Tuesday, December 21, 2021

'Cabin Fervor,' your gay gift for the holidays

Happy Holidays! I got you something.

 My short story, "Cabin Fervor," is free today through Dec. 25.
Ernie and Jase, two unemployed Broadway dancer boyfriends, escape pandemic-ridden Manhattan for a friend’s upstate cabin. After a few months of interactions with wild animals and eccentric townsfolk, they impulsively decide to make a series of sexy videos with musical theater themes that become a surprise hit online. Combining humor, current events, and erotic exhibitionism, 'Cabin Fervor' captures a strange moment in time with wry wit and affection.  

"'Cabin Fervor' is a great short that takes a peek at how one special couple copes with the unique struggles of staying happy and healthy during a pandemic. This story offers heart, humor, and just a touch of political commentary." - JeffandWill.com
Download the Kindle on Amazon at

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Stephen Sondheim's legacy and little links to my life

It's impossible to imagine a world without the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The prolific composer-lyricist died on November 26 at age 91. His passing got me reeling through my years on and offstage, and how, like so many other fans, his work wove its way into our lives, and for me, as the eventual inspiration for an entire novel.
The world-renowned lyricist and composer won eight Tony Awards throughout his extensive career, alongside an Academy Award, seven Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Laurence Olivier Award.
The first Broadway show that Sondheim composed both the lyrics and music for proved to be a winner out the gate. He scored a Tony Award for Best Musical for that show, the 1962 comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which ran for more than two years.  
As a former actor and dancer, now a writer, his art had a strong influence, despite my never having exactly performed in any productions of his shows. But before I reminisce about Sondheim, and my briefly meeting him, here are some other reflections from more prominent voices.

In comes company

Bernadette Peters, who performed in six of his shows, tweeted, “He gave me so much to sing about. I loved him dearly and will miss him so much. Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world, Steve.”

Star of Rob Marshall’s 2014 film version of “Into the Woods” Anna Kendrick tweeted, “I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and f – – king difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim. Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. A devastating loss.”

Other performers shared online tributes to Sondheim, including Mandy Patinkin, Carol Burnett, George Hearn, and others. Playbill has a great round-up of quotes from the 2010 celebratory concert in his honor. Sounds of Broadway's hosting a weekend mix tribute of Sondheim songs. I'm sure they're not the only ones binging on Sondheim's music.

Womb to Tomb
My first dose of Sondheim's talent was allegedly prenatal. My parents attended a New York City screening of the film West Side Story while my mother was several months pregnant with me (my brother and sister were left with a babysitter). 

Before the film made its eagerly anticipated network TV premiere, the promo commercials had me excited (the crotch-level shot of three Sharks may have had something to do with it), and with the album and a used record player, I spent many a night dancing and singing along in our Ohio home's basement.

Our parents encouraged their kids' artistic inclinations. My sister took ballet lessons, and my brother and I tagged along for shows at Ashland College with our parents sometimes participating; my father in two shows. When the college produced A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, with no kids needed in the cast, I instead snuck into dress rehearsals and shows, mostly to ogle the hunky student playing Miles Glorioso.

But Gypsy became a more immersive experience. The film adaptation being a regular Sunday matinee on a local TV station, we already knew the show. As young newsboys, my brother, me and a few other boys were a small part of the cast, but I watched the rest of it through almost every rehearsal, with a few of the older guys becoming the subjects of my intense preteen crushes.

I'd love to see how good this production was, but in my child's eye, it seemed terrific. My collected memories were slightly fictionalized in my seventh novel, Finding Tulsa. The fictional part of the story is about a gay film director in the 1990s who gets a big break on a serious TV movie, only to rediscover the hunky student actor from his childhood production of Gypsy. What then happens is complete fiction.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Scribe, unsubscribe

I recently unsubscribed from a lot of the writers’ newsletters I’d been getting for years, and most of the authors’ Facebook groups, and Twitter groups that happen to have been cluttering up my inbox and my news feed for the past few years.


Why? Because, while I’m always interested in learning new techniques for writing and book promotion, after nine mostly self-published book releases over 20+ years, I know what works: writing a great book. I also know what doesn’t work: not having a huge corporation to promote your book.


So, please buy my books.


It’s also been said that one shouldn’t be too blunt about promoting yourself.

F- that. Buy my books.


