June ’21 newsletter: Banjaxed beyond belief, but bouncing back

Editorial note: I wrote the bulk of this on Memorial Day, sent it to my publishing family as a PathBinder Publishing newsletter that day, then took a break before reconfiguring parts of it for my author site. So yes, it posted on June 3, not Memorial Day (May 31). But the Memorial Day references were good when I wrote it, and I’m still under the influence of some light blue pill they tell me is an antibiotic. Read ahead to understand what that’s all about. And feel free to be entertained and engrossed throughout.

May 31, 2021 – Coming to you on Memorial Day!

For many people, in addition to a day of remembrance of those who have given their lives in military service, this is also a day off work, a day for cookouts, get-togethers, whatnot. For me, it’s a work day.

I’ve had enough off days lately. Some of those were planned (my first trip home to Wisconsin to see my parents in 16 months – see photo gallery below). Some of it was unplanned (nasty cold, followed by sinus infection and all sorts of other mean, nasty, ugly things that really baxjaxed me for a couple of days).

For those curious and/or unaware, “banjaxed” is a word I’ve picked up from my Irish friends that means “ruined” or “destroyed.” I told them I would introduce it into common United States lexicon. So, you know what your duty is.

When I say I was banjaxed, I mean it. We had a sinus/chest thing that had not been wiped out several months ago by a previous round of a weak imposter of an antibiotic. We had allergies that are usually mild, but with the insanely high level of pollen this year, became evil. We added a nasty cold that, with me, always becomes a sinus infection.

Note that I am saying say “we” instead of “I.” I do that because my doctor says “we” when he sees me.

“Well, how are we today?

“Not sure how you’re doing, Doc, but I feel like crap; that’s why I’m here.”

He has also started saying things like, “At our age.” I don’t want to be at the age where my doctor says “at our age” or even “at your age.”

Oh, well. Never mind. Um … now where were we?

Oh yes, this cocktail of maladies made a sum bigger than its parts and put a hex upon my person. Fortunately, it didn’t detonate until after we got home from Wisconsin. When it detonated, it blew up real good. So many mean, nasty, terrible symptoms that even though I’ve been vaccinated for six weeks now, I got a quick COVID test just to make sure I hadn’t gotten that rascal. I hadn’t.

I’m slowly coming back to life and feel fairly normal most of the time, with the exception of some mild sinus pressure and the desire to drink gallons of cold brew coffee, watch old movies, and take multiple naps each day.

I’m fighting those desire more each day with varying success.


The world is opening up again for in-person author events/opportunities to engage with folks. I’ve got two such events lined up right now:

  • An event for creatives of all types July 9-11 in Louisville, Kentucky, called Imaginarium that features workshops, seminars, and a marketplace.
  • A program on my book, “Wicked Columbus, Indiana,” at the Bartholomew County Public Library here in Columbus on July 20. We’re going to go live, barring unforeseen circumstances, on the patio there. But we will probably add a Facebook Live element to the show, too.

I started getting back into the habit of carrying business cards again … because you know, I might actually meet people outside of my house, get within six feet of them, and some might show interest in what I do. The strategy paid off Sunday with two interested people getting both an author and publisher card.


Here’s an overview of what’s been going on lately at PathBinder Publishing, of which I serve as owner:

*A Washington, D.C., bookstore has put Michael Simon’s book The Two Roads of Life: Navigating Yourself and Family to Heath and Contentment on its shelves. Thanks, Politics and Prose!

*I hear that Greg Stidham’s book, Blessings and Sudden Intimacies: Musings of a Pediatric Intensivist may be on the shelves of a Memphis bookstore soon, if it is not already.

*We finished editing Colin G. Matthews’ manuscript for Soulman: A Young Woman’s Ascension into the Circle of Light. Twas quite an interesting read.

*In talks with several authors in various stages of getting to know each other. Sounds like we’ll have more books to announce fairly soon.

*With author events on tap, I’ll be able to offer PathBinder books at them, in addition to just having my own books.

*I am looking at more ways to promote our authors and books on a company level. I got some great ideas during the Ultimate Social Media Bootcamp video presentation from Ireland on May 26, the morning of the total and complete banjaxment. You should have seen me with my chills and fever up at 5:50 a.m. to get on the 6 a.m. (11 a.m. Ireland) session run by my friend, Samantha Kelly, known as the Tweeting Goddess. (She sprinkles Twitter Magic and that’s not actually a weird thing like you might think). We talked Twitter, Instagram, Canva, TikTok, and ReStream. The TikTok presenter was a chocolatier from Australia nicknamed Chocolate Johnny (John Kapos). On a completely unrelated note, I now have a burning desire to acquire chocolate from Sydney, Down Under.


I had cataract surgery just over a month ago, and though my eyes are completely healed from surgery, I also have a bit of cloudiness in the membrane surrounding my new right lens. This happens in about 30 percent of the surgeries. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. If it doesn’t rectify itself in a few months, they shoot a laser directly into my eye and zap a clear spot in that membrane. Voila!

It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s painless. It just can’t be done for a few months.

In the meantime, reading printed material isn’t the breeze as it was, and my eyes tire a bit. Maybe I’ll read a few e-books on my computer in the meantime as I can make text really huge on my desktop. I have reading glasses, but try to use them as little as possible as we’re training my brain to use the multifocal lenses I had implanted.

In the meantime, I’ll get back to reading my uncle’s book, Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods We Love and Need (Michael P. Hoffmann). Published by Cornell University Press, it’s enlightening and well … food, you know. Something I am well acquainted with.


*Speaking of things opening up, my wife and I actually went out to dinner at a restaurant in May a couple of times and ate our food there; we didn’t take it elsewhere to eat it. Ooooh. And … we went to a live comedy show. And a tour of a microbrewery.

*May was my fourth most profitable month of walks since the start of 2018, when records of this type started being kept. The total was $12.67.

*One streak that bit the dust due to illness was my consecutive days walked streak. But 510 was a pretty good run … I mean walk. Wonder how long the next streak will go. (#100daysofwalking)

Oh, I guess that’s it for this month. Have a good one!


Helpful links

My social media:

PathBinder Publishing website

PathBinder Publishing on Facebook

PathBinder Publishing on Instagram

Paul on Instagram

Paul/PathBinder Publishing on Twitter

Paul J. Hoffman author page on Facebook

My books:

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