No Help Desk Today

Cienna Madrid is taking the day off to relax, and recharge, and maybe do some karaoke. Her column will return next week. As always, if you have any writing, reading, or bookstore etiquette questions, please send them to her at

And in the meantime, I have some advice for you. I'm not a professional advice-giver like Cienna, but here's my best shot:

  • If you're working on your NaNoWriMo novel this weekend and you're having trouble getting through the home stretch, give your protagonist amnesia. This will, at the very least, fill up a lot of space as your character re-learns who everyone is and what the hell is going on. It might even help you realize what your novel is really about. And when NaNoWriMo is over, you can just edit out the amnesia if it doesn't work.

  • If you're working in a bookstore this weekend, know that you have my great respect. I've been there; I know Thanksgiving weekend is a draining time, emotionally and physically, for retail workers. But at least you're working with books! And you're sharing books with others. Every new transaction is an opportunity to change someone's life for the better. That's a terrific responsibility.

  • If you're feeling anxious or scared about the election and the upcoming inauguration, know that you're not alone. We can get through this together. Reach out to someone if you think you can't handle it. We need you.

  • If your family is driving you crazy this weekend, we've all been there. Maybe read a book for a while? That's always worked for me.

We'll see you back here this weekend for our regular columns.