Now that I’ve reached the latter half of my sixth decade, I increasingly hear myself begin sentences “Back in the day…” or “I remember when….” It’s weird. In our eternally youth-obsessed culture, growing old itself is just plain weird. 

And the current pandemic has upended so much of what we knew, or thought we knew, that things are even weirder than they were before. Let’s face it, that’s really saying something. 

Variations on the phrase “And now, back to our regularly scheduled program” have been around since at least the 70s, possibly even earlier. I use it today because in these first few post-election days, there’s a sense that maybe we’re going to get some kind of normalcy back, some time or other.

 

But When—And What Would That Even Look Like? 

Well, you know I don’t have a clue what the answer to that subhead will be. I’ve been virtually on voluntary lockdown for close to nine months now, so my perspective is perhaps a bit skewed. But here are a couple of my random observations, in no particular order.

1) Our entertainment is going to look a whole lot different for a while. We already see plenty of bare studios with hardly any staff. Wait until every new movie features a cast wearing masks. Even more than the post-9/11 years highlighted that terrible day, a post-pandemic world promises lots of movies and shows about the pandemic. Good luck putting it in the rearview mirror.

2) A return to some real semblance of normalcy may resemble the Roaring 20s…only I guess we’ll call them the Roaring 2020s. If a vaccine gets the world back to something like its pre-pandemic old self, we could see an absolute explosion from all the pent-up demand for live music, sports, travel, and so on.

3) The “breather” our planet got when much of the world locked down this spring will need to be replicated somehow: maybe it’s going to be about carbon capture, maybe just more attention to one’s carbon footprint. But one way another, the future has to be greener.

 

Bringing It Back Home

So when I think about “back in the day,” I sometimes mean the 1970s or 1980s, but these days I might also just be thinking of those far-flung pre-pandemic times…a whole year ago. I mean, I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel like 2020 has been about a million years long. It’s put some mileage on my odometer for sure. 

And who knows? Maybe some time in January, we’ll all start to breathe a little easier. Maybe we’ll even start treating each other with more kindness and respect. Stranger things have happened.

Lyrics: Why I Write Them, and Why I’ve Put Them Into My Novels

Today's post might look like a lazy man's blog, because I'm copying and pasting lyrics into it from other sources. But the fact is, lyrics have always played an important role not only in my life, but also in my novels. I never gave this much thought until recently,...

It’s A Small World After All

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...

A Little Pay Upfront…or A Lot More Pay Year After Year

So many writers think they should never pay for publishing. I don't blame them for thinking that way, but here’s how it really plays out. Authors are natural idealists, so of course we typically figure we can get a deal with a big publishing company, leading to smooth...
indie author

What I’ve Learned In Six Years of Growing An Indie Author Business

As someone who’s spent the better part of the past 20 years making his living as a writer, I definitely have some opinions on what works and what doesn’t in this business. However, there is a subset of that 20 years, and that’s the novelist part of the equation. Some...
cringe

Top Ten Words or Phrases That Make You Cringe

So I've been looking at some topics for blogs, and I find all kinds of great ideas.  One of the more amusing ones is posting about personal stuff or pet peeves, so your readers get to know you better. This idea can work, but it can also be a disaster. I've seen...

Taking a Page from the Dylan Playbook?

Although he doesn't use the term himself, recent Nobel winner Bob Dylan's relentless touring has been referred to as the Never-Ending Tour. Taking a page from the Dylan playbook might seem like a weird idea for an author, but recently I have thought about doing just...
stars

Working on Novels

This week I’m back to blogging about the love of my life – no, not my lovely wife, Sunny, although I must admit she’s the true love of my life. I mean I’m blogging about my fiction again. People know me for a few different things: author, speaker, publisher. And since...

How Do You Write About Sex—Seriously, Irreverently, or Not At All?

“Writing about sex is like engaging in sex: it’s hard. Or, it should be.” —Sean Murphy   Today I want to talk about fictional scenes where characters either discuss sex or engage in sexual activity. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit, because I’m working...
election

Meet The New Year—Same As The Old Year?

Looking back at the blog over the past few months, I see a few obsessions emerging. Nothing surprising there—of course we’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue, and I’m not surprised to see my worries about the 2020 election as topics. In my October 26th post, If...
shoemaker

“Shoemaker, Stick to Thy Last!”

I always try to help my fellow indie authors by passing on my experiences. Among the most important, in my mind, is don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Find your niche, and stick with it. This might not be the greatest advice if you’re already a...