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!