Crowdfunding & book reading for medical expenses among others

I am crowdfunding for my sister Ate Mae’s medical expenses and for the funding of a small business. She’s scheduled for a thyroid operation this October 22 at the PGH and after that, we’d love to put up a small eatery.

Ate Mae works at a hardware store (I, on the other hand, am a freelance writer) but for the longest time we’ve been wanting to put up our own business. As fate would have it, with another cousin. Our first cousin Nikki had to resign from her call center work due to—guess what? Goiter, like Ate (apparently this runs in the family as my brother had surgery years back for the same reason).

Goiter makes swallowing and speaking difficult which is why Nikki, or Neneng as we fondly call her, had to resign from work. She’s currently undergoing her own series of checkups.

Anyway, we wanted to give back also and that is why my friend—author Joanne Crisner—and I, did book reading last Sunday, Sept 18, 2016 at Ramon Magsaysay Elementary School’s select first and second grade pupils.

Before the book reading, there was a brief lesson where the pupils were divided into groups. Three kids were assigned to us and I watched as Jo taught them how to read the alphabet plus a few words (sorry, I’m not much of a teacher). It was fun, watching the children as they learn.

The volunteers who teach the kids are members of SFC Cornerstone. They tutor the kids tirelessly every Sunday without fail. If that is not kindness, passion, and dedication I don’t know what that is.

After the lesson, Jo read the book out loud to the kids then we distributed copies, we shared a meal, closed the day the way we started: with a prayer and then went on our separate ways. Another day over but the joy will forever remain in my heart.

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My sincere thanks to my friend Jo, everyone in SFC Cornerstone, friends and cousins who helped us including those who sponsored books for the kids, my nephew Jonrae who helped me bring the books, and the kiddies for listening to our story! 🙂

We have yet to hit the target so I am sharing my crowdfunding link in case there are readers out there who can help us. ❤

http://bit.ly/2d9Vcbr

We’ll be at Virlanie this coming Friday for another book reading, this time with children’s author Athena Austria.

Thank you for reading this blog entry! 🙂

Blog Tour: What About Today by Dawn Lanuza ~ Guest Post

Writing Habits that I Picked Up from Writing What About Today

What About Today is my second novella. It’s one of the products of Mina V. Esquerra’s class, #BuqoYA. We were given five weeks to finish our stories then, and I was able to finish on time (with a little bit to spare!).

As I was determined to finished a story for the class, I picked up a couple of writing habits that I still find handy with writing my next novels.

  1. Setting a clear deadline. Because we were in a class, we were given a clear deadline. When I was writing my first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, I gave myself a deadline, but it was a bit loose, so naturally, I moved it around for a couple of weeks. I still struggle with this, honestly, but I think it really helps if you check your progress every once in a while and really circle a date in your calendar. Toughening it up with the deadline helps get the job done.
  2. Assigning Pegs. I found pegs very useful while writing WAT because I was writing in third person but was switching POVs. I didn’t want the characters to sound like the same person, so I’ve learned to watch videos of my pegs. From there, I get to pick up some of their habits and quirks, and this ultimately helped me get back to the groove and vibe of the character and the story.
  3. Having a writing routine/schedule. There are a couple of articles online that collated writers’ routines and rituals. When I was writing WAT, I pushed myself to write something every night (after dinner), even if I wasn’t feeling it. I’d get myself to write even a couple of sentences/ paragraphs, sometimes I’ll just let my characters talk. This helped me keep my momentum.
  4. Writing with the end in mind. I wrote the ending of this story while I was still in the middle of it. I’m not much of an outliner, I’m more of a pantser, but I think when you already know what kind of ending you want to have for your story, it’s easier to fill in everything else.
  5. Writing drunk, editing sober (that’s Hemingway, but internet says it’s not). I think it’s great that when you start, you get so drunk on your story that you just write it. You don’t think about the details so much, you just write, write, write. But once you’re ready to take a look at it with a different eye – right before you send it out to your beta readers/ editors, it’s better that you condition yourself to not get too attached to the material. There will be scrapping involved, there always is especially from a first draft, so I suck it up and stick with the bits that work, and get rid of what doesn’t.

