Going, Going, Outatime!

“Opening Day is Thursday.  Are you excited?” Holly asked with a smile that made it clear she was thrilled that baseball was set to return.

It was the Sunday before Opening Day and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench next to the river.

“Of course I am,” Aaron replied as he pointed at his ever present Yankees cap.  “I’m not sure why you are, though.”  He flashed a sly smile and took a long sip of his Snapple.

She countered with an even longer sip of her coffee before she replied.  “I didn’t want this to deteriorate into the usual exchange of Yankees and Red Sox insults, so I’ve come up with an exciting alternate line of discussion dealing with baseball.”

Aaron feigned a pout.  “But I had so many Red Sox insults prepared…”

short story, humor, Modern PhilosopherShe smacked him playfully on the shoulder.  “If you could time travel to watch any baseball team play, which one would it be?”

He smiled and shook his head to indicate that he approved of the question.  Anything related to time travel was okay with Aaron.  “The 1927 Yankees.  No question.  Murderers’ Row.  I’d love to see Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in their prime.”

“That team was pretty awesome,” Holly had to agree.

“Could you imagine how much those two could demand on the free agent market today?” he asked as his eyes lit up at the prospect.

“I’m not sure there would be enough money to pay them both and still be able to field the rest of the team,” she chuckled.  “I mean, Cashman almost balked at paying Judge forty million a year.  The Babe and The Iron Horse would command much more.”

“The Yankees would have to give one of them the Oakland A’s as compensation,” he suggested.  “I’m not saying trade them to the A’s, I mean give them the franchise to own.  Maybe throw in the Marlins as well.  That could work.”

“I think the Players’ Association might have a problem with that,” Holly snorted.

“The suits are going to ruin the game!” Aaron protested.  “They say they want to grow the sport, and yet they’d be unwilling to give Ruth or Gehrig his own team just to keep the biggest stars happy.  It’s a good thing baseball doesn’t have access to time machines.  Yet.”

Yankees, time travel, Modern Philosopher“It would be fun to smuggle a case of 2023 baseballs back to 1927, and then use them to throw batting practice to The Babe,” Aaron fantasized.  “I wonder how far he would hit them.  He hit some massive shots in his time, and those were with baseballs that were basically a few pages of newspaper stuffed into an old sock.”

Holly snorted.  “I think you’re exaggerating.”

“Oh really?” he countered.  “They called it the Dead Ball Era for a reason.  Not that Red Sox fans could tell the difference.  Their players couldn’t hit anything thrown in their general direction.”

“Don’t turn a conversation on time travel into Red Sox hate speech,” she warned with a wave of her finger as she sipped a little more coffee.

Aaron nodded that she was right.  “While I’m back in 1927, I’d definitely want to go to dinner with Ruth.  The stories of his eating are almost as legendary as the ones about his hitting.”

“So you’re saying you might return to the present day having packed on a few pounds?” she giggled.

“Sure, but the experience will have been worth every extra pound I’ll have to sweat off on the running path behind us,” he said pointing blindly over his shoulder in the direction of the running path.  “Just call it one more sacrifice I’d make in the name of science.”

“Doc Brown would be so proud,” she quipped.

“I’m not going to disagree with that,” he replied with a wink.

Holly rolled her eyes and turned her attention to the river.

Who do you have winning the World Series this year?  Obviously, the correct answer is the Yankees, but you are entitled to your opinion…

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Life Does Get Better?

I heard a rumor the other day, Modern Philosophers, that life does get better.

I was raised to ignore rumors and innuendo, but sometimes I go against my strict upbringing if I think it might lead to something positive in my life.

Because let’s face it, I could use a little positivity.  That being the case, I thought I’d take a break from querying agents about my novel to send a little sunshine and happiness out into the world.

positive vibes, humor, Modern PhilosopherLook at this picture.  There are dark clouds looming, but the flowers are so damn bright, cheery, and beautiful.  This seems to support the theory that positive things can thrive even when the forecast calls for rain.  After all, the flowers wouldn’t be able to survive without that water from the sky.

Don’t worry.  I haven’t hit my head or lost my way.  I’ve simply been struggling lately and I need to free myself from all the negativity weighing me down.

I’m still single.  I’m struggling to find someone who wants to champion my novel.  My body aches.  The Yankees are dealing with a rash of injuries to their pitching staff.

But I can’t keep focusing on the minuses.  I need to find a plus or two, or I’ll never work my way into the positive side of the number line.

