… Aaaaand That’s a Wrap

… Aaaaand That’s a Wrap

How many of you will be glad to wrap up 2020? Can we have a show of hands?

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Man, oh man, did anyone have a great year? I suppose a few billionaires were sheltered enough from the storm, or profited heavily from the work-at-home trend, that they probably considered 2020 a pretty good year. But even Jeff Bezos must not have been too thrilled by the news that, while he’s stockpiling cash as if in anticipation of Armageddon, his ex-wife is donating to charities like Mother Teresa on steroids. Did he have any idea he was going to look like more of a greedy jerk than ever heading into 2021?

Then, of course, there’s the Narcissist-in-Chief. Not exactly his best year, and I couldn’t be happier about that. What’s that expression? Oh, yes: “Don’t let the door hit you in…” Ah, never mind.

 

My Own 2020 Wrap Up

Looking back on 2020 here on the blog, I can see that much of my original plan got derailed by COVID-19 as well as the chaos and uncertainty surrounding the election. I certainly didn’t expect to write so much about the pandemic, and I probably didn’t need to write that much about politics. But these were top-of-mind so often—and the year itself was traumatic to so many of us around the globe—it now seems almost inevitable.

With that, here are the top posts of the year:

1) The Improtance of Poorfreading

Autocorrect really tried to fix the headline on this one, which was intended to be both comic and inviting. One of my Twitter followers even commented that she automatically corrected the “errors” in her head, and didn’t even realize they were there until she clicked on the article and read them again! Pretty funny.

2) Five Ways to Relax During Quarantine

Well, that sure sounds like a 2020 article, doesn’t it? My effort to help readers and fellow writers alike.

3) Six Twitter Tips for Authors

Sadly, this helpful hints article is emblematic of 2020 as a whole: it’s actually a somewhat revised rerun of an old post. There were more than a few Mondays this year where I had nothing in the tank. And I know that was true for millions of us.

 

Looking to Better Days Ahead

As the Worst Year Ever slowly grinds toward its finale, I know many of us look forward to 2021 as a better year. Of course, it’s an arbitrary figure—we all measure time in our own unique way, and maybe it will be the latter half of 2021 that’s much better—but come on, it can’t be worse than 2020, right?

One of the few good things about 2020 for me was that the lockdown forced me to get motivated on my fifth (!) novel, Jihad Insurance. After launching my most successful book to date in 2019, the time-travel novel Whizzers, I knew I needed to make more progress on my next project. I’ve written about it on the blog (here and here), but I anticipate more sneak peeks as we move through the new year.

And since the main character is a Hollywood director, it only seems fitting that I illustrate my next direction with today’s blog picture. It may be time for us to “wrap” 2020, but I’ll be saying “Cut!” more than once as I write more of Jihad Insurance in 2021. Here’s hoping we can buy the ticket and take the ride, as they say, when we bid a relieved farewell to the Year of the Plague.

ledge

Nightmare On Acid Street

In my mind, I flash back to a time years ago, and the image strikes me with peculiar clarity—the dismal boarding house where I lived when I was newly sober, the shattering acid flashback with its neon cockroaches skittering across the dirty ceiling. Then, further back...
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Dreams, Memories, And Growing Up One Day At A Time

We use up too much artistry in our dreams—and therefore often are impoverished during the day. - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow   Boy, ole Nietzsche really had it right, didn’t he? Last night I went through mental movies that ranged from being...
running

“When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”

Like most Americans who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I've got a fair amount of song lyrics floating around my head. Today's post is entitled "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" after the Police song of that name. And I'll admit, I...

All the News

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editor

Need A Writer? An Editor? A Proofreader? How About All Of The Above?

Late last week I got a call from a husband and wife asking about vanity publishers. Yes, such predatory companies are still out there, preying on the hopeful. These nice folks asked me if it sounded legit when a "publisher" offered to put the wife's book out for a...
punches

Roll With The Punches, Baby!

Today is just one of those Mondays. I got a letter from the IRS that said they "believe there's a miscalculation" in my return. So that big $300 refund I was planning on receiving? Fuhgeddaboutit. But hey, at least I don't owe them anything, and they're not auditing...

Rolling With The Changes

I’m back on the blog today after a two-week break, which hasn’t really been a break at all. At least, it hasn’t felt like one. But the topic of today’s post is change, and for good reason: I’m dealing with some major changes in my family, as my parents move past the...

Short Story Contest Part III

Happy Labor Day, everybody! To celebrate, I’m posting part III of a short story I’m including in an upcoming collection. If you haven’t already played along, check out parts I & II from the last two weeks. The person who sends in the most helpful suggestion or...
Twitter

6 Twitter Tips for Authors

Those of you who follow my blog probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. Now that I’m closing in on 25K followers, I feel like I’ve got a little experience I can share that will be helpful. And with that, here comes today’s blog...
artists

Calling All Artists

This week's blog post is going to be super short: if you've ever read the blog, you’ll know I'm posting often about my upcoming book launch. I’m releasing my fourth novel in 2019, and I’m putting a lot of emphasis on finding artists first. I put out a call for graphic...

