Hangin’ In and Hangin’ On: Mike’s Updates Jan. 2021

Hello Friends,

Although 2020 is finally behind us, we continue to live in interesting times which is the most euphemistic way of saying things still kind of stink. I don’t think it’s necessary to go into much detail on that. Thankfully, there is a needle of light at the end of the tunnel, and we can all hope and pray better days are ahead. In the meantime, thank God for Instacart, Grubhub, pants with expandable waistbands, and dead batteries in the bathroom scale. Thank God for books too. Without them, I’m not sure I would have made it through the past ten months and counting.

The final few weeks of 2020 were especially interesting (another euphemism) for me because, to my incredible shock and dismay, I joined the millions of Americans who’ve tested positive for Coronavirus. I had a minor medical procedure scheduled, and a COVID-19 screening was part of the pre-procedure protocol. I am absolutely convinced I was never actually infected. I never had the slightest suggestion of a symptom. More to the point, I never go anywhere. Quadriplegic hermit crabs get out more than I do. So, unless one of my Christmas cards came with cooties, the odds of me truly being positive were somewhere between slim and a snowball’s chance in Haiti. I think it was a case of operator error. Still, we’re all struggling to survive a pandemic. I might have questioned the results. Who am I kidding? I did question the results. I still took them seriously.

For the week or so leading up to Christmas, I had to isolate inside my Velveeta box-sized office. I had my computer, an audiobook player, an aquarium, and an air mattress. Talk about living the dream. All my meals were delivered which may sound nice but really wasn’t. About the only times I emerged from solitary confinement were to use the bathroom or go for further COVID testing. All subsequent tests were negative. These things take time, though, and it came as a tremendous relief once I was finally allowed out for good. The best thing I watched while in the tank was a Netflix series called MINDHUNTER (not appropriate for all viewers). It was recommended to me, and I pass that recommendation along to you. The best books I read were  The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy and The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson. I recommend those too. I would have preferred to read them in my recliner, but they did make the interminable hours on my pressurized Xanadu a lot more tolerable.

And let’s face it, we’ve all been isolated to some extent. Despite the frustrations of the past year, despite the loneliness and the constant yearning to get back to “normal;” I sincerely hope you stayed safe and healthy, and also that you found a way to remain optimistic. I hope you made some good use of your time too. I hope that, like me, you read some good books. Maybe you’ve read mine. I’ve got a new one out. It’s called  Parlor City Payback: A Skid Row and Bullfrog Novel, and it’s a follow-up to my 2016 release, Parlor City Paradise. I haven’t hit the bestseller’s list just yet. However, I know some people have bought the new book. I truly appreciate that, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to do me a real solid, please, please take a few moments to write and post a review. It may not seem like much, but those little star ratings are more important than I can express. I’m independently published and constantly struggling to get noticed. Each review that’s submitted is a tiny blip to let the world know I’m here. I need all the blips I can get. Besides, what else do you have to do right now. Thank you, and I hope 2021 brings all the joy and happiness that 2020 did not.

Mike S.



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