I’m tired of listening to chats about promoting books that dance around the truth; famous authors sell more books.


I hosted a Lit Crawl event for the (lucky) thirteenth time. Readings don’t sell books. But buy our books.


I stopped accepting invitations to seminars online, particularly one hosted by authors whose books I don’t want to read, but who says, ‘It isn’t a competition, support other authors.’

To that, I say, don’t buy their books; buy mine.


I stopped attending online seminars because they just repeated what I knew already; if you want to write, good for you.


If you want to get a lot of readers, write a commercial book and promote the hell out of it. Pay a billion-dollar corporation (Goodreads, owned by Amazon) $100-plus to give your book away.


Myself? Nope. Done that; complete strangers unfamiliar with gay fiction or books like mine will almost always dismiss or dislike something thy never would have paid to read.


Just buy my books.


I don’t do a newsletter, because I don’t care what you think about me, and I don’t have anything to say that would interest you. Did you know that I clipped my nails yesterday, and that typing the day after always hurts my fingers a little?


The interesting stuff is in my books.


Writing is difficult. I won’t be doling out advice to novices on spreadsheets.


If you don’t have a compulsion to write fiction or memoir or historical books, then do something else.


If you’re completely obsessed to the point of compulsion to write then do it.

If you ‘have an idea for a sort of book,’ then take up knitting.

Get out of the way. The future is crowded.


Buy my books, and my fellow authors’ books, and my frenemies’ books.

Go to an actual bookstore and buy books.


The underlying motivation for anyone to communicate is to sell their stuff.

And if you’re not buying my books, have never read any of my books, then go somewhere else.


It’s that simple. 



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Louise Fitzhugh’s truth and lies – 'Harriet the Spy' author’s revelatory biography

Thousands of teenage aspiring writers found inspiration from the notebook-scribbling eleven-year-old girl in the best-selling 1964 novel Harriet the Spy. Some, myself included, became especially aware of the irascible protagonist’s gender-nonconforming attire and demeanor. But only years later did fans discover that the book’s author, Louise Fitzhugh, was a lesbian.

In a thoroughly researched and utterly fascinating biography, Sometime You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy, Leslie Brody shares intimate details of the writer’s sometimes fabulous, sometimes troubled life. 

Like nearly all biographies, Brody begins with her subject’s family, an affluent Memphis-based lineage before her birth in 1928. But Fitzhugh had no ordinary heritage. When she was an infant, her parents’ contentious divorce proceedings rivaled the Scopes ‘Monkey’ trail, and the days in the packed courthouse made newspaper headlines for weeks.

This all later left a young Fitzhugh bereft, particularly when her father lied that her mother had died. Dissolute and determined to escape the tainted traditions of her family and the antiquated debutante rites other young women took on, Fitzhugh impulsively eloped with a man before the marriage was abruptly annulled.

Louise Fitzhugh

She took to more rebellious behavior, and even a love affair with Amelia Brent, a young woman whose premature death would later inspire a lesbian-themed unfinished novel, Mimi.

The inspiration for what would later become the fictional Harriet’s obsession may have begun when Fitzhugh interned at the local newspaper, filing old articles, including reports of her own family, specifically her estranged mother (a later reunion would prove to be unsettling).

After studies at Bard College, Fitzhugh’s eventual trek north to New York City led her to the West Village’s bohemian artist circles, where she befriended authors Maurice Sendak and Loraine Hansberry.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Writing as an excuse for not 'Writing'

While I'm very lucky to have been employed through the past year, the additional writing and editing assignments for my day job have somewhat overtaken my fiction writing. But here's why that's okay.

While following a lot of author blogs and advice posts on social media, I've had to come to terms with the timing of my seventh novel Finding Tulsa being released during a pandemic and the most contention presidential election in twenty years. The mild critical acclaim and lack of sales were predictable. People have been distracted by the pandemic and it's understandable. 

Like many authors I adjusted and did online chats and readings all of which you can find on my YouTube channel. The views, subscriptions and likes are always appreciated.

But it's also disappointing to have completed and published one of my better works so far and have it be either ignored or just get the occasional virtual pat on the back on social media posts promoting it. 

The important thing is that, like me, many of us have endured. Perhaps we've written about our situation amid the pandemic or even taken a dive into escapist forms of not writing about it.

