A few days into the new year and things are finally settling down for me. I tried to keep working on my next Dan Stone novel through the holidays, but my being the chief person responsible for making things go smoothly, took over most of my time. This past week, my wife and I were fully scheduled with doctors. Nothing critical, but I think we’re dropping down the rabbit hole of specialists. I’m thinking that we might have to exert control and decision-making as the medical community will go to great lengths to poke and prod you, all with the best of intentions but not necessarily the best results.

We did get to see part of our family over the holiday, which is always special. I hope all of you got to experience some of that special joy. Now it’s back to work with almost a sigh of relief!

Sales of my latest book, Revenger, are going stunningly well. It is fun to get up every day and see how well the book did the prior day (yes, I can track book sales daily). It energizes me. It also seems that new readers, finding and liking Revenger, are going back to my earlier books, which is raising their sales numbers as well. All very heartening, and I want to thank all of you who have purchased my novels over the years and recommended them to your friends.

Starting a new story doesn’t always involve having a complete outline in my head. Sometimes, it’s just a scene or a tentative plot that captures my imagination. From there, I have to build a full-fledged story. That can mean doing a lot of what I call “hunting around” at the beginning like a dog coursing back and forth to find a scent to follow. I’m in that process right now, having written about 16,000 words and revised them twice already. (My novels generally run about 100,000 words.) At this point, the trail is beginning to emerge, and hope to soon be on the “hunt”, going forward with the storyline. It’s part of the struggle and pleasure of writing.

Twenty-twenty-four is going to be a dangerous year. I won’t go into my reasons here. I’ve written a bit about the dangers I see for our country on my website blogs as well as on Facebook and Substack. I’ll probably write more on this topic as the year progresses. My hope is that everyone will apply calm judgment and common sense when considering the news and who to support. Politicians are a mixed bag. Our system corrupts so many that it makes it hard to trust any of them. Sort them out carefully, and don’t pick the ones you “like”; it’s not a popularity contest. Pick the ones that will do the job and protect your freedoms, which are under assault.

And, along the way, find time to give and receive love. You will never go to your grave thinking you had loved too much. Find moments to do even small acts of kindness to others. Spend time with people who uplift and challenge you. Avoid people who try to bring you down. You can’t help them in the end, and they will only drag you into their misery. Find your gifts; it can be a lifelong endeavor. And each day, try to be better than you were the past day. We all die in the end, but if you have a goal and pursue it, you will discover that you stay young at heart right to the end. I’ve seen it in others, and I try to emulate that approach in my own life.

I know the above may seem like a bunch of platitudes, but platitudes become such because they express fundamental truths. Anyway, these thoughts are like vitamins. They may or may not help you, but they certainly won’t harm you. Give it a try this year, and if you have time, let me know how it’s going. You can reach me at

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you!

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