Donald Trump Is a Symptom of America’s Dark Side


I came of age during America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union, witnessing its denouement while serving in the US military. In those days, the USSR led the world’s weapons trade, providing arms to the Warsaw Pact (the military alliance it dominated) as well as to client states like Cuba, Egypt, and Syria. The United States usually came in second in arms dealing, a dubious silver medal that could, at least, be rationalized as a justifiable response to Soviet aggression, part of the necessary price for a longstanding policy of “containment.” In 1983, President Ronald Reagan had dubbed the Soviet Union an “evil empire” in part because of its militarism and aggressive push to sell weaponry around the globe, often accompanied by Soviet troops, ostensibly as trainers and advisers

(Excerpt from William Astore’s article in Nation. Read more)

3 Key Strategies for Thriving in the Ever-Changing World of Being an Author



Every day we hear of new strategies for writing faster or book marketing, we learn of a new tool that could help our author business, or we listen to a podcast that gives us more ideas.

The To Do list doesn’t ever get shorter, and the world will not stop changing around us.

We have to keep up, and enjoy keeping up, if we want to thrive in an industry of constant change.

(Excerpt from Joanna Penn’s post in The Creative Penn. Read more.)

Writer at a standstill


Joe: Good morning Calliope.

Calliope: Good morning Joe. I have not heard from you for a while. Is everything okay?

Joe: That depends on how you look at it. I have been in good health and feel that I am doing quite well physically. My health has been good and I feel fortunate to be doing as well as I am at age 74.

Calliope: Do I sense a “but?”

Joe: You are quite perceptive. Although I am doing well physically, I feel in turmoil after the political developments over the past couple months.

Calliope: You are not alone. How does it affect you?

Joe: I have found that my writing has ground almost to a standstill. I have made a good start on my latest book, the one on anger but have had trouble formulating any thoughts lately.

Calliope: Why a standstill?

Joe: I am saddened, worried, and discouraged over the direction I see my country taking and see those in power as working to undo what progress has been made for a more livable world, despite their rhetoric about working for the people.

Calliope: What can you do about it.

Joe: I have been writing about my concerns, how to look at myself, others,  and our world in a sane and productive way. I would like to continue in that direction but feel like the voice of one crying in the wilderness to quote a biblical expression.

Calliope: So you don’t feel like your words would be of any significance?

Joe: That’s how I feel.

Calliope: What about all the voices expressing their frustration?

Joe: Frustration is a feeling and by itself does not lead anywhere but to more frustration.

Calliope: Don’t you think that identifying a feeling is the first step toward dealing with it?

Joe: I do think so. As a matter of fact, this is one of the main themes of my book on anger. I guess I need to own my frustration and associated feelings, try to understand and make sense of them and get moving again.

Calliope: Now you are talking. On with it!



craft ink table

There’s all this hubbub floating around out there lately, conflicting theories of all the DOs and DON’Ts of what it takes to be or become a successful author.

Some time ago, I saw some Perpetual Writing Advice Giver actually tweet that if you’re a writer promoting your work and you don’t have this many (double digit) thousand followers on Twitter, you’re simply not trying hard enough. To add insult to offense, said party didn’t even have a half of that “strongly suggested” following.

(Excerpt from Tanya Moore’s post on A Writer’s Path  . Read more here.)