My Thirty New Things year begins May 1, Beltane, the early summer fertility festival day of the Celts. It seems a fitting day for new beginnings. Glancing in the rearview, what a year it was during pandemic lockdown. Being stuck at home meant finding new ways to try new things. Sadly, I ran out of gas—or imagination—and only had twenty-one new experiences instead of thirty, which explains my absence from this space in 2021. Yet one of my last new experiences for my year will be a spring-board to a couple of related new experiences to start ’21-22, experiences that can have far-reaching, long-lasting, positive consequences if I let them.

Beltane alter

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Like many people this past year, the only way for me to interact with others or take classes was via Zoom. The platform is not a comfortable place for ambiverts like me, people who can interact well with others but who truly enjoy their alone time. Being on display—literally on a computer display—was not my happy place. Whenever the opportunity presented itself for me to hide behind a black screen sharing only my name, I took it. I listened mostly, using the chat feature whenever I had something to add. Sound familiar? Imagine my trepidation when my friend Virginia Schmidt invited me, or rather cajoled me into an interview on her YouTube channel, the Divine Dialogues.

Zoom background

Get Your Sh*t Together

During the interview, Virginia and I discuss at length Sarah Knight’s Get Your Sh*t Together. Perhaps due to its title, this little book grabs your attention and forces you to think about where you are and where you’re going. Reading it made a massive difference in my life. After I read it the first time, I stopped vacillating about self-publishing my novels and proactively attended a self-publishing conference (pre-pandemic). When I still wasn’t making positive progress on my goals, I reread it. Following that second read, I set up a plan for publishing my first series. A year and half later, the Talisman Series is available to readers. Similarly, after Virginia read the first third of her copy, she made a huge life change. Both of us knew what we wanted to do, but we each needed a bit of a push. This book provided it for both of us.

(Disclaimer: I am not being paid for this endorsement. I’m featuring this book because of the way it impacted my life.)

Sharing Myself

At one point in her life, Virginia studied journalism. Her prowess at asking questions and setting me at ease reflects that training. Since she made the video experience so much less intimidating than I imagined it would be, I embarked on a new video adventure. On Saturday, May 22, I agreed to join three other writers on a live podcast/YouTube event to discuss books, tell stories, exchange jokes, and do some serious day drinking. If I hadn’t tried a new thing with the Zoom interview with Virginia, I doubt I would have agreed to join these authors for this event.

I’ll leave you now with my interview from the Divine Dialogues.

Yours in taking a risk (or thirty)


The Divine Dialogues with Virginia Schmidt on YouTube

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