A new book and 2021 reflections

New book announcement

Exciting news: EVERYDAY THIEVES is now available on Amazon and other fine ebook retailers! Here’s the book description:

Every con begins with trust. Who do you trust?

Elizabeth Holmes. Bernie Madoff. Anna Delvay/Sorokin. These are the con artists that grab headlines. But the most dangerous con artists are the people we think we know best. These four short stories explore what happens when ordinary deceptions hit close to home.

“Trust Account”: A disgraced risk manager recalls the events leading to a $500,000 theft under her watch.

“The Thief I Loved”: An identity thief victim refuses to believe her generous, loving boyfriend may be the culprit.

“A Phone Scammer is Born”: A young woman struggles between her wallet and her conscience as she works at a fraudulent call center.

“For Richer or Poorer”: A suspicious business opportunity tests a wife’s loyalty to her husband.

Year-end reflections

It’s the time of year when many of us reflect on how we spent the last 12 months. For me, 2021 was the year I reclaimed a lot of my time and attention:

  • I quit reading the news (I highly recommend it–the stress raises your cortisol, which in turn suppresses your immune system and that’s the last thing you need right now).
  • I quit all volunteer activities except for writing Postcards to Voters. For some activities, like community theatre, it was a difficult decision because I enjoyed making props and decorating sets. Other activities were easy to quit because I always felt used.
  • I started learning guitar. For me, this was the key that clarified the rest of my priorities. I found it easier to say no to time-wasters when I had a weekly lesson to prepare for, and committing to music rejuvenated my commitment to writing.
  • I quit trying to be traditonally published and embraced self-publishing. I wrote more about it here, but I have to say this is the best creative decision I’ve made in the 20+ years I’ve been writing. My brain is full of ideas again and best of all, I’m having fun. It’s been too long since I had fun writing.

The world is filled with people and organizations who will gladly tell you how you should spend your time. The best thing to do is ignore them. Your life is too precious to squander on people who see you only as a tool for their own agendas. If your goals and their goals align, great! But don’t let someone else’s priorities be your priorities because of peer pressure or guilt or other mindgames that reveal how little they respect you.

Each of us has unique gifts to share to the world, but if we don’t give ourselves the space to explore and develop those gifts, if we let others yank our attention all over the place, if we spend too much time reacting to the immediate instead of working on the long-term, those gifts will die. Your soul likely will too.

Remember, when you say “yes” to something, you say “no” to everything else. Make sure it’s worth the tradeoff.

What will you say “no” to in 2022? What more important things will you say “yes” to instead?