bits and pieces

When you don’t have anything newsworthy or noteworthy to post about, just ramble.


I mentioned last week that I’d intended to go to a reading at a bookstore in a nearby college town. And I was all set to go, only hours away from making the (less-than-an-hour) drive when I mentioned it to a man I ran into. He happened to be a graduate of that college, and it also happened that that evening was a basketball game at that college against their rival team of the last one hundred-plus years. He said that even if the home team lost, the thriving commercial strip in the town would be thronged with people. And if the home team won, it would be much more intense. And parking? Forget about it! As I’m sure you’ve guessed, we did not go to that reading. It gave us an evening at home, and we subsequently learned that the home team did win, so madness evidently ensued. I haven’t checked, but I wonder if the bookstore even held the reading after all.

There is a launch party for a new novelist at The Writer’s Place on a coming Sunday afternoon. I’m now targeting that for the writerly hob-knobbing I’m after.


To be honest, I don’t know just what cut I made in the Amazon contest. I said last week that I’m a semi-finalist, but as I’ve read the rules there again, that’s apparently not the right term. Suffice to say that I’ve made the first cut (and I’m holding no illusions about needing to know any more terms).


I’ve decided that I’m not going to incorporate the backstory for one of my characters in Finnegans Deciphered. I visited several of the chapters where it would have been addressed and tried shoe-horning it in, but it felt unnecessary. And I think it added too much baggage to the story.

What this means is that I’m that much closer to having the novel “finished.” I’m actually starting to fret over how I might write a query for it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Rants and ruminations

5 Comments on “bits and pieces”

  1. Advancing through the first cut is still cool. Years ago, I had a screenplay advance in the screenplay competition at the Austin Film Festival. Just advancing opened some doors, and the screenplay that advanced — and another — were considered by several studios based on just advancing.

    Obviously, I hope your novel continues to advance. I know in another post you mentioned simply making the cut means you follow directions and rise above what was probably many first-time, quickly written novels, but still — coupled with your publication credits, it seems to be a good indicator that others see in your writing something more.

    And that’s a good place to be.

  2. Annam Says:

    I agree with Christopher! And think of ABNA as the same kind of odds as when you send queries to agents… they get a lot of queries from non-professionals, beginners, etc. so this is a good indicator of how your novel will do outside of the contest. Heck, After the Tsunami advanced to the third round of ABNA, and a year later, was published! Good odds.

  3. Averil Dean Says:

    I’m with Christopher. You never know who might be reading, what doors may open because you gave yourself the opportunity.

  4. Shawn Says:

    I also agree.

    Also, rambling is one of our finest forms of communication.

    Also also, isn’t writing queries just the worst? And you can never explain why to non-writers, either. They just don’t get how it can be, in cases, harder than writing the actual novel.

  5. Don’t fret about the query–just do a lot of research first. There is so much great advice about query writing out there on the interwebz. I’ve always found great success with my queries by following this. It’s the actual BOOK you need to worry about. Get that right. Get it downright perfect. Then, just follow the advice about writing a decent query and hope the book can sell itself.

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