My daughter will be with us this Fourth of July for the first time since my divorce four years ago. And the reason for that has everything to do with the pandemic.
We alternate custody on many of the holidays, but there are a couple where one parent celebrates much more than the other, and on those, my little extrovert gets the bigger celebration. I get Easter. My ex gets the Fourth of July.
It’s not that I don’t love fireworks. And it’s not that there aren’t ample ways to celebrate here on the coast (in normal years). But my ex lives in a bigger town with bigger fireworks and a whole festival to attend with tons of activities and music and people.
But, of course, not this year. Not during a pandemic.
So, Nola will be home this year, and we’ll do what we’ve been doing for her since the pandemic started—getting creative to find the silver linings.
This year, that means my husband will go buy a bunch of fireworks to create her our own display (they are legal here in Oregon). And we’ll grill and make S’mores and enjoy our safe little oasis of a backyard. We are lucky to have that.
This is our new normal—at least for now.
I think we’re all starting to accept that this pandemic is a long-term health event. I know long-term health events. My brain tumor was a long-term health event. And anyone who has dealt with a long-term health event can tell you, it’s important to accept where you are on the trajectory and understand that what was normal is gone, what will be normal is as-yet unknown, and accept what is normal right now: the need to keep our physical distance from other humans as much as possible. We have to exist in the now to prepare for the future, a time when we will have emerged from the crisis and see what our new normal truly looks like.
But some things transcend all of these normals. Reading. Through books, we escaped the trials and tribulations of the world before the pandemic, we are escaping them during the pandemic, and we will continue to do so long after the pandemic has, mercifully, ended.
Because of this fortunate reality, we are evolving our Stay Inside and Chill Newsletter to reflect the lasting power of reading, and the comforting consistency books provide.
Our newsletter will now be called the Grab a Book and Chill newsletter. It will continue to feature exclusive deals only available to our newsletter subscribers but will now also contain news on our latest releases, Kickstarters, flash sales, and more.
So, if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, there’s no time like the present. New subscribers get two free books just for signing up, and we will be changing the offerings quarterly. Starting this week, the free books are: An Easy Shot: A Golf Thriller by Dean Wesley Smith and Days of Rage: A Smokey Dalton Novel by Kris Nelscott. Existing newsletter subscribers will also get these books sent to them in the next newsletter.
And please feel free to share the newsletter with your friends and family. Sharing the love of a great book is a wonderful way to stay connected with them right now.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.