COVID-19: The Reaper that Keeps on Reaping

COVID-19: The Reaper that Keeps on Reaping

Last week I wrote about the trials and tribulations of my immediate family. I’d love to brag about how much better things are this week, but…eh…not so much.

While we were contending with my mother going from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility, we had some more news about COVID-19. My first thought was that COVID really is the gift that keeps on giving, but that seemed irreverent and insensitive. So I’ve amended it to “the reaper that keeps on reaping.” And of course, living in southwest Florida, which once again has high COVID levels, practically guarantees that the pandemic will go on and on.

My lovely wife and I have managed to avoid infection over these past two years by a combination of wearing masks, social distancing, and outright avoiding socializing. 

In short, I didn’t want to take a chance on getting COVID and passing it on to Mom, especially since she has multiple co-morbidities like asthma and chronic bronchitis.

But this week I found out that the skilled nursing facility where she’s been less than two weeks has a COVID outbreak. First six patients, then nine.

And during the same time frame, my wife got word that both her parents and her 11-month-old niece tested positive, literally on the other side of the world. Fortunately, they’re vaccinated, except for the babywho fought it off immediately. Hooray for young immune systems.

I visited Mom today, masked and trying to stay five feet away from staff. Of course, anyone bed bound and in need of skilled care isn’t wearing a mask, but I doubt she’d get COVID and still be around…vaccine or no vaccine. This virus, as a friend of mine says, is one nasty so-and-so.

And there we have the update for the week—still on a bit of a caregiver treadmill, still navigating our complex healthcare system, and still surprised neither my wife nor I have gotten sick. We’re doing what we can to stay healthy. As I often tell her, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to do anything for anyone else.”

Stay safe, friends!

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...
running

“When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”

Like most Americans who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I've got a fair amount of song lyrics floating around my head. Today's post is entitled "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" after the Police song of that name. And I'll admit, I...
rewriting

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #6: How Much Rewriting is Too Much?

Today's blog post was supposed to be an expansive one, delving in the subject of rewriting. In my own case, I spent years obsessively returning to manuscripts, revising them again and again until they were—as far as I could tell—perfect. As perfect as I could make...
book launch

Ready to Launch Into 2019?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I’ve shown an obsessive side lately – lots of content about my upcoming book launch. I’m releasing my fourth novel, Whizzers, in 2019. That means I’m putting a lot of emphasis on building my marketing plan well in...
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...
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...
happy new year

Happy New Year From Mike Sahno – Author. Speaker. Publisher.

Today was the last day of 2018, and it's also my last blog post of the year. I almost missed it. One of the only reasons I've had success as an author, speaker and publisher is because I've been both relentless and consistent. I used to think my natural, God-given...

Writers Kickin’ It Old-School

Today was one of those days when I thought I might have to start kickin' it old-school. Not even halfway through the afternoon, my brand new modem/router went on the fritz. Suddenly, I couldn't work. My day was already well-planned out, with social media posts for...

Blogging About…Blogging?

Last week I blogged a bit about my upcoming relaunch of Miles of Files and the accompanying blog tour. This week, I'm not delivering just more of the same. Other exciting events are afoot! First off, I'm pleased to announce that I'm going to be hosting another guest...
healthcare

Our Broken Healthcare System Vs. The Decent, Affordable Healthcare of a Developing Nation

​Is your country’s health care system an egregious scam that bilks patients out of their money? Mine is. I didn’t have a blog post topic planned for today, but a bill that showed up in my mailbox changed that in a hurry. I’ve been talking about this anecdotally to...
The Worst Mother’s Day Ever

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 the idea.

This year, however, it was much worse than a regular Mother’s Day: my mother fell at her ALF right after her birthday, and had to be hospitalized for the second time in two months, once in April, then again in May. She’d already fractured a couple vertebrae, and the birthday fall worsened those fractures.

My wife and I visited my Mom on Mother’s Day. She was considerably worse off than she’d been just a couple weeks before—in and out of consciousness, barely talking. She couldn’t hold her own Mother’s Day card, so my wife held it up in front of her so she could read it.