So today I’m going to believe the rumor that life gets better.

I sent out a few more queries this morning.  The last reply from an agent was a request to read the first 50 pages of my novel.  The Yankees are on TV.  I’ve got a relaxing weekend planned so my body and psyche can heal.

And if none of that works, there’s always ice cream and Snapple.

This is one of those posts that more for me than for you, Modern Philosophers.  I truly believe that if I put some positive thoughts out into the world, something good is bound to get back to me eventually.

Hang in there.  Focus on the flowers, rather than on the storm clouds.

Rumor has it, everything works out in the end…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Nite Show Dance Party USA

I’m going to be honest with you, Modern Philosophers: Writing can be a frustrating, soul crushing, self-confidence destroying business.

Lately, I’ve been letting the weight of my query letter rejections get me down.  I’m starting to question whether I’m meant to be a writer and it’s caused the dark clouds to roll back in for a prolonged stay.

It’s not that writing has never been a challenge, but this whole “trying to get a novel published” thing is an entirely different kind of struggle.  All of the rejections have been form letters, so I have no idea if I’m totally wasting my time, or if I’m so close to making a breakthrough and just need to hang in there.

I was feeling pretty low last night when I headed out for the latest taping of The Nite Show.

writing, humor, Modern Philosopher

You’re probably shaking your head a little after reading that last sentence.  Maybe you’re thinking something along the lines of, Stop being such a mopey whiner, Austin. The novel writing thing might not be going well, but you have a job writing for a TV show!

You’d be correct, but you know how it is when the dark clouds hover.  They obscure your view, allowing you to only see a few few ahead of you.  Unfortunately, the only thing within my line of sight under those conditions was the growing stack of rejection letters from literary agents.

Luckily, the bright television lights changed my perspective.  As always, nothing boosts my confidence as a writer more than sitting in the audience and listening to the crowd laugh at a joke I wrote.

Last night, I was on a roll with monologue jokes.  Danny used several of mine in the first two shows, and they went over well.  Without even realizing it, I was no longer sulking in my seat, trying to figure out how to move forward with my writing career.

Instead, I was happily reminded that my writing makes people laugh.  I started to feel so confident that I imagined even a theater populated by the literary agents who have rejected my novel would be filled with loud laughter.

Come on, Austin, let’s not get too carried away!  Those agents are hard asses who probably never crack a smile, let alone emit a belly laugh!

The Nite Show, humor, Modern PhilosopherBut that’s the magic of television.  All the self-doubt was gone.  I no longer cared what those agents thought about my book.  I knew I was a good writer.  I had the laughter to prove it!

The above photo is one I snapped during the monologue for the second show.  Danny came out doing some silly dance and I was able to capture it with my phone camera.  Right after this, he told three jokes that I’d written

I sent Danny the pic this morning and wrote that for some reason, it amused me very much.  He replied that it amused him, too.

Yes, Modern Philosophers, writing is still a very difficult business.  However, The Nite Show once again reminded me that I need to be confident in my abilities because I can have my funny moments.

And I can always fall back on my photography skills if times get tough.

Thanks again to Danny for inviting me to be a part of The Nite Show family.  I really needed that positive family energy last night, and it was there for me big time!

Maybe I need to start including an invite to a Nite Show taping with all my query letters…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Shamrock Shenanigans

“Did you do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day?” Holly asked before she took a long sip of coffee.

It was the Sunday after St. Patrick’s Day and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench next to the river.

Aaron shrugged.  “It was just any other work day for me.  The only difference was that there was much more green involved.

She nodded.  “At least green looks good on you.”

He smiled and then gulped down some of his Snapple.  “Thanks for noticing.  What did you do?”

short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“I went to a bar with some coworkers, had a few drinks, danced a little to the band,” she replied.

“So a typical Friday night for you,” he quipped.

She smiled and nodded.

“As you know, my heritage is half Irish, so I’ve got nothing against the holiday,” he began what sounded like one of his classic rants,”but what I don’t get it what’s the big deal about St. Patrick.  Did you know he isn’t even Irish?”

“He’s Welsh I believe,” she answered correctly for one hundred dollars and control of the board.

“That’s right,” he confirmed.  “And what’s he famous for?  He drove the snakes out of Ireland.  Does that mean he’s also the patron saint of exterminators?  Is he the Pied Piper of the Catholic Church?  Again, nothing against the guy or the holiday, but why does ridding a nation of slithering creatures merit a holiday?  And a very festive one at that…”

“I wasn’t blessed with the same severe Catholic upbringing as you,” she remarked with a sly smile because she knew how he felt about that part of his youth.  “However, I seem to remember the snake being a major bad guy in the Bible.  I mean, the Devil took the form of one to tempt Eve into eating that apple in the Garden of Eden, right?”

