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Well sure. Life being what it is and filling all time when you're looking to do so makes it hard to keep up with something you really should be doing. That is the bane of ambitious (in my case, ADD) people. And before anyone body slams me for making fun of a troubled group, I am ADD. I would have been in serious trouble in the days when they medicated kids who looked out of the window on a spring day rather than paying attention to the teacher. Then you would only get yelled at with a potential slap to the back of the head.

We all have our crosses to bear. I learned over the years to super-concentrate on the task at hand. To the point of being oblivious to my surroundings. Hopefully someone will tell me if the house catches fire...

No one is reading my blog entries now, but I figure it will be a good font of information if I ever hit it big. You know, in the competency hearing where the kids are trying to gain control of my newly found bucks and chuck me into a padded cell. I qualify, you know. All except for the bucks. But I figure, fly under the radar, and be true to you. Or in this case me. I'm heading into the Seen-ager part of my life (look that one up) and fully intend to go back to my goofy young self without a thought to propriety...

The writing has been great, up to seven self-published books! I refer to them as the super-seven after a similarly titled cartoon I barely remember from kid hood. I also believe in making the world the way I want it to be. I don't like aggressive and obnoxious, or rude, or boring, or self-centered. At least in others. I loathe those characteristics in myself. Yet I keep finding the behavior slipping into my daily repertoire. Maddening actually. Not the person I want to be. Maybe if I quit driving to work...

I've had reading spikes, and some great comments. A quite valuable review said they loved the concept of Time Fixers, but were disappointed with my syrupy handling. That's OK. I was going for what some would consider overly sentimental. Because...well that's me. But NO ONE has said I can't write. Not yet anyway. That's OK too. I want to find my niche and leave everyone else alone.

I loved writing short stories, in the way you enjoy anything that is new and alien and stinks when you first start it, then overcome it. I can see where I've grown as a writer, and when I go back in reviews, how far I have to go. That's also OK. Will I ever master this art? Who knows? I think that is likely best judged by readers.

When I get my bearings, I'll pursue book 8. My loyal daughter Sarah is adamant it be a sequel to What Watches and Waits. We've hashed out some details as we did with Sagittarian Blue. But I don't have that passion right now, and don't want to half-fast it.

My early on writer buddy Dylan West devotes himself to interfacing with the public, and has a nice following. (you really need to read his work) I would do that but...ADD rears it's ugly head again. I suppose it's best if we all do us, it would get awfully boring if we approached life the same way. I've started making videos, and that has been fun. It has also helped that I produce videos for my team at work. I thought I'd hate marketing, but it's been a hoot learning new things.

I may never make the big-time, but that's not bad. I was lamenting to my wife Beth one day, that I'd never become a captain of industry. What a waste, what a lack of success. Then she asked me, "Did you want to be a captain of industry?"

Nope. I did not. But besides wandering, my mind likes to guilt me over meaningless things. Maybe writing as a form of therapy? I'm sure someone has already thought of that. But if we had to construct totally new ideas to earn legitimacy, we'd all be dead ducks.

For anyone who stumbles across these posts, let me hear from you. Maybe this time I won't wait over a year to create another...

Be well and safe everyone!

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Always sounds impressive doesn't it? I used to listen to those song compilations complete with news that surrounded their airplay as a kid. It all sounded so remarkable, as if the times we lived in were monumental and would be held up as an example to following generations.

So much for that. Much of the culture I grew up in is either a source of shame or hilarity depending on whether its being examined by a social critic or a comic. But as we've been told for years, write what you know. Every generation has lessons, and ours were pretty us anyway. In summary, I think we left things better than we found them. And that is a pretty good start. So I reference that era early and often in my writing.

Fortunately, no one is hanging around waiting for my infrequent posts. Most of the time I feel like the lone reporter jotting down his observations in an end of the world movie. Maybe, some archivist will stumble upon them and find something useful contained within.

