Hi everyone,
Greetings from Chicago! I've been perusing a few writing forums over the past week, and this morning finally decided to take that big step and actually register an account.

And what's an introduction without a little background? I grew up in Portland, OR and moved to Chicago about three years ago for work. By day, I work in the online travel industry, managing hotel supplier relations in the Midwest U.S. and Canada. By night, I'm an avid reader and fan of all things fiction.

A while back, out of the blue, I got bit by the writing bug and decided that I wanted to try my hand at writing a fiction novel. At first it was a strictly personal pastime, but as my novel progressed I began to realize that I had a story here that I eventually wanted to share. Two years and 122,000 words later, I finished the first draft of my manuscript. I went through it again for a round of major edits, and then built up the courage to send it over to a literarily-inclined friend of mine to review, with strict instructions that he not try to spare my feelings whatsoever with his feedback.

If he'd told me it sucked, I would have accepted that, scrapped the project, and moved on. Believe it or not, though, he liked it, which means I've actually got to try to move forward with this thing under the premise that maybe--just maybe--others will like it, too. How annoying!

So here I am: completely out of my element but excited and ready to learn. I'm looking forward to becoming a part of this community and working together toward making my pipe dream a potential reality.

Thanks for your hospitality!