Ambition must be fed, and after a long labor, a newborn hardcopy coos in a repurposed gift basket. Myriad instars of the manuscript await their flushing, but first comes the ritual preparation: query letter, synopsis, agents head-hunted from arcane sources. The game is afoot!

Kitchen Flare 101 / 1. Update house and life insurance, locate fire extinguisher. 2. Prepare ingredients for Crepes Suzette. 3. Mix batter and fry crepes. 4. Smear with butter and vow to exercise all week. 5. Fold crepes in chafing dish and douse with Grand Marnier and Cognac. 6. Ignite and know real fear.

Know you can do it! / Pin the dress pattern to fabric. Wash blood from fingers. Cut out pattern pieces with very sharp scissors. Ditto re blood. Follow arrows to sew the darts. Sew together side seams, inset (2) sleeves, and face the collar. Try on for size. / Stab self in the eyeballs.