And just like that, I'm 19 Entertainment's bitch again.

I will be voting for Mandisa until my fingers bleed. She had me at the self-deprecating but pointed "you didn't need a bigger stage, but you could have gotten a bigger chair."

She's an actual grown-up with a college degree, she seems at ease in her own skin, and I don't even care that she brought the Jesus when she told Simon she forgave him for his lame-ola fat jokes (although I do wish that after she'd finished her speech about her Savior's forgiveness, she'd gently pointed out that there's a few million young girls who are devoted to American Idol, and that there's probably a better message to send to them than all women who don't look like fit models are automatically deserving of ridicule.)

Also, there's a competitor who I'm pretty sure is named after the protagonist of Clan of the Cave Bear. Sweet!

In other news, thanks for all the questions about writing. In the next week or two, I will do my best to answer them . . . or try to find answers. But meanwhile, I highly recommend Miss Snark's weblog (www.misssnark.blogspot.com) for up-to-the-minute info about query letters, manuscript formatting, and all things related to the nuts and bolts of finding an agent. She knows more than I've forgotten...and my agent hunt was six years ago, and I'm assuming that things have changed.

Jen