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To heal, we must remember. It’s hard sometimes to remember but that is how we heal. It is important to do that as a nation…Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights and the darkness the sacred pool of reflection to remember all we lost.” — President Joe Biden, COVID-19 Memorial

Dear Friends,

It has been quite a couple of weeks here in the U.S. as we lead up to the inauguration and transfer of power from one president to another. …

CPS cuts salaries and access to remote teaching if educators refuse to teach in person. The normalcy provided to students by teachers during remote learning has disappeared as many teachers, deciding it isn’t safe to return to in-person instruction, were cut off from remote teaching

When they raised their concerns, Mayor Lightfoot refused to negotiate, despite the day before being the deadliest of the pandemic to date.

Over 30 Chicago aldermen signed a letter detailing changes needed before reopening. CPS responded, but opened schools anyway.

CTU has tried to prevent teachers from being forced to work where they don’t feel safe. However, CPS has ignored these efforts, cutting salaries of teachers who did not show up on the first day.

Union leaders are telling members to expect to strike mid-January. Thousands of members signed a letter pledging to protect teachers’ right to decline working in an unsafe environment.

Narcissists rely on conflict to keep them on their toes and give them the exhilarating feeling of being alive.

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Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

Narcissists are forever trapped in the unresolved conflicts of their childhood. This compels them to seek resolution by re-enacting these conflicts with significant others, particularly those they perceive as more vulnerable and easier target such as their children. In this way they can “win” the outcome of these conflicts, proving to themselves they aren’t who they came to believe they were based on the way they were treated during their early years.

Conflict also serves many other functions in their lives. It is their go-to strategy and starting point for most of what they want or need to accomplish.

Conflict Helps Them Protect Themselves by Keeping Them on Edge

Narcissists often have a core of vulnerability that is based on self-doubt and a lack of self-worth. While many people believe narcissists use the noxious behaviors they engage in to prevent others from knowing that they lack a fully formed self and the ability to function unless everyone believes their fake self-image, they are really protecting themselves from having to face this. …

Trump should be held accountable for Democrats testing positive for COVID-19. Testing positive for the virus, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal blames Republican colleagues for refusing to wear masks during the Capitol riot when members of congress were forced to hide in close proximity. Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman and Jake LaTurner have also tested positive. It is too soon to tell if there will be others. The 14-day incubation period ironically ends on January 20th.

These Republicans were following the example set by their party leader.

Yet when doing so can prove deadly, even the President must be held accountable.

The difference between right and wrong is not one of political opinion. …

Writers beware publishing scams in 2021. Know how to protect yourself.

  • Phishing scams. Never send anything without checking that the person asking for it is who they say they are.
  • Don’t pay an agent upfront. Legitimate agents take a percentage of your advance and royalties, they don’t charge before making you money.
  • Real publishers won’t buy a book sight unseen. If someone contacts you saying they love your work then makes a pitch for marketing or publishing fees, you’ve got a scammer.
  • Real publishers aren’t paid by writers, writers are paid by them. Beware “hybrid publishers” as they’re vanity publishers. Companies providing services to help you self-publish won’t say they’re publishers.
  • Million-dollar advances only go to A-list celebrities. If you aren’t the President-elect, a Jenner, or a disenfranchised royal don’t expect an advance with more than three zeros.
  • Unpublished writers are rarely solicited. Unknown writers almost never get advances.

Putting the private “you” out there for public evaluation can make you feel very vulnerable, yet common experiences and opinions matter.

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“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr

I first began really struggling with this question more and more during the chaos of the previous year. Before about a year ago, I was very careful about what I put online. I wrote exclusively in the third person about material that could be researched and which wasn’t about me. I saw being a writer and a blogger as two distinct things, with the former being more respected in the eyes of the public. …

In response to the Capitol riot. What we say matters. It’s easy to speak without thinking, to fail to sincerely listen to and connect with others. This is bad enough. But when we use words intentionally as weapons it’s far worse. Words used in the wrong way can be devastating.

Words hold power. They can inspire or annihilate thoughts, hopes, dreams, beliefs, self-esteem and self-confidence. They can initiate action, good and bad. Words can excite, motivate, elate, comfort, sadden, frighten, bully, anger or provide hope.

Words shape our environment, our relationships, our families, our work, our lives, and shapes the same in those around us. If we want positive change in our world, we need to do better being careful about what we say and what we allow others to say around us. …

With COVID-19 it’s more important than ever to let your readers know you’re still there. As we enter another year with COVID-19 in the air, it’s important to consider how the virus is affecting our readership when considering what kind of content to produce.

Make your stories more personal to relate to your readers. Focus on storytelling not on just imparting information. Readers aren’t looking formal writing now. We’re all looking for ways to connect with others every chance we get. We will quickly avoid anything that makes us feel more isolated or separated from others.

Loosen up on your social media and let your personality shine. This can be hard for a lot of us who tend to be more private but even major brands have realized the value of this strategy in making themselves seem more relatable. …


Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

I write about behavioral health & other topics. I’m Managing Editor (Serials, Novellas) for LVP Press. See my other articles:

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