“Yup,” Aaron agreed.  “And that’s when the shit really hit the fan.  Side note, it’s also a major factor as to why I don’t eat the daily recommended allowance of fruit.”

Holly giggled.

St. Patrick's Day, friendship, Modern Philosopher“So what you’re surmising is maybe the Church decided to boost Patty boy’s image as a snake wrangler to remind Catholics that snakes can’t be trusted?” he asked.

Holly nodded.  “Especially when they’re offering fruit.”

He chuckled and drank some more Snapple.  “Then to further reinforce the idea of not giving into snake induced temptation, St. Patrick’s big day is forever linked to overindulging in alcohol.”

“It sounds like a winning combination,” Holly observed.  “Much more effective than having scary nuns drive home the agenda with swift smacks of a ruler.”

Aaron cringed at the horrible memories that awakened from the darkest parts of his memory.

“I did watch the latest episode of The Mandalorian when I got home from work Friday night,” he suddenly remembered.  “That seemed fitting for the holiday since Grogu is green and all.”

“Maybe St. Patrick was the Mandalorian of his time,” she suggested.  “A bounty hunter sent in to bring out all the snakes.  I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold…”

Aaron rolled his eyes at her horrible Mandalorian impression.  “You should have to wear a helmet of shame for the rest of the day as punishment for that.”

“And deprive the world of this beautiful face?” she asked.  “That’s not happening.”

They both laughed and turned their attention to the river.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Where Do All The Queries Go?

I thought I’d take some time to update you on my querying adventure, Modern Philosophers.

Last July, I sent out about two dozen queries to agents in hopes of finding representation for the first Bruno novel.  I was armed with a list of agents compiled for me by a dear friend and a query letter that I now realize really sucked.

I received less than a handful of replies, and none of them were positive.

So I decided to regroup.  I focused on a rewrite of the novel.  I changed the title.  I added some elements that were inspired by the new Bruno serial I posted on the blog.

Perhaps most importantly, I wrote a new query letter.  This one closely followed the guidelines set forth in all the research I did on query letters.  Let’s just say my first query letter was total garbage and I completely understand why no one replied.

Once I was happy with the latest version of the novel and the new query letter, I set out in search of a better way to find agents.  A writer friend pointed me to Manuscript Wish List and Query Tracker.

writing, querying, Modern PhilosopherWhile the first site was a wonderful resource, Query Tracker has been a real game changer.  I had heard about it from following so many querying writers on Twitter, but stupid me had jumped to the conclusion that it cost a lot of money to use.

When I finally got my head out of my ass and did a little research, I discovered that Query Tracker is absolutely free.  It’s the premium service that costs money.

Query Tracker lists hundreds of agents and sorts them by company and the genre they represent.  It also provides stats for each agent in regards to the queries they receive.  With a click of a button, I can now see how many manuscripts an agent has requested and how many queries that agent has rejected.  There is also feedback about every agent from my fellow querying writers.

And the site keeps track of my submission stats for me.  I had been listing every query letter sent on a legal pad and then typing the data into a spreadsheet.  Why I needed to keep the same information in two places does not make any sense to me.  Truth be told, nothing I do ever makes sense.

Query tracker tells me how many queries I’ve sent along with how many requests and rejections I’ve received.  It also sets up a separate list of the agents I’ve queried.  So much information in one place.

It’s so easy to submit to agents via Query Tracker.  I’ve got all my files saved on my laptop and I simply cut and paste them into the agent’s QT form.  Life has gotten much easier.

As for the results, well, they aren’t much better.  I’ve sent out 77 queries in the past month.  I have received 1 full request and one partial request for my manuscript.  There have also been 15 rejections.

Sadly, they have all been form rejections, so I haven’t been able to use any feedback to improve my process.  One agent did make a comment on how to improve my query letter, though, so I took that advice to make some changes to the letter.

The good news is I have an organized way of getting my queries out to agents.

The bad news is that no one seems interested in my novel.

At least not yet.

I will continue to query.  I will continue to write.

I’d just like to see a few more positive results on my Query Tracker dashboard.

Posted in Humor, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Don’t Be A Felix on Oscar Sunday

“So are you excited for the Oscars tonight?” Holly asked before she took a sip of her coffee.

