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 timesin the eyes of some of us, anyway. What could be more appropriate than “inappropriate” humor? Especially if you truly loathe the holidays.

 

Putting the “Fun” in “Dysfunctional”

If you’ve read this blogor, in particular, my latest novel—you may be aware that I grew up in a dysfunctional family.

How dysfunctional, you ask?

Well, let’s just say I hate the holidays.

Unlike, say, July 21st, which happens to be an average day most years (and was a great day for a book launch this year), December 25th and 31st have been truly awful on multiple occasions in my life.

When I was a kid, there was a fair-to-good chance on any major holiday that Dad would stop off at the American Legion after work and come home with a good buzz on, leading to Mom getting angry, an argument ensuing…. Put it this way: I call holidays “horror-days.”

 

And This Has to Do With Books How?

With that background, you might wonder why I’d bring up the holidays at all. But hey, it’s a weekly blog, so why not? And the holidays are almost upon us again. Yay!

I’ve developed my own healthy non-traditional rituals for getting through the holidays, so don’t worry. I’ll be fine. And since I wanted to talk about books and holidays this week, I figured why not combine them?

If you’re an author, and you haven’t already mapped out a holiday marketing strategy…get busy! There’s still time left (a little) before Thanksgiving. And if you’re a reader, why not give a gift you can open again and again? I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve gotten a book as a gift, but the number isn’t as high as I’d have liked. I love books!

So there you have it: a Monday blog about both books and the upcoming holidays. And remember, a book may not be the greatest possible gift, but it’s still a pretty great gift.

speaking

On the Road: The Speaker’s Life

A few months ago, I wrote a post about annoying current expressions like having said that and at the end of the day. That post came up in conversation this past weekend on a long, long trek to Miami and back. You see, when you spend nine or ten hours in a car with...

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...

All the News

It's been crazy busy for me lately, and this blog got neglected because Monday - my normal blog post date - was the 4th of July holiday. I know, I should have worked anyway, right? Isn't that what everyone does these days? Work any day and every day? Well, the heck...
recovery

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...

Writers Kickin’ It Old-School

Today was one of those days when I thought I might have to start kickin' it old-school. Not even halfway through the afternoon, my brand new modem/router went on the fritz. Suddenly, I couldn't work. My day was already well-planned out, with social media posts for...
platform

Platform-Building for Authors

A while back, I wrote a LinkedIn article on platform-building for authors, a frequent topic for my speaking gigs and for online posts in general. Today I thought I'd revisit some of that for the blog, discussing how speaking can help an author. Building a platform...

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...

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,...
advance reader copy

Does An ARC Have to Include A Cover Illustration?

One of the most confusing concepts in publishing is that of the Advance Reader Copy, or ARC. I call it confusing because there appears to be no universal agreement on what those initials actually mean. While some sources refer to an ARC as an Advance Reader Copy,...

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...