Fortunately for me, the obligation of editing and writing many stories a week for my day job –yes, while mostly working from home– has kept my creative juices flowing. It's also improved my skills, not just writing, but editing for our website; deciding on photos and videos to use, and promoting hundreds of LGBTQ artists in visual media, film, comedy, theater and nightlife.

Possibly the most momentous aspect this year is the 50th anniversary of the Bay Area Reporter. I got to assign almost a dozen lengthy feature articles in different media in the arts and nightlife in the B.A.R.'s history that recounted the decades of journalistic accomplishments in the newspaper I've worked with on and off for 30 years. I even created a short video promoting the anniversary, and will produce monthly video chats with our writers, photographers and special guests, all viewable on the B.A.R.'s new YouTube channel.

My own personal essay is excerpted here, and you can read the full version on www.ebar.com. I talk about my early employment and changes in my duties from an assistant editor to a freelance sports columnist and, in the past year, due to some unfortunate staff cuts, being promoted to the Arts Editor as well as doing nightlife coverage.

It's been an amazing three decades, particularly when I think about that career day in junior high school where I said I wanted to be a writer (meaning books) and my misinformed English teacher said there were no novelists in my small town. So I ended up following a photojournalist that day and learned that it was a good entryway into learning how to write. That's proven to be a good recipe; having daily and weekly deadlines improves one's writing and is highly recommended. 

So here's an excerpt from my essay honoring the 50th anniversary of the Bay Area Reporter. Read more on the website, along with the many other anniversary features I assigned, plus News history articles.

Go West: How the B.A.R. brought me to California and halfway around the world, twice

With more than 900 articles penned for the Bay Area Reporter, I feel a strong connection as the newspaper celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. I've written columns, listings and reviews since 1992. Having assigned and edited the expansive features in this section, I thought to share some behind the scenes tales as well.

My career in journalism started in 1989 in New York City with OutWeek, the revolutionary weekly publication that emerged from ACT UP, Queer Nation, but didn't last long.

After a 1990 visit for the OutWrite literary festival, my second working visit to San Francisco was in early 1992, on a freelance assignment for Frontiers magazine to cover Ggreg Taylor's Lavender Tortoise bus trip to Reno. I got to witness the 'marriage' of 'Elvis Herselvis' Leigh Crow and Justin (not then Vivian) Bond.

Along my immersion course on wheels into the Bay Area's cleverest nightlife folks, I'd also brought a few resumes. While a Guardian editor offered me an internship (as if!), the B.A.R.'s publisher Bob Ross offered me a trial run to replace Mike Yamashita, who was compiling event listings and had a month's vacation planned. While my start as a San Francisco resident and B.A.R. reporter was initially tentative, my residence and the fill-in job became a permanent one.

From 1992 to 1994, along with assembling events with multi-colored fliers from Josie's Juice Joint and Theatre Rhino, I also typed up the BARtalk personals ads, a duty that revealed the varied desires of multiple anonymous San Francisco men. I revamped the listings to be more visual, assisting production guys Robert Dietz and Robert Hold in the drafty downstairs back room that sometimes smelled of Photostat chemicals and the burning waxer machine, still used for assembling printed-out 'boards' of the newspaper's pages. I'd also retrieve computer floppy discs and print-outs from visiting freelancers like Michael Botkin and Kate Bornstein.

I also had the more serious task of writing up handwritten obituaries, some of them of men I knew who had died of AIDS. I'd often have to call back surviving partners who'd omitted their own names.

Daily staff lunches were gossipy and fun, particularly with assistant editor Patrick Hochtel, advertising's David McBrayer, and assistant news editor Dennis Conkin. But the shining inspiration to me —for many others at the time, and years later— was the late Mike Salinas, the B.A.R. News Editor from 1992 to 1999.

Mike Salinas had been creator of Theater Week back in New York. He and I shared a love of Stephen Sondheim and other musical theater. His deft ability to create what he called 'the triple-entendre headline' was an inspiration, as was his focus on celebrating the community as well as critiquing it where deserved. He took no prisoners in his sassy responses to Letters to the Editor, a standard response being: "If you are dissatisfied with our publication, you may return it for a full refund."

Read more on www.ebar.com

Monday, April 19, 2021

Little Free Libraries and Giveaways

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but I've been secretly donating copies of my first novel PINS at little public libraries around town. If you want a copy just let me know. When I shared this elsewhere, I was surprised by the response, and shipped off half a dozen signed copies.

