.

 But why should I specifically continue to write the specific stories that I am writing? 

What am I trying to tell the world?

And, perhaps more pointedly, is the world even listening? 

When I wrote SNOW ROSES it was because I felt like I had a scream in my brain demanding to be smeared onto paper. I obeyed. I spilled the ink out onto the page like blood from my soul. When the book was finished and released out into the world the reviews were positive.

"Great fight scene at the end." My fans said. "You write such beautiful descriptions."

My little writer's heart sank. 

"But, but" I wanted to protest "Did you question the conventions of what love really is? Did you notice the Oedipal relationship between Lucille and the two girls and want to stand up to the authority of the past? Did it make you want to face your fears despite the consequences? Did it CHANGE you?"

 I'm not saying I ever wrote to teach or indoctrinate my readers but the reason SNOW ROSES came out of me with such force and intensity is that the thoughts and emotions encapsulated in it are very dear to my heart. I've read so many books, especially when I was younger,  that really made me question the way I saw the world. Those were some of my very favorite reading experiences. I wanted to create something like that for my readers. 

When you examine the writing market today it's hard not to feel gloomy. In our current society we've all experienced the feeling that everyone's screaming to be heard but nobody's listening but --for me at least--it runs deeper than that.

As a reader I am finding it harder and harder to find books I actually enjoy. The market is so saturated with stories that are all more or less the same. Even most of the covers look the same. And they're being published so fast. I really only have time to keep up with a few of my very favorite series-- mostly by authors who debuted more than ten years ago when it was still possible to tell authors apart. 

 At bookstores I find myself staring at all the identical covers decorated with author names I've never heard of and blurbs swearing up and down that they contain concepts no one else has thought of before with lots and lots of blood and kissing, trying to guess which one --if any-- are actually worth my time.. More and more I find myself steering away from the noisy, overwhelming fiction section and purchasing copies of titles like "How to Talk to Anyone" and "Being Peace". 

So why should I add to the noise? What value am I really giving the world by producing another dark romance with a rose on the cover? 

I believe in the depth behind the stories I am telling. But do my readers? Do my readers care about the depth and growth of my characters? Do they care about what sorts of mindsets and insights the plots lead them to? Or are they just in it for the blood and kissing? 

And if they don't care, should I? Aren't I producing something for them? Shouldn't I be giving them what they want? 

But I do care. 

 I will keep writing, of course. The stories want to be told whether they are ever fully understood or not. Perhaps a story --and life for that matter-- is not meant to be understood. Perhaps it is just meant to be. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Do You Have Goals: Magical Aid


As you are reading this I am in the mountains, meditating with monks, being very good and not touching my phone (No Taryn, not even to read Update Day posts or text your ex to tell you miss him. Do you want to do this or not?). As soon as I get back Sunday, after Easter dinner with my family, reading all your Do You Have Goals posts will be the first thing I will do. 

Like a big, juicy reward for all that meditating. 

The Got Goals bloghop is it is a lovely blog hop hosted by the Misha Gericke and Jen Garrett. Once a month writers post about their goals: what they are, what their approach is, how they are coming along. It's a beautiful opportunity to share with and encourage one another as we plunge down the long and winding road of writerdom together.

Check out THIS LINK if you are interested in joining.

My ultimate goal is to make a living off of my writing but I'm breaking that down into more bite sized pieces. I've got a lot of groundwork to lay first!

Here's how I fared with my March Goals: 
  • Reconnect with myself. Feed my soul. Find my drive
---- Mindfulness. I have registered for a five day retreat at a Monastery. I'm super psyched about it. Hoping I learn lots of useful things about myself. (CHECK. I'm there right now!)
----- Yoga.  The goal is to attend five classes a week like I used to. (I attended nine yoga classes in March. That's a little less than half as many as I wanted to. It's still an improvement but I'm giving myself a half check for this one. )
-----Meditation. Fifteen minutes a day. No snoozing this time! (Including my time at the zen retreat --still in progress-- I've meditated 16 out of 31 days this month. Half check. )
----Go for walks, specifically on my break at work. Every work day unless it's raining. (I walked at work seven out of twenty one work days. Failed.) 
----Actually use my sit-stand for at least two hours every work day. (I used it three out of twenty one work days. Failed)
---- 80/20 vegetable/ not vegetable ratio. (Not even close. Failed. )
--- Keep house clean. (Meh. It didn't get too bad. CHECK. )
  • Find True Love. Because it exists
--- Look for and appreciate evidence of love around me
---- Spend quality time with those who value me
----Practice telling people what I need from them