When we left the hospital, my wife cried.

Yeah, that’s how it’s going this year so far.

Mom’s in a skilled nursing facility now. It’s going to be a long haul. She’s lost not only her independence, but now it looks like she’ll be too weak to make it back home to her ALF.

I saw her today, and she was marginally better—at about 25% as opposed to 10%, that is.

So, worst Mother’s Day ever? No doubt other people have had worse, but this was my toughest one yet. I didn’t plan on blogging about it. However, I’ve got nothing else in the tank today. I’m exhausted, trudging along doing what I can for her, while taking the best care of myself and my wife that I can.

And I know this isn’t an uplifting or helpful blog post. People, I got nothing more to give today. Tomorrow (and next Monday) is another day.

guest blogging

Guest Blogging: To Post Or Not To Post

So it’s Monday, and as always my calendar says “New Blog Post Due.” My mind, on the other hand, says, Add a quick blog post. This is slightly different, because I have a couple afternoon appointments, and not enough time to write a post between them. Can you say...
cover design

The Importance of Cover Design and Interior Design for Novels

I think I could be forgiven for not being an expert on either cover or interior design. After all, I studied neither in college. So I hope I'll be forgiven by anyone thinking I have expertise in these subjects. Still, in a world where employers regularly place ads...

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

When I was thinking of the title for this week's post, I realized I really needed to look it up and confirm that the word is "peace" and not "piece." Just in case. I'd forgotten that that expression is commonly used in weddings...ironic, since my lovely wife and I...
syzygy

From The Shadow Side to the Syzygy

Anima rising, Queen of queens Wash my guilt of Eden Wash and balance me - Joni Mitchell, Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow   I’ve always enjoyed learning new words—or, as is more likely at my age, relearning words I’ve forgotten—so I was pleased to put syzygy in the...
20/20

2020 Vs. 20/20: What We Saw Then, What We See Now

Grinding through the first few months of 2021, I presume nearly everyone wants to shut the door on 2020. After all, the tragic COVID-19 pandemic and—at least in the United States—chaotic election drama left millions exhausted, overwhelmed, and just plain traumatized....

Breaking Into the Top 100

Recently, I posted something on LinkedIn called Author, Entrepreneur, or Authorpreneur? My point was that, if you're interested in breaking into the top 100 in your Amazon category, you're probably going to have to spend some time acting like a businessperson when it...
repetition

Insanity: Writing the Same Thing Over and Over?

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing at the bottom of those steps. I’ve been really lucky: I’ve had the good fortune to publish and sell four of my novels, and I run a freelance writing and editing business as well. I have great clients who love what I do and send me...
isolation

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #4: Isolation vs. Solitude

I’m a loner With a loner’s point of view —Bruce Cockburn, “Loner”   Writing a novel is a solitary activity. We all know this. And while there are some exceptions to the rule—screenwriters who work on a team in a “writer’s room,” partners who write a book...
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...
copyright

When Do You Need To Copyright Your Work?

​Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a couple of well-received blog posts on the publishing process, one of which is about the importance of having a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) and the other of which is called What’s the Risk to Not Having A...
Are Stories Inevitably Autobiographical?

Are Stories Inevitably Autobiographical?

Recently, I’ve been writing quite a bit about writing, providing some explanations about why I write what I write. I’ve even got an upcoming podcast appearance talking a lot about my background and history in relation to my works of fiction.

In the case of my short story collection Rides From Strangers, I usually talk about why I wrote what I wrote. When an author writes a short story, it sometimes requires personal experience. Not to say that these works of mine are autobiographical by any means, but there are certain things I have either done, or at least felt, that inform the work.

In Rides From Strangers, the stories are all different, but they have some common themes. The main themes that run through these pieces are the human need for fulfillment through relationships, and how people often get burned even as they seek solace from others. Regardless, that need for connection leads people to keep tryingwhether through sex, marriage, friendship, or some other relationship.