Happy Holidays From Sahno Publishing!

Twitter

6 Twitter Tips for Authors

Those of you who follow my blog probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. Now that I’m closing in on 25K followers, I feel like I’ve got a little experience I can share that will be helpful. And with that, here comes today’s blog...
break

Taking A Break

Today I'm taking a break from the regular weekly blog post—not because everyone is exhausted (which is true enough) but because we had a four-hour blackout in my neighborhood this afternoon! So now I'm too busy to create anything new, and time has run out....
running

“When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”

Like most Americans who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I've got a fair amount of song lyrics floating around my head. Today's post is entitled "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" after the Police song of that name. And I'll admit, I...
self-marketers

Authors As Self-Marketers

A couple years back, in an article about self-publishing, I wrote the following: If you’re an author with a traditional publishing contract, you don’t really have to be an entrepreneur as such; the publishing company does the marketing and PR for you, though you have...

What’s the Worst Thing About Social Media?

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Who Are Your Greatest Connections?

When it comes to networking, making connections with people who have a greater influence in your industry can be beneficial in ways that go on and on. This has proven true for many people, I'm sure, and I know I've seen it in my own experience. Two recent examples...
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Recovery 202? Long-Term Sobriety Is Possible

So, the plan for today was to write a post about recovery. Unfortunately, I’m in a different kind of recovery mode today—recovering from a sinus infection. What that means for you, the reader, is I’m going to keep this short. Really short. I took my last drink 30...
dead

Celebrating The Dead

“The bus came by and I got on / That’s when it all began…”This week I was planning to write about some of my adventures (or misadventures) in southeast Asia. But the calendar tells me it’s September 23rd, and that’s a meaningful date in my history. So I’m going back...
punches

Roll With The Punches, Baby!

Today is just one of those Mondays. I got a letter from the IRS that said they "believe there's a miscalculation" in my return. So that big $300 refund I was planning on receiving? Fuhgeddaboutit. But hey, at least I don't owe them anything, and they're not auditing...
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What’s It All About, Anyway?

As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do. —Elisabeth...
From The Shadow Side to the Syzygy

From The Shadow Side to the Syzygy

Anima rising,

Queen of queens

Wash my guilt of Eden

Wash and balance me

– Joni Mitchell, Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow

 

I’ve always enjoyed learning new words—or, as is more likely at my age, relearning words I’ve forgotten—so I was pleased to put syzygy in the headline of today’s post.

It’s been a while since I read Jung, but it turns out that the syzygy is a combination of the anima, or feminine image in the male psyche, and animus, or male image in the female psyche. As I found on verywellmind.com, “The combined anima and animus is known as the syzygy or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification, and wholeness.” 

Why am I thinking about Jung today, of all people? Well, I wanted to write about the shadow side, one of Jung’s four archetypes (the other two are the persona and the self), and that led me down a bit of a rabbit hole, reading about anima and animus.

 

Where We’ve Been 

I don’t know that I’ve actually committed this to print so baldly, but I feel like we’ve been living in the shadow side here on planet earth for quite some time.

As a guy who was born not even a year from President Kennedy’s very public assassination, I’m not sure I’ve lived during anything but the shadow side.

I well remember back in the late eighties, late at night, listening to New Age gurus, and wannabe gurus, talking about how we were going to be entering an age of Aquarius or whatever, where we would all be living in peace, love, harmony, and lots of free drugs.

Okay, I’m being a little sarcastic, but in all seriousness, it does feel like things have gotten increasingly darker—not only because of this awful pandemic but also because of the fomenting of violence, the naked, unabashed racism, the scorched-earth approach of seeing all opponents as “enemies.” There’s been a sense for some time now that things are lurching toward chaos on a global scale.

 

Where We’re Going?

All that’s to say, I’ve been deeply pessimistic about human beings and our future prospects for years. (“Weren’t we all supposed to be flying around with jet packs now like George Jetson? We can’t even fix the roads!”) But I guess hope really does spring eternal, because I’ve been allowing myself a bit of hope as we move into 2021. 

I’ve got this image in my mind now of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and I feel something about it. In its way, it’s almost primal. Maybe it combines that anima/animus for me on some subconscious level—a guy who’s known real suffering, and therefore has real empathy, at least moderately in touch with his so-called “feminine” side, and a tough former prosecutor, at least somewhat connected to the traditionally “masculine” role of law enforcement. 

