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.

guest blogging

Guest Blogging: To Post Or Not To Post

So it’s Monday, and as always my calendar says “New Blog Post Due.” My mind, on the other hand, says, Add a quick blog post. This is slightly different, because I have a couple afternoon appointments, and not enough time to write a post between them. Can you say...
twitter

Best Accounts to Follow on Twitter

Recently I wrote a blog post about how many writers struggle to find interesting topics. It occurred to me that, for those of us who are writers and/or entrepreneurs, one good topic for this blog might be Best Accounts to Follow on Twitter. Of course, this is totally...
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...

A Vacation Blog Post and a Manross Library Appearance

The following post has been pre-scheduled. I've never tried to pre-schedule a blog post before, so I had to look up how to do it. If you know me well, you won't be surprised by that. Hey, I'm on vacation while you read this. Modern technology! I find it interesting to...
cancel

Anyone Else Thinking about Canceling Cancel Culture?

Ordinarily, I’m on the side of the poor, the beaten-down, the marginalized. In short, the outsiders. But this week, what’s on my mind is something a little on the opposition side, or what I’d like to think of as the middle. Most everyone who knows me would describe me...

What’s the Worst Thing About Social Media?

I’ve been known to refer to social media as antisocial media, so you might wonder what I think is the worst thing about it. Online bullying? The relentless self-promotion? (Buy my book! Buy my service!) People tagging you or adding you to lists without asking...

Book Fair Time Coming September 17th

Most of my blog posts are related in one way or another to the business of being an author - expanding your author platform, improving your book marketing, and so on - and not strictly self-promotional. However, every once in a while, I've got a radio interview or...
can we talk

Can We Talk?

I don't know how many of my blog readers are familiar with Joan Rivers—possibly not that many—but there was a time when the catchphrase Can we talk? was known to just about every adult in America. Joan may be gone, but it seems like people are talking more than ever....

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

When I was thinking of the title for this week's post, I realized I really needed to look it up and confirm that the word is "peace" and not "piece." Just in case. I'd forgotten that that expression is commonly used in weddings...ironic, since my lovely wife and I...

What If I Don’t Want to Sell?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of giving a talk called Marketing Your Novel that was hosted by the Orlando Public Library. A good twenty people or so were kind enough to show up on a blazing Florida Sunday afternoon to hear me speak. The talk went well: I gave the group...