Bird’s Nest In Your Hair

I found a couple of typos in the chapter I meant to post this week, and I want to be doubly sure about all the p’s and q’s … especially the q’s. I’ve recently sent out a few query letters, and I thought it might also serve as a nice round-up of the novel so far. Since some of you may have missed a chapter or two. Or even if you haven’t.

Dear ________,

I have recently completed a 132,000-word novel, “A Bird’s Nest In Your Hair”, a work of literary fiction in fifty chapters and three parts, including as well a book of poetry between parts two and three. Several story lines come together in a fairly complex plot written in the third person omniscient point of view.

The story begins with Diana, a 30-year old bartender at Queequeg’s Seafood Tavern and Brewery. She has recently turned to the Catholic Church to exorcise the demons of her childhood, which include an absent father and an alcoholic mother. She begins keeping a “Lenten Diary”, but as each day draws closer to Easter she finds herself plagued by old doubts.

A certain author is a writer beset by writer’s block, obsessed with beginning, much less finishing, a novel he has already titled The Library. If only he could stave off a debilitating set of addictions, he might see how his obsession with the novel is transformed into envy of a young man who frequents the same bar he does.

Jeb, the young man, is a poet in love with Diana. Unfortunately, he has become the kept young man of a woman old enough to be his mother. He’s also a student who is more and more frequently neglecting his studies in the hope of writing and delivering to Diana a book of poems that will explain to her everything he is unable to say in their awkward conversations across the bar.

Julie, in her early 20s, has been seeing her psychiatrist, Dr. Cervantes, for 15 years and keeps seeing him only because she has always seen him. Until she stops seeing him. Then life really begins; she moves out of her parents’ home, she gets a job, she makes new friends, and she finds . . .

Tom, in his early forties, has a history of sleeping with the employees at the video store he runs, just around the corner from Queequeg’s. Unfortunately, the store is on the verge of bankruptcy, but then Tom has secretly always wanted to make his own movies anyway. Luckily, a buyer comes along who just may be the woman Tom never knew he wanted.

That woman is Helen, now in her late thirties and a veteran of the porn industry. She has managed to make a lot of money in the business and is now looking for a way to settle down. She already has fame, or at least notoriety, as well as fortune; can she have a new career and a family as well?

My short fiction and poetry has appeared in the publications Letter X, The Local Writer and National Review Online. I would be very glad to send you an excerpt or a manuscript; alternatively, you may read it on the web at I would be most grateful if you would consider my novel, “Bird’s Nest In Your Hair”, for review.


Quin Finnegan

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