JF Quackenbush and I used to joke about how we had plenty of time to get our novels published because if you're published by the time you're 35, you're still a "young writer".

This month I will turn 34.

Being a successful novelist is about all I've ever wanted for a very long time now. I've been struggling at it actively for about 15 years, with a major breakthrough coming about 4 years ago where I felt like I'd finally figured out how I wanted to write.

I just finished my second novel. (My first was a 120,000 word, postmodern monstrosity that consumed most of my 20's and remains an unsalable mess.) It is obviously very important to me to kick this novel into absolute perfect, diamond-hard shape so that it will get published. Doing that and assembling a great submission packet for the book to send to agents has been consuming most of my time lately. This needs to get done and everything else is just going to have to take a back seat.

All apologies.

To keep you busy, here's a video I shot on my recent vacation to Mexico. It's of the inside of a cenote, which is a cave with pure crystal clear water, typical of the Yucatan Peninsula. To get to this cenote you have to climb down a ladder in a hole in the ground and the only light comes from that hole and another, far above the deep pool.