“But there is no joy in Mudville… “

Some of you will recognize that quote as the first half of the last line from “Casey at the Bat,” Ernest Thayer’s epic poem written in 1888. And those who have that cultural literacy link can also finish the line with “…mighty Casey, has struck out.

If you’re a baseball fan, you already know my beloved Milwaukee Brewers didn’t quite manage to win the National League Championship. So I’m not particularly interested in watching the World Series this year. When my teams are done, I’m done, and my sights are already set on 2012.

I got word last week that it won’t be MY Chapter 5 in the Coast Weekend’s “Love and Murder in Astoria” serial mystery this month. I made it into the top three, but like the Milwaukee Brew Crew, I fell just short.

So I’ve already dusted myself off and set my sights on another creative challenge: Finding an agent for my cozy mystery novel. I queried six agents three months ago, and now it’s time to query six more. I’m not worried; I know it’s a good book. And mostly, I’m excited by the challenge.

I may decide to write another chapter for the newspaper serial, but not right away. I’m too busy with holiday bazaars and the production of my Christmas plays. I’ll think about another chapter in a couple months, just about the time the Brewers will be looking forward to spring training.

Fiddle-dee-dee, there’s always tomorrow!