I imagine its like all of us as we struggle for recognition. Each of us sat down and constructed our life long dream to share these stories rambling around in our heads and find our audience. Not for riches, we knew better than that. Artists like Fitzgerald, Maugham, and Hemingway are pretty rare. They made bags of money and are revered long after their passing. Most of the writers I know would settle for a few thousand avid readers who care about the stories they tell. And maybe enough money to rent a seaside cabin for a summer. And of course, spend our time doing more writing in it.

We took advantage of the time provided by the pandemic, and put ourselves to work. As it turns out, so did everyone else. It was always difficult to find an agent who took and interest in your work. Now its ridiculously impossible. Agents are so lined up, that they can't possibly even take a cursory look at everything submitted.

Ah yes Mike, but we have an advantage those who came before us didn't have, self-publishing!

True. And I'm grateful. I've published five novels this year. Five. I have two more in the works for next. To say I never expected to do that would be a hilarious understatement. But because of self-publishing, I have my work in a professional form out for public consumption. I built a website. I blog (occasionally). If I'd stumbled across a willing agent, everything would have been handed to me. I wouldn't have tried silly marketing ads to try and attract attention. I would NEVER had opened a Twitter account, or created a presence on Instagram.

You know, I'm almost happy I couldn't find an agent. I know things I didn't know last year at this time, and as I profess to my students, (hence, professor) life is about learning and doing.

And the people! Authors and readers from all around the globe! And I'm going to share an observation that many of you already know. Dylan West is going to make it folks. Big. If there is an 'IT' factor for authors, he has it. He researches everything to the final detail, creates a plan, and executes. And of course, his work is superb. Another lesson for someone like me that doesn't throw himself completely into the work.

All the people. Like the line from Logan's Run where Peter Ustinov never knew anyone but his parents until he met Logan. Yep. he wanted to see all the people more than anything. Well, we're meeting them. And I'll never believe there is one of us who would want to make it by stepping on someone else. I've always been a Pollyanna that way. Now I know lot's of other folks who feel the same.

So there it is. I'm better off than I was, just like all those year end compilations I recall. Despite the frustrations and setbacks, the goals we didn't meet, the connections that didn't pan out...lots of you feel the same.

Let's take time to be proud of ourselves, and raise a glass to the writing community. For those Fitzgerald's, Maugham's, and Hemingway's out there working toward their inevitable

discovery...they will take part of us with them. Kind of like Maslow's Pyramid, isn't it? Every new level is based on the essence of the one preceding it.

Now if you ever take one of my courses, you will have an idea what to expect. Did I mention Greenleaf's Servant Leadership?

All the best in the new year friends!

Your pal, Mike.

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Or, just when you thought had settled into a predictable pattern...

#book #reader #writer

I thought I'd had Sciatica before. I thought I'd had intense pain before with four torn meniscus. Nope. I never had pain that made me cry out, or made me ready to do anything to make it stop. I know there are suffering people out there with things that are much worse, and my thoughts and prayers go out to you. But I hope never to repeat this experience. To that end, I am seeing health professionals. Really good ones. But it could be that my days of doing all the yard and heavy house repair work are behind me. hard to accept.

So for now, the pain is gone, and I'm back to work and promotion. And in writing, your mind is never restricted by physical limitations. And whatever experiences don't do us in make us stronger! I'll go for that. In fact, much of the pain and suffering of prior years made me the writer I am today, and for that, I'm grateful that something good came out of it. It's all for a purpose.

For today, I want to say how amazed I am by the wonderful folks who say such nice things about my writing! It is truly gratifying that I can reach people that way. Now, if I could get some of those wonderful people to post those nice comments where others can see them...

I mean, the comments really help me determine 'how I'm driving the vehicle of my....never mind. I just wanted to insert Cheech and Chong here. (Did I mention my childhood fantasy of legal pot came true here in Arizona/) Good enough on it's own without a lame comment. But YOUR comments aren't go to goodreads or Amazon and let the world know what you thought of any...or all...of my books!

Enough for today. If things hold together, I can get back into regular blogging. As always, keep reading and let me know what you think!

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