Not literally. Sinus infections are the worst, and the one I’ve got right now seems worse than the worst. Heading to the doctor soon and then somewhere to pass out. But first…

At least 3 new NOs yesterday to tell you about. I’m not doing this because I’m masochistic, by the way, but I’m trying to give insight into the life of a non-fiction writer transitioning back to his first love, fiction. I finished Book One of The Last Brigade about 4 months ago now and have spent the intervening time editing, marketing, querying, etc.

And of course my foggy brain is wandering all over the place right now. I feel the need to explain those terms and what they actually mean…tell you what, I’ll put that on the schedule for a future blog entry.

On the road to 200 NOs, yesterday pushed me down the road by at least 3, and maybe 4, more.

First, the time limit for an agent to respond (2 weeks!) passed with no notice, which means ‘no’. That’s perhaps the most frustrating thing about all of this. Most agents don’t even respond to you if they don’t want your MS, you just have to assume it’s a ‘no’. And for those that do, it’s a form rejection in most cases. Rarely do you get actual input. The process can be dispiriting, if you let it.

The second ‘no’ was a twitter contest I entered, #sonofapitch. I did get a vote (it only took two to advance to the next round), so I wasn’t shut out. When entering these you have to remember that all judges have different genres they like. Military SF is not usually among them. HOWEVER, the critiques I got made both my query and my first 250 words drastically better. And I do mean drastically. That makes it worth it.

NO #3 was a publisher. Those hurt the worst, because they have the ability to say ‘yes’ and voila! You’re in print. From the very beginning, though, this publisher was a long shot. The book would have been shoe-horned into their catalog and would have required massive editing to fit their requirements. I’m just glad they asked for a look.

So now we’re at 20 NOs, and perhaps 21. There is another matter I still can’t talk about that is probably not going to work out, but it’s not official yet.

All for now, folks, thanks for reading.