Setting a book aside

This book I'm working on just isn't coming together. The plot is OK, but the ending is weak. More importantly, while I have plenty of bad things happen to my MC - whipsaw events that make the action rise and fall - I'm not sure I've really given the reader any reason to care about him. This book has me stuck, scratching my head. Who is this guy, anyway? And why are these things happening to him?

I have lots of notes for revisions to put into this first draft, but my enthusiasm to do so is low. I'm not sure what I want this book to say, so I'm questioning myself at every page.  This tells me that I need to quickly whack these changes in, then set this text aside for a while and work on something else.

The suspect that the working on something else is going to be critical. Merely taking more time isn't working; I'm spinning my wheels on this book, not making any progress. Maybe when I come back to it, the fresh eyes will let me see more clearly what needs to be changed.

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Send me your email, if you dare

Periodically, I get email intended for some other Tony Noland. I know of Tony Nolands who live in Minnesota, Kentucky, Indiana, California, etc., etc. (I also know of an evangelical rock and roll minister named Tony Nolan. I sometimes get email for him, too.)

I've developed a canned response to these emails. Sometimes the sender corrects their records, sometimes not.

Using AutoHotKey (which I've talked about before), I simply type:
This automatically expands to:
You've sent your e.mail to the wrong Tony Noland. I'm guessing you want the Tony Noland who is a dad or coach or neighbor or who is otherwise someone you know and/or work with. Instead, you sent it to me - the writer who lives in Philadelphia, PA.

While this won't do you much good with respect to your subject of interest, it DOES give you the chance to check out any of my books on Amazon or to go read my blog at My books cost less than a latte, and they are all a great way to use your Kindle or Kindle app!

I hope you're able to find the right e.mail address for your Tony Noland, and correct your records for future e.mails. I'm sure he's sad not to be hearing from you!


I click SEND and go on with my day.

Have I ever gotten any sales this way? Not to any great degree. Perhaps some other Tony Noland - a car salesman, a soccer coach, a politician, an art thief, etc. - might buy one of my books purely from the novelty of reading something written by his namesake/doppleganger. Regardless, it makes responding a lot easier than retyping a long reply each time.

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Help keep the words flowing.

What's in my WIP?

Because Sabrina Zbasnik tagged me, here are the opening lines of Chapters 1, 2, & 3 of my WIP. (This is WIP, so don't expect any happy families all alike.)

Chapter 1. "If he'd said the job was going to be easy, I'd have been even more vigorous in my efforts to get out of it."

Chapter 2. "I sat for hours in the ER of the only hospital in Joppa, a regional care facility that gave the simultaneous impression of being both newly renovated and distressingly shopworn."

Chapter 3. "Let's cut to the chase: I completely screwed it up."

||| Comments are welcome |||
Help keep the words flowing.