I started this one when I was still in high school. In the years that followed, it grew into a short novel and kept getting longer.
I'd be embarrassed to have anyone read the full manuscript now, so it remains hidden away. But I'm glad I didn't simply burn it.
At some point I remembered that a friend said he really liked the chapter at the lake. So I took another look. It had potential.
The result is "Don't Stop Now" (first published in Hobart and now part of my story collection, Precarious).
I think of it as the Reader's Digest version of that first failed novel — a 342-page manuscript condensed to just 6 pages.