Hello everyone. This is just a short author's note on The Sand Jar about writing it and showing you all a few things I thought might be interesting.

I grew exponentially as a writer during the process of this piece of fiction. From start to finish, this story was on my mind constantly and I had so much fun with the characters. Hinata was pretty obviously my avatar- her reactions were mostly the reactions I would have had were I in her situations. When you're writing a project like this, especially over long periods of time, the line between yourself and the characters gets pretty blurry, so I would often be writing about Hinata and think of her with the pronoun "I". Gaara... was Gaara. He was the first character I've written whose speech and emotions really never paralleled mine. I had to read his lines aloud to make sure they sounded like something he would actually say, otherwise he would have ended up as another snarky, insecure teenage female.

Parts of this story were based on actual events from my life, and when I say "based on", I mean loosely. The events themselves were not as important, but the emotions were very personal. Maybe it's just because I was there, but I think it's pretty obvious which parts were truthful and which were just fiction.

The first intimate scene between Gaara and Hinata was the original concept for the story as well as the idea that Hinata would become afraid of Gaara. Originally, Hinata was also going to become pregnant and have an abortion, but I eventually ditched that idea as being overdramatic and realized that it would change the dynamic of the story, not something I wanted.

What I really wanted from this story was to portray as realistic as relationship as possible with problems that I think couples my age actually have. The plot-central one is, of course, Hinata's misconception of Gaara. As she says in the last chapter, she ignores the less savory parts of his character and it frightens the hell out of her when he reveals them. Once she wraps her mind around the entirety of his being, though, the channels of communication can open up again. Gaara's only issue is really his lack of experience or possibly his tendency toward emotional detachment (although I played it as though it were less detachment and more an unwillingness to display what he feels). Were he older and wiser in the ways of romance, he could probably have seen the major issue coming and taken steps to prevent it. There's really not a lot else to say- the last chapter really summed it all up.

I had such fun watching you reviewers try to figure out where I was going with things. In the beginning there was a lot of "will they/won't they" and I laughed. That was precisely the point- the characters weren't sure of their feelings, so you weren't supposed to be, either! It's no fun when you read the first chapter and can say "Oh... X and Y will be together. Yawn." There was one question that I received more than once, so I'll just clarify the answer. Kiba and Hinata used to date. I don't know precisely why they broke up, but Kiba still cares for her. It doesn't bother her, they're good friends. You were supposed to wonder what happened between them.

If there are any questions, drop me a review and I'll gladly answer them. I'm going to miss writing this, but look out for whatever I may be writing next!