My, um… not-very-subtle invitation

I’d like to preface this post by reminding you I was the guy who, a few posts back, was talking about how he’d realized the merits of not filling every moment of his day with projects and tasks — and the value in giving yourself permission to just “be” in the moment from time to time. So, naturally, it was during one of those reflective moments of just “being” that I calmly (and even a bit serenely) concluded: I need to finish my book.

And because I am still a recovering task-oriented work-a-holic, I decided to motivate myself by establishing self-imposed deadlines, played out publicly week after week, until it’s finished. So, starting March 4, I’ll be posting a new chapter in the final draft of my new book, No Safe Harbor, every Saturday at 9 a.m.

This is a passion project I’ve been working on since 1997. So, when you look at it that way, I HAVE been living “in the moment” and just “being” with this project for *gulp* 26 years! Now it’s time I roll up my sleeves, get back to the keyboard, turn off my Google alerts, delete Candy Crush Saga from my phone, stop being distracted by that weird discoloration on the ceiling, refrain from ordering DoorDash four times a day just because I can, not be compelled to spray Windex on any potential fungus after watching The Last of Us, and get this book done!

(Can I get an Amen?)

Continue reading My, um… not-very-subtle invitation

Not even bad Tofurkey will stop you NaNoWriMo writers!

imageLet’s be honest: No one is going to read this.


Because everyone is busy working on their novel this month! Who has time to read a blog post — even if it’s about writing — when they have 30,000 words remaining in their 50,000-word manuscript, no to mention a 30-lb. Thanksgiving turkey already thawing in the sink?

Plus, in just a few weeks, many NaNoWriMo participants will be following up their day of giving “thanks” by attacking fellow shoppers on Black Friday for the last pair of “Walking Dead” slippers! What if their fingers get broken during a tussle at Target? Or they get walloped at Walmart? Mauled at Macy’s? Shanked at Sears? Body slammed at Bloomingdales?

You get the idea.

Even though it’s less than a week into NaNoWriMo, a lot of writers are feeling the pressure to finish their manuscripts before Nov. 24 because anything can happen once Thanksgiving Day arrives. No one wants to take the chance of being within 500 words of finishing their manuscript, only to have it consumed in a sudden turkey flashover fire thanks to the combustable nature of aunt Renee’s new whiskey stuffing recipe.  Continue reading Not even bad Tofurkey will stop you NaNoWriMo writers!

My pearls of writing wisdom are now totally shucked

Now available by clicking here! Or I can drive to your house with a copy...
Now available by clicking here! Or I can drive a copy to your house…

Yesterday afternoon it became official! Any typos that I, my publisher or book editor may have missed are now on their way to the printers, where they will live forever in black and white to haunt me at book festivals, workshops and conventions.

“Hey Mr. Hickson! Will you sign my book on page 50, right above where it says ‘If you want to be a writer, you can never give up dope?'”

All joking aside, after reading through it for the final time before signing off on it for my publisher, I pushed the “send” button feeling truly excited to share this book. While my weekly columns and blog posts are certainly an extension of me, this book is even more personal because it’s an opportunity to take what I’ve learned over the last 16 years and share it directly with other writers (as opposed to just sitting in a bar and mumbling to whoever’s next to me).  Continue reading My pearls of writing wisdom are now totally shucked

This week, I’m looking for YOUR Nickel’s Worth on my book excerpt

image I’ve been talking about publishing my second book, “Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing: Pearls of writing wisdom from 16 shucking years as a columnist” since September. So guess what? That’s right!

It’s still not done.

However, please accept this week’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing as my doctor’s note. The truth is, I’ve been side-tracked by a lot of life-changing events the last few months, including moving into a new home, the latest season of The Bachelorette and the discovery of DubSmash. I’ve also been spending time visiting an old friend — a murder mystery I wrote 15 years ago.

They say for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Following that train of thought, the flip side of humor is drama. In this case, I’ve been delving into the flip side of my weekly humor column to work on “No Safe Harbor,” which has been collecting dust and patiently waiting for its final revision since I put it aside in 1999 to pursue my career as a columnist. I’ve decided the wait is finally over for this manuscript, which I’m preparing the final draft for in hopes of a mid-August debut. Continue reading This week, I’m looking for YOUR Nickel’s Worth on my book excerpt