These goals are a little harder to quantify. I have worked on them but it's hard to say how successful I've been. They did not yield the results I wanted but does that mean I haven't improved? 

I don't know. As badly as I want it, being open to love is hard. Every time a relationship fails I wonder if things would have been different if I didn't keep myself shrouded in so many layers of walls. 

And yet, it seems like every time I manage to pull a wall down I find another one behind it, stronger and more constricting than the first. 
  • Finish writing and publish NIGHT BRIARS
--- Carve out time to write. Eight hours a week. My production schedule says that the first draft needs to be typed (It's mostly in hand written at the moment) by the end of February so I"m already behind schedule. If I have to bribe myself with brunch out every Saturday and Sunday to get it done, so be it! 

I wrote a total of eighteen hours this month. It wasn't the forty hours I had intended to give myself BUT I did manage to finish draft one. Still, because the goals was forty hours of writing time, half check

---Read at poetry readings or storytelling events. I'm going to attend four before next update day.  That's about one every week.

Failed. I did not go to any. It was that dating thing. It took up a lot of the time I would normally spend on networking events. 

--- Post poetry and writing updates. I'll give myself the goal of fourteen writer related posts before next update day.

Failed. Including this one I managed six out of the fourteen. 

---Participate in Do You Have Goals bloghop.

CHECK! Here I am!

--Participate in The Insecure Writer's Support Group bloghop 

Failed. I have an excuse for this but writing this post is making me tired of hearing myself give excuses. I really wanted to participate in this bloghop in March but . . . I didn't. 

---Organize and attend one Crit Group 

CHECK! Grit Group is always one of my favorite nights of the month. 

So that comes to:

Four checks
Three half checks
Five failures 

Not where I would like to be. Last month I tried easing up on my expectations of myself a little, hoping that by being gentler on myself I might achieve more.  Unfortunately that didn't help as much as I'd hoped it would. Trying to achieve less just gave me more license to . . . well not try very hard. 

It's really hard to motivate myself. I've been struggling a lot with depression. Just getting out of bed or taking a shower feels like an Olympic marathon right now. But the reason I have these goals is because they are things that make me happy. It's important that I don't give up on them even when it's hard to find the energy to brush my teeth (gross, I know). 

So . . .

for April I'm going to try something a little different. I'm going to enlist a little magical help in the form of rewards. 

Also known as self bribery. 

With any luck this will also do away with the all or nothing, Failed vs. Completed mentality. I can reward myself a designated amount each time each time I move toward a goal regardless of whether or not I am completing it entirely. This will (hopefully) keep me from beating myself when I don't accomplish as much as I want to and keep me motivated to keep at it even if I know I'm not going to meet my full goal. 

April Goals:  

  • Reconnect with myself. Feed my soul. Find my drive
----- Yoga.  Attend nineteen classes before next update day. After each class I will set aside five dollars to a vacation fund. If I make it to all nineteen classes I will add an extra twenty dollars at the end of the month. 
-----Meditation. Meditate twenty six times for fifteen minutes each time. Each morning I meditate I will reward myself with a chocolate banana smoothie for breakfast. When I don't meditate I'll just have plain, unsweetened oatmeal. 
----Go for mindful walks on my break at work. That's nineteen work days between now and next update day. Each time I do this I get to eat a piece of (vegan) chocolate. 
----Actually use my sit-stand for a total of thirty eight hours. Each hour I do this I get to eat a piece of  (vegan) chocolate. 
---- Drink a total of one hundred and eighty tow glasses of water. With each glass of water I can spend a quarter on clothes or other fashion accessories. If I drink all Hundred and eighty two I can add an extra five dollars to round the total up to fifty dollars. 
  • Find True Love. Because it exists
--- Read The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. When I finish it I get to get all dressed up and go dancing!
  • Finish writing and publish NIGHT BRIARS
--- Carve out time to write. Twenty hours of writing before next update day.