 

The Need for Connection

Trying to put myself into the POV of these characters was easy, because, like any writer, I’ve had to spend a lot of time alone. But, unlike some people, my experiences with loneliness haven’t come from that, they’ve come in the middle of crowds. For me, the need for connection has always meant a search for kindred spirits. And like most novelists, I don’t find that many of them out there.

Thankfully, they are out there, and I have a great life with great friends and an even more amazing and loving wife. She’s supportive of my fiction habit, and understands I can’t stand to only “write for others.” This short story collection, Rides From Strangers, was all written for me, but I felt compelled to give it to the world. So sign up for my email list, and you can get the entire collection free…no obligation. If you unsubscribe after you download, no harm, no foul. I’m just happy to share it.

Frustrated By the Publishing Process?

Beep. Beep. Beep. You wake up bright and early to the sound of the dreaded alarm clock. First thing, you brew some coffee and grab your computer. It’s a Thursday, so you have to go to work, but you feel compelled to start each day with a bit of writing. You also...

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...

Short Story Contest Part II

Last week, I launched a short story contest here on my blog as part of a major national promotion. To recap: this is not a call for submissions; I'm serializing a short story in anticipation of my upcoming release of a short collection. Here's how it works: read it...
drivers

Florida Drivers, Beware

This weekend I had to run out for essentials, which I’m only doing when absolutely necessary. But it seems like plenty of other people were out there, too, and I can’t help believing some of them just didn’t want to be bored at home. So when it came time for me to get...
history

Nostalgia, Conspiracies, and A Vanishing World

Recently, I’ve been visiting the minutiae of history a little more than usual. Some of my readers may be aware that I’m a a big music fan, and have collected music in various formats over most of my life. While it’s often digital these days, I've also been known to...
team

Come Join My Book Launch Team!

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about book launches where I introduced the subtle difference between a launch team and a street team. Simply stated, there’s usually plenty of overlap, but a launch team may include people not part of your street team – vendors, people...
spirituality

Spirituality in the Fictional World

Almost two years ago, I wrote a post called Talking About A Metaphysical Work where I tried to discuss spirituality in fiction. At least, that's what I thought I was doing. See, I had just published my fourth novel, Whizzers, and I knew I needed to promote it. I had a...
healthcare

Feeling Wiped Out? Get Up and Out!

I don’t really think of myself as a healthcare writer, although I did earn a living for many years by marketing a variety of healthcare services—from traditional to alternative medicine. These days, I’m more in the Author-Speaker-Publisher mode, writing books and...
department

Yes, I’m The Head of My Company’s Marketing Department

A few months ago, I wrote a post called What I’ve Learned In Six Years of Growing An Indie Author Business. The idea was to provide six bullet points, one for each year I’ve run my publishing company. Ultimately, I realized that each of those six points could use some...

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...
The End of a Good Run

The End of a Good Run

I’ve had a pretty good run the last five or six weeks: last week’s blog post, entitled What Books Cost Their Authors: A Tale of Blood, Sweat & Tears, had the best “headline quality score” I’ve ever attained (yes, I run my headlines through an analyzer for SEO, to make sure I get both impressions and engagement). In the weeks before that, I managed to eke out a post every Monday, with topics ranging from argumentative internet knuckleheads to getting back on track with a WIP.

And then there’s today.

I am behind the proverbial eight-ball: having spent hours cranking out an article for a big client, I’ve got to get going on another project for another client. It’s not like you really need to know this stuff, but I’ve been working all day, except for meal breaks, and haven’t even caught time for a shower or shave yet. 

Gross! (Don’t worry: I’m home alone).

 

For My Subscribers

I shouldn’t feel bad about any of this—after all, better to have a lot of work than not enough—but I’ve recently had conversations with a couple of subscribers, including a “how-do-I-subscribe-to-your-blog” conversation. I even had the site revamped with a nice handy Subscribe button right on the ol’ blog page. All you have to do is enter your email, click away, and that should do it. (Fingers crossed.)

And then there’s today.

