Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reader Suggested Posts: Building Businesses!

Happy New Year!

So since it's a new year, I'm starting a new series of blog posts. These posts will come directly from suggestions or requests from you, my readers, and I'll try to get one done a month.

The first request comes from Abigail, who wanted me to share a few suggestions for people starting little businesses like mine.

I'll be honest, I'm not exactly business savvy. I know what I do, and I make a good attempt at running my little hobby business, but I'm no expert. I'm sure you can find a thousand and one true experts who can give much better advice than I can, but I'll tell you what I've done so far.

Let's see, where to start? I guess from step one: What kind of business is it you are wanting to start? What will you be selling?

So, my first point...

1. Be sure of the legal and financial side of things.

There are all kinds of legal things that you need to consider, especially if you want to sell merchandise that is licensed (say, Disney or Batman) and you'll need to tread carefully if you're dabbling in that. Anything trademarked needs to be taken through proper channels, so don't just jump out there selling Olaf or Wonder Woman and think you can get away without a license for doing so. 

Also, Make sure you save every receipt, every sales slip, everything because you'll need it for taxes. Don't think, well that won't matter. SAVE IT. Get yourself a binder or folder and put everything financial that has to do with your business in it. Save every receipt from everything you buy, and everything you sell. If you aren't using a website that lets you print receipts, get a receipt book at the store and keep copies. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes time to file taxes.

Also, make sure you set aside some of what you earn. Whether you use it for taxes, or if you use it the next year to buy better supplies, just don't spend everything you've earned. I learned that the hard way!

Don't cheat yourself on your prices. Don't underprice. You'll never get ahead and you'll never be able to afford it if you do. Basic equation for this is take your supplies, double them and make sure you add in the cost of fees, packing materials, and your time. Trust me, I struggle with this. I know how much I would want to pay and how much I see would be too much, so I have a hard time finding a fair price. Don't cheat your customers, but don't cheat yourself either. 

2. Be ready for things to go v...e...r...y slowly at first

It's not going to spring up overnight. It takes time to build a business, even a home or hobby business. You're going to struggle at first to get orders and build an audience. Don't jump in thinking you'll take off right away, but don't lose hope either. Once your customers start coming in, they will gradually build.

3. Advertise. Advertise. Advertise.

Yes, this means some diligence on your part. But it's not really that hard. For my little shop, I have a Instagram account and a Facebook page. I recruit family and friends to help promote it on social media, and I've learned how to save my listings on Etsy to my Pinterest to help get my products out even farther. Make up business cards and leave them around town (where you are allowed, that is). I've found my local Joann's Fabric has a board just for business cards like mine!

Use your own social media accounts, too. I used my Facebook cover picture to show off my shop's banner. My personal Instagram account (which I don't leave public) has a link for people to follow my shop. Pretty much anywhere you look, you have opportunity to advertise. And 99% of it is free!

4. Lure customers in!

Now I know, that sounds like we're dangling a worm in front of a fish tank, but it's the same concept. Find what you're good at making, and what your customers want to buy. Don't try to push yourself on them, make them want to come to you.

Use things like good pricing, promotions, and attractive advertising to catch their eye and keep them shopping with you. Sometimes, you won't get repeat customers, depending on what they're buying (wedding garters and bouquet wraps, for instance) but they might come back for something else you offer (like baby blankets or kitchen potholders).

Something that has worked for me is offering custom orders. I know it's not practical for everyone, and not everyone can do this. But over half my business is custom orders. It's my little niche and I prefer it. It also allows me a little flexibility, as I'm not limited to a certain list of items I sell and nothing more.

Having a wide variety of items for purchase also helps. My shop is still small, since everything is handmade or homemade, but I try to keep about 20 regular listings on my shop, with a few seasonal or special listings up every now and then. They might not all sell, but they'll draw in customers better than if you list next to nothing.

