Almost two years ago, right at the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote a blog post called Sometimes All You Can Do Is Rock With The Storm. The idea was that, hey, everyone is having a rough time right now, and we’ll likely see more rough times ahead. Knowing that life is difficult, and will end for all of us someday, how shall we live today?

Of course, no one could have imagined then that COVID would be the gift that keeps on killing for years, not months. Or that so many of our fellow citizens would turn out to be such stupid, selfish babies. As I’ve said many times over the past couple years, “You’re not storming the beach at Normandy; you’re being asked to wear a mask at Costco.”

But okay, I get it now: trying to get people to pull in the same direction is like trying to corral cats.

 

Meet the New Year, Same As The Old Year

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed the absence of a post last week.

I was simply not up for it. And I’d had high hopes for January 2022turning a page on what’s been, at best, a write-off, at worst, a terrible couple of years.

Then one of our cars died and had to be replaced.

Then I got thoroughly soaked by a disreputable auto dealership.

My only uncle and godfather, my uncle Jack, died.

Our heater stopped working. It was 47 degrees overnight.

Then the stock market tanked more than it already had this year, lowering the value of my modest retirement account.

Okay, okay, I give! I give!

 

Another Bozo on the Bus

Truthfully, I recognize that these are run-of-the-mill life challenges. Aging relatives pass on, cars and heaters come and go, money is just money. Although my wife worries about it even more than I do, I reminded her last night that we’ve never missed a meal. Our challenges, steep as they may seem at times, are nowhere near those of most people around the world. I get it, I’m just another bozo on the bus.

On the other hand, I could use a little break from the slings and arrows. I’ve got some new projects to start tomorrow after wrapping up January’s many projects. That’s good. My lovely wife has a new job. Fingers crossed, that will be good, too. And this FridayGod willing and the creek don’t rise—I’ll have an astonishing (to me) 33 years of continuous sobriety. That means I’ll get a few unearned “attaboys.” For that alone, I’ll be grateful.

Happy Monday and, as always, thanks for reading.

mother's

The Worst Mother’s Day Ever

Mother’s Day has always been kind of a tough holiday in my family. Mom’s got an early May birthday, so it seems like there’s virtually no breathing room between her birthday and Mother’s Day. It’s kind of like if your parent was born shortly before Christmas. You get...
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...
family

Forget the Big “Family & Friends” Plan

About three months ago, I wrote a post entitled What I’ve Learned In Six Years of Growing An Indie Author Business. My idea was to share six lessons from my publishing experience, one for each year in the biz. As time went on, my thinking evolved. I realized these six...
creativity

Can Creativity Be Taught?

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Have you written a book? If the answer to the first question is Yes, but the answer to the second question is No, there might be a few reasons for this. One reason I frequently hear from potential ghostwriting clients is,...
endemic

From Pandemic to Endemic to…?

It’s funny how a blog like this can serve as sort of a substitute for a journal. Not “ha ha” funny, mind you. But “strange” funny for sure. All the way back in December 2021, I wrote a post called The Scary Weekend I Thought I Had COVID. I’d met up with a friend and...

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,...

Who You Gonna Call? or Being Your Own Tech Support

I wrote my third novel between about 2007 and 2015. I can’t say it took a full eight years to write – I got stuck in the final third for a couple years – but it was an ambitious project. I’d gone from a third person novel to a first person novel, and now I was going...
sleep

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #8: Forgetting Your Best Ideas

We've all been there: lying in bed, on the edge of sleep, when a brilliant idea floats in from the ether. Maybe it's a fully-formed snippet of dialogue, or maybe something technical, like a major plot point. And before you drift off to sleep, you have to get up to...

Talk of der Führer at the Local Library??

This past weekend I had a pretty weird, disturbing experience related to Nazism, which I only documented on my personal Facebook page. In retrospect, it's probably just as good for blog fodder as anything else. I must be a little naive, because somehow I've managed to...
trigger

Why Trigger Warnings are Bad for Everybody

Recently I almost got into a Twitter skirmish about trigger warnings, or TWs, as they say in the trade. One of my followers asked the Twitterverse their opinion on them, and I gave mine. In essence, I said I don’t believe in them. While trigger warnings originally...