And that’s it! I hope to you find at least one of these tips work for you- but if not, just experiment. It’s what I did, and am still doing. It also really helps to have a community aka a support group when you write, just so you don’t drive yourself mad in the whole process. Writing is a never ending learning experience and I think as long as you’re having fun with it, then it’s worth your time. 🙂

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About the Book

Aiden’s stuck working for his family’s amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma’s stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park’s rides. She couldn’t. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.

* This story is currently available on BuqoYA Bundle 4: Heart Choices.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Buqo | Smashwords

Excerpt

Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?

She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?

“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.

Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?

She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.

And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost every day, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these…what did one do with them?

File them to chance encounters. 

About the Author

Dawn Lanuza has been imagining and writing love stories since she was a kid. She works for the music industry by day, and writes about meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. She writes short stories, chick lit and young-adult fiction. She has a degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines.

Bloghttp://www.indiesisiw.wordpress.com
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dawnlanuza
Instagramhttp://instagram.com/dawnrunsfast
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638162.Dawn_Lanuza

Blog Tour~When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao: Author Interview and Giveaway

Hello, Ines! I’m so happy to have you here at Cinderella Stories. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for granting me this interview. First of all, congratulations on your new book, “When Sparks Fly.”

Thank you so much for having me! I’m so excited and happy to be here. 🙂

1. Would you please tell us about your book When Sparks Fly? How long did you write this?

When Sparks Fly really started out as a short story to promote Only A Kiss. It was my first time to self-publish a book and I wanted to put up a short story for free to entice people to read my new book. So I figured a prequel would be a good idea — about characters in the first chapter of Only A Kiss, Ben and Regina. When I started writing it, however, my friend Treena who reads everything I write while I write it (I think I need her to push me), told me that I couldn’t just keep it as a short story. She fell in love with Ben and Reg and she told me they needed their own book. Of course this threw me off because I had to go back and add scenes and I had to stretch the story — but the good thing was, I didn’t just stretch it, it grew on its own.

It took so long to write this book — almost two years — or a little more than two years — because other stories got in the way. I wrote five short stories and another book in between! But I realized I had to finish it because I owed it to Ben and Reg. 🙂

2. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was a kid, I would keep notebooks where I would write stories. I even put stickers on the first page to act as my cover. One of my classmates saw me writing one of my stories and wanted to read it and then the rest of the class started passing my stories around. I was surprised when they were getting passed to the next class too! But that was awesome and it pushed me to keep writing.

3. Ms. Ines, you’ve got a ‘day job’, what is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How does that work? Do you have a daily word count goal?

My day job is being a mother. And that is a 24/7 job with no breaks ever. So yes, it’s really hard to write. I also freelance — I write articles and I edit magazines and books. So sometimes, my fiction gets pushed aside while I need to focus on other things. I write when my kids are asleep, in school, or when they’re willing to play with my husband (but if I’m there, they prefer to play with me!!! Groan. Haha!). So this leads to writing in my notebooks — I do this when we travel. Or writing in my phone — I do this when I don’t have my notebook or if I have a sleeping child on me and I can’t move.

4. What is your writing process, do you work on an outline first or just go write without one?

I was just complaining about this last night! I usually write without an outline. I’m a pantser. I love realizing where the story is going while I write. It’s so exciting. BUT I know this is not ideal and if I do write an outline, I will be able to write faster and I wouldn’t have to read everything I’ve written again — I used to do that and it took so long! I hardly have time to write and it takes so much time re-reading what I’ve written so far. Plus, when I read writing books or watch writing seminars and workshops, they ALL say you need to outline. The last time I outlined, I couldn’t write. I was stuck. I was so uninspired. I closed my outline and I was able to write my story. For my next book, I did it again! I wrote an outline. And now, I’m not touching my story. I seriously wonder if something is wrong with me. Because you know, I love following rules. I’m a nerd that way.

5. What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

One of the most surprising things I have learned while writing is that I can push and push myself and I can actually do something I was terrified of doing before. And I can do it while I’m tired, while I’m sleep-deprived, and while there is loud, high-pitched music playing in the background as my kids scream and jump all around me. Although when that happens, I need to edit really carefully afterwards.