As far as promotions go... there's a number of ways to do this. Giveaways work wonders when used with social media. My Instagram account saw it's followers jump within a few weeks due to a giveaway I hosted. My Facebook? Not so much. I had a goal of 100 followers to reach on both, and Instagram beat Facebook by 20 followers. But, no matter what, it got my shop out there and advertised. Types of giveaways you might consider are:
  • Goal oriented: Set a number of followers you want to attain, announce it and advertise that once you reach that number, you'll give away a free gift. 
  • Seasonal: Pick a holiday and do a giveaway with that theme. Make good use of hashtags!
  • Like and Share: While I'm not really a fan of this personally, it does work well for a lot of businesses. Have your followers/customers like and share a post on social media, and draw a winner.
  • Tag a Friend: See who can tag the most friends on your shop's page or account, and pick a winner. This works great for getting your name out there, but might annoy people if they keep getting tagged too often, so don't do it more than once every few months I'd suggest. 
I'd also recommend having rules with your giveaways. I don't ship out of the USA, all entries must be 18 or older, and if I'm using the tagging giveaway, I don't allow people to tag people they aren't friends with (like say someone you don't know comes along after you've tagged your friends and tags no- that's rude and I won't allow it!)

5. Know Your limits

Make sure you set limitations for where you're willing to ship to. I won't ship outside the US because I don't want the hassle of customs and paying extra shipping fees. 

Set ground rules on your shop as to how you will accept payment and everything that goes along with it. I make sure I'm paid before I ship my items (as you ought to be) and if it's a custom order, I usually wait until I'm paid before starting it so I'm not stuck with something custom that no one else will want to buy. 

Make sure you give yourself time to finish custom orders if you take them. Don't promise delivery in 3 days if it'll take you 10 to make it. 

Use common sense. This goes for all of life, but your business as well.

If you can't afford it, admit it. There's no shame. Maybe wait a few years until you've got the money to keep up a shop and try again. I had reached this point a few times, but God always sent an order just when I thought I'd have to give up.

6. Keep your inventory stocked

This might not work with custom orders, but for things you sell that are basic inventory, you don't want to be caught by surprise with a low inventory. Make sure you spend enough time replenishing your inventory!

Also make sure you keep shipping supplies on hand. Tissue paper, boxes, envelopes, labels... you don't want to be caught without!

7. Learn what works best for you and do it!

My hobby business is crocheting and sewing. That's what I'm best at, and I make it work for me. I wouldn't jump out there with woodworking products or paintings, because I know no one would want to by a poorly carved spoon or some horrid watercolor paintings. Just stick to what you know, and if one day down the road, you can expand, do it! Just take your time and do what you know best.

Same with shipping, figure out what works best for you. I ship in my local post office because it's usually cheaper than online, and I prefer to handle this in person with someone I trust rather than a faceless computer screen. I found large manila envelopes work for 95% of my orders, which is cheaper than shipping a large box.

8. Consider Your Safety

This kind of falls under common sense. Don't give out personal information to customers. Don't meet up with customers- if you deliver in person- in unsafe places, always meet at very public spaces like fast food places or even a police station parking lot, if you can. Take someone with you if possible, it'll help you feel more comfortable, as well as possibly your customer (if they're not an evil villain!)

Make sure you never, never allow anyone to use your shop to get to you. If a customer seems to be getting out of line (let's say you're a young lady and they're a man, and they start flirting or addressing you inappropriately) FEEL FREE TO TELL THEM YOU DO NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE WORKING WITH THEM. You are under no obligation. Issue a refund if they are harassing you, cancel the order and, personally, block them from contacting you again if you can. I've had to do this a few times on my shop's social media accounts, and it's very uncomfortable. I can't stress how rude it is for customers to try using a person's business to flirt with them, and in such cases, I've let it be known I'm not interested because the interaction between the customer and I is 100% business and I don't desire it to go past that. Friend, don't let anyone make you feel uncomfortable. The money isn't worth it.

You're eventually going to get a message on your shop that makes little to no sense. Something will just seem 'off' about it. Go with your gut, and don't make any promises or orders if things seem 'iffy'. It's okay to turn down an order (if you're selling on a website, make sure with their rules first) if you think things aren't on the up and up. 

9. Keep yourself professional.

Yes, this follows closely with the previous point. Be friendly but make sure when it's time to do business, you're completely in business mode. This can be hard, especially when you have friends shopping from you, but it's important. View every customer as equal with the others. Be professional but friendly, be polite but be firm. 

10. Have fun.

Make what you love to make. Sell what you know people love to buy. Enjoy the process! You're going to have ups and downs, it'll be a struggle at times and a joy at others. Take your time, nothing that's worth having is built overnight!

I hope these help. I know it's probably not the best of advice, but it's what has worked for me. If you have any questions- please! ask in the comments! I'll be glad to offer whatever advice or help I can!

