In which I demonstrate great bravery


I hit the submit button on a query page. Only those of you at #amwriting and similar #s will understand the significance. Also a few people who are spending their time productively instead of fooling around on Twitter.*

*If you’re reading this, you’re probably fooling around on Twitter, so ignore the fact that I referred to it as “fooling around.” You’re probably gathering important information by watching funny cat videos.

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland


My Mac message autocorrect function had absolutely no problem with Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. Yet it turned Mi Sheberach (a Jewish prayer for healing) into “Midge era he.” Although I can’t prove it, I bet Mi Sheberach is used many more times around the world every day than Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.*

Except in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland**

**On second thought, probably there too.

In search of


Have you seen my 4000 words? Brief description: 4000 witty, pithy, lush, world-building, and heartbreakingly beautiful, English words. Entire manuscript is bereft and cannot be submitted without them. Last seen…ok, never seen… I haven’t written them yet. If found, don’t bother calling. I can’t find my phone, either.



So, in order to query this editor, he wants THREE COMP TITLES. And not just any three—three published in the last five years. This means ‘no go’ to my go-to comps (Sherlock Holmes meets The Three Bears*).

From this experience I’ve learned three very important things: (1). There were thousands of Middle Grade books, many of them mysteries, published in the last five years. (2) Quite a few are moving, beautiful, meaningful prose. (3) Most of them I’ve never heard of, and it’s likely that nobody else has either, and they might be terrific, anyway.

Any other writers find this as depressing as I do?**

*No, honestly.

**Nothing a few dozen lattes can’t cure.