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If you happen to be in the vicinity of Columbus, Montana, tomorrow — and I should point out that in the context of Montana, “vicinity” means “roughly 300 miles in any direction” — please drop by the Stillwater County Library from 4 to 6 p.m. I’ll be chatting up the Friends of the Library and other patrons about 600 Hours of Edward, autism, publishing, Tony Romo‘s role in literature and anything else folks want to talk about. It’ll be a good time. (I’m just kidding about the Tony Romo part, although the Dallas Cowboys quarterback is a fixture in Edward’s world.)

That’s the launch of what’s shaping up to be a busy couple of months for me and the book. Three weeks later, on Feb. 25, I’ll be joining with my friends at Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids to present a session on autism and the way that reality intersects with art in my book. My good friend Connie VonBergen will talk about her experiences as the mother of an autistic child, I’ll chat about the underpinnings for Edward (an Aspergian) and how the character was drawn. That event runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mary Alice Fortin Center at Billings Clinic, Rooms B and D. It’s free and open to the public.

Then comes March …

Missoula: At long last, I'm headed there.

I’ve lived in Montana for nearly four years now, and can you believe that I haven’t traveled to Missoula since I got here? (I have been there several times in the semi-distant past.) Anyway, that will change next month, when I have three events lined up in Missoula and the “vicinity”:

  • On Thursday, March 18, I’ll be at the Ronan City Library for a chat with the Friends of the Library group there. The address is 203 Main Street SW, and the event begins at 7 p.m. 
  • On Friday, March 19, I’ll be at Fact & Fiction, 220 North Higgins in Missoula, for a reading/signing. That runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • On Saturday, March 20, I’ll be at the Chapter One bookstore in Hamilton, 252 W. Main Street, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a signing.

Then it’s back home. But the following weekend, Saturday, March 27, I’ll be back at it, with a signing and perhaps a reading at Red Lodge Books, 16 N. Broadway, from 3 to 6 p.m.

It’s safe to say that I’m looking forward to each and every one of these events. Please join me.

I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. (Keep your smart comments to yourself, please.) And so I’m going to use the Cowboys to build a rambling, intellectually soft parallel to what I’m up to these days. Stick around. Seriously. This will be nothing if not weird.

Despite being 2-1 and one measly field goal from 3-0, the Cowboys are the subject of intense doubts this season. Where are the big plays? (The team is averaging 28.7 points per game; what do you want?) Where’s the flash? (He’s in Buffalo, doing what he usually does.)

The fact is, the Cowboys are winning in a different way. They’re grinding out games. And you know what? I’m fine with that.

Similarly, I’m doing short yardage as I await the publication of my debut novel, 600 Hours of Edward. My to-do list grows daily, and my checking-off of tasks moves at a glacier’s pace. Here is a look at what I’m working on:

  • PowerPoint presentations for libraries and classrooms (two out of three done).
  • Getting a book trailer produced (preliminary talks with a Web-savvy friend, but no tangible progress).
  • Posting a book excerpt on my Web site (probably the easiest of the tasks, but still undone).
  • Lining up readings and signings for the first couple of weeks of the book’s release (pending).
  • Setting dates for my blog book tour (should have a lineup very soon).
  • Writing material for my blog book tour (don’t even ask).

Oh, and I’m going to try to outline my new project and find time to write during NaNoWriMo. God only knows how I’ll manage those things. Also, I hear through the grapevine that my wife would like a few moments of my time during the next few months. It’s the damned unforeseen demands that trip me up!

All that said, I’m no busier than you are. Know how I know? I’m still playing Farkle on Facebook.

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