And, if you should so happen to think of it... go check out my shop at the link below 😉

Sunday, December 31, 2017

An Arguement for Lost Souls

Recently a friend shared with me how she had had a discussion with someone who, in both her and my opinion, made just about the dumbest argument ever heard. Grant it, this discussion was on Facebook, where- as we all know- anything goes and there are some real strange people, but still.

I'll give a little context, though I don't quite remember all the details. The conversation was about sharing the gospel. Someone made the example of, if you came across someone who had just been shot and was bleeding out, and you had to choose between giving this dying person who was asking how to be saved the gospel (knowing you might be killed) or catching the murderer to prevent further murders, which would you choose?

Obvious answer for a Christian, should be give the gospel without regard for your own life. If you know that you know you've repented of your sins, that Christ is your Savior and that Heaven will be your home, why would you selfishly hold back sharing this gift of eternal life with someone who has but minutes to live?

Amazingly, the person my friend was arguing with tried to justify leaving the dying man without giving him the gospel! You can imagine how this grieved my friend. Her heart broke, as did mine. This man would deny a dying person the knowledge of how to get to Heaven. This complete contradiction to Scripture, how could you ever believe that a believer would feel this way? Hypothetical situation or not, it showed a selfishness that Christians shouldn't have.

What does Scripture say?

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Now hear me out. I know that if it were a real life situation, there would be many factors in the decision. But no matter what, saying that catching and killing the murderer was of greater importance than giving someone the gospel as they take their dying breath... I'm sorry, but that's just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard. We're not to regard our lives in such a manner. Yes, use common sense- don't jump in front of a train screaming 'my life means nothing next to the gospel, repent you train conductor!' But you should care more about where another soul spends eternity rather than your physical safety, should you, Christian?

If we as Christians could selfishly say, "No, I'll not share the gospel, my life is worth more than that to me, I'll not risk my life for the eternal lives of others." then why do we allow ourselves to be called by the Name of Him who gave His life for us? Do you think Christ looked at you and thought for one second you weren't worth giving everything for? Do you think He looks at the vilest sinner and says they weren't worth dying for?

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

My friends, Christ died for all. Every person born on this planet, from the most innocent baby to the worst sinner ever born. Doesn't matter the crime, doesn't matter the amount of sin, He offers all the gift of eternal life. In His eyes, we are all in the same muck and mire of sin, all in need of His Blood to wash us and cleanse us from unrighteousness. He doesn't look at any person and say, "You aren't worth my life, I refuse to give my life up for you."

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 

He died knowing that many would reject Him, but still, Christ laid down His life. He was willing to die that anyone who accepts Him as their Savior might live- anyone!

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2

Knowing this, how can we not do the same? How many missionaries to foreign field risk life and limb to give the gospel, yet we would barely stir from out of the front door to tell a neighbor what a great gift Christ would give them if they will accept Him! How can you selfishly regard your life as too great a sacrifice when souls are dying and going to Hell?

Maybe the day will never come where you are in a situation such as the one my friend argued over. Maybe it will. What will you do? Will you run away in cowardice? Will you put up a show of bravado and declare catching a murderer is greater than giving the gospel? Will you lose your view of how precious a lost soul is, for whatever reason?

Or will you be that one who says, like our Lord, no sacrifice is too great when it comes to the gospel?

Friday, December 22, 2017

Faces Everywhere, A Short Story By Me

Merry Christmas, Readers! Since I can't give you a gift in person, I've written another short story- of sorts- for your gift. I hope you enjoy it! 

You know, it was funny. We all have those times when we see a face in a crowd and think, My, they look familiar. We hear a voice and think it sounds like one we know.

 Well, my version was a little different. You see, I’m a writer. That being said, I am… quirky. Not crazy, mind you, just quirky. I don’t have a mental disorder, unless a writer’s imagination counts as one.

 Which brings me to where I am now, the story I’m telling you. (I tend to trail off at times, so catch me if I do). While you may see a face and think déjà vu, I see a face and it speaks to me because it‘s one I‘ve created.

 “Why, hello there, old friend!” The face says.

 It takes me a moment to clear that foggy blur around it, that haze that mashes all it’s features into one fleshy blur. I talk with it as I move about- currently I’m doing laundry.

 “Hello, there. And which character might you be?” I asked silently. I actually don’t care, but I don’t mind either.

 The face begins to take a shape, a young man’s face. His eyes are still blurry to mine, his hair color not yet visible.