It was Academy Awards Sunday and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench, which gave them an excellent view of the river and the red carpet.

Aaron shrugged.  “I used to get so excited about watching, but I’ll probably just check out the monologue to see if I could’ve written something funnier.”

“I remember when you’d prepare a whole spread of Oscar snacks, make your predictions, and count down the hours until the ceremony started.”

He took a long drink of his Snapple.  “I also used to get up to watch the nominations announced live, which was a real challenge when I lived in California.  Now I don’t even know who’s nominated until I see the list on social media.”

short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“What happened?” she asked.  “You used to joke about renting a tux to watch the awards in style.  Now it’s like you don’t even care.”

“Maybe I’ve outgrown the Academy Awards,” he quipped and took another hit of his iced tea.

Holly looked at him curiously.  “Your career goal has always been to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  Is that still the case?”

“What do you think?” he countered with a sideways glance.  “When’s the last time I wrote a screenplay?  I write for TV now and I’m trying to publish a novel.  And do I need to remind you that I have a shiny gold statue on my mantel for my TV writing?”

“Your award is impressive, but an Oscar was always your dream,” she reminded him.

“Dreams change and evolve.  Just like the people who have them,” Aaron pointed out.  “Movies used to be my thing, but I can’t even remember the last time I went to see one.”

“Is that because of COVID or because you don’t like to go by yourself?”

short story, mystery, Modern Philosopher“Definitely because I hate going to the movies along,” he replied without hesitation.  “I went all the time with my friends when I was growing up, and I was always jealous of the guys there with dates.  I couldn’t wait to be old enough to ask someone to the movies.”

“You’re definitely old enough,” she replied with a sly smile.

“But no one wants to go with me,” he said flatly.

“I’d go with you,” she suggested.

He shook his head.  “Thanks for the offer, but I’ve outgrown going to the movies with my buddies.”

“I’ll try not to be too offended,” she attempted to laugh it off and then hid her disappointment by taking a long sip of coffee.

“You can come over and watch TV with me any time,” he offered when he realized that he might have hurt her feelings.  “That won’t bankrupt me like a night at the movies.”

“The last of the big time spenders…” she mumbled.

“Isn’t that a famous line from a movie?” he asked.

“I don’t know since you never take me to see any.”  She stuck out her tongue at him and turned her attention to the water.

“For what it’s worth, I’d definitely mention you in my Oscar acceptance speech,” he stated with a shrug and then looked out at the river.

She smiled, but hid it from him because she still wanted him to feel guilty about his earlier comment.

Who do you like for Best Picture tonight?

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fight the Plower

“Do you ever feel like you’re fighting a battle that you’re never going to win?” Aaron asked glumly as he took a sip of his Snapple.  “Do you ever wan to throw in the towel and just give up?”

It was the first Sunday of March and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench next to the river.

A look of grave concern crossed Holly’s beautiful face.  “I think we all feel that way sometimes.  Life can be overwhelming at times, but that doesn’t mean you should ever give up.  There’s always someone to talk to and you know you I’ll always be there for you.”

She reached out and patted him on the shoulder.  He squirmed away and shot her a look like he thought she had lost her mind.

short story, humor, Modern Philosopher“What are you talking about?” he asked incredulously.  “I’m not giving up on life.  I’m referring to this never ending battle with the snow.  It never stops.  All I do lately is shovel the damn driveway.  My back is killing me.  Every bone in my body aches.  I’m done.  No more winter for me!”

Holly let out a heavy sigh of relief and took a long sip of her coffee.  “You need to better phrase your questions then.  You’re the writer.  You’re supposed to be a master of words.”

Aaron wasn’t listening, though.  He was still too worked up with his issue.  “And don’t even get me started about the city snow plow driver.  It took me about an hour to clear the driveway yesterday, and at least half of that time was spent clearing the giant mountain range of snow he shoved into the end of my driveway.  It was up to my knees, Holly.  I’m 6’3″, and my knees are a long was from the ground.  That’s a lot of snow!”

Holly nodded.  She’d heard this rant in numerous incarnations over the years.  At least once every winter, but usually three or four times.  Aaron’s anger with the city snow plow driver was legendary.

“I know it’s a lot of work for you, but there’s really nothing he can do,” she explained as compassionately as she could.  “The street has to be cleared and the snow has to go somewhere.”

humor, short story, Modern Philosopher“But it doesn’t have to go in my driveway!  There are only two houses on my side of the street,” he continued to fume.  “He could push that snow anyplace else down the road and it wouldn’t cause anyone stress or extra manual labor.  He simply has to guide the snow past the opening to my driveway and deposit it there.  Why is that so hard?”

