Sunday, April 1, 2012

Going, going . . .

Mar 16, 2012

Mar 30, 2012

April 1, 2012

This blog has been in hibernation over much of the winter, but things should be picking up soon, now that the snow and ice are beginning to clear.

On the manuscript, I'm still waiting to hear from my last reader.  He's promised to be done sometime next week, which is spring break down in Missoula.  As soon as I hear from him, I'll start sending portions of the manuscript out to literary agents.

Conventional wisdom says it's almost as difficult to get an agent as it is to get published, but these days many publishers won't even talk to anybody but agents.  It's time to take a shot and let the universe have it, whatever the odds.

As the song says, "Can't go half at itgotta nail it hard."

(Hat tip to BMac, who posted a reference to this tune in a comment almost two years ago)

I'm also keeping in mind the remark of one would-be author, who said whenever he gets a rejection letter from an agent, he plays this song:

There's always a chance I'll need to adopt it, too, at some point, though a baritone version, and on a mountain instead of a rooftop.  But as I wrote in the manuscript, it won't feel like a failure if I don't become a published writer.  It would have been a failure not to have tried.

While agents are looking at the manuscript (or not), I'll be shifting to the next project.  If things go as planned, this will be the Summer of Yellowstone.  Since it's not really plausible to hike across Yellowstone National Park like I did in the Bob, I'm planning to do four deep backcountry trips into some of the more remote areas.  In national parks, you can't just camp anywhere like you can in national forests, so I'll need to have an itinerary of backcountry sites reserved in advance of each trip.  I've already sent off my requests for those reservations, but I won't hear whether I got them or not for a little while.

As the snow continues to clear, I'll start doing a lot of day-hiking to get back in long-distance backpacking shape.  At some point in early summer, I'll likely be moving closer to the Yellowstone area, as much as I hate to leave this wonderful cabin on the river.  But the backpacking season is short in the high country.  My four trips are planned from late July to mid September, with a week or less between them, and it would be tough to drive five and half hours between Sula and the park before and after each trip.  Being closer will also allow me to do a lot of day hikes in the park and a bit of research in the heritage center.  It'll put me closer to Mari, too, which is always nice.

A lot of things are still up in the air, but that's the plan.


  1. Cliff, can't recommend highly enough an extended trip through Bechler Meadows in the SW corner. Make sure to hit campsite 9A2 for a great view from the pit toilet.

  2. Mark, I love that comment! Bechler is definitely on the agenda, a nine-day trip from the South Entrance Road, over Pitchstone Plateau, through Bechler and out near Old Faithful. Unfortunately, I didn't request 9A2, but I asked for two nights at 9B2 so I can day-hike to Dunanda Falls. That'll take me through the same area. Now I'm curious, so I'll see if I can't have a look at said pit toilet on the way by.

  3. Wow - you've been busy! I thought you were just watching the snow melt. Maybe your next place will have a TV so you can watch some baseball! Opening Day is almost here! I hate to see you leave your little cabin - but I can't wait to hear about your new adventures! Keep us posted!

  4. Penni, until recently the snow didn't melt enough to merit watching, so I had to find other ways to occupy my time. I don't know about a TV. I can't bear to watch another Rangers come-apart like last year.

  5. I'm curious as to how you are seeking an agent. I've heard(read) wonderful things about attracting them through social media. Rumor has it they lurk on Twitter.

  6. Jotsalot, I can never tell whether you're being sarcastic or not. In either case, since I don't have much of a social media presence (a large understatement), I'm going the old fashioned route of perusing the annual Guide to Literary Agents and some online sources and preparing to send an assortment of e-mails and snail mailings.

    Have you seen this agent roundtable session from 2009?

  7. Hey Cliff, thanks for the call-out on that Radney Foster song. Sing like Cash did in the slammer! Watching the developments with hopeful anticipation!