 “I’m not surprised you don’t remember me. Probably don’t remember my story either, do you?”
 I have to admit I don’t. From somewhere deep in the back of my brain, he’s come to remind me of a book I once started and never finished. Did I give it a happy ending with no middle or beginning? Did he suffer to have only bits and parts of his story written and not another word since? I shake my head no and sigh.

 “I’ll remind you. Remember that time you started writing about an aspiring young journalist who attends the grand birthday ball of a young heir? No?” He shrugs, features becoming clearer. His hair grows darker, glass appear around those dark eyes. His jaw line is anything but attractive, so narrow and long. His nose… well, I don’t know what I was thinking- probably had spicy nachos the night before writing his story.

 “You based it all off a dream where you were walking around a giant marble pavilion and you could hear the clicking of your shoes against the floor, and the swishing of silk gowns. I came along much later, a fact for which I haven’t quite forgiven you.” He said, with an upturn of his aristocratic nose. “Surely you could have made me a little more… attractive? How will I win her heart with a face like this?”

 My laundry now being in the dryer, I bid him a final farewell along with my apologies for never finishing his story (I don’t remind him that I got stuck and gave up hope of ever doing so, though). I move to the kitchen, where I help Mom fill the dishwasher. A look out the window reveals a form coming from the woods at the back of the property. This time a female, she waves and grins joyfully as she approaches the house.

 I keep filling the dishwasher. She comes in, and sits down at the counter across the room.

 “Long time no hear from ya!” She says, but there’s not the pout or annoyance in her voice. She‘s calm, and almost shy acting, though she speaks as an old friend. “Beginning to think you’d forgotten us.”

 I smile. “No, it’s hard to forget a happily ever after.” I said, sticking a plastic cup between glass ones to prevent them breaking. “How is married life?”

 She sighs happily. “Quite nice, quite nice. You never did let us know what our future was to become. It would have been nice to have known if my husband had found a church to pastor, and if we had any children.”

 She knows I attempted a sequel, but kindly doesn’t bring up that failure. I only nod. “I agree. Just go ahead and imagine your future to be whatever you and your dearest wanted it to be.” I nod towards the window where her beloved has appeared. “By the way, make sure you keep an eye out for him. I remember how tenderhearted he was in the book, and I’d hate to see him taken advantage of by those who would hurt you two.”

 “I promise, nothing will touch our happiness. We’ll stay just how you left us.” She says in parting.
 I probably won’t meet with anyone again today, my mind has found occupation in work. My family- real faces and real voices- take up my time. I’m kept busy.

 But alas, I don’t escape them for long. The next day at the store, a young man passes me thrice in a store. It takes a few times of him staring and a few minutes of my puzzlement before I realize he’s not real, but rather a book character.

 “I know you can’t respond, not even with facial expressions, lest the whole of Walmart think you’re crazy.” He chuckles, looking quite pleased with himself as he follows me through the store. “Just here to remind you, you’ve got a few plot holes in my story you should probably be thinking over.”
 I didn’t need reminding.

 “You know how there’s that bit of gossip you slaved over because, in the words of a friend, your mind has a hard time coming up with something so sinful as gossip? Yeah, well, I’m here to let you know, it doesn’t mesh with the next chapter. Maybe just, you know, go back and change it. Better yet, leave it out all together! My lady fair and I will love you forever if you do.” I know this impetuous fellow, he’s my main character in my book I’m working on currently. “Its as simple as writing my salvation scene, letting me have a few good punches with her ex-fiance and ending happily ever after. Do us this small favor, will you?”

 He knows I won’t, he can tell without facial or verbal answer.

 “You won’t… well, I was afraid of that. I’m afraid I regret to inform you…”

 Uh oh…

 “I’ll be flipping that switch… you know, the one you hate?”

 Not again. I can’t take the writer’s block, not this close to the end of my writing season. I begin pouring over alternative ideas, trying to appease the characters whose story I have apparently ruined.

 “Ah, good, I see you are trying to fix it. Well, I’ll give you a chance before we- that is, us of my story- go silent on ya. Try harder, don’t want to discourage, but it was a weak attempt at making the readers hate the villain… nasty man, he is, they really need little to help reinforce that he‘s no good.”

 And he’s gone. Thankfully, I don't pass him again, though I gather a thousand little ideas from the store of things I want to put in his book.

