The State of Affairs: Part One

I'm not really sure I'm happy with that title, but this is going to be a reoccurring thing where I update everyone in Internet land as to what I've done so far on my legendary quest to get published, and what I'm doing next.  So… What's the plan here?  Well, seeing as I have heard nothing but horror stories of rejection about authors getting published, I had developed a grand scheme to utilize connections I made with people over the course of my life to get a foot in the door of some publishing house.
It didn't work.
Not yet anyway.  I reached out to the reporters who had written articles about Ali and I – one in Washington, and one from Salem (unfortunately I can't seem to find the one from the Salem News).  Neither responded, though I think one was retired.  I also reached out to Henry Rollins, who had been a role model for me and Ali (I will likely post chapters about that later), and who I had a brief correspondence with after Ali died.  Among his many talents, he's a writer who I know voraciously reads everything he can get his hands on, including works from his fans.  No dice, no response.
Obviously, this was disappointing for me but I told myself it's going to get a lot harder before it gets better.  I wasn't even outright rejected, and that's one of the things I've heard is hardest to deal with: when a publisher doesn't even bother responding to your submission.  So, what's next?  That's a great question, imaginary Internet person!
I suppose my next move is research.  I have a massive list of writing resources, and one of the subsections of that resource is dedicated specifically to publishing.  I need to figure out exactly what to submit to a publisher, and how to do it correctly.  I have no idea if I'm just supposed to send the entirety of what I have, or excerpts.  How many chapters are considered "enough"?  I suppose these are the kind of things that I need to figure out.
That said, I still don't think I've exhausted or given up on the power of human connection.  Knowing a guy who knows a guy is a powerful tool, and it so happens that my mother-in-law Chris knows pretty much everyone.
I've also really been thinking about what I hope to accomplish with this website, and the answer is that I just don't know.  There's something exciting about that; creating something without really having a plan for it and just seeing what happens.  A vast, open field of sparkling possibilities.  I made a website for when I used to do art, and I felt very much the same giddiness the first couple of weeks posting there.  Unfortunately, other than acting as a portfolio I didn't really know what to do with that site.  I basically just posted everything vaguely art related, and hoped to get random visitors.  This site/blog has the benefit of having a stated mission goal, so hopefully it doesn't just fall into disrepair.
Anyway, I guess that's about it for today.  It's my birthday, and I have a full day of doing absolutely nothing planned.  Wee!