Book Report

Well, the experiment with posting something every week lasted about eight weeks. But I do have something that I hope will make up for it: an excerpt from (still tentatively titled) The Guest!

A few months back a small online literary magazine that appears to be based in Britain (though they didn’t correct my American spelling) agreed to publish it, which they did a few weeks back. You can find it here. Have a look if you haven’t already, and feel free to drop any thoughts/comments in the comments section below, or send them via email to quintencdol(at)!

The excerpt is a whole chapter from the book which details — and maybe this is a mistake, I’m not sure — one of the more dramatic episodes (but by no means the only dramatic episode) of the whole story. I have another piece that I’m submitting in an attempt to use this smaller publication as a springboard to larger audiences.

As for the book itself, a couple of people close to me have recently read it and offered some much-needed outside perspective. I also left the thing to gather dust for a few months over the northern summer/spring and, having recently finished rereading and making my own notes, have a pretty detailed Plan to get it properly shipshape by the end of February. Once that’s done, the idea is to start sending queries to publishers/agents.

I’m also excited to begin work on something new. I have a few ideas — some fiction, some nonfiction — that might be fun to try. The main thing is to write something where the main characters are not me, or any of the people closest to me which, frankly, kind of sucks. The fact that those people haven’t turfed me out of their lives is a real testament to their patience and grace.

I have always had this tendency where I try to keep people’s expectations of me low. It’s reflected in how I dress, how I talk about my work, even my posture when I meet new people — I prefer to leave a non-threatening and perhaps humble impression. I think it’s because it means less pressure. It’s easier to surpass low expectations than meet high ones. 

But underneath all this self-effacement is this weird little kernel of self belief. Despite all the moaning and the groaning, the snail’s pace of the work and some very real reservations about showing some of my most important relationships to the world like this, I still think it’s a good story and a fun read.

Feels weird to put that in writing, but there it is. Catch you all next week!

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