This month I suspect many bloggers will deal with the topic of thankfulness or gratitude. After all, it is the season. And in spite of the fact that I haven’t been able as of yet to meet my grandson who lives in Germany, or that the recent wild fire has displaced 30,000 people in my neighborhood, or that six people I know of, including my husband, tested positive for the Covid, all in all it’s been a pretty good year. (Ha!)
The pandemic has been a long and difficult ride for our family, but it’s also given me many opportunities for growth, which I probably would not have garnered had it not raised its ugly head. First, I was able to retire from teaching after 43 years of university instruction. I’ve loved teaching and have many happy memories of helping students find success in their
educational journeys. Yet, when classes moved to a strictly online format, I saw it as an opportunity to retire. And so I did! I still teach voice both privately via Zoom and via my virtual courses on the Teachable.com website, but no longer am I driving to campus, keeping office hours, and correcting tests and papers into the early hours of the morning.
Interestingly, the pandemic has also given me time to focus on my writing, as well as on my social media skills. The Dalai Lama once said that his greatest teachers were the communist Chinese, and now I think I understand what he meant. Often in our worst moments we as individuals find ways to turn life’s lemons into lemonade (or for some of us, Limoncello). And when we struggle as a nation, historically we tend to gather together as community and push toward a more perfect union.
The purpose of this blog is as a thank you note to all those who over the last six to nine months have signed up for my newsletter, as well to all those who have generously given up their time to read my books and write reviews. If you’ve never signed up for a newsletter
or written a review, you’re really missing out on an opportunity to do something nice for someone. When you come right down to it, to be noticed and appreciated is what we all truly hope for. Without our beta readers, we wouldn’t find the quality we so crave in our books. Without a readership, we wouldn’t sell a single book. And without reviews, it would be impossible to rocket our writing careers off the proverbial launching pad.
So . . . thank you Covid-19, thank you Chinese communists, and thank you most of all those who have written, who are writing, and who plan to write future reviews and sign up for our fellow authors’ newsletters.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Born and raised near the Puget Sound in Washington State, Gwen Overland and her family now live in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Prior to that Gwen lived in Los Angeles and had careers in directing, acting, and singing while performing at the piano. After years in academia, writing one research article followed by another, Gwen turned her talents toward writing fiction and found she happily could not stop. Love’s Harvest and Free My Heart, two novels from her Salmon Run Series, have been published by Soul Mate, and she has just signed a contract for her third book of that series, Waiting for You, to be released June of 2021. Her self-published, romantic comedy/mystery series, The Millicent Winthrop Novels, is available in both English and German. In addition, Gwen also has two published non-fiction books on the work she does in conjunction with her business, Expressive Voice Dynamics: Soul of Voice and Soul of My Voice. When she’s not reading, writing, or playing with her two pugs, Buster Keaton and Emmett Kelly, Gwen works in the theatre and assists psychotherapy clients in discovering more joy and meaning in their lives.
Keep up with Gwen by following her on Twitter @gwenoverland; Gwen Overland Author on Facebook; @GwenOverland on Instagram, or at www.gwenoverland.com and www.cunigundavalentine.com. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org