Holly rolled her eyes and gulped down more coffee.  She was going to need something stronger to drink if she had to continue this conversation for much longer.

“He’s a city employee,” she reminded him.  “He has miles of roads to clear.  He can’t keep track of special requests for every homeowner on his route.  The service is provided as is.  No special orders.”

Aaron shook his head in disgust.  “Why are you taking his side?  I’m your best friend.  He’s some stranger who makes my life miserable.”

“You have also been known to make my life miserable,” Holly quipped.

Aaron gave her a look.  “Is this because you hire someone to plow your driveway?  You’re a member of the snow removal bourgeois.  You don’t have to go out there like the typical working class citizen and get all sweaty and develop blisters on your hands from hours of shoveling.”

“Yes, that’s me,” Holly agreed.  “Let them shovel snow!”

Aaron shook his head again and downed the last of his Snapple.  “Fight the power!”

“I think you mean, fight the plower, Flavor Flav.”  Holly chuckled at her joke.

Aaron stared out at the river and longed for the warmer days of summer…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Snow Angel You Are Not

I know the city snow plow driver is just doing his job, Modern Philosophers, but he has to understand that he has positioned himself to be thought of as my archenemy.

Sure, the streets need to be cleared, but does the plow have to leave a mountain of knee deep snow at the foot of my drivewayt as part of the process?  And this snow is never the soft, fluffy stuff.  It’s heavy, icy, and from the wrong side of the tracks.  This snow has attitude, it’s seen things that average precipitation shouldn’t, and it plants itself at the edge of my driveway like it never intends to leave.

I’m sure there’s a way the snow plow driver can skillfully maneuver that enormous blade at the side of his vehicle, so that he skips the opening of my driveway and leaves the snow on the other side.

The question is: Does he want to do that?

It took me just over an hour to clear my driveway this afternoon, but the bulk of that was spent down where the drive meets the street.  There was a mountain range of snow left behind by the plow, and it took hundreds of shovel scoops to make move it out of the way.

Again, I know the snow plow driver is just doing his job, but the city has to understand that his actions create hours of backbreaking work for the tax payers. And my property taxes are not cheap.

I know this situation will never change, but if I’m going to have a blog, I might as well use it to vent my frustration.  My entire body aches, my shirt is drenched with sweat, and I’m so frustrated that I’m actually thinking that living in California might not have been so bad.

Clearly, I am not thinking straight.

Hopefully, this was the last big snowstorm of the season.  Maybe I won’t have to see my archenemy again until November.

That would a compromise that I could accept.

Now please excuse me while I sprawl out on the couch and try to numb the pain with an hour or two of mindless television…

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Please Close The Casket

“I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you look like death,” Holly delivered the information with a bright smile that was meant to lessen the blow.

It was the last Sunday of February, and the best friends were seated on their favorite bench next to the river.

“How is it even possible to take that incorrectly?” Aaron questioned.  “There’s no way that resembling death is a compliment.  I’m sorry I don’t look beautiful like you.  We can’t all win the genetic lottery.”

He washed down his bitterness with a big gulp of his Snapple.

short story, humor, Modern PhilosopherHolly blushed.  “Do you really think I’m beautiful?”  Then she pretended to swoon.

“You’re so annoying,” he informed her.   “I hope you don’t take that the wrong way.”

She flipped him the bird and took a sip of her coffee.  “It’s not my fault that I know how to push your buttons.  You’re the one who’s made it obvious which buttons annoy you the most.  So why do you look so horrible?”

“I have a cold,” he admitted.  “Nothing major, but just annoying enough to make me cough constantly and interrupt my sleep.  I’m spitting up much more phlegm than venom these days.”

Holly made a face and took another drink of coffee.  “I know you hate going to the doctor, but have you at least done something to fight off the yuck?”

“Of course,” he answered quickly because he was proud of himself.  “I bought cough medicine, cough drops, soup, and ginger ale.  I’ve postponed running for the last couple of days and have spent most of my time on the couch.”

“It doesn’t seem to be working, you know, seeing as how you look like you rolled out of your casket to meet me here,” she quipped with a chuckle.

Aaron gave her the evil eye as he took a long sip of his iced tea.

short story, mystery, Modern Philosopher“I’m actually feeling much better,” he replied defensively.  “I might not be sleeping well, but at least the coughing has decreased.  I was losing my voice for a while, but it seems fine now.”

