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The Year of Unmagical Thinking (with apologies to the great Joan Didion, who died today)


Photo by Jan Kopřiva from Pexels

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … well, at least that’s half right. This year, which promised to be a rebound year, turned out to be stinky cheese, with less cheese, more stinky. No need for a detailed recount: virus hells, climate catastrophes, and democracy in peril are pain’s banquet menu enough.

On the home front, there were the deaths of friends, plus a second hip replacement and some other medical maladies to remind me that though I didn’t send in an application to be an old man, the HR recruiters kept calling.

I did get some articles published that I liked, and I’m in the middle of another edit—before I send it on to another editor—on my lunatic years of shoplifting as a high school miscreant memoir. I also have a proposal out for the equally loony 30+ years of correspondence (including them mailing me many odd objects) between me and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. That’s two fingers, poured neat.

So, in Beckett’s immortal words from The Unnamable, “… you must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on” and from Worstward Ho, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

So, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus. And pie, lots of pie.

Goodwill to all (excepting the evil, and you know who you are). Let’s make the next year better.

Linkability

Pretty scant on the publishing front for me this past month, but here’s one fun piece from the tail end of November:

Characters in Motion (Keep Readers in Motion)
How using the structure of a road trip, with encounters with unexpected characters, cultures and places, can work well for novel development. I provide explanations of brief examples, including my own. (Well, my own isn’t that brief, but hey, it’s my essay.) Published by the fine folks at WriterUnboxed in November 2021.

And I didn’t do a lot of article curating either (what did I do?), but here’s one, to keep your brain’s hips in shape:

Meditation’s Anti-aging Benefits

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