6. What do you think makes a good story?

A story needs a lot of elements to work together to be good. It needs a plot that moves quickly and has no loopholes, it needs a setting that is believable, it needs characters that are authentic, and so on. But what I look for when I read a book are characters I can relate to, characters who are so real that even if they cannot exist in real life because they are demons or fairies, there is still something about them that tugs at your heart and makes you care about them and what happens to them. I also appreciate settings that make me feel as if I’m in the actual place. It isn’t enough for the author to say that she’s in a particular country. If I can’t feel, smell, taste, or hear that place, it isn’t enough. But of course all of these things must work harmoniously. I should stop now because I can write an entire paper on this haha!

7. Do you have other works in progress?

Yes! My YA book that isn’t getting written because I made an outline for it hahahaha! I have serious thoughts about ditching the outline and just writing again. Then I will refer to the outline when I get stuck. I swear, I don’t know what is wrong with me. It’s frustrating.

8. Your tips for aspiring authors?

My advice is to just write. And not to expect your first book to be good. It most likely won’t be. Even if your mom says it’s awesome. Remember she’s biased. But keep at it. Keep writing and keep working on ways to improve. Read books, ask for advice from authors you admire, join a critique group, a workshop, a class. Don’t let the fire die. And remember, with each story you write, you will get better as long as you try.

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Giveaway

Click the image below for a chance to win an ecopy of: When Sparks Fly, Only a Kiss, or a paperback copy of When Sparks Fly

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About When Sparks Fly

Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?

When Sparks Fly can be read as a standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to Ines Bautista-Yao’s other book Only A Kiss.

Purchase Link: amazon UK

About the Author

Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao’s heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines’ time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.

Most readers can remember Ines as the former editor-in-chief of K-Zone Magazine and Candy Magazine . At present, Ines is working as an editor of Summit Books. She is also married to photographer Marc Yao, whom she says she consults whenever she’s stuck in the middle of a story she’s writing.

Sources:
One Crazy Summer Author Ines Bautista Yao on Juggling Writing and Motherhood by Belle Yambao
Spotlight on Filipino Authors: Ines Bautista-Yao (less)

#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy Book 3: Transfixed by Mae Alva

This is my third Pinoy book of the month: Transfixed by Mae Alva.


Raiden finally succeeds in “seducing” Ashley. A part of him hopes he saved her from Denver—or so he thinks he did. In the end, he asks himself, did he really?

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About the Author

Mae Alva is a Cinderella. She loves to write about love and the struggles of the heart. She could easily come up with stories while cleaning the house or staring at the stars.

Connect with her at:

http://facebook.com/msmaealva
http://twitter.com/msmaealva
http://wattpad.com/user/msmaealva
Tumblr: msmaealva.tumblr.com
E-mail: msmaealva@gmail.com

Purchase Links:

Buy Transfixed here.

#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy Book2: Making Him Fall by Jessica E. Larsen

Download Making Him Fall for free at Smashwords using the coupon code: SA23F during check out. This coupon is valid until August 15 (-08:00 GMT).

more here:

http://www.jessicaelarsen.com/blog/making-it-free-pun-intended-_

Happy reading!

About the book:


He’s the last thing she ever wanted, but she’s the only one who makes his life exciting.

Twenty-one-year-old Triste wanted nothing more than to be the crown princess of the Netherworld. She accepted her father’s condition of going to Moon Islands to find a thousand human souls to be her army or one pure soul as a sacrifice. In her first week, she found a man with a pure, untainted soul. The problem was that he had a guardian angel, Cadriel, who prevents her from getting close enough to this person. There’s only one solution: kill the angel and get the human.

Unlike most angels, instead of eliminating the demon who obviously plans to taint the soul of the person he was guarding, Archangel Cadriel amused himself by only hindering this young demon. He doesn’t care if she’s after his life; after all, one look and he can tell that he’s more experienced and has more skills than her. He could kill her anytime he wants. But can he?

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Purchase Links:

Print: Amazon Barnes&Noble
eBooks: Kindle Smashwords

About the Author

Jessica E. Larsen is an author of contemporary romance, YA, NA and Paranormal stories. She writes in both English and Taglish/Filipino language.