Bribing myself with brunch every weekend while I write has been working pretty well. I'm way more focused when I write at a cafe instead of at home.  I'm going to add a dinner out with me and my laptop every Monday as well so that I cover more time. 

---Write three slam style poems. 

Each Poem gives me forty dollars to use for improv classes but they must be high quality poems. 

---Post on my Author Facebook page twenty five times. 

Each post is a quarter toward improv..

--Post on my personal facebook page fifty times. 

Each post is a quarter toward improv.

--Comment on one hundred and fifty facebook posts. 

Each comment is a quarter toward improv but they must be genuine and add real value

---Participate in Do You Have Goals bloghop. 

Five dollars toward improv.

--Participate in The Insecure Writer's Support Group bloghop. 

Five dollars toward improv. 

--Write and post a book review.

Five dollars toward improv.

--Comment on fifty seven new blogs that I genuinely find interesting. Each comment is a quarter toward improv class.



So that's my April strategy. Have you ever experimented with a reward system for yourself? What has worked best for you? 


Friday, February 23, 2018

Do You Have Goals: Refusal of the Call


Happy Update Day! 

Today is a special day because . . .

I managed to return to the Got Gaols bloghop which is basically the same as winning at life.

If you don't know what the Got Goals bloghop is it is an ingenious blog hop hosted by the lovely Misha Gericke, author of  Twisted Earths, Mayhem in the Air,, Ghosts of Fire, and  Endless and Jen Garrett. Once a month writers with goals post about how they are proceeding with said goals. It's a beautiful opportunity to share with and encourage one another as we plunge down the long and winding road of writerdom together.

Check out THIS LINK if you are interested in joining.

My ultimate goal is to make a living off of my writing. (For me that would be around $40,000 a year). I'm starting with baby steps though. 

Let's see how I did with my goals in February, shall we? 
  • Reconnect with myself. Feed my soul. Find my drive
---- Mindfulness. Weekly visits to the monastery (Ongoing) CHECK. I did miss one week but I'm still going to consider this one completed
---- Gratitude journal (Ongoing) FAILED. I did not write in my gratitude journal once. 
----Improv class (Complete-able. I intend to take a total of four classes (seven weeks each) throughout the year) CHECK. First seven week class completed!
---- Progressive Relaxation (Complete-able. I want to do this every day for three months) FAILED. I did not do progressive relaxation once. 
---- Physical therapy exercises (Complete-able. I want to do this every day for three months) FAILED. I did not do my physical therapy exercises once. 
----- Yoga (Ongoing.) CHECK. It took me until the month was almost over to get back in the swing of yoga but I DID eventually renew my membership at the yoga gym I go to and I did start going regularly again
-----Meditation (Ongoing.) I'm going to give myself a half check for this one. I started out really strong and then started hitting snooze on my alarm instead of getting up for that extra fifteen minutes of mental check in.
----Go for walks, specifically on my break at work (Ongoing.) Another half check. I did go a few times throughout the month but not every day as I had intended. 
---- 50/50 vegetable/ not vegetable ratio (Complete-able. When I've done this every day for three weeks I will move on to my next dietary goal) CHECK
--- Keep house clean (Ongoing) CHECK
---Write in my dream journal  (Ongoing) FAILED. I did not write down a single dream 
  • Find True Love. Because it exists
--- Look for and appreciate evidence of love around me
---- Spend quality time with those who value me

There were actually some surprising developments on this but I don't want to say too much just yet. 
  • Finish writing and publish NIGHT BRIARS
Specific tasks for February to move me towards this goal are:

