thWhat a weird non-vacation it’s been so far. After arriving midday Monday I was pretty hazy. Far too much of Tuesday and Wednesday were spent doing interviews and writing up a last-minute freelance job that I couldn’t turn down. (Hint: It’s not only quite lucrative, it’s also leading to more paying gigs.)

Edits were waiting when I got up this morning, but the S.O.B. is finally done! At least until the copy desk comes a-knockin’. And we’re on our way to eat ribs at Bobby Q’s, so life is looking better all the time.

But that’s not what I came here to talk about.


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th-1El Niño is messing with us. Whether your weather is running weirdly hot or punishingly cold, chances are you can use a little treat. That’s why I’m giving away $10 worth of Starbucks gift cards.

If the winner lives in subzero territory it’s time for a steaming coffee, chai or hot chocolate. Maybe a second one, too, to pour over his or her frozen toes.

And if you’re walking around in shorts and a T-shirt in Philly or New York? Further the “hey, it’s spring already!” illusion with a fancy iced drink. (Or hang on to it for the inevitable return of cold-and-damp days, when you’ll really need a little consolation.)


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Yesterday I saw a funny letter reproduced online, purportedly written by a St. Louis guy who decided not to lend his 6-year-old son $20 to buy something.

He created a logo – Dad Savings and Loan: Because Apparently I Look Like I’m Made of Money – and explained why the loan had been declined. Among other things, the child had “insufficient funds and a history of not doing (his) chores.”

In addition, “over $80 has been spent on discretionary entertainment expenses since Christmas…an unsustainable amount of expenditure, and we cannot further compound the problem by financially assisting with (further) debt at this point.”


Classic! And it touched a particular nerve with me. Here’s why.


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th-1Readers and writers: Want to talk about personal finance, blogging techniques or life itsownself?

I’m heading to Phoenix on Monday and hope you’ll join my daughter and me — and possibly some bloggers to be named later — at a casual meet-up on Saturday, Jan. 23.

I’ll be in town to visit my daughter, who blogs at I Pick Up Pennies. Abby and I will hold forth from approximately 1 to 4 p.m. at the Wendy’s restaurant (see “casual,” above) near her home. We’ve staged meet-ups there in the past and it’s been quite pleasant. Management doesn’t seem to mind if we loiter and talk.

And talk. And talk.

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thChandler Bolt’s “Self-Publishing School” will soon be in session once more. In the meantime Bolt is offering a free mini-course on dreaming up, writing, publishing and promoting your fiction or nonfiction book(s).

You can register for the first video, “How To Become A Bestselling Author in 2016,” starting today.

Bolt describes it as “the exact blueprint to go from blank page to bestselling author in just 90 days — even if you’re busy, bad at writing, or don’t know where to start.” Registration also gets you a free e-book, “Book Launch Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Launching A Bestseller,” by Tim Grahl.


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