If you want to pay for postage, I'll let you know how to send $3 (U.S.) 

I still have a box or two left from the old pre-print-on-demand days. You can read about the books history in my 20th anniversary blog post.

Of course, you could just buy a used copy online

But the gift is the point. It is fun to peruse the selections at little public libraries. I often donate other books, but wonder who among random browsers might be interested in my own.

Anyway, to get your copy, just follow me and contact me on any of my social media: 




Read all the fabulous reviews on www.jimprovenzano.com

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Saints & Sinners Literary Festival online March 11-14; including my panel and reading


Literature online is now nothing new, but with an entire literary festival, from readings to panels, all online, the 18th annual Saints & Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival, usually held in New Orleans, returns with a robust roster on March 11-14, and most events are free to the public. I’ll be participating with a panel on Memoir & Fiction, and as part of the reading line-up.

The virtual SASFest will include literary discussions, writing workshops, readings, and special events, all via Zoom or YouTube. While the convivial gatherings at previous SASfests at New Orleans restaurants and bars will be missed, the online version packs the talent with literary legends and acclaimed new writers. Literary panels and discussion topics include a wide array of genres: mystery, romance, young adult, poetry, memoir vs. fiction, and short fiction.

Since 2003, Saints + Sinners Literary Festival brings together the who’s who of the LGBTQ literary world. The Festival features panel discussions and writing workshops by authors, editors, and publishers for emerging writers and LGBTQ literature fans. 

Among the highlights are a discussion with the Literary Luminaries of the Violet Quill —Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, and Edmund White­–  and a discussion of Jewish Lesbian Literature and Activism with Elana Dykewomon, Judith Katz, Irena Klepfisz, and Michele Karlsberg

The Reading Series includes new voices and literary icons sharing their work including Meredith Doench, Cheryl Head, Michael Lowenthal, Daniel W.K. Lee, David S. Pederson, JD Scott, Tammy Lynne Stoner, and Sassafras Lowrey.

Also reading: the winners from the festival’s first annual poetry contest —Danielle Bero, Ezra Adamo, and Steven Riel and three contributors to the festival’s 12th annual short fiction contest: Colby Byrne, Lisa Hines, and Laura Price Steele. 

(from upper left) Farzana Doctor, Colby Byrne, Dorothy Allison, Bryan Washington (from lower left) Phil Gambone, Regie Cabico and Judy Grahn are just seven of the many authors participating in SASfest 2021.

A new addition to the Festival lineup is a Conversation Series featuring authors interviewing authors. Bryan Washington will discuss his acclaimed first novel Memorial, a New York Times Noteable Book of 2020, with author Matthew Griffin. 

Scholar & Poet Julie R. Enszer will host a talk with literary icon Judy Grahn regarding her new book, Eruptions of Inanna: Justice, Gender and Erotic Power.

Founder of the Son of Baldwin media community, Robert Jones, Jr. discusses his groundbreaking new novel The Prophets, recently featured in the New York Times, with The Reading Life’s Susan Larson.


Journalist Merryn Johns will discuss sex and censorship and the modern gay rights movement with author and political activist Naomi Wolf; and Jenn Shapland and Carlos Dews discuss their passion for the work of Carson McCullers.


Special Events

SASfest this year will be more than books. Bay Area favorite Fauxnique (Monique Jenkinson) will perform excerpts from her provocative cabaret works and will read passages from her forthcoming drag memoir Faux Queen.

The New Orleans-based band The Slick Skillet Serenaders play a set of their 1920s and ‘30s-era Ragtime, Blues, and Jazz music stylings.

Jewelle Gomez

Members and donors to the festival can also view a partial screening and discussion of the Project Legacies documentary, In Her Words: 20th Century Lesbian Fiction. 

SASFest also offers established and emerging LGBTQ authors, as well as students and readers, an opportunity to network via Padlet, a free community building app, and nurture their craft with a diverse array of artistic and educational offerings.


The Writing Workshop Series will feature Dorothy Allison, Michael Nava, Matthew Clark Davison, and Radclyffe. Acclaimed writer Jewelle Gomez will lead a poetry workshop, and also included is an instructional workshop from Kindle Direct Publishing to familiarize authors with their services and self-publishing options. Workshops will have a fee.


Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop is the official bookstore of Saints and Sinners. Buy authors’ books from the shop via BookShop and the store will donate a portion of sales back to the Festival. All events are free this year with the exception of the Writing Workshops. Tickets on sale at

www.sasfest.org. (Reprinted from my article in the Bay Area Reporter.)

Monday, January 25, 2021

Cabin Fervor: a new short story about hunky Broadway dancers who escape to the woods

Wild animals in cities, Broadway dancers, OnlyFans and the pandemic might seem like unlikely story ideas, together at least. But these four topics blended together in an inspired writing spell, so I cranked out a fun tale called "Cabin Fervor."

Here's the story line: 

Ernie and Jase, two unemployed Broadway dancer boyfriends, escape pandemic-ridden Manhattan for a friend’s upstate cabin. After a few months of interactions with wild animals and eccentric townsfolk, they impulsively decide to make a series of sexy videos with musical theater themes that become a surprise hit online. Combining humor, current events, and erotic exhibitionism, "Cabin Fervor" captures a strange moment in time with wry wit and affection. 

While there are some serious issues taking place now, some are able to see a hint of, yes, humor in it. The very cute cover art is by illustrator and author David Cantero.

First; the COVID-19 pandemic is not funny. The heinous mismanagement of the pandemic by the inept and corrupt previous administration is obvious. Yet somehow, people have been able to find hope and a bit of dark humor to get through it. And as in the story, I do have some old New York City pals who've decided to temporarily leave the city. Reuters reports that it's effected NYC's economy to more than a billion dollars in losses.

Second; wild animals roaming through cities. Long before the pandemic, I longed to write a story about what I wrongly termed "bioconvergence." 

This PopSci article explores the phenomenon. Animal wildlife's habitats have long been decimated by human populations. What happens when they in turn, invade, or –more accurately– reclaim human spaces? Treehugger explores the days when animals roamed urban streets while humans huddled indoors. 

"Animals are not dramatically rebounding in the absence of humans, but they are timidly pushing their boundaries, with sika deer showing up outside their normal habitat in the park in Nara, Japan, wild turkeys showing up in a park in Oakland, California, and orcas venturing farther up Vancouver's Burrell Inlet than they typically do."

So when a common occurrence we've seen in countless YouTube videos temporarily becomes a 12 Monkeys norm, we take notice. When a fiction idea becomes a greater reality, it's time to get writing.

Alessio Vega & Taylor Collins


But wait (third and fourth); what about Broadway dancers and OnlyFans? Let's just say that I may follow a few hunky Broadway male dancer-actor-singers on social media. Being trained exhibitionists, they're performed a few times in Broadway Bares fundraisers. But under lockdown, they miss work, of course, but also their inner exhibitionism's quite inhibited!

Let's also assume that I may have visited a few gay adult websites that revealed a few racy photos and videos of a few male performers who, facing a complete shutdown of their performing opportunities, chose to 'pivot' into personalized adult entertainment (NSFW!).  Some celebs are using it in less adult ways, too.

"I'm somebody who stresses about a lot of things," says David Pevsner in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter

The actor who has appeared on Silicon Valley and Modern Family. Thanks in large part to OnlyFans, where he's been posting X-rated content for his subscribers since 2018, he says, "Right now money is not stressing me out." 



Put them all together, and you've got an oddly funny, sometimes sad, very sexy, and very contemporary tale.

Enjoy "Cabin Fervor." You can get it on (the evil, but whaddaya gonna do?) Amazon.

Wear your mask, make your own entertainment, as I did, and stay safe.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Finding Tulsa: two more reviews. 'E meglio tarde que mai.'

Considering the current state of things, I should be amazed anyone's buying or reviewing my books. But three months after being published, two more reviews of my seventh novel Finding Tulsa popped up. To translate the Italian phrase in this post's title, "Better late than never."

“It’s not easy writing a novel in the first person and relying on the sole perspective of your narrator, but Jim Provenzano pulls it off beautifully in Finding Tulsa. He brings us the remarkable voice and life experience of Stan Grozniak, a struggling Hollywood director and a nuanced gay man in a town where so many live on the surface of things...Finding Tulsa is both a unique and satisfying read that gives much perspective on the AIDS pandemic and living through it as a modern gay man.”