--- Carve out time to write. Six hours a week. My production schedule says that the first draft needs to be typed (It's mostly in hand written at the moment) by the end of February. FAILED. I'm not even going to give myself a half check on this one even though I did get SOME writing done. I still have a whole chapter before I'm done with the hand written draft so I'm veeeeerrry behind schedule. 
---Read at poetry readings. I'm going to attend four before next update day. Half Check. I only read at one poetry reading. 
--- Post poetry and writing updates I'll give myself the goal of fourteen writer related posts before next update day. Half Check. I didn't actually count the writing related posts but it was more like six. It's still a start but not the goal I had set for myself. 
---Participate in Do You Have Goals bloghop This is to say I will actually return next month. CHECK! Here I am, doing this one now. Yay!
---Organize and attend one Crit Group CHECK

7 Checks
4 Half Checks
5 Fails 

Not as bad as I thought but still a long way from where I wanted to be. I'm particularly disappointed that I didn't get much actual writing done. I want to change that this next month so that's where I have to make the difficult decision. 

Am I going to double down on my efforts for March or ease up on my expectations of myself? 

A little bit of both. 

In improv class they talk a lot about "Yes and" and the power of saying yes. It's a beautiful reminder to be open with the world and always be ready to create new possibilities where you didn't expect them. There's a nuance to the concept though that I think is not always fully recognized.

Because saying "Yes" to one thing often means saying "No" to something else. If you're saying "Yes" to healthy skin, for example, you have to say "No" to the donuts your coworkers bring into the office.  And you have to KEEP saying "No" or you will never get that clear, beautiful skin. 

So if I want to say "YES, OH YES" to a finished and typed draft of Night Briars I will need to start saying "No" to some of my other goals and habits. 


So, with that in mind, here are my March goals:
  • Reconnect with myself. Feed my soul. Find my drive
---- Mindfulness. I have registered for a five day retreat at a Monastery. I'm super psyched about it. Hoping I learn lots of useful things about myself. 
----- Yoga.  The goal is to attend five classes a week like I used to
-----Meditation. Fifteen minutes a day. No snoozing this time! 
----Go for walks, specifically on my break at work. Every work day unless it's raining. 
----Actually use my sit-stand for at least two hours every work day. 
---- 80/20 vegetable/ not vegetable ratio.
--- Keep house clean.
  • Find True Love. Because it exists
--- Look for and appreciate evidence of love around me
---- Spend quality time with those who value me
----Practice telling people what I need from them
  • Finish writing and publish NIGHT BRIARS
--- Carve out time to write. Eight hours a week. My production schedule says that the first draft needs to be typed (It's mostly in hand written at the moment) by the end of February so I"m already behind schedule. If I have to bribe myself with brunch out every Saturday and Sunday to get it done, so be it! 
---Read at poetry readings or storytelling events. I'm going to attend four before next update day.  That's about one every week.
--- Post poetry and writing updates. I'll give myself the goal of fourteen writer related posts before next update day.
---Participate in Do You Have Goals bloghop.
--Participate in The Insecure Writer's Support Group bloghop 
---Organize and attend one Crit Group 


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Once Upon a Blue (Super, Blood) Moon


An orb dangles over a madman's head,
Scattering shards of joy into the night,
Like a chiseled soul or an ancient rune.
You speed past, eager for a safe, warm  bed,
Too weary for shattered dreams of such height
Once upon a blue moon
You do not see my fire's reflection.
You do not dare feel the burnings of yours.
You battle your desires, blind and immune
To the molten gurgle of emotion
Rotting behind a legion of doors
Once upon a blue moon
I will not hear your doom filled lament
Nor heed your defeat infested advice.
I hear truth in the giggle of a lune.
Though it is twisted and weary and bent,
My soul still simmers against chills of ice
Once upon a blue moon
A romantic's dirge and a rebel's rant
Are wound together in the sky's embrace,
In the timeless glow of a reacher's tune.
The impossible becomes midnight's chant
Sung in the winking of the moonman's face
Once upon a blue moon

Friday, January 26, 2018

Do You Have Goals? The Call to Adventure.