The combined anima and animus is known as the syzygy or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification, and wholeness.” Caucasian and mixed-racial, male and female. A glass ceiling historically shattered for the first time. The promise of a greener future. Might we move toward something better for the 2020s? Certainly, we have been living in the shadow side for far too long.

How Do You Write A Book?

This past week I had the chance to talk to a fair number of business owners. That's normal for what I do, but the interesting thing this week was the similarity of the conversations. Not all entrepreneurs ask me the same things. Some ask me what I do. Many of them end...

Five Mistakes New Authors Make

Every author starts as a newbie, even if they held a job as a writer in some other capacity. The publishing business can be incredibly daunting for a newcomer: many authors work alone without much feedback, so their mistakes, while understandable, are also far too...
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Do I Need A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN)?

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It All Starts With Character

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identity

Who Are You? And What Do You Want?

Readers of this blog who are also movie buffs may be able to help me out today: tell me where I got that title about identity! I’m fairly certain there was an old movie or TV show where a character said, “Who are you? And what do you want?” But for the life of me, I...
impostor

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #3: Impostor Syndrome, aka The Self-Confidence Deficit

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asia

Adventures In Southeast Asia

“A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” ― Eugene Ionesco I first began visiting Southeast Asia over twenty years ago, so it probably comes as a surprise to readers that I haven't written about my...

How Freelance Writers Can Ditch The Content Mills – And Get Paid What They’re Worth

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The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

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Books: Great Holiday Gifts, or The Greatest Holiday Gifts?

I saw a cartoon the other day that features a character who's starting to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like..." A second character quickly and quietly puts the first character down, saying, "Shh. Sleep now." Dark stuff, right? But hey, these are dark times—in...
What To Expect From An Interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum. 

Cambridge English defines interregnum as “a period when a country or organization does not have a leader.” That certainly seems to apply at this moment.

Merriam-Webster’s definition: “the time during which a throne is vacant between two successive reigns or regimes.” Interesting, because, although we don’t have a monarchy, we have labored for four years under the regime of a would-be President-for-Life, a.k.a., dictator.

Just for good measure, here’s one from Lexico: “a period when normal government is suspended, especially between successive reigns or regimes.”

And that also seems apropos, as we spiral through this grey, terrifying lame duck period in which seemingly anything can happen.

 

What If the Light at the End of the Tunnel is a Train?

I sense that many of our allies feel like now is an appropriate time to say, “Hey, congrats. Y’all dodged a bullet.” (Well, okay, none of them would use y’all. But you get the idea.)

My thinking is, Did we, though?

I’m not so sure.

While the boy king holds more superspreader “rallies,” i.e., propaganda events, like the one he held this past weekend, he seems largely disengaged from every other aspect of doing the actual job of being President.

This might not be cause for alarm. Sadly, in the age of the orange monster, it’s tempting to say, “Hey, he’s not doing anything. At least he’s not doing any more damage!”

Again, I’m not so sure.

 

More Uncharted Territory

As we have been so many times through these horrendous four years of rule-by-sociopath, we are in uncharted territory. And as I’ve said many times recently to those around me, I won’t be relaxed until somewhere around January 21st.

Will this historically self-centered leader be able to absorb the enormous hit to his fragile ego involved in accepting that he actually lost the election? The sheer volume of unprecedented bullshit from the last thirty daysrefusal to concede, attempts to decertify, outlandish claims of fraudcertainly provide cold comfort to sane people.

And in the end, what is the best-case scenario? A nation torn asunder by a blizzard of lies? A former President living in exile in the Ukraine? Or even in prison? These are not great outcomes.

I can think of plenty of worse-case scenarios, though, from martial law and a suspension of habeas corpus to nuclear war. So I guess we’ll just have to wait another interminable six weeks to see whether one of the “better-but-not-great” scenarios comes to fruition. Whatever the case, we still don’t know what we’re lurching toward as we live through these dark days in America’s history.

punches

Roll With The Punches, Baby!

Today is just one of those Mondays. I got a letter from the IRS that said they "believe there's a miscalculation" in my return. So that big $300 refund I was planning on receiving? Fuhgeddaboutit. But hey, at least I don't owe them anything, and they're not auditing...

Frustrated By the Publishing Process?

Beep. Beep. Beep. You wake up bright and early to the sound of the dreaded alarm clock. First thing, you brew some coffee and grab your computer. It’s a Thursday, so you have to go to work, but you feel compelled to start each day with a bit of writing. You also...
reaper

COVID-19: The Reaper that Keeps on Reaping

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story

The Power of Story

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book launch

Ready to Launch Into 2019?

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travel

Travel Feeds the Soul

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Patchworks: A Book Review

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genre

Have You Ever Written In A New Genre?

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ebook

A Free Ebook From Sahno Publishing—And An Open Invitation For More

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