Jessica’s not hundred percent sure what her characters are thinking, but most of the heroine in her stories love to bite her head off and fall for the guy they dislike, then blame her for their misery.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her reading or creating digital art.

Jessica doesn’t like doing housework, but love hearing from her readers. She might be late at times, but she always takes the time to reply to comments and messages.

https://www.facebook.com/authorJessicaELarsen

‪#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

Ang babasahin ko para sa ‪#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy‬ ay ang  The Necromancer ni C.J. Dee.

Buod

Ako si Nero, isang nigromante. Alipin ako ng nekromansya at namuhay na parang ermitanyo sa loob ng tore.

Walang sinuman ang nakakapasok sa tore.

Sinigurado kong nakakandadong maigi ang pinto sa unang palapag at sarado rin ang mga bintana kaya paanong nandirito ang lalaking nagngangalang Linus? Para siyang multo na bigla-bigla na lamang susulpot. Baka panaginip ko lamang ito at parte siya niyon.

Pero bakit nga ba ako nag-aalinlangan na makasama si Linus? Buong buhay niya ay wala siyang ginawang masama sa akin. O baka kaya ako nagkakaganito ay dahil ako ang may ginawa sa kanyang masama noon? Sa sobrang sama n’on ay napanaginipan ko pa.

Paperback, 120 pages
Published 2014
ISBN 9789710271
Edition Language: Tagalog
Genre: MM, Fantasy, Romance

Crushingly Close Blog Tour ~ Author Interview: Stella Torres

Hello, Stella! I’m so happy to have you here at Cinderella Stories. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for granting me this interview. First of all, congratulations on your new book, “Crushingly Close.”

– Thanks, Jho! I’m glad to sit down with you for this interview. I hope that I can share more about the book with your readers 🙂

1. Would you please tell us about your book Crushingly Close? How long did you write this?

Crushingly Close started out as a story written for #buqosteamyreads in 2014—at that time, I had this concept of a news producer and an anchorman working late nights and butting heads at work before realizing that they were meant for each other. I ended up not being able to publish at that time (for reasons related to my PhD) but I had the chance to rewrite it later in July of that year as a novella for Camp NaNoWriMo. This time, I was able to expand the story because I had just come back from a trip to Indonesia, and I was also into soccer and the World Cup.

It took me one month to finish the first draft, and two more years of polishing and rewriting in between my PhD coursework, but I managed to get it out—and here we are!

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I guess I’ve always known I wanted to be one ever since I was in elementary school. I liked telling stories, and I would always do things like rewrite fairy tales or draw “comics” with cartoon characters in adventurous situations. It wasn’t until I was in sixth or seventh grade when I realized that I wanted to write fiction, and I tried to work on my first novel back then. I was so ambitious!

3. Ms. Stella, you’ve got a ‘day job’, what is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How does that work? Do you have a daily word count goal?

Because my PhD is my “day job,” I’m lucky that I get to take semestral breaks to concentrate on my writing. For the remainder of the year, however, I’ve structured my days in such a way that I would have “office hours” where I would concentrate on my coursework and research during the daytime on Mondays to Fridays, so I can write fiction on nights and weekends. There are times when I deviate from the routine—say, when I have an important presentation that needs more of my time—but most days I can manage to get things done.

As for word counts, I had a goal of at least 1,000 words per day when I wrote this for Camp NaNoWriMo, since I wanted to come up with a 30,000-word story by the end of the month. The great thing about my Camp NaNo experience (as opposed to the regular National Novel Writing Month experience in November) was that I was able to set my own word count goals so I could take the pressure off myself. It’s good training when you’re starting out and writing your first draft.

4. What is your writing process, do you work on an outline first or just go write without one?

I used to write without an outline; the initial draft for my first book (Save the Cake) was written without one, and so were the first 30,000 words of Crushingly Close. It wasn’t until I started with the rewrites for Crushingly that I realized that the system wasn’t working for me: the plot was a mess, the characterizations didn’t make sense, and the scenes weren’t as funny or exciting as they were when I came up with them inside my head.

I had to go back and write a whole new outline for the book to guide me through the rewrites and check on how every aspect of the story worked together. The rewrites got easier after that, and now I can’t imagine writing (or at least rewriting) without an outline. My next two (!) books have outlines now, and they’ve made writing easier for me.