All I can say is, I’m sorry. I know you’re not paying me for these posts, but still…based on past performance, you could expect better from me on a Monday.

Well, there’s always next week. But it was a pretty good run, no?

Okay, I’ve got to go jump in the shower. As always, thanks for stopping by. See ya!

catholic school

I Survived Catholic School

This post isn’t meant to be provocative, though I understand my readers who also happen to be good Catholics might see it that way. No, it’s something else altogether.Years ago, it wasn’t unusual to hear someone talking about how the nuns hit their knuckles with...
copyright

Does Copyright Still Matter in the Digital Age?

One thing about working as a full-time freelance writer: it’s usually feast or famine. That means exactly what it sounds like. Sometimes you’re so busy that you almost forget to market your business, and other times, you’re looking for more projects. This month is one...
reaper

COVID-19: The Reaper that Keeps on Reaping

Last week I wrote about the trials and tribulations of my immediate family. I’d love to brag about how much better things are this week, but…eh…not so much. While we were contending with my mother going from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility, we had some more...
IngramSpark KDP

Using IngramSpark and KDP Print For Your Paperbacks

This week's post is about using two different companies for Print-On-Demand publishing—IngramSpark and KDP. Ever since Amazon began offering services to authors, there's been a question in the indie author community: should I use them? My answer, initially, was a...
MLK

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022

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....
interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum.  Cambridge English defines interregnum as "a period when a country or organization does not have a leader." That certainly seems to apply at this moment. Merriam-Webster's definition:...
team

Come Join My Book Launch Team!

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about book launches where I introduced the subtle difference between a launch team and a street team. Simply stated, there’s usually plenty of overlap, but a launch team may include people not part of your street team – vendors, people...
meditation

Which Is Better For Writers – Meditation or Exercise?

A while back, I did an interview about creativity, and I talked about meditation and exercise. I also talked about a few other things like journaling, play, and being disciplined about a schedule.For writers, you might think meditation is going to be the number one...
platform

Platform-Building for Authors

A while back, I wrote a LinkedIn article on platform-building for authors, a frequent topic for my speaking gigs and for online posts in general. Today I thought I'd revisit some of that for the blog, discussing how speaking can help an author. Building a platform...
Whizzers

Book Promotion Sites: Which Are The Best, and Are They Worth It?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert when it comes to book promotion sites. When I published my first three novels simultaneously on December 10th 2015—a day that will live infamy, and yes, I know now that it was a harebrained marketing scheme—I knew nothing...
What Books Cost Their Authors: A Tale of Blood, Sweat & Tears

What Books Cost Their Authors: A Tale of Blood, Sweat & Tears

…”Books that cost more to write than their sales ever could repay.”

 – Alan Paton

 

Lately I’ve had my nose in a couple of books. One is a history book on the JFK years, the other, Alan Paton’s most famous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. 

I have a curious, even weird history with Paton. In high school, one of my English teachers assigned a lesser-known Paton novel called Too Late the Phalarope. A phalarope is a type of shorebird, and I feel confident stating that none of us kids had ever even heard of a phalarope before. Presumably, there were some jokes among us male students comparing the word to phallus.

In all the years since, I’d never read Paton’s masterpiece, though I bought a copy years ago at a used bookstore during a going-out-of-business sale. It remained in my TBR (to-be-read) pile until last week.

 

What Do Books Cost Authors?

The quote above about “books that cost more to write than their sales ever could repay” got me thinking. I’ve written about costs like cover design, interior design, and marketing. You can find links to some of my other posts on authorship here, here, and here.

But I don’t think these costs were what Paton was talking about. I think his words refer to what it costs the author in emotional, physical, and even spiritual terms to wring words out of painful experiences, and put into a novel all the heart, soul, and sweat a novelist can as he or she creates a work of art.

Of course, I’ve never suffered through anything like apartheid, slavery, anti-Semitism, or any of the hundreds of indignities visited upon fellow human beings in the ongoing tale of man’s inhumanity to man.