It's today! It's today! Update Day!

You have no idea how impatiently I've been counting down to this. I haven't blogged in so looooooooong. I've been itching to get back into the swing of it and the Got Goals blog hot seems like the best place to start.

If you don't know what the Got Goals bloghop is it is an ingenious blog hop hosted by the lovely Misha Gericke, author of  Twisted Earths, Mayhem in the Air,, Ghosts of Fire, and  Endless and Jen Garrett. Once a month writers with goals post about how they are proceeding with said goals. It's a beautiful opportunity to share with and encourage one another as we plunge down the long and winding road of writerdom together.

Check out THIS LINK if you are interested in joining.

And if you're already a part of it, thank you so much for letting me join in the fun. For being willing to share your stories and for listening to mine. I am truly honored to be here. 

My ultimate goal is to make a living off of my writing. (For me that would be around $40,000 a year). For now, however, I'm totally willing to take baby steps and enjoy the journey. 

Because if I'm not enjoying my writing, why am I doing it at all?

2018 Goals 

  • Reconnect with myself. Feed my soul. Find my drive.
This is the most important one for me. It's not just a personal goal. It's the groundwork I need to lay before I can achieve anything else. Ultimately this translates into how much passion and motivation I have to spend on the things (and people) that I love.

These are the concrete ways I will work on this goal for February:

---- Mindfulness. Weekly visits to the monastery (Ongoing)
---- Gratitude journal (Ongoing)
----Improv class (Complete-able. I intend to take a total of four classes (seven weeks each)
 throughout the year)
---- Progressive Relaxation (Complete-able. I want to do this every day for three months)
---- Physical therapy exercises (Complete-able. I want to do this every day for three months)
----- Yoga (Ongoing.)
-----Meditation (Ongoing.)
----Go for walks, specifically on my break at work (Ongoing.)
---- 50/50 vegetable/ not vegetable ratio (Complete-able. When I've done this every day for three weeks I will move on to my next dietary goal)
--- Keep house clean (Ongoing)
---Write in my dream journal  (Ongoing)

  • Find True Love. Because it exists.
This is a an embarrassing one to admit. No one wants shout "Hey, no one loves me but I really wish they would!". It wreaks of neediness and desperation, and isn't my generation of women supposed to be strong and independent and not need things like romance? Shouldn't I be wise enough to be happy alone? Shouldn't it "just happen" when I'm minding my own business and not looking for it?

Regardless of what should or should not be, my desire to find a partner in life is strong. While this is a purely personal goal, I have found that when I try to suppress a desire it drains energy from my other goals. Much like staying grounded and centered, making time for this goal will strengthen my ability to achieve my writing goals.

These are the ways in which I will seek love: 

--- Look for and appreciate evidence of love around me
---- Spend quality time with those who value me

That isn't to say there won't be dating apps and awkward conversations with strangers in my future but I want to keep Rumi's words in mind as I strive toward true love.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
--Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi 

  • Finish writing and publish NIGHT BRIARS
There it is. The actual writing goal. I'm super excited about the manuscript for NIGHT BRIARS so far. It's a little unconventional as far as sequels go but it's coming out great. (And dark. Oh, so dark.) I do need to speed up my progress a little though if I want it to be ready by the end of the year.

Specific tasks for February to move me towards this goal are:

--- Carve out time to write. Six hours a week. My production schedule says that the first draft needs to be typed (It's mostly in hand written at the moment) by the end of February. 
---Read at poetry readings (Marketing). I'm going to attend four before next update day
--- Post poetry and writing updates (Marketing) I'll give myself the goal of fourteen writer related posts before next update day.
---Participate in Do You Have Goals bloghop (Networking) This is to say I will actually return next month. Yay! I know I faded out of existence without an explanation last time I joined you all. I apologize for that. It won't happen this time.
---Organize and attend one Crit Group (Networking)


They're baby steps, I know, but it's important that I don't get overwhelmed or I'm likely to give up all together. Slow and steady. The finish line doesn't have to be tomorrow.  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Do You Have Goals #2

Hi everybody! I'm a little late getting this up today. In my non writing goals I was approved for the apartment I want yesterday and have five days to move so I've got a lot on my To Do List.


