Category: writing


Seattle summer scene

At
my
midway
bus stop,
met an artsy
young woman
with an MBA
from
an
unlicensed
pharmacist.
Together,
we harvested
roadside
berries.

I took a sleeping pill on the election day. At 1:15am on November 9th, I woke up to a strange world, vastly different from the one I had left behind.

We had it wrong. We had it all wrong. The conventional wisdom, the time-tested rules of politics, the elaborate polling models. All for naught.

In the age where celebrities are trusted more than scientists, where statisticians like Nate Silver are treated as oracles, where complacency supersedes commitment, our hubris humiliated us.

The Obama coalition fell apart. The white vote and the minority vote were different – vastly different – from what had been expected. The leading factors, to mangle Rumsfeld’s words, were known unknowns. We just hadn’t cared enough to know them.

My degree is in political science. I am a financial analyst by trade. The aftermath makes me want to reconsider ever mentioning my degree, ever again working as an analyst.

On the off chance you’re reading this simple blog in the future,  perhaps while researching the year that brought you Rodrigo Duterte and Brexit and Trump, know this: there was opposition. There was hubris. There was a fundamental miscalculation of who we really are.

We were arrogant. We are shaken. We shall learn.

2016 is well under way, so here’s my first (and definitely not last!) new book of the year: Legends & Lore from Around the World. I’m giving it away on Kindle to generate some traffic, word of mouth, 5-star reviews, enamored fans – you know, the usual. The giveaway will end on Monday night (3/21), so you still have 60-ish hours to get the book.

What’s the book about? Well, it’s simply the biggest collection of mythology ever written – no more, no less. I’ve deep-dived into more than 50 antique collections of mythology, edited them and combined them all together to make sure no myth was left behind. (The book even has some Eskimo lore!)

Why go to all that trouble? Because myths are awesome. Both in the contemporary and the original meaning of the world. A lot of them are genuinely awe-inspiring, especially when you realize that they were the basis for the worldview of millions of people who lived thousands of years ago in place you’ve never even heard of.

Our myths are our cultural legacy, and we should do our damnedest to protect them. I like to think that by putting hundreds of hours into assembling my book, I’ve helped contribute to not only the preservation, but also the popularization of the world’s most ancient, most fragile literature. You too can do your part by sharing the word, downloading the book while it’s free or using your Amazon Prime account to borrow it for free – and then telling your friends! (I may be an idealistic writer, but I have to pay off those student loans somehow!)

I hope you like the book enough to leave a nice review for other myth lovers out there. After all, who can say “no” to a great story? Or 500 of them?

Go here to download it – and thanks in advance!

Hellooooooo, everyone!

It’s been a while since I published an e-book, but now there’s a new addition to my growing e-book empire. Ladies and gentlemen and all the conscientious objectors to the binary gender code, I humbly present to you my latest (and greatest!) e-book: Buffett’s Biggest Blunders: The Greatest Investor’s Greatest Mistakes.

Warren Buffett is without a doubt the greatest investor of our time. A humble, down-to-earth man with a talent for mathematics and analysis, he’s managed to build a $350 billion empire known as Berkshire Hathaway in 50 years. He’s a voice of reason, a paragon of patience, the living proof that one can attain wealth without day-trading or memorizing arcane formulas.

His successful trades, business purchases and arbitrage maneuvers have been analyzed time and again. Most Buffett fans know about his brilliant investment in See’s Candies or his lifelong love affair with Geico insurance. At the same time, however, there’s relatively little focus on the investments and business deals where he ended up losing.

It’s impossible to truly understand one’s investing strategy without examining one’s mistakes alongside the successes. They are two sides of the same coin. Both must be studied in order to get a full picture. Instead, even though Buffett has been remarkably open and candid about the mistakes he’s made along the way, very few pay attention to them and learn by analyzing his actions.

Did you know, for example, that once upon a time Warren Buffett paid his shareholders a dividend? That he briefly invested in Disney but then changed his mind? That he tried and failed to corner the market on stamps – and chose not to become a car collector? Those are just a few of the 30 investing blunders contained within this book.

This book collects 30 summaries of Warren Buffett’s investments that went awry. With summaries, charts and commentary from Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger themselves, “Buffest Biggest Blunders” provides an excellent opportunity to learn from the greatest investor’s greatest mistakes – and to become better investors by learning about the missteps of the Oracle of Omaha.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about his investing methods and foibles, this is the book for you. (Or, if you’re more of a 1,000-page book person, I highly recommend Buffett’s biography “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder.) If you’re new to investing and don’t want to lose your hard-earned cash, “Buffett’s Biggest Blunders” might just save you from making egregious investing mistakes. Or, if you’re going to join me at this year’s 50th annual shareholder convention in Omaha (also known as “Woodstock for capitalists”) and don’t want to be lost when Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger start reminiscing about their mistakes, you’ll probably want to skim my book and learn all about it.

And did I mention that it’d make an excellent present for your business-oriented loved ones? If they don’t have a Kindle, they can still read the book on a Kindle app. I have it on good authority that it works on any device that has a screen and an Internet connection. (And pretty soon, the screen will be optional!)

I’m always interested in hearing from my readers, so if you buy my book and love it, I would enjoy getting a 5-star review from you on my book’s Amazon page. I hope you enjoy reading my book every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Happy reading!

“black knight” – 8,920,000 search results on Google
“white knight” – 6,700,000 search results
“grey knight” – 467,000 search results
“green knight” – 463,000 search results
“blue knight” – 431,000 search results
“red knight” – 418,000 search results
“orange knight” – 86,700 search results
“purple knight” – 71,800 search results
“amber knight” – 55,200 search results
“azure knight” – 54,400 search results
“yellow knight” – 47,000 search results
“indigo knight” – 5,640 search results
“cerulean knight” – 3,990 search results
“cyan knight” – 3,590 search results
“viridian knight” – 2,790 search results
“teal knight” – 1,880 search results
“sienna knight” – 1,150 search results
“lilac knight” – 988 search results
“magenta knight” – 96 search results
“carmine knight” – 94 search results
“fuchsia knight” – 88 search results
“umber knight” – 85 search results
“mauve knight” – 84 search results
“peridot knight” – 52 search results
“chartreuse knight” – 45 search results
“amaranth knight” – 41 search results
“aubergine knight” – 32 search results
“azuline knight” – 1 search result
“cochineal knight” – 1 search result
“cesious knight” – 0 search results

It’s been a while since I published a new book on Kindle, so I figured I’d celebrate by doing a good ol’ giveaway! Today and tomorrow only, you can download a brand new, absolutely free (as in cheese!) copy of my latest book, 50 shades of yay: great thinkers on happiness.

As the snarky title explains, it’s about the nature of happiness. What is it, what is it not, why don’t I have it, and where can I score some – those are just a few questions that are covered in 50 different essays, poems, aphorisms and philosophical reflections on the topic. You’ve probably heard of some of the featured writers (Emily Dickinson, Abraham Lincoln, Socrates), but some of the others will definitely be a pleasant discovery. Consider Christina, the 16th-century queen of Sweden, whose insightful notes and memoirs are virtually forgotten these days.

This book has a little bit for everyone: serious discussions on the nature of happiness and short, snappy soundbites; serious philosophical texts and thought-provoking poems; viewpoints from both optimists and pessimists. 50 shades of yay has something for everyone, and certainly something for you to help you on your personal quest toward that most elusive goal, happiness. Happy reading and best of luck!

Download link