Query – revised with a chainsaw and chisel

Based on much valuable input, here is a revised version of my query. It was edited with a chainsaw and chisel. What say you?


On November eleventh, Anna Wixim, mother of three, finds herself dead at forty-four. After exploring the universe and watching her family grieve, Anna learns that she may choose life over death. Her space-time gap, the two-way portal between her life and death, remains wide open. Still, Anna hesitates to return to the man she loves. Don’t judge; she has many reasons, real and imagined, to hesitate. For one thing, the universe is full of wonder. Time is boundless. Exploring it all at light speed is exciting. And she doesn’t have to do laundry.

Eddie is devastated by his wife’s death. Based on his experience with a yawning space-time gap, he understands the rules of the universe, including Anna’s free choice to come back. He also knows that she doubts his love. See, Eddie forgot to tell his wife that he loved her. For twenty years. On top of that, he wasn’t even nice for the last two months of her life. Don’t judge; it wasn’t fair for the universe to reveal his wife’s deathday to him. Eddie couldn’t function, couldn’t have a conversation or take a full breath, faced each year with the relentless approach of November eleventh.

Alive, Anna considered leaving her husband. Dead, she naively believes she has escaped this difficult choice. How cruel for relationship problems to tag along to the dead side. Ultimately, Eddie decides for her.

Told in two voices with a cushion of humor to ease the pain, OR NOT TO BE (OA (old adult–this joke did not go over well at SCWW)) contemporary fiction) is complete at 70,000 words, ready to be fervently discussed in book clubs and class rooms, and shared sister to sister, mother to daughter, husband to wife.

By day, I am a chemistry professor, mother of two, and wife of the same man for almost thirty years. My knowledge of the molecular structure of (almost) everything, coupled with my long and strong relationship with my husband, contributed to the anguish of this tale of life, death, and love.


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