12 February 2021

The Covid-19 Year

2020 and the beginning of 2021 in review.

The damn Cover-19 Year. I've been on lockdown (except for occasional armed excursions to grocery stories and doctor's offices). Armed with mask and face shield and avoiding the non-maskers. Got a lot of writing and reading done in my home office.

Looking back, I wrote one and a half novels in 2020. Wrote six short stories. Had one novel published. Had five original short stories published and two stories reprinted. Sold four new stories. One of my stories was awarded the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best Private Eye Short Story.

It was a good year for my writing but Covid-19 overshadowed everything. A number of my former police buddies succumbed to it, so did a few of their wives. We're all up in age. Other friends have died that horrible death as well.

On the blog front today, I have nothing.

I'm tapped out of writing advice for the moment. I looked back at my previous postings on SleuthSayers and think I've said just about everything I know about writing. But I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. But for the moment, I'm tapped out.

Gave y'all the one about the dead woodpecker and the riverfront expressway and the confederate statues (which I'm still catching flak over). I did one on cemeteries and American police and a number about other writers and books by other writers.

On the ficion side, I just finished writing a novel and already started on a short story with another novel waiting impatiently to be written. Wait, I still have to do the final read-through of the novel set to be published in spring. So I'm busy. It's a process.

Maybe, by writing so much fiction, my mind doesn't have room at the moment to write a piece of non-fiction, a blog. So I'll fudge along and try to think of something for the future. The way my mind works at the moment is – if I think about something to write, it defaults to fiction.

Oh, I just thought of something to mention. My dislike of social media. Not all social media, just the mundane, repititious junk (like I care what someone's birthday cake looks like). There I go. I'm being a jerk. That might be the most important thing in that person's life at the moment. Just scroll down and GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA and write or read or go around and pet all the cats (which annoys most of them as they are sleeping).

Hey, I do have a piece of advice for beginning writers.

Daydream. Daydream and turn your daydreams into stories. This sounds trite but it works.

That's all for now. Y'all stay safe.

Old Audubon Park Zoo, New Orleans, ©1976 O'Neil De Noux



  1. And thus an article is born!

    O'Neil, you turned a hell of a year into a hell of an advantage. We should all learn.

    1. And who/what is giving you flak about the statues? That's not right.

  2. Flak from relatives who still believe the south will rise again. Big hit to the sales of my books on Amazon. Didn't realize how many of my readers are law enforcement or retired law enforcement. Many have posted on social media to stop reading my books because I wrote about taking down those confederate statues.

  3. Sounds like you had a LOT of writing accomplishments in 2020, to me. As for not having any more meaningful things to say in a blog post, hey, we're all in that boat. And I enjoyed this one, by the way.

  4. Congratulations on getting some serious writing done! And I love your blog posts. You've got style.

  5. O'Neil, look at it this way, even when you don't have anything to say, you say it well and make it interesting.

  6. Thanks for the nice comments. Glad I didn't put y'all to sleep.

  7. Well there are some terrible people in law enforcement. Here in Buffalo last summer at a protest after George Floyd was killed, two cops knocked a 75-year-old protestor down onto the sidewalk. This was captured on video along with the blood coming from his skull. A couple of days ago it was announced that the grand jury declined to indict the two cops who pushed him down!

    Daydreaming ... my first-grade teacher told my mom at a parent/teacher conference that if I didn't stop daydreaming, I'd never learn to read! At least, that's what she told me. Doesn't mean it was true & if there's one thing I do know, it's how to read.


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