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.

Who Are Your Greatest Connections?

When it comes to networking, making connections with people who have a greater influence in your industry can be beneficial in ways that go on and on. This has proven true for many people, I'm sure, and I know I've seen it in my own experience. Two recent examples...

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...
patchworks

Patchworks: A Book Review

Today I woke to the all-too-familiar tragic news of yet another mass shooting. Sadly, we all know what will happen next: politicians will sputter, talking heads will bloviate, and the next thing that gets done about gun control will be – absolutely nothing. Such is...
game of thrones

3 Reasons the End of Game of Thrones is an Example of Good Storytelling

Social media is interesting: every time an artist or entertainer creates a new work, it’s going to get mixed reviews. Even in the case of a highly popular TV series like Game of Thrones, the armchair critics come out with their claws sharpened—especially when...
forget

Writers, Don’t Forget to Write It Down!

It's happened to the best of us, right? You have a great idea, and you really should write it down. After all, you don't want to forget it. But it's well past midnight, and you're in bed. In fact, you're getting sleepy...very sleepy...your eyes are starting to --...

Book Fair Time Coming September 17th

Most of my blog posts are related in one way or another to the business of being an author - expanding your author platform, improving your book marketing, and so on - and not strictly self-promotional. However, every once in a while, I've got a radio interview or...
scam

Is the American Dream Just a Straight-Up Marketing Campaign?

Warning: profanity ahead. I should just start all my posts with that from now on: profanity ahead. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed recently when I saw someone had tweeted something like, What's the biggest scam of all time? Patriotic Americans might be shocked...
storm

Sometimes All You Can Do Is Rock With The Storm

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...
railroad

Getting Back on Track

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...

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...