2020 is winding down, and considering all the troubles we’ve had this year, I think there are few who will be sorry to see it end. But it hasn’t been all bad. We’ve learned new things, like how to conduct a Zoom meeting and how to wear a face mask properly. (Well, let’s be honest, a lot of folks still haven’t learned that one yet!) We’ve learned to be infinitely creative and that it’s possible to do things differently and still get by.
“I know I cannot live as I have done, but I must retrench where I can, and learn to be a better manager. I have been a liberal housekeeper enough, but I shall not be ashamed to practise economy now. My situation is much altered… I must live within my income, or I shall be miserable; and I own it would give me great satisfaction to be able to do rather more, to lay by a little at the end of the year.” (Mansfield Park, chapter 3)
Like Aunt Norris (not the person to whom we usually look for wisdom), we’ve had to change the way we live and be flexible, whether we like it or not!
Since I work at home and do most my my promotional activities online, I have been able to carry on, publishing my 10th book this year: Murder at Northanger Abbey. And I now have 31 chapters (223 pages, and 61,000 words) of my next, my work-in-progress: Fitzwilliam Darcy, in His Own Words.
The most painful change, at least for me, is that we aren’t able to get together with our friends and family as freely and frequently as we used to. We have now survived a much-diminished Thanksgiving, and clearly Christmas won’t be stellar either. If nothing else, though, this year’s deprivations should make us appreciate the “normal” things more when we finally get them back!
Although I don’t think I can reasonably blame this on the pandemic, it is an example of learning to get along without one of those “normal” conveniences that I usually take for granted. My cable TV connection has been on the fritz lately. And while I wait (ever so patiently!) for my husband to make time to do what needs to be done to correct the situation, I have very spotty reception – so spotty that I don’t usually even bother.
So, I’ve made another adjustment, in this case to how I spend a couple of hours each evening, by combining two of my favorite hobbies into one. With no TV, my new wind-down, decompression routine is listening to audio books while I solve online jigsaw puzzles. Extra reading is probably a better use of my time anyway!
Speaking of audio books, this has been an exceptional year for me in that department, with three new productions! Two are already available and one more is coming soon. To celebrate, I’ve decided to do what authors do best and give some books away – audio books. Consider it a Christmas present form me to you!
In honor of my 10th book published, I’m giving away a total of ten – YES 10! – audio codes (one to each of 10 winners) for the book of your choice from my 4 most recent productions: The Ladies of Rosings Park, Leap of Hope, Murder at Northanger Abbey, and Prayer & Praise: a Jane Austen Devotional.
To be entered in the random drawing, simply leave a comment below about what kind of “adjustment” you’ve learned to make this year, and which book you’d like to win. Then check back here or my FB page on December 23rd to see if you’ve won! (For winners who do not have a US or UK Audible account, an ebook will be substituted where possible.)
12/23 UPDATE!!! The TEN WINNERS ARE: Nicole Easton, Lynn Chat, Sheilalmajczan, Kate B, bessamina, Marie H, wendym215, Maud Steyaert, pedmission, and Tamara Howard. To claim you prize, please contact me by email at shannon(at)shannonwinslow(dot)com, subject line “audio code winner.” Let me know which of the four books offered you want and whether you need a US or a UK audio code or a substitute prize. (Prayer & Praise is not available yet, but I will pass it along as soon as it goes live.) Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your books!
Anyway, I hope you are staying healthy, creatively flexible, and in spite of everything, joyful this holiday season. I’m wishing you Happy Reading and all the best in the New Year!
2020 has pushed me to make a grand jete of hope that 2021 will be better for the world. And to take action toward that even in dystopian days.
Fingers crossed in gratitude for Leap of Hope. 💖
Very poetically said, Maud!
And I miss my grandkids ugh….;(
Murder at Northanger Abbey, pretty please. 🙂
Nothing much changed for me in 2020, because I had already sold my car a year ago and had mostly shut in for awhile. I have plenty to keep my interest between redecorating, reading, playing trivia games online and watching Korean movies and tv series. . Still, I hate seeing how badly it affects young people in particular. Has to be extra tough on them. I’d love to have the audiobook The Ladies of Rosings Park, should I be blessed enough to win.