But this is important so even if I don't get to your post today I will by the end of the week :-)


And if you haven't already joined us hop over to Misha Gericke's blog The Five Year Project for details on joining her Do You Have Goals monthly blog hop. (Hint, anyone can join)


Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?

Primary Goal: Sell an average of seven hard copy books or 35 e-books a day


I did much better on February's goals than I expected they were:



Sell seven hard copies or 35 e-books


And I sold exactly seven. I was actually a little shocked. The number was more or less arbitrary, meant to give myself a concrete way to gage my success. The weirdest part was that they were all hand sales to people who ASKED me if I had any copies and OFFERED to buy them. I didn't have to wave them in anybody's face trying to coax them into making a purchase.


I was a little less successful in my goals for actual writing. Those were:


Finish rough draft of chapters 4-6 of current writing project (aprx 11,000 words) ---I maybe made half that word count. I wish I had made more but I'm not beating myself up about it too much since my computer did crash halfway through the month and I haven't got it fixed yet. The word count I did manage was by hand and at the library so I'm proud of myself for getting it done at all.


Arrange and attend a meeting with my Crit Group --Done


Research the historical rituals of trial by combat --Done. Although I will probably research in a little more detail in March


I surprised myself with my marketing goals as well. They were:


Re-establish consistent social media presence via blogger, twitter, and Facebook --Done. Although I did disappear a little towards the end because of my computer


Attend and perform at 4 poetry open mics --Done. AND I was asked to co-feature in a poetry reading with another local poet. I am quite thrilled by this :-)



All in all, I am satisfied with my work and ready to move on to my next goals.


So I guess it's time to set those


March's Goals: Sell fourteen hard copies or 70 e-books




Actual Writing:
Finish rough draft of chapters 5-7 of current writing project (aprx 11,000 words)
Arrange and attend a meeting with my Crit Group
Research the historical rituals of trial by combat



Marketing:
Maintain consistent social media presence via blogger, twitter, and Facebook
Begin work on A-Z posts for April
Attend and perform at 4 poetry open mics
Co-feature in a local poetry reading



Keeping myself focused:
Daily yoga
Daily entries in gratitude journal
Daily meditation

Cut cheese out of my diet


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors

Happy Valentine's Day my dears. Welcome to this week's Weekend Writing Warriors. If you don't know what that is it is a weekly blog hop in which writers get to post and read 8-10 sentences of each other's work and learn from and encourage each other. It's great fun and very rewarding. Join us and share the love!


My excerpt this week continues from where last week's left off in my dark romance SNOW ROSES. The passage isn't necessarily a Valentine's passage but  SNOW ROSES is a love story.

But also, what love is deeper and more innocent than a young girl's for her father?



"I paced across the intricate weave of my chamber's rug, losing myself in its elaborate swirls, trying to conceive some kind of consistent pattern. My eyes grew raw and tender around the rims. I slept little and ate only when coerced. My already slight form and pale skin became a rattle of bones and a ghostly pallor.


When I did sleep I dreamt that I was drowning. Ice cold water poured into my lungs, filling them until I thought my chest would burst. Other nights –or days; I had long since stopped keeping track of time –thick, thorny vines wound their way around me, squeezing until I bled. I woke, screaming, only to realize that the reality was worse than any nightmare."



After her father's death Snow shuts herself away in her grief cluttered chambers but she is plagued by more than painful memories. She will never be safe unless she forgets how her father really died. At last she escapes into the woods with nothing but a small knife. 

Rose leaves the sleeping village she grew up in for the first time in search of her missing grandmother. Alone in the dark woods she finds ghosts, a rabid wolf, her grandmother's mangled corpse, and Snow. 

Snow and Rose thrive together in the wood but hiding will not keep them safe forever. It will take something stronger than walls to conquer the dangers that haunt them.