What I’m Grateful for THIS Thanksgiving

This week is a personal favorite of mine. Thursday is a family day–most are gathering at my daughter’s home for cooking and movies. Social distancing has been in play since the Spring and are safe in getting together, something that they haven’t done as a full group for many months. I’m grounded since I’m at higher “risk” per my doctors … my right lung was damaged from “my second adventure” in August with what is known as a “large saddle pulmonary embolism” … something I won’t all of you to avoid. My physical therapy will be completed in December … and hello New Year!

On Thursday,  I will have the Macy’s Parade in the background for the kid in me followed by the National Dog Show, wondering “which one” will get the grand prize—I don’t own a dog now, but I love those sassy pooches as they parade around. Granddaughter Bella will watch virtually with me from her home.

With my ankle adventure that started in June–four hospitalizations, two surgeries, and one near-death surprise, I’ve had more than my share of COVID tests. I’m grateful beyond words for the support of family, friends, neighbors, and clients as I hit each pothole and climbed out of it. The meals that arrived and the visits were priceless. Thank you.
I missed the countless in-person gatherings that are typical in my life for a variety of social and business events … they will happen again. I promise. And, I confess that I have Zoomitis. Online working with clients has been common for years with me, but as the only option, it’s not my druthers when I know that someone is a few minutes or miles away. But it is what it is. At least for now.

For the first time, my annual Author Tea was put on hold … next year, I’m confident it will be a huge “go” and all will enjoy. My Unplugged events will be modified and presented online beginning the last Friday and Saturday of January-Book Publishing, February-Book Marketing, and March- Social Media. Speaking Unplugged will be in-person in June.

I’m grateful for the freedom we all have and too often assume it’s ours–in my home hangs an oil painting of  a still life of flowers; a gift on my 50th birthday from a dear friend, Nicole Schapiro and her mother. As I pass it several times a day, it’s a reminder of our freedom. I have no idea what the value of the art … yet the story of is one that should never go silent. WW II … It was stolen by the Nazis from her home: Nicole’s parents were taken to the concentration camps; infant Nicole was rescued by a nun and taken to a convent. The family’s art disappeared. Her father died, her mother survived and eventually was reconnected with her young daughter. Some of the art was brought back to the family. Both Nicole and her mother knew how I loved flowers. On my 50th, Nicole came to dinner with a brown wrapped item. Within it was what now hangs in the entry way for all to see.

monumentmenAs I unwrapped it, an awe followed with tears as Nicole said, “We wanted you to have this. The Nazis took everything, this is one of the pieces we recovered. In the lower left corner is a blacked out section. Underneath it is the name of the artist that the Nazis covered and painted in another name on the right side (it reads Drew). You can take this to a restorer and have the name removed to find out who the artist is if you like.”

I listened to her words and immediately knew that I would never do that. I have no idea if there is a monetary value to the piece. What I do know is that it is priceless and I’m eternally grateful for Nicole and her mother for this extraordinary gift that I think of each day. And an everyday reminder that Nazism was not long ago. Be grateful for your freedom to do what you do … it … can … be … lost.

I’m sooooo grateful for all the wonderful publishing colleagues I get to work with every day: Rebecca Finkel of F&P Design and Nick Zelinger of NZ Graphics for the fantastic creativity and art they bring to each book book concept placed in front of them and also to Rebecca for the eBooks that are added to the author’s mix for formats for buyers. To Mara Purl who adds to authors’ voices and words sparkle within their the land of audiobook creation. To the many printers who deliver the printer word–making covers jump and interiors soothe and delight as pages are turned–especially Sandy Gould with Color House Graphics, Charlie Tlapa with Total Printing Services, and Kathleen Brown with Sheridan. Other eyes and their “red pens” join me in editing the many books I’m honored to work with as The Book Shepherd: Peggie Ireland and Barb Wilson. I couldn’t do what I do without the  daily support I get from the my amazing virtual assistant Leah Dasalla. Much of what I do couldn’t happen without her at my virtual side and back. Websites come alive with Michelle Renee of Streamline Your Bizand Kelly Johnson at Cornerstone VA. Bobby Crew has been with me for five years starting as an intern and now an associate as he heads up the Author’s Assistant program. Plus the fun that I have every Friday with my early AM Author Friendly Fridays with authors I coach as we all are joined together via Zoom. 

I’m grateful for wonderful friends who are there for quick phone calls, face time calls, Skype and Zoom catch-ups, fun meals together and of course, virtual hugs—you name it, it’s so important … essential to stay connected. 

And of course, HUGE thanks to the many authors I have the esteemed pleasure to meet and guide through their authoring journey. I’m grateful to the many clients and authors that I’ve had the pleasure to touch since my first book was published in 1981. What a gift … what a gift!


I’m grateful for the relationship I have with my kids and grandkids. This week is always led with the two birthdays of the two youngest in the family: Ryan and Bella–as they said around my dining room table–this is epic! I’m grateful that I can work with hubby still on the publishing side as he still dives into Indexes when authors need them and actually likes to sit down over dinner with him in the evening; I’m grateful for the silly TV shows I allow myself to indulge in once in a while, and friends who show up when I reveal: it’s guinea pig time–I’m playing around with food ideas. Come over for dinner and see what you think …

AND, I’m grateful for all of YOU.

treat1For a very SPECIAL treat here’s a short video (2 minutes) that makes me smile everything time I think of Buster the dog and other critters … you will too! I promise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt6bg2nl908



   Wishing you a wonderful day with your family and friends,   


Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences. 

Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE

Follow @AuthorUYOUBooks and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU, and join the Facebook group Book Publishing with The Book Shepherd. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact me.

©2020 Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd®