Christmastide

Your Christmas gifts are not late.

Now, that doesn’t mean they will arrive on December 25. The current USPS delivery load is estimated at 40% over normal and 19,000 of their workers are out due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. Those of us who respect the opinions of medical experts and the health department are not delivering packages ourselves as we stay home for the holiday and ship instead. It’s a stressful time to be working at the post office.

But still, your Christmas gifts are not late. Christmas is actually a twelve-day festival called Christmastide which begins December 25 and ends January 6. In fact in Latin America, the day to exchange gifts is the Epiphany, the commemoration of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child and the offering of their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

That last one, myrrh is an embalming oil. Whether you believe in COVID-19 or not, there are 400,000+ more deaths in 2020 than in 2019, the largest yearly increase since 1919 and the Spanish Flu. I will ask the question to the naysayers again: if you include total deaths together regardless of cause, what exactly explains the increase? Continue reading

Farm Table Thanksgiving

I write this at my dining room table, a custom built 8-foot, 250+ pound, white oak farm table, so new the clear coat has not cured yet. It arrived only two weeks ago, just in time for a Thanksgiving feast that will not happen.

For years, I hosted ‘Wayfarers Thanksgiving’, a dinner party for ‘orphans’, for those of us who left our places of origin for opportunities in the Twin Cities and had no family to spend the holiday with. I was in a one-bedroom apartment with a view of an alley and no dining room table. We packed in the living room around a coffee table and sat on paisley mustard pillows suitable for outdoor furniture.

I have my first home now, a condo with a fireplace, and a dining room big enough to host such a party. But there is no party, only dinner for two in the sunroom. I cannot risk COVID-19. It’s not for my sake, but for all the vulnerable adults in my life. I would survive but I cannot risk spreading it first, second, or third hand to others. I know everyone is sick of hearing about it, but COVID-19 isn’t over just because you’re bored with it.

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Book of Snark: Book Reviews

“Tension Mounts put together a wonderfully charming book that I felt validated many of my thoughts. I read this while my toddler was sleeping right next to me, and I am so glad my outbursts of random laughter did not wake her up! If you want to laugh and feel like you are sitting next to your wise but ornery Great Aunt Molly, this is the book for you!” -Laurie on goodreads.com

That is the first review of Book of Snark I have received by someone I am certain is a stranger. And I can not tell you what a thrill it is for me that my book makes its readers laugh out loud. Several friends have kindly texted me to tell me that they laughed while reading it, but now I have confirmation that it is not just my current fanbase who enjoys it. The book is finding its audience out in the wild.

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Turn the Page

And so, my first ‘Book of Snark’ is published and spreading across the country. Most of my immediate fanbase has bought it. I hope they get a chuckle. Now the book faces the real test of the open market- which is flooded and has an ever-shrinking audience of readers. It will succeed or fail based on its own merit and how much suppression of organic reach FaceBook can muster. The book probably won’t win any awards or change the world, but I believe in its quality and value.

And frankly, in this year of 2020 we could all use a laugh. Continue reading

Book of Snark: Goodreads Book Giveaway

Hot off the press! US & Canadian residents can enter this Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win one of five signed copies of Book of Snark: Wit & Wisdom for the Angry Professional Woman on the Bus.

Book of Snark is a parody of motivational self-help books, a collection of pointed anti-affirmation quips from an unimpressed, middle aged female professional who does not suffer fools.

Read a review of this book from one of my first readers!

If you like it, you can order your signed copy from my Square site (USA only) –OR– an eBook or paperback copy from Amazon.com.

Book of Snark: Live!

Join me at 1pm Central for my Facebook Live Launch of the Book of Snark!

Book of Snark, a collection of anti-affirmation feminist satire, a parody of motivational self-help books, pages of punchlines that describe the day to day life of an unimpressed, middle aged female professional, who commutes by bus.

This is my first published work of satire. The launch date is set for October 10, 2020. BYOB. This FB event categorizes it as ‘literature’ but it lies. Seek works of literary merit elsewhere.

Order your signed copy from my Square site (USA only)
–OR–
Order your copy from Amazon.com starting 10-10-2020

Book of Snark: Launch

Coming 10-10-20- Book of Snark LIVE!

Book of Snark is a collection of anti-affirmation feminist satire, a parody of motivational self-help books, pages of punchlines that describe the day to day life of an unimpressed, middle aged female professional, who commutes by bus. This is my first published work of satire. The launch date is set for October 10, 2020.

Now, book launches might be considered book promotion but really, especially for independent authors, it’s an excuse to have a party. A ‘birthday party’ for the ‘book baby’, a term I despise almost as much as ‘fur baby’, but both still less annoying than a dog in a dress.

Anyway, the book does deserve some kind of celebration, some kind of recognition for the years spent agonizing over it, to finally set it free in the world to do whatever work it was meant to do. Or at least whatever work it can do in the age of marketing saturation and active suppression of organic reach.

What, me cynical?

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Book of Snark: Sneak Preview

Book of Snark is my first published work of satire.

It is a collection of anti-affirmation feminist satire. It is a parody of motivational self-help books, pages of punchlines that describe the day to day life of an unimpressed, middle aged female professional, who commutes by bus.

Book of Snark will be published October of 2020 on Amazon.

Here’s a sneak preview of chapter 1:

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Book of Snark: Cover

Choosing the cover for a book is a really big deal.

It is the primary marketing tool that remains with the book at all times… at least until the kids rip it off or hopefully it falls off from being read over and over. Despite the old idiom, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, people do.

Readers take under 3 seconds to decide whether they are going to spend any time with your book based solely on its cover. So, it must spark interest. It must be attractive enough to look like you cared, that you took the time to think about it. Because a sloppy cover promises a sloppy book and who wants to bother with that?

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Book of Snark: Self-publishing

I am self-publishing my first book this fall:

Book of Snark, Wit & Wisdom for the Angry Professional Woman on the Bus.

(see photo above)

It is not my first self-publishing project. In 2017, I edited the post-humous memoir Popcorn from the Void by my friend Todd Park about leukemia and what it’s like to undergo a bone marrow transplant. I knew no publishing house would touch it because it was based on his blog. The book received a lot of praise, both for content and construction. I submitted it to the Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards and though it got 30/30 points from its judge, it didn’t win or even get an honorable mention. Todd was a great man and it is a wonderful book with a lot of good stuff in it but the topic turns people off.

There is a lot of myth and romance around the dream of being a published author. The common belief among those who don’t know is that if you write a great book, success will follow. The truth is, if you write a great book, you are issued a lottery ticket and then you wait with thousands of other great books to see who gets picked. Continue reading