Jun 4 
          I finally got up the nerve and called the agent who had DARKSIDE today.  I actually spoke to them in person.  They said theyíd just finished it over the weekend.  They thought it was a great book, and loved the humour, but...they thought humorous fantasy was difficult to sell, and didnít think they were the ones to get behind it 100%.  They did offer to give me the name of an agent who might be interested, which I thought was nice of them. 
          Obviously Iím extremely disappointed.  Itís still out at a publisher right now, and as soon as they send me the agentís name, Iíll query them. But the truth is Iím no closer to seeing DARKSIDE published now than I was two years ago when I finished it, except that I now have a list of three people who: 

           1.  Thought the book was very entertaining; 
           2.  Think I'm a real talent; 
           3.  Though it was a great book and loved the humour; 
           4.  Want absolutely nothing to do with it. 

          So, I went to the gym, did some weight training, and ran a few miles on the treadmill.  Thatís my life: running in place and never getting anywhere.  Whatís worse, when I got home I sat down and wrote another thousand words on Darkside 2, because writing is one of the few things that can make me feel better.  Is that pathetic or what? 

Jun 5 
          Pen treated me to the movies last night.  We saw Pearl Harbour.  Itís a pretty good flick, but at three hours long stay away from the large soft drinks unless you plan on bringing a catheter, or some Depends. 
          She also bought me a nice case for my laptop, so now I can take it anywhere and write stuff no one will publish.  Howís that for progress?

Jun 6 
          Life sucks, but that's no reason not to go on living it.  You never know what might be just around the corner.  It's like when you go to your mom's house for Thanksgiving, and have to choke down that dry turkey.  You can't just not eat it, because it's your mom, and let's face it; it's the only game in town.  Who else would go to the bother of preparing all that food?  And besides, once you're done with the dry turkey, there's always desert to look forward to.  Unless that sucks too.  Then there's take-out. 
          What I'm really trying to say here is that there's always options.  Just because you don't get exactly what you want right now, doesn't mean you never will.  So you have to be ready. 
          I finished another chapter of Darkside 2 today.  I'm averaging at least 500 words a day, sometimes more.  Midnight shift is pretty much a wash out, but that still leaves me 24 days a month to write in.  So, on to Chapter 5.

Jun 7 
          I got back from my run this afternoon and there was a rabbit sitting there on my back lawn.  He froze, doing that rabbit trick where they figure if they donít move, you wonít see him.  I ignored him and entered the house.  We have to leave our little woodland creatures their illusions, right? 
          I wrote 2000 or so words on Darkside 2 yesterday, and another 500 today.  Five hundred a day is my goal--anything more is gravy.  I start midnights tonight, so it might slow down a bit, but I'm determined to give it my best shot. 
          I got the letter from the agent today, recommending another agent, so I printed off a query letter and itís all set to go out in the mail tomorrow.  I donít know if her recommendation will do me any good or not, but it canít hurt.  After all, agents have to leave us aspiring writers our illusions, right?

June12 
          Pen and I saw Moulin Rouge last night.  Wow.  That's what life should really be like.  Oh, not the tragic tale, but people breaking out into song and dance in order to express themselves.  Creative people, living a creative life.  I think the reason writers and other artists are so often depressed is that they are forced to live in a same-same mundane world, when the one they envision is so much more alive.  Then again, if you've ever heard me sing, or seen me dance, maybe it's a blessing things are the way they are. 
          My sister's birthday was June 10th.  I can say she's old, because she's younger than I am.  Sort of takes all the fun out of it.  Anyway: 

         H A P P Y    B I R T H D A Y   J A N E T!!!!! 

Jun 20 
          Life sucks, and then it sucks some more.  I have two years left on my Military service contract.  My Boss told me that the military had offered me an IPS, which basically means I can stay in until Iím 55 years old.  All he had to do was go over the paperwork--which he put off for a month.  Yesterday he called me into the office to sign it, only to realise it wasnít an IPS,  but a three year extension.  Which means it extends my contract just long enough to allow them to post me one more time.  I havenít decided whether or not to sign yet. 
           On the writing front, Iíve started another short story, even though I have four others I havenít finished yet.  Well, you canít say Iím not trying. 

Jun 25 
          The maple tree in the field outside my bedroom window mocks me, a testament to failure. Every night before I got to bed I hope that maybe tomorrow will be the day. The day my luck changes. My big break. Maybe I'll get published, or win money, or meet someone that will change my life for the better. 
          And then I look out the window and see that tree. I've watched as it bore witness to my silent mantra through the seasons for three years now.  The leaves colour, falling one by one until the tree is barren and lifeless--much like my dreams of success. Its branches bend, burdened by snow and ice--depression and despair, until spring heralds new life and budding hope--a request for a manuscript, an Editor's Choice Award. 
          The agent I was referred to isn't interested in Darkside. Another short story was rejected today. The cycle begins anew. The maple tree laughs at  me. Foolish tree.  I have a chainsaw, and I'm not afraid to use it. 

Jun 28 
          I mailed another short story off today, and sent Darkside off to another agent. Can you say, ďPipedreamĒ? Iíve got a list of another three or four agents that Iíll send a query to in the next week, and if they donít bite, Iíll find more.  Hey, Iíve got all these stamps; why let them go to waste?