Like you, I’ve been lucky in that not that much has changed. Others have much bigger hardships. 😦
Shannon, I don’t know which book to select. Maybe Leap of Hope. My biggest adjustment this was to shop for groceries using an online shopping service and to then send my husband to pick it up. Some items I ordered weren’t available so that was a problem. I also attended church via ZOOM. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.
Yes, I’ve had mixed results with the deliver-to-my-car-trunk service. The biggest problem is that they won’t do that for prescription meds, so half the time I end up having to go inside anyway!
Our church started with YouTube services, then added drive-in parking lot services, and now we’re back inside the building with lot of restrictions. Not ideal, but we carry on!
One of my granddaughters have moved in with me . She just turned 17.
I’ve lived with only my pets for the last 4 years, so this us a huge change! Louder, more groceries, more mess.
Wow, that’s a big change indeed, Carol! Hope it turns out a blessing for both of you. 🙂
I have learned to enjoy talking in the phone which was hard as I’ve always preferred to talk in person to people. I miss the big gatherings and it’s hard to cook for just me when I’m used to big dinners with lots of friends and family
I’m thankful that we have alternatives (phone, Zoom), but it’s not the same as gathering in person. *sigh* Maybe next year.
Adjusting to having an infant and being a SAHM. It’s different than I pictured it without being able to see my usual support people, but it’s still a sweet time.
I’d like to read Murder at Northanger in particular, but would be excited for any!
Hopefully you’ll look back someday and see how that SAHM time turned out to be an amazing blessing. But, yes, it’s an adjustment for sure!
Zoom has become the way to connect which is understandable but unsatisfying. Listening to the devotional would be salve for my soul.
I wrote it before we knew all this was coming, and now I hope it is just that: salve for the soul!
I would like the Northanger Abbey audio book.
I have changed jobs from being nurse at the hospital to being a hospice nurse and going into people’s homes. Mask wearing when there are hard of hearing patients used to reading lips has been difficult. They do not like the masks.
Challenging. It’s so hard for the very youngest and the very oldest to understand and cope with all these restrictions. Bless you for the important work you do!
I’m worried that naming anything I would mention having to adjust to would seem really whiny compared to other people. And mine pretty much matches those early days everyone else experienced. Meal planning ahead so to reduce the number of trips out has been challenging, like deciding which fresh produce to use right away and which will last the entire week. If I decided I wanted to make something and didn’t have everything I needed I could ask my husband to dash over to the store and get it. Not anymore. It’s just different, not the end of the world. After 43 yrs married I’ve gotten so tired of cooking so I miss the picking up salads or something for lunch (without a care, that is.) That’s something I’ll never take for granted again. This is just one little ol’ issue, and nothing we all haven’t had to do.
For the most part we’ve always been homebodies so staying home hasn’t been the problem for us as it has been for some friends and relatives we know. And that makes me sad on their behalf. But lots to be thankful for. And! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines!
I’d also like to say how much I love knowing your books are becoming available in audio. Congrats. I think I would choose The Ladies of Rosings Park if I was so lucky. Merry Christmas Shannon, blessings to you and yours.
Thank you for your good wishes and comments, Michelle. Gook luck on the drawing!
Please don’t enter me in the giveaway as I don’t have audiobooks.
I’m so glad this hasn’t disrupted you too much and fingers crossed you get to meet up with family and friends soon.
I’ve been more or less isolating since March 😥 apart from collecting medications, vital shopping and occasional trips to Mum’s care home to take supplies and spending money I don’t go out. I went to my son’s once in the summer when things were calmer, in between my grandsons finishing at preschool and starting school, so I’ve only seen them that once. They’re only 4 but I do see them on Skype. Obviously my daughter’s family are unable to visit from Australia and goodness knows when they will again. 😥.
My main consolation is being able to read, crochet and I also love jigsaws.
Stay safe and have a great Christmas 🎄
I was going to share with you the link to my post at Austen Variations, complete with jigsaw puzzles of 3 cover art pieces. But I think you’ve already found them!
