A while back, I was having a very bad Monday, and wrote a blog post called Roll With The Punches, Baby! The idea was that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; sometimes life hands you a bouquet of flowers, other times, a punch in the mouth.

On that particular Monday, the IRS had just screwed me out of a tiny refund and my modest retirement account was down. It’s down lower than a year ago today, thanks to the coronavirus, worldwide panic, and all sorts of other factors.

The difference? That day, I was having a tough go of it. Today, everyone seems to be having a tough go of it. If I’m having a bad day, I’m in good company.

 

So What The Hell Am I Supposed to Do?

Pandemics cause massive turmoil, and looking for calm and reassurance is natural. We all want safety, security, and of course, reassuring words that it will get better.

In fact, as I wrote in my last novel, Whizzers, that’s all pretty much an illusion. Safety? What does it even mean? Security? As in financial? Physical? How long does that last, if you ever have it in the first place?

Here’s the quote from Whizzers that came to mind as I pondered these things today:

Control—an illusion. Security—illusion. Even danger, really—another illusion.

A hundred years from now, I’ll be gone. Hell, probably fifty years from now. The idea that I have any kind of security or control is ridiculous. The one thing I can truly cling to, the one thing I can be secure in, is the knowledge that I am going to die, my brother and wife and friends and neighbors, and everyone I’ve ever known—every single one of us will be gone someday.

 

You Call That Inspirational?

Kind of a downer, right? But then, here’s the thing: faced with the knowledge that we’re all going to die some day, the question becomes, How shall we live?

Maybe you call a friend todaysomeone you haven’t talked to in a while. Maybe call your mom. Better yet, your Dad. I bet he doesn’t get as many calls. Maybe you just do something productive. Treat yourself well, if you’re not good at that.

Life is very short. But whether things are better or worse next Monday at this time, we can make it better. Better for ourselves, our spouses, our kids. It’s up to us now.

How Freelance Writers Can Ditch The Content Mills – And Get Paid What They’re Worth

So today turns out to be a great day for a guest post, since I've got a sprained wrist – time to rest my hands and arms. Without further ado, here's freelancer extraordinaire Tara Malone on how to ditch the content mills! You’re sick and tired of your day job and...
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...
procrastination

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #2: Procrastination

Last week I started a new series here on the blog, “Writer Problems.” Naturally the idea is to offer solutions, but I’m always happy to get suggestions. Feel free to reply in the comments below. Whereas last week’s blog was a lengthy meditation on insomnia, today I...

More on Literary Fiction

While I'm recovering from some oral surgery I had last Friday, I'm inclined to just rest and update my blog another time. But I'll be on vacation soon, so I'd rather post something than nothing. With that, I recommend blog readers check out my fellow literary author,...

Strictly Business

So lately I've been looking a little bit like this guy - although this dude is younger, and probably better-looking, than me.  I mean I've been hunched over an iMac or MacBook quite a bit, working furiously on building my business. Now, I know that the people who...
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...
author

Are Authors Typically Obsessive-Compulsive?

Recently I’ve noticed a trend in author blogs toward the confessional. After all, no one wants to read about your characters all the time, and God knows that readers don’t want to read about marketing. They want to know something about you. Happy to oblige. Although...
perils

Instafreebie and The Perils of Evil

Most of you who read this blog know that I'm not a big one on writing about the perils of evil...at least not at the same level as the serial killers or the kings of genocide. Sure, I've got some pretty bad people in my books: Johnny, the doper and rapist in Brothers'...

Feeling A Little Bit Better

There's an old, very bad joke that goes something like this: It was Christmas, and everyone was feeling merry; so Mary went home. Then everyone jumped for joy, but Joy jumped out the window. I know those only work when spoken aloud, and in the #MeToo era, it's a...
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,...