I’ve taken my share of hits, though. And in one of my posts, I wrote, “writing a novel is like scaling Mt. Everest alone with nothing but a spoon for climbing gear.” It’s true. Like boxing or any other sport where you leave a piece of yourself behind, it has a cost.

And it has its rewards, too. That’s why I’m still writing novels, and probably always will.

isolation

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #4: Isolation vs. Solitude

I’m a loner With a loner’s point of view —Bruce Cockburn, “Loner”   Writing a novel is a solitary activity. We all know this. And while there are some exceptions to the rule—screenwriters who work on a team in a “writer’s room,” partners who write a book...
proofreading

The Improtance Of Poorfreading

So right up front, I know I'm taking a gamble with today's headline. I only hope most readers of this blog will be able to translate Improtance into Importance, and Poorfreading into Proofreading. Goodness knows Spellcheck tried to change them on me. The reason for...
humor

When Your Sense of Humor Is One Part Vonnegut, Two Parts Hunter S. Thompson

Sometimes you have to really switch things up. Even shake them up. Such is the case with artists of all types, and I’m the kind of novelist who needs to shake things up from book to book. I've never written a series, and I don't think I could unless my life depended...
metaphysical

Five Ways You Can Help With a Local Book Launch Event

This week I want to write a bit more about my fourth novel, Whizzers. It’s my current Work-In-Progress, and I plan to have it finished this year in order to launch it in 2019. One of the few luxuries of being an independent author is that I haven’t set a firm...
president

Vote Like Your Life Depends On It—Then Let It Go

​In 1994, I wrote a novel called Brothers’ Hand, in which the titular character mentions that someday working class people might very well use billionaire “Duncan Scrump’s” name as a curse word one day. Of course, I never imagined such a person could become our...

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...
slow

How Fast Is Too Fast? And How Slow Is Too Slow?

Do you crank out copy at a fast and furious rate? Or are you “the slow one,” the writer who labors over every word, phrase, or even punctuation mark? Or, even more weirdly, are you one of those writers who strikes a happy medium between racing and plodding? I must...
rewriting

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #6: How Much Rewriting is Too Much?

Today's blog post was supposed to be an expansive one, delving in the subject of rewriting. In my own case, I spent years obsessively returning to manuscripts, revising them again and again until they were—as far as I could tell—perfect. As perfect as I could make...
editor

Need A Writer? An Editor? A Proofreader? How About All Of The Above?

Late last week I got a call from a husband and wife asking about vanity publishers. Yes, such predatory companies are still out there, preying on the hopeful. These nice folks asked me if it sounded legit when a "publisher" offered to put the wife's book out for a...
writer

Are You The Kind Of Writer Who Reads A Lot?

When I was in high school, I had a real dilemma: I loved the books the teachers assigned us, and as a result, the teachers loved me. Naturally, that meant some of the other students hated me. Now, I should clarify this by saying that I didn't always love what I was...
Knuckleheads Who Want to Argue on the Internet: Get a Life

Knuckleheads Who Want to Argue on the Internet: Get a Life

Back around 1990, I heard one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard a husband say about talking to his wife.

I was sitting in a 12-step meeting and the man explained that certain conversations with his spouse sounded like she was trying to bait him into an argument. He said he would hold up one finger, and she’d say, “What’s that supposed to mean?” And he would reply, “There’s only one person talking, and if you want to argue, you’re going to be arguing with yourself.” Then he’d stand up and walk out of the room. Mic drop!

In retrospect, as an old married guy myself today, I suspect that wasn’t the wonderful piece of wisdom I then imagined it. In fact, it probably went over like the proverbial turd in the punch bowl. But I was young and single, and the laughter in the room convinced me it was a brilliant, effective witticism.

 

Fast-Forward to the Social Media Era

Thirty years later, when the comments section of nearly every YouTube video devolves into a series of personal attacks, I’m starting to love the “I’m not going to argue with you” strategy. And I’ve learned I need to employ it more than ever.

