I admit to trepidation in trying to form a list of things to be thankful for during this strange, maddening, sad, unprecedented (how often have we heard that word over the last four years?) time. So, I’ll start with the things that have enriched these past nine months of house hiding: wine, both white and red; ice cream; movies on streaming services; virtual streaming of the arts; posts from friends on social media; a husband who likes to cook fancy; the nature park and pond that graces our backyard view. That’s a pretty impressive group of blessings to balance against the losses — of my mother to complications of COVID, book fairs and signings, conferences, lunches with friends, serving as docent at the Springboro Historical Museum, visiting bookstores, visiting family in Canada. Whoever thought that the mismanagement of the pandemic in our country would result in being banned from other nations and thus losing the opportunity to celebrate family milestones together? But, I digress. Blessings.

Being homebound has allowed me to work on multiple novels, which will be a great gift going forward. Staying home has eliminated the decisions that have to be made when more than one good thing happens on the same day. The enforced use of social media has resulted in new abilities. Some are still shaky — I swear I’m going to master Zoom meetings before I start teaching in January! I’m learning a newsletter program on one of the popular platforms, too, so sign up at janetirvin.com and prepare for fun, frolic, freebies, and foreshadowing of things to come.

As a writer, I’m thankful for the characters who introduce themselves to me and offer stories too good to let lie. I currently have a new novel out, another into a fourth revision, a third in a second revision (the plot is one of the most intricate I’ve devised!) and three more waiting to be unleashed. This bounty is an absolute blessing. Some days I worry that my reach will indeed exceed my grasp, but purpose is everything in our lives. Therefore, I am thankful for the sense of purpose that guides me into tomorrow. The future remains uncertain. When has it ever been less than that? Yet our opportunities thrive even in the darkest days.


Most of all, I am thankful for the many friends and acquaintances, the new names and new faces that greet me on my social feeds each day.

No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, know that you are loved and cherished and always important to me.