Planning the Rest of the Year

My biggest 2020 events have now passed…The publication of my 6th Casey Holland mystery, retirement from the day job, and the birth of my first grandchild. As far as I know, nothing major’s coming along over the next four and a half months, which means this is a good time to start making plans for the rest of the year and into 2021.

The problem with this idea is that our COVID world is only a few months old and not likely to disappear soon. Uncertainties are everywhere and planning is trickier than usual. Under normal circumstances, my fall craft fairs would be booked and paid for by now. These days, such events are up in the air. One of the fairs is planning to host their event online and it will be interesting to see how that goes. One was cancelled and I’m still waiting to hear on another.

As far as my casual job goes, which is to facilitate Port Moody Recreation’s creative writing workshops, the rec center is still trying to figure out how to make it work. Registration normally starts in July, so I and my three co-facilitators usually know what our schedules will be by now but we don’t.

So, I’m going to focus on what I can arrange, which mainly involves more writing and promotion work. As mentioned in last week’s blog, I have idea for a new series that requires a great deal of thought and note making before I write the first word. And there are always household projects waiting for attention.

At some point, the cold rainy weather will set in and the yardwork will stop and I’ll switch to indoor sorting. I have bins filled with the kids’ old schoolwork that needs to be sorted and some of it recycled. I’ve also started collecting new recipes which will be fun to try.

On some levels, I’m also preparing for a COVID relapse in case things go south in our area. In late May, we bought a freezer for the first time in my life. It’s not huge but should I or the people I live with get sick, we want to be able to feed ourselves or provide food and meals for family members, should they became ill. I’ve also stocked up on hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, which are plentiful in the stores these days.

I’m thinking about starting Christmas shopping early. My mother used to have her shopping done by the end of August and wrapped by the end of September, but that was before the dementia took hold. I used to think she was nuts to do everything so early, but retirement and COVID is changing my perspective.

I’d prefer not to shop online, so maybe I’ll start while the weather’s good and everyone else is outside. Needless to say, there’s lots to plan for. Who knows what the next four and half months will bring, but I’m going to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

What are you all doing to plan for the fall, personally or professionally? Do you find it difficult to make plans right now, or are you looking ahead as well? Meanwhile, here’s the latest baby Ellie photo. I’m blown away by the changes in just a few days.

Baby Ellie, 8 days old.

Author: debrapurdykong

I'm a British Columbia author who's been writing for over 30 years. My volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and security work inspired me to write the Casey Holland transit security novels set in Metro Vancouver. I'm also a part-time facilitator in Creative Writing Workshops through Port Moody's Recreation program. Feel free to contact me at

18 thoughts on “Planning the Rest of the Year”

  1. Bay Ellie is a real sweetheart. You will get so much enjoyment from her. It is hard to plan right now. It is a good lesson in living in the moment. I really want to come back to Canada and see my family and friends but I just can’t plan anything yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it must be really difficult to make plans to come to Canada. I know flights are starting to again, but I’m sure there’s a great deal to think about when planning an overseas trip!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I´m certainly not comfortable about flying right now. Also, the main reason would be to visit my mom, and visiting care homes is still very limited. Would they want me there after being on an international flight? I think not. Hopefully, everything will be better by next year.

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  2. Yes, it’s a strange strange world we live in. Those are all BIG life-changing events. Congratulations and best wishes. I’m just packing to move. Book 4 in my series is close to publication but I’m hoping to do live when the world’s a different place again. So for now, I’m holding it and working on another book. I like the freezer idea. When I’m settled I’m going to look into that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve made a good point about holding off on publication, and it’s a wise move to keep working on new books. I’m holding off on publishing my Casey novella until I see how things go next year, and yes, the freezer idea came in late March, when the grocery stores were rationing the amount of meat we could buy. At one point, Safeway was only allowing 2 packages in all! Things of course are better now, but supply shortages and rationing could happen again.


  3. All sounds very sensible to me. I’ve just been told that my writers’ group will not be considered until the vacation season ends in mid-September. Then we will consider our next move.
    I can’t imagine how difficult it is for authors at the moment. Very challenging in every respect for everyone.
    We just have to be patient.

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    1. You’re quite right about patience. I know of writers who are losing their incentive to keep editing. So, I’m thinking about alternatives for the fall in that area as well.


  4. I think one of the hardest undertones of this pandemic is the sense that there is nowhere one can go for financial relief… even if one writes the greatest novel of all time, when at least two thirds of your audience cannot afford to “waste” a dime if they HAVE a dime on something as incidental as a book, it is hard to want to market one — let alone find the determination to finish one… These are bleak times indeed… and mentally hard ones when everywhere you look….

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    1. You’re quite right. I’ve been thinking this as well and it’s a definitely a struggle for many writers to maintain the enthusiasm they once had. I’m guessing that many publishers aren’t even offering contracts these days (although I’ve seen a couple of exceptions on FB) except to the established money-earners who’ll have they books turned into movies.

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  5. So many changes. If I fast-forward a year, is it all memories? I had to cancel a road trip mostly because each state here in the US has different rules on entering, self-isolation. I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere for two weeks. I am thankful I love to write. It almost makes life normal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right, there is a certain amount of normalcy in that we get to sit down at our computers and get to work. As time passes, some writers I’ve been in touch with are losing their incentive and enthusiasm. It’s a mental battle, as much as a physical, self-distancing one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hard to plan much these days, but, then again, my husband and I have never been planners. We’re more the “let’s see what happens” type. That being said, we will hit the road again full-time early fall. We have never been in the same place as long as during this Covid episode. One thing I do want to achieve is publish my first travel memoir this year… We will see what happens. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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