 I go with my mom and sister to lunch. Wouldn’t you know it, I’m deterred from people watching by another character come from no where. She sits across the fast food place and taps her fingers impatiently on the table. Obviously I’ve forgotten her story.

 A real life customer comes to sit at the table across from her, and she gives him a aggravated look. She scoffs, but doesn’t leave her seat.

 “Well… aren’t you going to say anything?” She asks. “Ten months, TEN MONTHS, and you don’t even open my book to read it over again? I have six paragraphs and half a chapter, part of an ending and even less of a beginning, and you say nothing?”

 I sigh and keep eating fries. She couldn’t have been one of my docile characters. No, she must be the loudest, most outspoken main character I’ve ever written.

 “Look, all I’m asking is that you at least try to finish my book. It’s not fair to leave me with a suitor who is unsuitable, a heart that aches for adventure and not enough book written to make any sense.”
 I give an exasperated smile and dismiss her forcefully, though she puts up a fight by reminding me of such high hopes as I had for her book.

 Back home once more, I walk in through the back door, and past the living room windows on my way to my room. A nice looking car pulls into the yard, though by it’s blurry haze I know it’s a character arriving and not a real person. My heart starts to beat faster, as my characters don't usually arrive in this manner. 

 He approaches the front door, and I begin to imagine (I’m at home and almost alone at the moment, so I’m free to do as many odd facial expressions and carrying on as many imaginary conversations as I choose) that I have opened the door. He’s a new character, I don’t recognize him. Ah, well, what can be the harm?


 He speaks only the one word but his eyes speak great volumes. I return the simple greeting and keep walking to my room.

 He stays at the end of the hallway, not entering. I begin to ponder what story I can fit him into, but he really doesn’t fit any of them. Like the characters before, he starts out as a hazy figure. I can’t make out anything about him, other than a general fuzzy image. Not too tall, not too short. In one light his hair looks dark and glossy, in another it’s golden and light. His eyes seem friendly, or what I can make out of them. His smile… well, honestly, it’s a heart melting, genuine smile. I can see that, even if I can’t see the smile itself clearly.

 “So, I’m guessing you’re here to ask to be written into a new story?” I ask by the raise of my eyebrow and tilt of my chin.

 He laughs in a most pleasant way, friendly but not flirtatiously. “If you want. But you’re going to have a hard time with my story.”

 “Oh, why’s that?”

 “Well, you’ve been writing it for a while, and it’s ever changing.”

 I’ll be honest, he’s got me confused but I love his voice. You know, the voice I just can’t hear exactly? It seems warm and friendly, and just as much of a gentlemanly voice as exists.

 “Really? Care to explain?”

 “Nah, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. It’s better that way.”

 I try my hardest to study him but, oh, the limitations of imagination! I cannot! “Well, you could at least tell me a little about yourself, then. Help me out.” I tell him, picking up my yarn and hook. “It’s hard to know which story you’ve jumped from, or will jump from.”

 “I’m surprised you don’t recognize me. Or at least the idea of me.” He says, and he genuinely seems disappointed. “So often as you think about my story, you should know me better.”

 “I hate vagueness.” I silently reply.

 “Well, ask what you want, I’ll tell you… if I can.”

 “Okay. What’s your name?”


 “Odd name.”

 “You gave it to me.”

 I frown at him. “How old are you?”


 I roll my eyes, barely repressing a smile. I’m starting to get an idea of who he is. “Job? Career? Education?”

 “Well, I’ve been a Navy SEAL, a nurse, a farmer, a doctor, a preacher, a millionaire… Which would you prefer I stick to?”

 “Hard to say, I can’t even see you, let alone tell what suits you.”

 “Ah, rats, I forgot, I have had a few names over the years.” He says, looking like a happy little child as he grins. “You are horrible at picking names. Your book characters all think so.”

 “Hence why I let friends decide the last few.” I chuckle. “What were these names I’ve given you?”

 “Well, earliest I remember, I was Rupert. I think I switched between Gideon and Laurence a few times, back some ten years ago. At one point, you were just sure I should be called Matthew, though honestly, I’m not sure you really cared for that name.”

 “I don’t. Starts with M, too close to my own.”

 “Wasn’t I named Jackson at one point?”

 “Ohh, no I can explain. That time I imagined your last name was Jackson, and I kept calling you that to annoy you.” I shrugged. “Apologies, I hate it when people are called by their last names.”