Zooming Sunday services has been the biggest adjustment for me and not being able to see friends and family when I wish. I am very thankful for the Zoom app though, as I’d feel completely isolated without it. I would like to have Leap of Hope, should I be so fortunate to receive it. Thank you for the generous giveaway.
Our church started with YouTube-only services, then we added drive-in parking lot services, and now we’re back inside with restrictions. Not the same, but we carry on! Good luck on the drawing, Marie. 🙂
This year I have learned to enjoy the little moments having been forced to slow down, and also using my skills for sterile technique as a former OR nurse in my daily life with covid. I have also realized I enjoy having solitude and it’s okay to slow down and not always be in such a hurry to do everything.
Prayer and Praise or Murder at Northanger Abbey if chosen please.☺️🎄
Good attitude, Tamara! With your background, though, I bet it drives you crazy to see so many badly worn masks!
I have learned Zoom – scheduling and conducting meetings as a leader in two local organizations. I have learned to play virtual bridge, but our Group FaceTime at the exact time so we are playing virtually but enjoying each other’s company. This has been a true lifesaver to have the social interaction of support and laughter; however, the most difficult aspect is not being with my toddler grandchildren. There has been heart ache and tears missing birthdays and holidays. Thank you for your generous giveaway (I love audiobooks!). Stay well, Sharon.
I know. We’ve been used to seeing our grandkids frequently. Now I wonder if the little ones will hardly remember us by the time this is over. 😦
FaceTime allows them to see us and know our voices. I often read to them; however, sometimes they carry the phone around to show me things and it makes me nauseous .
I’ve read all your books except Murder at Northanger Abby so that would be my choice. My husband has a difficult illness that keeps us together and home more than I might like. But I’ve learned to zoom, found a way to cut the cable tv cord, and how to cut costs. Next year I’ll be going back to full time work for the first time in a long time – hoping that goes well for sure! My reading time will probably be reduced and my audiobook time probably will be increased. Keep up the good work!
Thanks, Lynn. I’m trying!
Going back to work will be another adjustment. Hope that goes well for you.
This year, I had to acclimate myself to having my husband home all the time. We’ve been married for forty years, but we’ve never spent extended periods of time together. He always worked long hours and traveled. It took a while to get used to him being around so much, always seeming to be exactly where I needed or wanted to be, and there are still days when I’d do just about anything for a few hours to myself, but overall, it’s been a good experience. It’s reminded us if how much we really like each other.
That IS an adjustment. Glad it’s working out for you, though. My husband’s retired now too, but he’s got a big shop and plenty of projects to keep him busy and out from under foot. Haha!
Merry Christmas to you and yours and thank you for your books in this time its nice to be able to escape in a book since we cannot love and best wishes
As a teacher, a lot of adjustments had to be made this year. Online teaching and learning is tought for all of us, and not only because you are sometimes talking and then you have been muted for a whole minute!! *facepalm*
As I have not read “Murder at Northanger Abbey”, could I be down for that one? Although I’m very interested on how you work with Jane Austen’s prayers. It’s very difficult to choose!
My daughter-in-law is a middle school PE teacher, and she’s had to reinvent everything she does too. A lot of extra work, she says.
Naturally, I hope you’ll read both! The devotional is available on KU, so that might be another possibility for you.
Learning how to find quiet spaces at home away from everyone. I would like Murder at Northanger Abbey please.
Yes, I need my alone time and a quiet place to write. Not much of a problem for me with just my husband around. But sounds like you got a bigger challenge. Good luck!
As for all healthcare workers it had been a very difficult year, but I’m still blessed with being in good health myself and all of my family. 🙏
I’d love a US code for Murder at Northganger Abbey as it’s the only one I don’t have. 😄
Merry Christmas 🎄
May 2021 bring happy plot twists to all!
Not having my home all to myself during the day. I don’t like to do housework nor prep cook with other people in the house so it’s an adjustment. Weird I know. Also, adjusted to driving my husband’s and son’s cars in lieu of my “mom car” so that our college son could have a car and be able to get home quick if needed. Not a hardship as I could walk or take the bus most places when there isn’t a car available but an adjustment. Fun question!!
I’m here for Round 2 of the giveaway and keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks, Shannon!