Sheltering in Place with Debra Parmley


IMG_6643Sheltering in Place with Debra Parmley

At first glance you might think not much has changed for me since I’ve worked from home for over ten years. But my hubby is home more, so things are different. He’s an essential worker with a pressure cleaning business, but subcontractors only work when jobs are called in and weather permits. With less work it feels more like a long slow winter. But summer is coming and will bring warm sunshine and work.

The first two weeks of the shutdown, I baked a lot. That’s my go to when under stress. I baked blueberry muffins, brownies, lemon bars, and chocolate chip cookies. But there’s just the two of us to eat all the goodies and we both need to lose weight so I had to stop. We live just outside Memphis in Bartlett on an acre and a half while our children and grandchildren live in NC on a 36-acre farm.  We plan to sell my husband’s business, and a rental house before selling the house we live in. Then we plan to move into an RV. I’ve been downsizing. But now the donation places are closed so I’m just filling bags for when they reopen. Our plans are on hold.

One of the best things about the quarantine:  It has made people more aware of what is and what isn’t important to them. It’s made us slow down to think and to remember the blessings in our lives. People sometimes forget when things are good. That’s one reason I do my five thankful things list every day. I never want to forget.

One of the worst things about the quarantine: The absence of touch. When the elderly are cut off from a hug or a visit from a family member. When grandparents can’t hold their grandchildren. When someone dies with no family near to hold their hand. It hurts my heart to think of these things. Humans need touch and I miss holding my grandbabies and hugging my kids.

How are you doing business? I was scheduled to attend BLC20 in Nashville and BOBASE in St. Augustine. Both were cancelled, but they held  virtual events and I had an author hour at each. A new CyberCon put on by Hangin’ with Web Show Jenna'sChristmasWish_Web72invited me to interview actor and cover model John Antorino to talk about our covers. He’s on Jenna’s Christmas Wish which was based on John and he’s also on Protecting Zarifah.

Then at a new CyberCon I was on a panel run by Go Indie Now where we talked about being creative while staying in place. That motivated me to write my first article to post on Medium, a site which pays authors by how many claps the article receives and how many read the article.

I have a new Ko-fi page and posted one poem for each day in April for National Poetry month. Readers leave tips in the coffee cup and the money raised will go toward publishing my second poetry anthology. I’m also going to put a shop on my website to sell signed books and other fun gifts. My 2020 calendar was wiped clear of events which feels weird. In 2021 I’ll go to BOBASE in St Augustine and BLC21 in Orlando.

So many things have moved online. I’m even moving classes I used to teach locally and at cons into my new Teachable school online and just finishing loading the first two. I’ve been busier than ever, and you’ll note I haven’t even mentioned writing yet.

One new thing I’m doing with my back-list books is adding bonus content in the back. Everything from the first chapter of another book,  a book trailer about the book, a link to the audiobook, and a video of me reading the first chapter from the first chapter reads playlist on my YouTube channel. When I’m done updating books I’ll start bringing them out in large print.

My editor is helping me a revise A Change of Scenery. The heroine is on the run from the government because she grows herbs, an activity which has been outlawed and she didn’t take the shot the government is forcing on everyone. Big pharma has taken over the U.S. government. The book came out in 2013, long before current events. Book two, Down a Back Road, will come out in May and I’ll release them together.

I’m also working on revisions to Vague Directions. I have rights back to the short story which will now be a novella with a modern medieval fairy tale feel. I have many new books planned, too many to list here so I’ll just tell you about the May and June releases.

91438323_1084053035276861_5107821935878733824_o (1)Our Hansel and Gretel anthology releases May 15th with my short story, The Sweetest Day.  Here’s the pre-order link.

How are you staying entertained?

We’re watching old shows that remind us of simpler times. Hee Haw and Green Acres had us cracking up last week. I had forgotten how funny those shows are. Last Saturday I bought the 1989 Batman movie from Amazon Prime, my first time to buy a digital movie not a DVD. Last Sunday we picked up KFC for a picnic at Shelby Forest, and sat on a blanket on the grass on with a view of the lake below. We ate and enjoyed watching clouds. Sunday the week before, we got milkshakes and then drove through the park with the top of my convertible down enjoying the fresh air. We’ll probably keep our Sunday outings up. I also listen to music on iTunes, YouTube or Spotify and I may sing or dance in the kitchen. I read in between things.

To stay healthy and keep my spirits up…    Every day I list my five thankful things. I go out in my yard, stand in my grounding circle, breathe in fresh air and get good vitamin D in the warm sunshine. I use D’Oterra essential oils. Tue nights it’s yoga class on Zoom. Thur. nights it’s FB live class which changes topics. Last weeks was meditation. My homework: meditate twice a day for 5 minutes, wherever I am.

I believe this is what we’re all being challenged to learn. How to live our best life in the space where we are now. A mindset of wherever I am, I can …. And that can-do attitude and way of living is a skill we can keep for a lifetime. No matter what comes our way.

I’d like to end with the quote I’m most known for, and wish each of you a beautiful day.

“Every day we are alive is a beautiful day.” – Debra Parmley