Last week, Hurricane Irma came barreling toward the eastern seaboard like a runaway freight train. Here in Tampa, the weather reports in advance of the storm were even more melodramatic than usual – “Tampa is poised to take its first direct hit from a major hurricane in 100 years,” etc., etc. – but for once, I really paid attention.

In my 23 years in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve always treated these overblown forecasts with disdain. They go on and on about it, showing all manner of NOAA diagrams, and all I hear is blah blah blah. Because of its geographical location, it would be very difficult for a hurricane to actually hit Tampa directly; it would have to either come up through the Gulf of Mexico and make a sharp eastward turn right by Tampa, or blast through the lower half of the peninsula as a Category Five and still retain its strength after moving substantially overland.

As you can probably tell, I think about this stuff sometimes, and I’ve even prepared a bit over the years. But last week’s panic was like nothing I’d ever seen: supermarket shelves were emptied of staples like bread and water for days on end, and gas stations ran out of gas within an hour or two after receiving a new shipment. It was crazy, and I got caught up in it myself. Just to be on the safe side, my wife and I hightailed it out of town.

Much Ado About Nothing

Of course, I didn’t exactly take several days completely off from working, though I spent much of those days driving. I still posted plenty of social media content, and got through most of my email. But it was like a long holiday weekend, though without any of the fun usually associated with such weekends.

The storm turned out to be a dud in Tampa, of course, which was fortunate for us. We returned home to zero damage, and hadn’t even lost our electricity for long, near as I could tell. Thankful for that indeed.

Once back in town, I was doubly fortunate – although I essentially put my business on hold for several days, I still had a major project whose deadline was rapidly approaching, and I received a couple of new projects that needed to be completed right away. So I hit the ground running, and didn’t really take another breath until this past weekend.

And now I’m getting back on track with my standard schedule in between new projects: ramping up social media efforts back to normal levels, doing marketing outreach, and even getting back to this blog, which was sorely neglected last Monday, when I drove for six or seven hours.

What about you? Do you have trouble getting back on track after scheduled or unscheduled time off? Let me known in the comments below.

kicking that can

Kicking That Can Down the Road

When I started writing my upcoming novel, I didn't have an agenda or even a plan. The story of Whizzers came about very organically, though it has roots in my own life from many years ago. To understand how I evolved as a writer, you almost have to understand how I...
book launch

Book Launch Time: The Biggest Day In A Writer’s Life

Over the past few weeks, I've been posting a YouTube video series called From Manuscript to Publication. The idea is to provide a bit of service to my fellow authors—in particular, those new to the publishing game. Anyone familiar with my work most likely knows about...
money

Do What You Love, and the Money Will Follow…Right?

Recently, I was reading a post from an online trainer who coaches authors and other professionals. This trainer discusses the contrast between writing for money and writing for passion. In other words, the age-old conundrum: if you do what you love, will the money...
Miles

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Done

I wrote most of Miles of Files between 2007 and 2015. I felt my first novel had been an artistic success, but I wasn't so sure about the second one. Now, I'd moved on to this third novel without having found a publisher for either of the first two. And it was totally...
remember 80s

Remember The 80s? Placing Scenes in History in My Upcoming Novel

Remember the 80s? How about the 70s, or even the 60s? Of course, I know the old expression: if you remember the 60s, you weren't there. But in my house, it was different. I was born in the 60s, but in my house it was pretty much like the 50s. No discussion of the war...

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...
holidays

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...

About Brothers’ Hand

As Sahno Publishing continues the marketing campaign in upstate New York for Brothers’ Hand, I want to check in both with readers and potential readers. Like the blurb on the back of the book says, this is a story about Jerome Brothers, who comes from a small town in...
epic launch

An Epic Launch

Today, the SEO overlords may punish me for posting something overly short. But that's okay. Because I had an epic launch this weekend. "Epic launch" is a phrase I've had in my head for a few weeks now. You see, as the publication date for Whizzers drew closer and...
followers

Frances Caballo on Why You Should Never Buy Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes

I don't often feature guest posts on my blog, but today's post is a special exception. Social media guru Frances Caballo graciously accepted my invitation to guest here.If you don't know Frances, you should: she's the author of numerous books on social media for...