The Power of an Attorney

by | Feb 26, 2018 | Articles | 0 comments

Last week I missed the deadline to post my Monday blog, then missed any other opportunity through the rest of the week. The reason? I’m power of attorney for my mother, who took a fall and had to be hospitalized. Hence the headline for this week’s post.

Being power of attorney for a relative is both something of a blessing and a curse. Of course, it’s an honor to be so trusted by your parent that he or she gives you the authority to manage their affairs; on the other hand, once you begin the process in real time, as I had to, you find yourself exchanging paperwork with every single entity along the line. They don’t send you what you need just because you say, “I have power of attorney.” You have to prove it.

So needless to say, this past week – actually, the past 12 days since I started on this adventure – have been trying to say the least. I think the experience can best be described as a blizzard of BS. And Mom is okay, but the fluidity of the situation demands a lot of flexibility. That means working on her affairs while managing my own.

The Curse of the Writer

Of course, one of the worst things about being a novelist and landing in a crisis situation is just how damned observant we are. I recall reading the late, great John Gardner on this subject. Gardner found himself in a situation where a woman was in a bad auto accident, and the steering column had punctured her abdomen. He observed the entire incident with horrible clarity, and felt guilty for thinking, “I must remember this.”

I had a similar experience the weekend after Valentine’s Day: going out the wrong exit on my way out of the hospital, having to run through the freezing cold to get to my car in sub-freezing temperatures, snow pelting my face. The icy cold feeling in my chest as I drove a rental car down streets no longer familiar to me in my hometown, not knowing what was going to happen next. The sheer horror at seeing my always-vital, chatty mother reduced to near silence and requiring help with all activities of daily living for the first couple days.

All of which led to my own I must remember this moments. Now that the crisis has passed, and it’s just the “blizzard of BS” paperwork, I’m much more relaxed. But that was some week. And I’ve gotten a good look at how being a novelist, just like being power of attorney, can be a blessing and a curse.

new author

Top 3 Suggestions for New Authors

Today is one of those days where I can't possibly get everything done that I was planning to get done. With a doctor's appointment coming up in an hour, I'm even more pressed for time to deliver my regular Monday blog post. So here's a little spin on what's typically...
identity

Who Are You? And What Do You Want?

Readers of this blog who are also movie buffs may be able to help me out today: tell me where I got that title about identity! I’m fairly certain there was an old movie or TV show where a character said, “Who are you? And what do you want?” But for the life of me, I...
genre

Have You Ever Written In A New Genre?

When you don't normally write genre fiction, it can be difficult to talk to non-writer people about your work.I love the classics, and have always worked hard to create modern classics of my own. You could call them Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, or just...
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...

Blatant Self-Promotion Post

This week is The Big One: the 2nd edition of Miles of Files launches on Mar. 10th, almost 15 months to the day of its initial release! When I won a book cover design from 99designs, I immediately thought of Miles. I was never quite as enamored with the original cover...

Books As Extended Business Cards

As I mentioned on here a couple weeks back, my freelance copywriting gigs feed my addiction to writing fiction, not vice-versa. However, my copywriting business is just part of a larger vision for Sahno Publishing, and that's a publishing company that provides...
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...
break

A Bit of a Blog Break

I've been busy scheduling my social media for the next few months, and came to a realization: I've got a ton of existing content, and no one has seen anywhere near all of it. As a result, I decided it's time for a little break. This realization did coincide with...
optimism

Are We Ready to Make A Case For Optimism?

Most anyone who reads this blog probably knows I’m not what you call a Pollyanna type. Not that I’m a pessimist. Far from it. But as we’ve all endured the slings and arrows of the last four years—and especially the last year of Plague—I haven’t exactly been pumping...
self-promotion

What’s The Problem With Shameless Self-Promotion?

While I still find it somewhat hard to believe, I've been on Twitter for almost eight years. I know this not only because Twitter shows Joined March 2015 on my profile but also because, even if they eliminate that feature, I use a tracker called Who Unfollowed Me? If...
MLK

MLK Day 2023

Here’s wishing everyone a safe, sane Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For many of us, today is always something of a day of mourning: not only mourning the loss of a great civil rights leader, but also mourning the turn our great nation seemed to take in recent years....

Twitter Tips for Authors in 2023

If you follow my blog, you probably connected with me via Twitter, whether you’re a fellow author or not. In 2020, I wrote a post about Twitter for fellow writers that got a good response. Three years later, the landscape has changed, but some Twitter best practices...
rails

Going Off The Rails (But Not On A Crazy Train)

Last April, I wrote a blog post called Back on Track With a Work-In-Progress. Part of that post was to talk about the difference between a “plotter” and a “pantser” (and to describe myself as a hybrid of the two, a “plantser”). Another, less obvious motive, was to...
French

Those Tricky French Authors and Their Obsessions

Today’s blog post was originally going to be Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. III. However, after seeing parts I and II lined up, I decided to call an audible and make it something less repetitive. Somehow the SEO gods have gotten into my head. As I’ve mentioned...
scared

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want, Pt. II

In last week’s post, I mentioned a pretty well-known author who has publicly reported his publisher “wouldn’t touch” a new release, in part because a character in his novel referred to herself as “fat.” I heard this story on a podcast, and I remember thinking, “Wait...
censorship

Write Whatever the @#$% You Want

I’ve been stewing on this for a while. It’s been brewing for quite a while. I could probably write a song about it (how about a rap?), but I don’t think I will. This is more of a blog post topic, and it might even deserve a series. And that’s the title and topic of...
gratitude

Should Every Month Be Gratitude Month?

When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. I read it daily and collected nearly every paperback volume of the cartoon, so I could see what I’d missed since the comic strip’s inception in 1950.  Certain things stuck: quotes like “happiness is a warm puppy”...
robot

More Thoughts On Robot Writers and The Tech Dystopia

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post here called When Will the Robot Overlords Replace Us? Apparently, I’m fairly obsessed with this stuff, because every time I come here and empty my brain, it seems to come up again. Today is no different. Part of the reason,...