“That must have been tough for you,” she countered.  “I know how much you love the sound of your own voice.”

He threw up his arms in surrender.  “Why are you coming after me so hard this morning?  Did I do something to offend you, but not remember it?”

She shook her head.  “It just pisses me off that you didn’t let me know you’re sick.  I could have checked on you, made you some soup, maybe brought you something heartier to eat.  But you don’t tell me anything, and simply show up at our weekly chat looking like the walking dead.”

“I apologize for not burdening you with my medical woes,” he said sincerely.  “I knew you’d want to come over and I didn’t want you to get sick.”

“But sitting next to me on this bench is okay?” she challenged.

Aaron hung his head.  “I can’t win.  If I don’t call you, I’m wrong.  If I show up to meet you, I’m wrong.”

Holly chuckled and punched him playfully in the shoulder.  “I’m just pushing your buttons again.  Showing you that I don’t treat you any differently when you look like worm food.”

“You better hope I don’t die first because I will come back to haunt you,” he threatened.  “And I’m going to make sure I’m one of those gross Beetlejuice looking ghosts that leaves ooze and body parts behind.”

“So it will just be like any other time you’ve come over my house to visit,” she laughed.

Aaron let out a long cough, took a sip of his Snapple, and turned his attention to the river.  “You’re not at witty as you think,” he advised her without looking in her direction.

“I’m just witty enough to get under your skin, and that’s all that matters.”

She smiled smugly and stared out at the water.

Posted in Humor | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Hope To Hear From You

It’s been a busy week, Modern Philosophers.  There’s been snow, frigid temperatures, and now I seem to have caught a cold.  The last one is nothing major, but there’s been some annoying coughing and disturbed sleep.  Don’t worry, though, I stopped on the way home yesterday to buy cough medicine, cough drops, soup, and ginger ale.  If that doesn’t cure me, then I’m a horrible doctor!

I’ve also been busy sending out query letters about the Detective Bruno novel.  I’m lucky to have some writer friends who have taken the time to shepherd me through the process.  One of them was kind enough to introduce me to the magical kingdom that is the Manuscript Wish List, which has been an incredible resource for discovering agents to query.

As I’ve written before on this blog, I am not good at selling myself.  I’m an introvert and just want to be left alone, but apparently, if I want to get a book published, I actually have to reach out to total strangers and ask them to be a part of my life.  I’d complain to whoever came up with that brilliant idea, but that would mean having to reach out to another stranger, and that’s not happening.

writing, querying, Modern PhilosopherI just want people to read my manuscript, work it out amongst themselves as to who’s going to represent me and who’s going to publish the book, and then get back to me when it’s all been decided.  This having to ask (beg and plead) with people to read my writing does not make me happy.  In fact, it causes high anxiety and is probably the reason I’ve fallen ill.  Sure, I’m being dramatic, but focus groups have told me that you guys enjoy a little drama mixed in with the humor on here.

Regardless, I’ve done my best.  I’ve spent what felt like the past decade perfecting my query letter and polishing the manuscript.  I’ve finally decided to put myself out there, and I’ve done so with vigor.

Thus far, I’ve sent out about twenty-queries and have received only a single rejection in return.  Now I just have to wait.  And I’m not good at waiting.  So I send out more queries.  And now I have to wait to hear back on those.  It’s a never ending circle of anxiety.  Why am I doing this to myself?

The important thing, though, is that I’m doing it.  I posted on Facebook the other day that querying agents is a lot like using a dating website.  I weed through all the bios in search of a perfect match.  Hell, I’m just looking for someone willing to take a chance on me.  Then I send an email to some total stranger and try to convince him or her that we’d be great together.  Finally, I wait for replies and grow increasingly frustrated when they don’t come.  And then I swear off dating forever.  Wait, now I’m confusing myself.

I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m still here and haven’t forgotten about the blog.  I have put the current serial on hold because the recent rewrites of my manuscript made me realize I had to make some changes to the new story.  Don’t worry, though.  Aspen, Tex, Champ, and the rest of the gang are eventually going to get an end to their story.  After all, it’s going to become the second book in the Detective Bruno series.

Well, it’s about time for my next coughing fit, so I’m going to wrap up this post.

Hope you’re all doing well.  If any of you decide to become literary agents, please let me know so I can send you a query letter.  Please just don’t make me wait three months for a reply…

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