 Her my musing is interrupted by one of my siblings needing care. She’s sick and since Mom is busy at the moment, I play the role of nurse. After checking on her, getting her comfortable and whatever she needs, I return to my room. My friend is not present right away, but slowly drifts back in.

 “Everything alright? That was an abrupt departure.”

 “Yeah, it will be.”

 “She okay?”

 I shrug. “She will be. Whoever spread this virus deserved to have pickled beets crammed in their pillow cases.”

 He hides a smile.

 “Now, back to you.” I said, not wanting to drift off from the conversation. “You have any hobbies?”

 “Well, you’ve given me a few over the years. Carpentry, ballroom dancing, mountain climbing, music- my least favorite- and I believe once… did you make me a pilot? Crazy!” He laughs. “You hate flying! I can’t fly!”

 “Yeah, I know. I thought it would be nice for a change. But at least it wasn’t anything embarrassing, like clog dancing or face painting or crocheting…”

 “You’ve wanted me to love yarn, admit it.” He gives me an all knowing look with those invisible eyes.

 I can’t deny it. “Technically, I just wanted you to know enough about it to help me pick it out and for you to excuse my habits of buying and rarely using everything I buy.”

 “Speaking of which, that house you’ve given me… no more expansions of the workshops and craft rooms, right?”

 “No, no, it’s mostly the style that keeps changing now.” I assure him. “Craftsman style is alright with you?”

 “Eh, if it must be. You really preferred the Second Empire style, though. And the quaint little Sears catalog houses, you’ve given those up?”

 “Can’t build them for $500 anymore, so you’ll not have that.”

 “Good. They were so small.”

 “Back to you, stop making me trail off.”

 “I’m not doing anything other than what you influence.” He reminds me. “I know our time is growing short… you’re thinking of the dryer going off, the dinner preparations, and… yes, the sewing you want to do. How about I come back?”

 I really hate to push him away, but knowing his story isn’t quite ready, I reluctantly agree. He fades out as I walk past him to the laundry room.

 Sadly, I don’t hear from him for a few days. Other characters take precedence- ones in the book I’m writing- and boy, have they ever got loud voices. The story starts melting together as I try to keep order in this brain of mine. At last, as the weekend approaches, I turn off my computer and leave them to gather new ideas for the next few days. I hear a familiar voice chuckling from nearby.

 “So, you’ve finally managed to make a few of them happy?”

 “For the time being. I was expecting you to show up again.”

 He smiles, and yet again I do so wish I could clear this blur off his face. I can see his clothes, his shoes, but his face… ugh, not happening. “Really?”

 “Well, I have been waiting on you for a while. It’s hard to forget such a important character in such a important book as yours.” I remind him with a smile. It’s as if we are old friends and I am perfectly at ease chatting with him, admitting to any fault I have, and sharing thoughts that other fictional characters might laugh at.

 “True, true. Ten years now.”

 “Ten years. You have changed so much, and yet you haven’t. How can I forget you as often as I do?”

 “Simple.” He says, and I know it is. “You’re not ready to write this story yet. I may lurk nearby, may occasionally pass through your mind and we may even share a few days where we chat and you give me new characteristics. You’ll give me more names, many faces may be temporarily placed where mine should be. You’ll compare me to dozens, but not find my equal. But in the end I‘m a character you can‘t describe, it’s a story you can’t write yet, because I- the coauthor- am not present to do my part.”

 “Ah, yes. This is true.” I sigh and wish it weren’t. “You know, I’m quite happy without you at the moment, though.”

 “I know. I'm proud of your contentment without knowing how the story ends. You’d definitely win the most patient author award if there was one.” He laughs. “And, if we're honest, as many times as your tastes change, I think it’s good you are happy without me at the moment.”

 I smiled, my heart not grieved at the words. “For the time being, I have to be content to have imaginary conversations with you, my favorite character, and think about how our story will be written.”

 He smiled, starting to fade away as my daily life claims my mind once more. “Don’t worry, I’ll pop back in the next time you’re writing. After all, I’m every bit as much a part of your heroes as you are a part of the heroines.” He assures me. “After all, you take no greater joy in your writing than imagining how your own love story will play out, how the main character- that’s me, just in case you forgot- will sweep your off your feet. So I'll be coming back again shortly.”

 I nod, expecting him to fulfill the promise he’s made. I know he will, because I’m the one who created this as-of-yet fictional character in my life story, and until the time comes when his true author is finally revealed, I'll keep refashioning his character over and over.