     – Art & Understanding

Also this:

Written as an autobiography, this entertaining work of fiction tells the story of Stan, a gay film director making a film about his past. Cast in the movie is Lance, a boyhood crush who Stan reconnects with in Hollywood. Finding Tulsa is an intense story, yet it’s an easy read due to the author’s vivid writing.  Echo Magazine

​And here are the other two published reviews.

Finding Tulsa is more than just the pseudo-memoir of a Hollywood hotshot and his sexual escapades (however exciting they are to read about — and in lurid, delicious detail), but also an unexpected, endearing love story. ... Whether its a small town production of Gypsy or a porno movie set in the desert, Stan's limitless passion for creativity and the artistic process remains intact, and guides him throughout.Edge Media Network

Finding Tulsa is a smashing exploration of what it would be like to be a gay film director of some renown living his best life. Mostly, I loved how recognizably messy Stan is, yet still makes his life work—which, for Stan, includes finding love with his unrequited high school crush and making a living through film; an excellent read for anyone who is interested in complex, first-person narratives.  – Joyfully Jay

Scant few for what should have been noticed by the many publications that were sent review copies.

Anyway, enjoy the fun trailer below, and listen & watch my Finding Tulsa playlist, as well as recent online readings and author chats, and my other books' related music playlists on my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Epiphanies and Epigrams; when you're too distracted to promote your own book, don't be surprised if no one buys it.

I understand, dear reader, fan or accidental visitor to my blog who was actually looking for celebrity nude photos; you haven't had time to read my seventh novel, Finding Tulsa, because it's been such a crazy time, and by 'crazy' I don't mean to disparage those struggling with mental health issues by reducing it to a Kathy comic ("Bleah!"), but actually, seriously insane times, what with a hundred-plus seditious GOP politicians still madly clinging to the baloney conspiracy of election fraud as they prop up their completely deranged outgoing president (and plan a heinous 'revolt' on Jan. 6, Epiphany Day, if you're Catholic), to the screeching store-invading anti-mask MAGAts threatening the lives of cashiers and barristas, to the billionaires hoarding their profits during a global plague as millions of vaccines lay dormant in freezers and COVID-19 victims' corpses lay stacked in bags inside refrigerator trucks.

So, yeah; buy my books, right? 

Or listen to my audiobooks; kind of a tough sell right now (I've actually tried to give away free copies, to little interest), which makes no sense to me, because you don't event have to touch a book if you're virus-wary.

But why not self-promote? Other books are being promoted, and have been, right through the pandemic and elections, the holidays ("The holidays; bleah" insert another Kathy comic), but for the most part, I've felt like this is all a case of bad timing; my best, most mature novel, published by a respected small press, has been largely ignored (again), while most media continues to lap up praise for corporate-published books, which I know because, as an arts editor, I know how persistent the well-paid publicists for conglomo publishers can be. 

Sydney Gay Games 2002. photo: Jim Provenzano

But except for said day-job's duties, and jotting down events in a journal (the 202o edition just PDFed, saved and archived), including dreams, like last night's which involved a dream variation of a real event, frolicking in an Olympic pool facility in Sydney, Australia with a dozen gay water polo players -yes, that happened, why don't I write a story about that? Wait, I did, in 2002, but you don't remember), I have not been promoting my book!

Having grown tired to #writerslist threads on Twitter, because having more followers doesn't do anything if they won't read your books, despite thee fact that book sales are very much a popularity contest. Gaining followers on Twitter doesn't amount to a hill of beans if the five of them who followed you on Monday unfollow you on Tuesday, or whenever you post something slightly political (gasp!) or too gay (double-gasp!). And what's with all the Amazon links? You do know they've made 2.6 billion during the pandemic as independent bookstores cling to life? This is why I prefer that you buy from indies via Bookshop.org, and then use the corporate sites to share reviews.

But no, most authors blindly bow to Amazon, which mistreats their workers, and Facebook, which obscures your posts unless you pay to boost them, and yes, I'm on all the 'evil' social media sites even though it all has minimal effect on sales, because, well, you know, 'things are crazy.'

Which they are. I'd love to just go back to bed and dream of frisky water polo players, since I'm writing this early in the morning, but I've already slurped down a cup of leftover coffee, which still has a bit of a zing to it, as you can tell, and I might even bathe before noon and put on clothes, and perhaps even write something else, in spite of it all.

And if you want a few hours of joyful literary distraction, go for it.