Have barely a moment to update things, so this will have to be short and sweet. As regular readers will have noted from the string of Duck and Covers with no other content lately, it’s been an insanely busy week. Not only is it my first official stint on the job working officially for Rutgers University in a professional capacity, but we’re hosting the tournament this weekend, making everything that much more time-consuming and challenging. I love tournaments, I love running tournaments, and I most especially love running tab rooms, so there’s a lot of love for this weekend. But there’s also an incredible amount of preparation required and I’m just barely surfing the top crest of it.

As though notching the first week of my life as a pro Debate Coach weren’t surreal enough, today marked the announcement of the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest advancers, a demarcation that culls 80% of the 5,000 entrants in the General Fiction category. For the second year in a row, I’m pleased to announce that a novel of mine (last year it was American Dream On; this year The Best of All Possible Worlds) has advanced. I was less sure about my pitch this year than last, but am much more confident about future rounds since the opening portion of this book is much tighter and less depressing than the start of ADO. Last year, I felt nervous about the first round and confident about second, though ADO ran into a stonewall of readers who only want things light and fluffy, no matter how much character development is thrown at them. This year, I was even more nervous about first and even less about second, so hopefully I’ll be in this thing for a while to come. Quarterfinalists will be announced on March 22nd.

Like before, the least I’ll get out of the contest is written feedback from two writers about the first few chapters of the book. The most I’ll get is a lot of publicity or… well, there’s always a chance of winning the thing. And given what the book is about and the unending surreality of my life right now, how could I rule it out? I’ve been due for some upside after the worst year of my life, but plenty of people who deserve good things don’t get them. I may never feel lucky again, quite, but I have to recognize that my life has been filled with incredible peaks and valleys. And who would I be if I didn’t yodel from the peaks?

Today is a good day, without reservation.