Strange times

I’ve mostly been using this space for announcements for the past year or so and keeping my chatty pieces for the newsletter, but this feels like a good time to check in. I hope all of you are keeping well.

First, thanks to you, A MURDEROUS RELATION is a USA TODAY bestseller! I am delighted that so many of you have supported and bought and buzzed and reviewed and talked about this book. It is MUCH appreciated, and a definite boost during these oh so strange times. I also want to thank those of you who were able to come to signings during the tour. I was able to finish it by the skin of my teeth and have put myself in quarantine for two weeks after coming home as a precaution. The first few days have been about catching up on my sleep–VITAL for the immune system–and loading up on fruits and vegetables, water, and Airborne.

My husband and I both work from home so this is not hugely different from what we usually do, but I know a lot of folks are finding the homebound work situation challenging. So, a word of unsolicited advice: Be nice to yourself. Stop thinking you have to do things a certain way. If you’re a night owl, work at night. (Job permitting.) If you need second breakfast and a long nap to feel good, do that. Most people waste hours each day in commuting, errands, mandated meetings. With a good chunk of that stripped away, you might have time to get your work done in just a few hours, leaving you with much more free time than you’re used to. That’s okay. Don’t rush to fill it. It’s okay to just BE right now. Things are weird and scary, and if keeping your pajama pants on until 4pm makes you happy, who cares?

And if you’re one of the people who needs to be perfectly coiffed and dressed to feel professional and productive, you do you. If you’re at home with kids and trying to homeschool, embrace the fact that you’re NOT a professional teacher. You don’t need rigid schedules and worksheets and regimented lessons. Most kids learn far better without those things. (Schools are organized that way because of the sheer number of kids who have to be educated, not because it’s better.) Cook with your kids and work fractions that way or let them read or paint or build things for hours. It’s fine. One of the greatest joys of my job is getting to fall down a rabbit hole of research on a topic I’m interested in. I learn so much when I can immerse myself in a subject. Your kids will too.

Feel like you need to give them some science or art or just need a distraction yourself? Heaps of museums are posting videos, archives, and livestreams. Have a peek at Shedd Aquarium, catch Metropolitan Opera‘s nightly opera stream–tonight is La Traviata!–or check out the live penguin cam at the California Academy of Sciences.

Every day from now until the end of March, I’ll be posting new content here–mostly suggestions of ways to pass the time in quarantine–just a few things each day that I hope will enjoy. I’ll tweet that day’s link and I hope you’ll add your own favorite tips, links, etc. If I post your addition in the next day’s blog,  you’ll be entered to win a copy of A MURDEROUS RELATION.

In the meantime, I hope you and yours are well!