And Away We Goooooo!

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Sigh. I have so much to do. It’s a matter of chipping away at all of them until, at some point in the distant future, I’ll get a vague feeling that something has been accomplished.

This is how I lost my way.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

On Monday, I spent the morning producing a weekly NASCAR column for Bleacher Report. I do not use the word “producing” lightly. First I write it. Then I lay it out with some interaction from the home office on the other end of the country. Then I insert photos, tweets, videos, tables, and polls. It’s challenging. I enjoy it. It’s a grind, too, though.

As soon as I finished that, I shaved, showered, and picked up my nephew to take him to a doctor’s appointment in Greenville. I left early enough so that Siri could send us to the wrong 877 Faris Road, and we’d still get there with time to spare. Sometimes my excessive punctuality comes in handy.

Sitting in the waiting room, I spent about forty-five minutes trying not to nod off. The drive to Greenville and back was pleasant. My nephew is good company, and I wish we had more time together.

I dropped him off, stopped by my house long enough to brew a mug of coffee, turned on the crockpot so that I could finish off the chili left over from Sunday, and headed to Laurens District High School, sipping coffee all the way, so that I could write about the baseball game between the county’s two public high schools, Clinton and Laurens, or, as they say in Laurens, Laurens and Clinton.

Laurens Raiders (Monte Dutton photos)
Laurens Raiders (Monte Dutton photos)

I took many photos, which was impressive, because there weren’t many innings. After two, it was 0-0. After Clinton’s leadoff batter in the third was hit by a pitch, lightning flashed behind the outfield walls of Ed Prescott Field, and umpires cleared the field. Then the rest of the game was postponed until Thursday at seven.

Clinton Red Devils
Clinton Red Devils

Back home, I edited photos and crafted the best rainout story I have ever written. If this were an Academy Awards category, it would be Best Five Paragraphs in a Disappointing Role. Then I enjoyed chili, Diet Coke, and the latest hijinks from the zany world of politics.

At about eleven, I decided to check social media, whereupon I discovered a rash of messages from people who had read an important email I had missed even though I had been waiting for it a month.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses, my fourth novel, is now available for advance order on Amazon. It will be officially released on March 29. In the KindleScout evaluation process, readers who nominate the book for publication receive a free download of it if it is selected. The idea is that some will read the book and write a “customer review” that will be ready when the book is released to the general public.

The tweets, DMs, texts, and emails were from readers who had already downloaded the novel before I knew about it. Some may already be reading it, though the most recurring expression was “can’t wait!”

So, now, I can’t wait. I’ve got to get going. This crucial project in my career is out in two weeks!

Please read all about Forgive Us Our Trespasses here. It’s a tale of politics, corruption, and crime.

DSCF1353I could tell you all about the subplots and auxiliary themes, but it would probably easier to tell you about what aren’t subplots.

Hmm. It’s not about dogs or cats.

I apologize in advance for giving you more information about my novel than you probably care to hear. I’m desperate. If you can help, do so. E-books are very inexpensive. You can read them in many ways — Kindle, tablet, laptop, phone, cockpit of the Millennium Falcon (or so I’ve heard) — and you can sit it down and pick it up at the same place in another device.

One of my favorite features is being able to click on a word and have a definition pop up on the screen. My dictionary is getting dusty.

This is a weak opening salvo in the battle to make my latest novel a success. I’m just throwing together a disorganized front, while the reinforcements are being trained and prepared.

After a month of waiting, my own book snuck up on me. Like Harvey Korman in Blazing Saddles, my mind is a raging torrent.

(Graphic by Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Graphic by Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

As you may have noticed, I use these blogs as a promotional tool for my novels. One, Crazy of Natural Causes, has been out since late July of 2015. If you haven’t read it, I’d appreciate you considering it. It’s a freewheeling fable on the absurdity of life.

Another, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out March 29. It’s a crime novel about corruption and patronage in a small town. The tale unfolds across two generations at the same time.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. The Audacity of Dope was published in 2011, The Intangibles in 2013. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here:

My nonfiction, much of which involves sports, is on display here:

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing) and @wastedpilgrim (more humor and opinion). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50. Look for me by name at Google+. Whew. It’s too much.


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