I scrapped the novel. It wasn't going anywhere. Instead, I started writing a different novel. This one is much better, with better characters and plot. I think I started writing it on Thursday or Friday, and I already have over 8,000 words written (almost 30 pages double-spaced and in Courier New font with 10 pt type). I'm pretty happy with it, but I can see that its going to be a long process. I've been frequenting a bunch of writer's advice websites, and I'll probably buy a book on novel writing pretty soon. But all the articles that I've read so far have been very helpful. I'm very excited, and very hopeful, even though I know how hard it is to get anything published. Anyway, hopefully within a couple of years you'll see my name printed on a book cover at your nearest Barnes & Noble. That would be wonderful.