5. What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

One of the most important revelations that occurred to me while writing this book was the power of characterization. It wasn’t enough for me to say that my main characters were in a high-stress environment; I had to feel every emotion and every ounce of tension that they held in their body.

When I put this book through revisions, I worked on getting under my characters’ skins to figure out their motivations—what turns them on, what makes them tick, what keeps them awake at night. It got to the point where they were talking to me about where they wanted to go in the story. And I had to listen, because I felt like the story didn’t go anywhere when I had complete control over everything. That felt very freeing for me.

6. What do you think makes a good story?

That’s a good question! I’ve been reading non-romance books lately, and I find that the best stories are the ones where the author can make the reader care about what’s happening. The characters don’t always have to be likeable, but the plot must be steady and the writing has to be consistent. Also, the ending has to make sense—no use going all the way to the end of the book only to say, “What the hell did I just read here?”

7. Do you have other works in progress?

Right now I have an unfinished story that I wrote for another class, which I didn’t finish in time for the deadline but I’m planning on querying in the future for publication. It’s about a long-distance relationship between a call-center agent and a guy who works twelve time zones away—nothing too complicated, but it’s sweet and romantic and gives all the feels.

I’m also planning on joining NaNoWriMo again this November, but that story is still in the outline stages and I won’t be sharing any details about it until later this year. Of course, everything will depend on my academic schedule and how much I’ll be able to take for the next two years, but I’m hoping to have complete drafts for both of those stories by this time next year.

8. Your tips for aspiring authors?

Read, read, read! It’s the best way to discover who you are as a writer. You can learn a lot from other writers, not just in your genre, but from other genres as well. Don’t just study the “classics” in every genre—take them apart, piece by piece, so you can figure out why they’ve endured for years.

Also, don’t worry too much about what other people will say about you while you’re writing. It’s all background noise. Finish the book first, and everything will take care of itself.

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Book: Crushingly Close
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Author: Stella Torres

About the Author: Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the author:

Blog: http://thegreatbigjump.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/StellaTorresAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheStellaTorres
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stella_meimei

About the Book: At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

Links:

Amazon (pre-order): https://amzn.com/B01I5IXL9U or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I5IXL9U/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

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EXCERPT

“Anything you want with your coffee?” Daniel said. “Cream? Sugar?”

My gaze fell on the containers of sugar and creamer that Daniel had taken out of the cupboard. “I thought you took your coffee black?”

“I thought I’d take them out for you.”

I may not swoon at the feet of Daniel Ferrer on command, but I wouldn’t deny that he was handsome. His hair was short enough to keep the emphasis on his almond eyes and sharp cheekbones. His skin had the kind of glow that came from running at the break of dawn, which he always talked about as part of his regular-day workout routine. And while he cut an impressive figure whenever he showed up in his suit and tie on-screen, the jeans and polo shirts that he wore to work showed off his lean muscles, especially in his arms and chest.

And his abs.

And his butt.

There, I’ve said it. Daniel Ferrer had a hot bod. But his body was beside the point. First and foremost, he was a co-worker, and co-workers weren’t supposed to think of each other that way.

Right? Right.

He smiled like he knew how his presence would affect me. “You look like you’ve got a lot of things on your mind.”

Of course I had a lot of things on my mind. We had a show to produce tonight, and a meeting in two hours about our trip to Jakarta for the football friendly between the Philippines and Indonesia. Not to mention the text messages that I wasn’t getting from my mother and brother…

“You make this face whenever you’re worried,” Daniel said.

“What face?”

He pointed to my mouth. “See that? Your lips curve downward when you press them together.”

“No, they don’t.”

“You’re making that face again.” He cocked his head to the side and leaned forward. “See? Your lips press hard, and your eyebrows scrunch in the middle of your forehead. Then your eyes go blank, like you’re spacing out.”

“I don’t space out.”

“Really? Then why haven’t you stirred any cream and sugar into your coffee?”

I looked down into my cup, and—just as Daniel said—my coffee was still black.

“It’s getting cold,” he said. “Here, have a spoon.”