I rarely seek controversy in my ongoing writing efforts, but every once in a while, I’ll write a blog post with a leading question, or something with either/or thinking. Why? To stimulate a response. To get more readers. To have some conversations.

About 80% of the responses are great: readers, many of them fellow writers, share my posts on social media, offer engaging comments, and even thank me.

Hey, you’re welcome!

Unfortunately, there’s the other 20%. They’re usually guys, and they want a debate.

Now, I have no problem defending any stance I take. Furthermore, I have little desire to convert anyone to my point-of-view. You believe what you believe, and I’m fine with that.

 

The Knucklehead Contingent

The problem is that some peopleand again, they’re usually other guyswant to begin their first conversation with me by contradicting or criticizing me. And honestly, whether the person trying that is a man or a woman, he/she/they are in for an unpleasant surprise: I don’t put up with that crap.

You want to start a disagreement with me, a complete stranger? You’d best not begin with sarcasm, condescension, or venom. In fact, I’d recommend a “hat in hand” approach.

I read with interest your article about XYZ. You made some interesting points. However, have you considered ABC point of view about this one particular aspect? In my experience…

Like that. Today I had another knucklehead come at me with snotty phrases like “true believer” and slangy disagreement cues like “ummmmmm.” Some of the tweets in our conversation featured misspelled words, lack of punctuation…maybe they were voice texts, who knows?

The point is, I engaged this knucklehead for only a short timethen I clicked “Unfollow.”

So…if you’re reading this, and you don’t agree…try engaging nicely about it. If you submit a snippy comment here, I will not approve it. If you come at me on social media like I’m your inferior, or anything other than a respected colleague….you’re done. And I do not care a bit. You’d be amazed how little I care.

Oh, and if said knucklehead happens to be a subscriber to this blog..please unsubscribe. Really. Buh-bye!

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'...
20/20

2020 Vs. 20/20: What We Saw Then, What We See Now

Grinding through the first few months of 2021, I presume nearly everyone wants to shut the door on 2020. After all, the tragic COVID-19 pandemic and—at least in the United States—chaotic election drama left millions exhausted, overwhelmed, and just plain traumatized....
interregnum

What To Expect From An Interregnum

I had a very strange, little-used word pop into my head the other day: interregnum.  Cambridge English defines interregnum as "a period when a country or organization does not have a leader." That certainly seems to apply at this moment. Merriam-Webster's definition:...

What’s the Worst Thing About Social Media?

I’ve been known to refer to social media as antisocial media, so you might wonder what I think is the worst thing about it. Online bullying? The relentless self-promotion? (Buy my book! Buy my service!) People tagging you or adding you to lists without asking...

Taking a Page from the Dylan Playbook?

Although he doesn't use the term himself, recent Nobel winner Bob Dylan's relentless touring has been referred to as the Never-Ending Tour. Taking a page from the Dylan playbook might seem like a weird idea for an author, but recently I have thought about doing just...
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...
characters

It All Starts With Character

“Sahno offers a compelling vision of a community whose need for companionship and support in the face of life's struggles is stirring.” “The characters are deep, well thought out…” “I read this novel in a few short days, drawn in by a believable plot and characters...
anti-vaxxer

Anti-Vaxxer Hysteria and the Mo-ron Contingent

I can’t help but wonder: what kind of idiot do you have to be to believe that Bill Gates has nothing better to do than follow you around while you schlep to Wal-Mart, pick up your dry cleaning, and eat the free breadsticks at Olive Garden? I've always got my cell...

How Authors Can Navigate Twitter

Way back in June 2016, I wrote a blog post about Facebook vs. Twitter. At the time, I had a whole six months of expertise as a guy running a business full-time, so no wonder I did such a great job! Well, okay, maybe I overstated my case. But the bottom line of that...
creativity

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #5: Creativity vs. Money

One of the most daunting questions amateur writers face is whether they can make money following their most creative pursuits. Are they too non-commercial? Will an agent be interested? Will my work sell at all? The question of Creativity vs. Money isn’t relevant for...